Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump's reason of state argument: Foundation of idolotry

Image result for Metacrock's blog Trump

...................................................Machievelli....................................The Prince 

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) is best known for his work The Prince (1532) which essentially argued that the Prince was justified in whatever he did because he's the prince, This is known as the "reason of state argument," (RSA) The concept has been reviled and rebuked by thinkers of all stripes ad has come to be an icon of circular reasoning and lust for power,corruption of power.[1] All the major powerful dictatorial types have wounding up making the argument most notably Richard Nixon in recent times. Shakespeare gives Macbeth a reasom of state argument probably as a means of showing the true moral bankruptcy of his plans for power. He says killing the King will be justified when he is the king. Also the reason of state is used in Hamlet. In fact Shakespeare uses it Inm Othello and many plays,[2]

What a surprise Trump finally got around to using the reason of state argument although not nearly as well developed as Shakespeare's version.  

It is remarkable — and perhaps praiseworthy — that Donald Trump gave a long and detailed interview on the subject of his being a pathological liar. The interview, with Time’s Michael Scherer, covers a wide range of Trump’s lies, and features many of his own justifications for them. The truly revealing moment of the interview comes at the end, when Trump gives up the game. “But isn’t there, it strikes me there is still an issue of credibility,” asks Scherer, referencing Trump’s hallucinatory claims to have been surveilled by his predecessor, which his own intelligence officials have refuted. Trump rambles through various talking points, and lands on this conclusion: “I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”[3]
There is also something of the RSA  In the answer Trump gave O'Rilely when ask how he could support Putin,ma murderer, Trump said "you think our country is so innocent?"[4] Even murder is justified because we are us, we do what needs doing to stay us, So right and wrong truth and falsehood are nothing more than what you need to do to hang on to power. Chait again:

This small line is an important historical marker of the bizarre and disconcerting reality into which American politics has plunged. Trump is not merely making an attack on truth here. He is attacking the idea of truth. His statement is a frontal challenge to the notion that objective reality can be separated from power.
Trump and his officials have been dancing around this notion since November. When challenged on almost any of their lies, they point to the election, which proves that the credibility of the crooked Fake News media is nonexistent, and theirs is beyond reproach. Questions about veracity are met with responses about voting in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump made the argument explicit: The only measure of his veracity is power, which he has, and his critics do not.[5]

What do we expect from an administration that defines compassion as looking out that the taxpayers get their money's worth and staving old ladies and little children don't get away with a decent meal they didn't pay for because they are  on the unimportant side of the equation; the beggars ca't be choosers side?[6]  Going back to our guide, Mr. Orwell. the fundamental reality of political langue is to make murder look respectable an d to give solidity to pure wind.[7] The redefining of words and stripping away the concept of truth and replacing it with the closed realm of discourse the reason of state as it's foundation is paramount to all fascist and tyrannical endeavors. It also happens to be the basis of idolatry and the negation of the Gospel of Christ. God is truth. Augustine made that connection and he was right. Idolatry is falsehood, the erection of a false God,which we do when we allow things that are not God, whatever they are, weather stone idol or a political agenda to come between us an d God.
I once suggested that Trump’s most anti-democratic quality is his authoritarian epistemology. He tells repeated, brazen lies about matters large and small, in the confidence that his supporters have surrendered all independent judgment to him. That is not a democratic relationship between elected official and polity. [8]
I know I have pointed out that Trump is a fascist a time or two. I still think If I keep beating this dead horse some day he;s going to fly.


(all online sources accessed 3/24/17)

[1] Cary J. Neaderma,  Machiavelli: a Beginner's Guide, Oxford: onme World, 2009, 115.

[2] DiMatteo, Anthony. "Shakespeare and the Public Discourse of Sovereignty: 'Reason of State' in Hamlet". Early Modern Literary Studies PDF 10.2 (September, 2004) 2.1-54 . URL


[4] Abby Philip, "O'Reilly said Putin is a killer. Trump's reply: 'You think our country is so innocent?'
Chicago Tribune, (March 24,2017). on line versiom URL

[5] Chait, op cit

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

MARCH 17, 2017

[7] George Orwell, "Politics and The English Language," Horizon, volume 13, issue 76,(Dec. 1946), pages 252–265
Online version published by NPR ... uage-1.pdf
[8] Chait, op cit


Eric Sotnak said...

When he gave his first joint session speech. there were some who expressed the sentiment "Ah, he sounds reasonable. Perhaps he'll put all the childish tantrums and insults behind him." But this isn't the way personality disorders work. I've had some experience in that area. Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder. He won't (and can't) just come around to normalcy. What you've seen is what you are going to continue to get all the way out. The few peaks of apparent sanity or reasonableness or compassion are deliberately chosen not because they express genuine attitudes, but because they are calculated to elicit admiration. And nothing else. Ever.

Joe Hinman said...

That is entirely correct. That is what I said that day.

Joe Hinman said...

my beloved twin was a wonderful guy, my best fried and great writer. He was also schizophrenic. I know something about dealing with such disorders.They can't just try to do better.

believer333 said...

Well said, Joe. From the very beginning he not only revealed himself in his words and actions, but even in the way he postures. It is amazing that so many have not seen this. Evangelical patriarchal Christians are the worst in some ways, for they have been taught not to think for themselves but to parrot whatever their leaders tell them. This is why most of them refuse to listen to reason and good sense.

Joe Hinman said...

right on 333. hey great to hear from you,have you been reading the blog all along? please comment more often.