The Head Decapitant

The TPers think they’re fighting to save capitalism, American freedom as ordained by God, before it’s too late, “too late” amounting to “any day now” by their variously innumerate and fantastical pseudo-calculations. Yet, in a way, kind of a park bench schizophrenic way but still self-consistently and even informatively a way, they could not be more right (make that “multiple ways”), and our real problem, the last new frontier, is and can only be making socialism work (engineering an American neo-socialism). Making matters more difficult for the country as a whole is that the project can hardly even be spoken of, except by those selfsame sociopaths, the ones who conceive of themselves as its moral/mortal enemies.

As for the President, this president, about to address us, the perplexities regarding his positioning in part stem from the nature of the office itself: It, or he, is the American anti-collective anti-state’s repository of collective self-consciousness as a state, the head decapitant, the integrator of a polity built on a defensive commitment to schizophrenia, united in positive resistance to any singular ideal, plurally unanimous – immensely successful on that non-basis, to this point if decreasingly, always for reasons other than any adduced.

22 comments on “The Head Decapitant

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  1. That last sentence (paragraph) is a real doozer, in a good way in respect to writing. Wow. “always for reasons other than any adduced.” Exactly. You get to the heart of the crazy-making right there.

  2. @ Scott Miller:
    Have been toying the last day or two with the notion of neo-socialism (just added a reference to it in the post), though I see the term itself has an unfortunate history, including some eventual allies of the Nazis (National Socialists, of course). It has also been bandied about on the right and left already to describe Obama policies especially during 2009, and especially by conservatives of the Don Miguel sort. There were even some speculative pieces by lefties on embracing that label.

    The bad history and the more recent confusion reinforce for me the “unspeakability” problem – and enclose the same nightmare from which we’d like to awaken.

  3. @ CK MacLeod:
    Yes, another name is needed. You’ve always encouraged me to be open to renaming things when a name has issues (like my teacher trainer program’s name). I think you should go with “state capitalism.”

  4. @ Scott Miller:
    “State capitalism” is what the ultra-lefties (mainly) called Stalinism, and may be a better term for contemporary China.

    I think the rationale for avoiding anything too “red” (in the older sense) will sooner or later have to erode. There are a lot of Americans under Pavlovian conditioning to turn homicidal at the mention of the word “communism.” “Socialism” provokes a somewhat milder response. In either case, the people who go reflexively irrational over such terms tend to be the very same people who need to be isolated and, where possible, calmed, soothed, and de-programmed.

  5. Yes, this time we’ll get it right, Comrade McLeod after all, Marx posited it had to occur in a fully industrialized nation, like the Britain he was so familiar with, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, they all jumped the gun, sorry
    about that, have a crumpet,

  6. @ miguel cervantes:
    Indeed, Comrade Miguel. Not only did Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot “jump the gun,” they did so in countries without any significant tradition or even developed concepts of individual rights or restraint on state power. Incipiently globalized technology enabled wider and more accurately tabulated lists of victims, as well as alterations in terminology and notions of justification, but in terms of relative scale and absolute cruelty there was little that was done under the Communist regimes of the 20th Century was unprecedented in their respective national histories.

    Would you like some suggestions about what you can do with the crumpet? :)

    Or should we wait for this, the next, and the next after reflexive responses to subside?

  7. CK MacLeod wrote:

    “Socialism” provokes a somewhat milder response. In either case, the people who go reflexively irrational over such terms tend to be the very same people who need to be isolated and, where possible, calmed, soothed, and de-programmed.

    Agreed. So it does have some pluses, just like the name I use for my program. I’m in. Do we get any cool looking clothes? At least a cap?

  8. @ CK MacLeod:
    I’ve heard that Tinky-Winky has an upside down triangle on his cap because he’s gay. For unrelated related reasons I think that cap would suit our version of a neo-socialist sports and movie club best.

  9. @ fuster:
    As a matter of fact, no. At least, I don’t think I was. Apparently the idiom – “nuts” as synonym for crazy – has something to do with the “nut” also being a word for the head, and may be a shortening of “off his nut” or “out of her nut.” Apparently in use at least since 1810. As usual with these things, other metaphoric echoes – nuts for brains, brain the size of a peanut, nuts rattling around in skull instead of a brain, or just a totally absurd reference – may reinforce the usage.

  10. @ Scott Miller:
    Purple tends to mean neither red nor blue in the contemporary political parlance, which has oddly attached “red,” for a century or two the color of the left, to the American right. I also don’t find purple very soothing.

    But the triangle is cool, and gay is kind of in fashion.

  11. From Richard Cohen:

    Obama has always been the man he is today. He is the very personification of cognitive dissonance — the gap between what we (especially liberals) expected of the first serious African American presidential candidate and the man he in fact is. He has next to none of the rhetorical qualities of the old-time black politicians. He would eschew the cliche, but he feels little of their pain. In this sense, he has been patronized by liberals who looked at a man and saw black and has been reviled by those who looked at a black man and saw “other.”

  12. Here’s a head-scratcher from Five myths about Mormonism

    Myth 4. Mormon women are second-class citizens.

    It is true that mainstream Mormonism does not accord women equal status with men. The worldwide LDS Church chain of command — including all positions of clerical, institutional and fiscal authority — is entirely male. Women cannot hold the lay priesthood shared in by men age 12 and older. The church’s Proclamation on the Family declares that men “preside” over the household. Unequal gender language is also a part of Mormon temple worship and marriage ceremonies.

    Hard to argue with that kind of proof that it’s a myth.

  13. don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I feel like maybe the left’s “New Civility” scolding campaign was just a cynical attempt to shut up their opponents. Like maybe, just perhaps, their outrage was a mite forced. It could be, just throwing out a hypothetical here, it could be they didn’t really think that a map with crosshairs on it had magical mind-control powers or anything.

    Read more:

  14. @ miguel cervantes:
    Or maybe you, or the DC author, or both, are completely confused about what different people have said or demanded, and about the difference, just for example, between the gun-nut’s superstar pin-up running her mouth and her PAC, out and about and loud and proud, and an unnamed “senior strategist” quoted in a stray article.

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