Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tea Party Madness

Today is Tuesday, 22 June 2010.

I’ve recently re-read sections of Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, by Philip Short (New York: Henry Holt, 2004), and I’m struck by at least two similarities between the mentalities of the Khmer Rouge and of the TeaPartiers.

Both are the worst kind of addicts – blood drunks – giddy with violent language, and enamoured of the supposedly-redemptive character of actual violence applied. Both are also possessed by ideologies with no significant connection to reality.

Khmer Rouge ideology (which used, by the by, Marxist, Marxist-Leninist, and Maoist terminologies, while emptying them of their original meanings) aimed to reduce all non-peasant classes to peasant status again, and then to re-mold their consciousnesses so as to build a modern industrial state. “It was agreed [in 1975, a month after the KR conquest was completed] that the overall goal should be to attain 70 to 80 per cent farm mechanization in five to ten years, and to build on that foundation a modern industrial base in fifteen to twenty years”. (Short, p. 288)

All this in a society which had never before produced more than one ton of paddy-rice (rice before milling) per acre per year. The goal was to suddenly begin producing three tons per year: a disjuncture from reality which approaches madness.

Likewise, the Teapartiers fantasize that they can obtain Big Government benefits from a Small Government apparatus. They demand a government which provides a massive imperial military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., all produced by a government scarcely larger than that over which G. Washington presided. Again, madness.

Of course, this delusional mentality runs deep in European societies. Leaving aside the still-persistent widespread belief in demons by right-wing Christians, note that, from 1974 to 1994, the latter being the 20th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation in disgrace, a consistent fifth (20%) of Americans polled opined that Nixon had done nothing wrong by overthrowing the Constitution.

As the immortal Bette Davis said, “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

On this date in 1941, Hitler sealed the fate of the Third Reich by launching the invasion of the USSR.


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