Monday, March 20, 2017

Rage Against The Dying of The Light

Image result for Metacrock's blog Tank man

Here I use the dying father as metaphor, if Dylan Thomas* will forgive me, for the dying Western civilization, which I now mourn. We stand to lose in this era far more than anyone has understood. Not just every vestige of progress made in the 20th century, not just millions of lives, in death and hellish life, but the very capacity to object, to reason ,to discourse. We stand to lose more than this, the entire religious edifice which has made America the bulwark of Christian belief and stemmed the tide of modern secular anti-clericalism throughout the 20th century, That now comes to an end  not because of new atheism but because Christian fundamentalism delivered  the gospel into the hands of one-dimensionaizing forces to be used as a political tool and nothing more. It had been denuded of the values that make the gospel a meaningful answer in a meaningless world,

Trump destroying every vestige of progress

The Republicans have put forth 2000 bills so far everyone of them destroying some aspect of social progress. The entire edifices of social progress apprised throughout the 20th century is being devastated and pulled down in one college semester. They will terminate EPA, if that doesn't work they will gut 60% of it;s regulations, Tax dollars for private schools, Terminate Department of education, eliminate rules protective of  wildlife, eliminate affordable care act, defend planned parenthood (only a minty part of that funding goes to abortion) destroy the vestigial remains of the labor movement iwth right to work legislation, [1] Trash the nation's clear water supply by allowing toxic dumpling, ruining tap water for 117 million Americans [2] Eliminate funding for meals on wheels, for the arts, destroy PBS and many other barbaric and unconscionable things. Destroying research on climate change at crucial moment when we are approaching tipping point  and yes that science is proven, 97% of scientists agree that figure is firm and proven. [3]

It is pretty obvious that Trump seeks to erase every aspect of social progress made since the new deal. He seeks to take us back to pre FDR levels of social progress. I guess he;s saving segregated lunch counters for second term. We are talking about people's lives, Pollution kills. Before the EPA existed the first major scientific study on harms of pollution found that a 50% reduction in air pollution would result in 20% reduction in all cardio pulmonary deaths, we are talking millions of people.[4] Now we are going back to those levels by gutting EPA and eliminating regulations. Why is he doing it? He says it's because the national debt is so great, it's practically at emergency levels. The problem with that is none of the conservative economic publications back him on that.

Bob Bryan quotes Scott Brown of Raymond James April 2016 tells us:"There is no magic level of debt that gets an economy in trouble," Brown, the chief economist at Raymond James, said in the note. "Research arguing that view has been discredited. The federal government currently has no problem borrowing, nor is there any evidence that it is crowding out private investment." Bryan adds: "Brown's argument is fairly simple: Debt is an issue only if you can't repay it or if other people believe you can't repay it. And, as Business Insider's Myles Udland has noted, the US can literally print the money it needs to repay its debt, and it still maintains a high credit rating." [5] 

Trump's rational may be the deficit but he does nothing about it. His budget is a sham because, like with Reagan he cuts spending with one hand by slashing social programs, but then throws it all away on defense spending with the other. Trump's budget will make no gains of savings for all it/s death and destruction it causes among the poor. It features a 54 Billion dollar increase in defense. [6][7] The old Reagan strategy of treating defense dollars like magic so that spending them doesn't causer deficit.

Why the total devastation of social programs went it wont really reduce the deficit? One name that is very meaningful in the world of high finance is John C, Bogle of the Vanguard group. Bogle argues that Trump is aiming to produce a total business environment, He;s clearing the decks of all regulation to create a total business environment, In that way he will spur business and the economy will grow. [8]

Trump has chosen the typical  American penchant for short term prophets and immeidate pleasure screw tomorrow screw the future,

The Closed Realm of Discourse

As I have documented in the past Western Civilization has been reduced to a closed realm of discourse along the lines of Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man. [9] The way of life that has developed in America admits only one line of discourse backing the social protect and all else disappears into the black hole of false needs. C. Wright Mills said:
The individual learns not to reason, but to rationalize the goals and ends of life, and his or her position in the overall scheme of things. Given...the ascendant trend of rationalization, the individual 'does what he can.' He gears his aspirations and his work to the situation he is in and from which he can find no way out. In due course he does not seek a way out: he adapts. That part of his life which is left over from work he uses to play, to consume, to have fun. Yet this sphere of consumption is also being rationalized. Alienated from production, from work, he is also alienated from consumption, from genuine leisure. This adaptation of the individual and its effects upon his milieux and self results not only in the loss of his chance, but in due course of his capacity and will to reason; it also affects his chances and his capacity to act as a free [person]. Indeed, neither the value of freedom nor of reason, it would seem, are known to him.[10]
Marcuse extended the analysis to the consumer oriented lifestyle, the meaning of life because the acquisition of false needs,
..The irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits...The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they promote a false consciousness which is immune against falsehood. And as these beneficial products have become available to more individuals, in more social classes, the indoctrination they carry ceases to be publicity; it becomes a way of life. It is a good way of life' much better than before and as a good way of life, it militates against qualitative change. Thus emerges a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior, in which ideas, aspirations, and objectives that, by their content, transcend the established universe of discourse and action are either repelled or reduced to terms of this [social-political] universe. They are re-defined by the rationality of the given system and of its quantitative extension..[11]

That has been the situation since the late 40s. Now we have a new situation in which all vintages of humanity, of culture,or arts, and of thinking and everything that is not business is to be swept aside children will no longer be trained in these things. It is all to be left to cruel market forces of hyper capitalism in a war time hysteria. We are on-dimensional as is, but even the slight alternatives that create small spaces for transcendence will be closed up and the closed realm of discourse will center itself around the business mentality.

One-dimensional Christianity

What happens to the Gospel of Christ in one-dimensional society?  We can already see the direction it's taking. In the last week we saw what has become of the value of compassion in the Trump culture, it is the side of sensibility to watch our for the poor exploited tax payers who are ask to help those vicious old ladies get lunches. We need to haven compassion on those poor beseaged guys in the upper brackets who are not getting their just share of American defense.Buying that extra fighter could swing the whole tide of the war, whatever war Our true leader Mr. Putin sends us to fight for him,[12] How about some compassion for those poor frightened KKK guys who didn't get to lynch everyone they wanted to? We need to have compassion for the poor lions getting indigestion on all those old Christians.

The basic values that underlay the Gospel are distorted and perverted when the realm of discourse is closed around a project of hyper capitalism in a climate of fear. We see this happening now when the evangelical church has become the American Taliban ready to sell their birthright for protecting from terrorism, at the expense of the truly helpless sea of humanity victimized by the dictatorship and war, but the Christians are taught to fear the foreigners.

Bob Eschliman, writes: "Stephen Powell, one of the newer voices of the prophetic movement, has shared another word from the Lord regarding not just President Trump, but how his presidency is reforming politics in America:"
I hear the Lord saying, "This man [Trump] is unstoppable because I'm unstoppable. My kingdom is unstoppable, and this man has a mandate from heaven; he has momentum that is not his own. His movement will not dissipate, it will grow, and it will reach beyond the borders of American governing. It will inspire; it will stir up a nest.
"As the eagle stirs up the nest, so the Lord will do through this man. People are laughing at him, saying that his plans are too bold, his ideas are too big, that his plans will not work because after all, what president has been able to do these things before without gridlock?
But the Lord is saying, "This president shall not be in gridlock, for his strength is not his own. I have put a spirit of breakthrough on this man and on this land, and he will do things that will be monumental for the generations to come. I will use him to stir up the nest and cause this young generation of young eagles to soar."[13]

The right wing fundamentalists seek to expropriate the mantle of Prophet in pushing their political. agenda. In so doing they tag as divine a set of values that contradict everything Jesus taught, I don't think the major criticism is that his plans are too bold, too stupid maybe not too bold. God told Israel to give the alien among them the same rights and protections as they enjoyed. Of course we know that we are called protect widows and orphans, to sacrifice for those who can't help themselves. Through the Bible we are told God takes the side of the poor. There is nothing consistent between these values and the discrimination and loathing for welfare and social programs the seeking to destroy every form of social progress made in the 20th century seen in the agenda of Trump. There is no way that Trump's anti-compass agenda is divinely mandated. Not to mention the Brown shirt effect, the massive awakening of racism and antisemitism we see in the wake of Trump's influence.[14]

Thus the last and in view most important alternative to any form of dictatorship, the sacred that which never be possessed by temporal power, will simply be defined out of being because the very capacity to understand the concept will be engineered away, as Schweitzer predicted.

The lesson of Christians in Sweden

In my article answering Phil Zuckerman I demonstrated that Christianity was a major part of the coalition that built the Swedish welfare state. But the Christians of Sweden made a huge mistake, The fundamentalists took over the Christian world and them out of the social coalition, They lost their place in Swedish society and have never gotten it back.[15] That is why Sweden is so secular and Christianity is perceived as old and antiquated and irrelevant. Because it made itself irrelevant and it betrayed the social mission of the Church. They did it because they were taken over by right wing political thinking that tried to suppress social programs.


(all sources accessed 3/20/17)

[1] Tom Cahill.,"While We Were distracted by Trump The Republoicans Unviled Nine Terrifying Bills," Resistance Report, (March 4, 2017) On line resource URL:

[2] Craig Cox, "Trump Plan To Gut Stream Protectionism," Know Your Environment Protect Your Health (WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 201)
Cox is  Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Soren Rundquist, Director of Spatial Analysis

[3] 97%

[4] L&S

[5] BobBryan, "U.S. Government's 19 Trillion Dollar Deficit Isn't a Problem," Busimess Imsider.
(APril. 25, 2016) URL:


[7]  @CNNMoney
March 16, 2017:

[8] Alexandra King,"Legomndary Invester Bobler..." CNN March 18, 2017

[9] Joseph Hinman, "Atheists educe Knowledge to Science," Metcrock's Blog (JULY 03, 2016)

from my forth comimg book

[10] C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination. New York, London: Oxford University Press, 1967 (originally 1959) 170

[11] Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Soceity. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964, 12.

[12]Joseph Hinman, "Trump Budgetting: The Bizzaro Version of Compassion" Metacrock's Blog

MARCH 17, 2017

[13]Stephen Powell quoted by Bob Eschlisman, "Prophecy: Donald Trump Is Unstoppable Because the Lord Is Unstoppable," Charisma News (2/1/2017) (access 2/28/17)

[14] Joseph Himan,"Trump, Fascism, and the Rise of hate," Resistance is not Futile,March 17, 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center documents

[15] Kees Van Kersbergen and Philip Manow, "Religion and the Western Welfare State--The Theoretical Context," Religion, Class Coalitions, and Welfare States, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, Kees Van Kersbergen and Philip Manow, (ed) 2009. 1-38,1.
Google books:

*Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Used with permission.

No comments: