Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Rave, don’t you ever get fed up with reading political commentary?

“I get fed up with politicians and their self-serving stupidity and greed.”

That wasn’t what I was referring to.

Raven disdainfully spoons instant coffee into his cup.

“I am fed up with having to recur to Nestle, too. It’s globalized garbage. Wonder what they do with the perfectly good coffee they buy from the Third World?”

Pervert it into bat guano, apparently.

“Anything to make a buck. I don’t know about bat shit, but bird shit gave a big shot in the arm to some South American country’s economy at some point. Chile’s, I think.”

Yeah, but the birds couldn’t keep up with the demand, and somebody invented a chemical fertilizer that put them out of business.

“Sigh. Back to politics—or maybe we never left it—but I don’t like to think of birds being forced to shit their brains out to forge an economy. I just read a good piece in this week’s PROCESO—in English, Beyond Tlahuac. The author, Enrique Maza, is trying to fit the lynching of the policemen into a global context.”

As in the globalization of violence?

“As in the prevalence of violence everywhere in the globe, at least. He starts by saying that Judaism, Islam and Christianity are 3 religions which promote love and peace, but they’ve sowed violence in the world. He mentions that Hitler also justified the mass murder of Jews in the name of God.”

Another slick parallel with George W. Bush.

“The piece is really about the dangers of mass thinking and action. He quotes from Gustave Le Bon’s Psychology of the Masses: ‘The mass barely distinguishes between subjective and objective. He who can offer illusions is converted in its leader; but whoever tries to destroy those illusions is always its enemy.’”

Good point. And a perfect description of the mass thinking—or mass hysteria—that created those “red states” in the last US election.

“Those red states, demographically speaking, tend toward lower educational and income levels. In this article he talks about the results of a German study which concluded that personality type and economic position distort people’s thinking, that an economic status of poverty implies a lower threshold for anger (but not for cruelty) and is related to activities charged with prejudice. He says: ‘Obviously, the marginal population has less access to education, a healthy diet, and satisfactory levels of information and culture. And this deterioration makes it more susceptible to group thinking and internal group pressures, as well as less inclined to the verification of moral judgments.”

More support for why the red states were created.

Rave dumps his coffee in the sink.

“It’s all about creating an enemy—and making that enemy appear as odious as possible.”

Like Bush did with Saddam Hussein.

“Precisely. And then in most countries—here in Mexico, for instance—there is hate directed downward. From the ‘owners’ of the country to the lower classes. Maza talks about an exchange of letters between Einstein and Freud. Einstein wrote:

The dominant sector’s need for power in all countries resists limitations to its sovereign rights. Said need for power is frequently fed by greed for
economic power. A minority of the dominant class has control of all the
schools, the press, the media and almost always the religious organizations. The question is: Is it possible to resist the psychosis of hate and destruction?”

And what did Freud write as an answer to that?

“Freud said:

The laws will be made by the dominant class and it will concede few rights to the lower classes. If the rules of power are displaced in the community, the dominant class will refuse to recognize that transformation and will initiate a rebellion that suspends law and order and proceeds to violence.”

Freud sure hit that nail square on, Rave. That’s a description of exactly what happened in Venezuela when Hugo Chavez became president. The dominant class simply refused to accept that the rules of the game were changing. So they called for strikes, promoted the April 2002 coup that suspended the Constitution and abolished the institutions, then the lock-out with its 10 billion dollars of damage to the national economy. And then their refusal to accept the results of the August 15 referendum—when Chavez won with 60% of the vote—and immediately responded by calling at the top of their lungs for his assassination. Chavez is right to describe it as a mass psychosis. I felt it so intensely in Caracas last January and February that it made me physically ill.

“Not to mention the car bomb that blew up the prosecutor that was handling the 2002 coup cases.”

It’s like being in Beirut. Only instead of religious hatred, it’s class and racial hatred.

“You know, we could look at this phenomenon from the perspective of spurious species hierarchy—or perhaps calling it, more realistically, the food chain totem pole. Your species wants to run the rest of us off the planet—even if it means blowing up the planet to do that. Just this humble bird’s opinion.”

It’s a very humbling opinion, Rave.