Friday, January 25, 2008

Waiting for the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind 

Our indefatigable colleague Scott Horton of No Comment has published a new interview with Mark Crispin Miller, in which the author of Fooled Again and The Bush Dyslexicon argues that the bent zealotry of the Bushian right is not at all cynical, but -- in a pathological way -- quite sincere. In other words, they can't help it. They're simply wired to think that way:
Well, yes and no. On the one hand, Bush & Co.’s vast inversions of the truth–distortions infinitely larger than mere lying–are the product of a conscious and deliberate “technique,” as you put it. And yet, they’re also, at the same time, a ferociously sincere expression of the way these mad authoritarians perceive reality. In other words, when Bush and Cheney and their cohorts say that up is down and black is white, they are not just dispassionately following a certain set of rules for doing propaganda. Such fierce untruthfulness comes to them naturally, because their world-view is completely paranoid . . . .

As I point out in Fooled Again, that sort of ferocious cunning has, throughout the centuries, marked paranoid crusades of every kind. Certainly we see it in Bush/Cheney’s movement, which includes radical theocrats, neocon extremists, dedicated neo-Confederates, and other types who tend to see themselves as victims and their struggle, therefore, as defensive. In their eyes, the very people whom they’re trying to destroy are ruthless and relentless, full of hate and fury, while they themselves are innocent, outnumbered, “fighting back.” In short, Bush/Cheney’s movement is projective, lividly imputing their own darkest impulses to everybody else.

Such projectivity, I argue, drove the Crusaders of the Middle Ages, and the Western efforts to annihilate the “savages” on the American frontiers. Nazism also was essentially projective, as Hitler and his men consistently imputed their own wrath and vengefulness and lust for power to “world Jewry”–against which they were fighting, they believed, in self-defense. We see the same mentality in the Islamist, Christianist and ultra-Zionist movements; and, overwhelmingly, among the Bush Republicans, whose program, I believe, is ultimately pathological. The Bushevik is fatally obsessed with wiping out the “terrorist” within himself–and, no less, the homosexual within. How many of those ranting homophobes have turned out to be cruisers in the dark? Bush/Cheney’s G.O.P. is, above all, the Party of the Closet; and therefore suicidally engaged in trying to straighten out, or murder, all those other “perverts” the world over.
You will also want to read the rest of the interview, especially Mr. Miller's thoughts on the four areas in which the voting process is most susceptible to fraud (Question #4) and the twelve steps that should be taken to repair our broken system of elections (Question #5).

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