New Civilization News: No Doubt    
 No Doubt33 comments
picture 20 Oct 2004 @ 16:39, by Flemming Funch

Article in the N.Y.Times by Ron Suskind: Without a Doubt (registration required). A sober and brilliant analysis of what I would agree is the most disturbing and dangerous aspect of George Bush's presidency. Essentially that the major program points are based on his personal "messages" from God and that there's nothing to talk about, nobody else to listen to, and no room for new facts, or old facts, or differing opinions.
This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker. Nothing could be more vital, whether staying on message with the voters or the terrorists or a California congressman in a meeting about one of the world's most nagging problems. As Bush himself has said any number of times on the campaign trail, "By remaining resolute and firm and strong, this world will be peaceful".
Personally, I'd much prefer *anybody* starting out with *any* kind of outrageous program points, as long as they would adhere to a principle of examining the facts and talking with those who need to be talked with, and then make decisions based on that. Open dialogue. Listen to what people have to say. Be willing to learn about the things you don't know. Well, the article is full of horrifying inside stories documenting that what is there now is a totally different scenario. For probably the first time in U.S. history. It is also puzzling what the hell happened. Apparently Bush used to be quite a different man, a pragmatic down-to-earth kind of guy, quite able to improvise and have a free-flowing dialogue and debate the issues. It used to be one of his strong points. Something changed, suddenly no dissent was tolerated, and he became the Messiah. And a Zombie. Now, listen to this part:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Now, that's disturbing. Also because it is right. They directly aim for creating a particular reality. And, yes, then they can move "ahead" much faster than anybody who has to stop and examine facts and ask people what they want. It works. It is an amazing piece of work. Brilliant piece of mass manipulation. The trouble is just that the reality they're manifesting is a pretty horrible one. And since it wasn't really based on what the world needed, or on any actual situation in our reality, for that matter, it probably won't work at all. But it can all stick together for a surprising amount of time, if you have confidence.
George W. Bush, clearly, is one of history's great confidence men. That is not meant in the huckster's sense, though many critics claim that on the war in Iraq, the economy and a few other matters he has engaged in some manner of bait-and-switch. No, I mean it in the sense that he's a believer in the power of confidence. At a time when constituents are uneasy and enemies are probing for weaknesses, he clearly feels that unflinching confidence has an almost mystical power. It can all but create reality.

Whether you can run the world on faith, it's clear you can run one hell of a campaign on it.
Apparently it speaks to quite a large percentage of the U.S. population. The ones in the middle. Hardworking, simple, churchgoing folks who don't read the New York Time, and who wouldn't dream of reading alternative news sources on the net, and who don't care much about facts. But they care about faith. And the right buttons have been pushed, and they believe Bush has been chosen by God. Scary. Very scary.


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33 comments

20 Oct 2004 @ 17:28 by jstarrs : Spot on, Flemming...
...I think that in the same way as the schism between the rich & the poor is getting wider, so the schism between the 'reality' that some want us to accept as real and the alternative 'realities' that will refuse to accept this, is getting wider.
I think we're reaching critical mass.  



20 Oct 2004 @ 17:41 by shawa : Yeah...
"But it can all stick together for a surprising amount of time, if you have confidence. " AND the dead-brained support of the unwitting unwitted masses.  


20 Oct 2004 @ 18:32 by b : Yes, we can all hang together
or we can hang seperately - Ben Franklin said. Putting order into chaos is no easy talk. A U.S. President who doesn't want USA and the world blown up by nukes or suicide bombers is not necessarily a bad thing.
Re Jeff comment: perhaps the rich are so different from you that they should be kept behind inclosures.  



20 Oct 2004 @ 21:02 by ming : Nukes
I don't think any U.S. president has wanted the USA to be blown up by nukes and suicide bombers. Although, if I had to choose any who might actually like it, it would be the present. I have little doubt that he would be the favorite of most good fundamentalist terrorists around the world. They couldn't really ask for better help. He's created much better conditions and sent them more new recruits than any of them could have hoped for.

No, might make more sense to have a U.S. president that actually worked on removing the reasons for terrorism to happen.  



21 Oct 2004 @ 01:18 by b : I don't think that there are good
terrorists. Good terrorists and bad terrorists are equally terrorists. Suicide bombers do it because they think it is an instant ticket to a paradise where they are given virgins to have sex and the food is free. But exploding oneself and others around is not indicitive of a productive life. In the Islamic world it is the badge of martyrdom much admired. Different people have different rationales for life and death. We here at NCN want a new and better civilization. The more confident we are that we will have a new and better civilization then we will have it. In the civilization that I want to live in I don't want to be looking around for the guy wearing the explosives belt. Root causes of terror? Having to pray five times a day? Monotony of food sameness, sexual repression, no jobs for the idle? I don't think that it is US foreign policy. Arabs bombed NYC not foreign policy. Though Bush hate probably kept them warm as the planes crashed. That Bush hate can probably keep some one warm all winter.  


21 Oct 2004 @ 07:16 by ov : Dysfunctional
system no matter how you look at it. I've been doing some interesting reading this week on comparing the US as wet drunk to the Islam as dry drunk models of alcohol addiction. I've also doing a lot of thinking back to a lecture I went to last year on State sponsored terrorism by Dr Allen Connelly who was associated with "Physicians For Global Survival." One of many things he mentioned was that Bush, and others in high power, could be best understood through the mechanism of 'projection.' Juxtapositioning these two ideas led me to think that the dry drunk Bush is reacting against the dry drunk of Islamic fundamentalism.

Lots of things going on here. Control and addiction theory are a good foundation for looking at a lot of it. This good vs evil dichotomy is a dead end though imho. A couple of nights ago I was listening to a program on neo-conservatives presented by radio netherlands, and one point they made was that the neo-cons sincerely believe that they are morally superior to everybody else. This means that if anybody tries to directly confront them on this point then they are percieved to be either misinformed or disingenuous, and in either case ignored. The more force that is used to persuade them of the moral short comings the more resistant they become. It was a new insight for me since I had kind of assumed that they recognized themselves as evil greedy power mongers and had contempt for everybody else and and didn't see any problem with this.

I'd disagree with Ming's premise that they are creating a particular reality, technicality here since in the short term they are, but I think they are creating a particular delusion, and reality is that which has survived a reality check and the check hasn't been made yet. Perhaps in other words, they may have created a reality but it isn't a sustainable one, and a relatively short lived one at that.

Everything that is happening now and in the next couple of years is fore play, kicking around the symptoms, the root causes still need to be addressed and first they need to be recognized. As with alcoholics, recovery cannot begin until rock bottom has been hit, and we aren't quite there yet.  



21 Oct 2004 @ 08:08 by jstarrs : b?
They're already behind enclosures - ever drive through Beverly Hills? ;0)
During the war here in Occupied France, the German forces called the Resistance fighters 'terrorists'.
Terrorism is a relative word.
Otherwise terrorists would be happy to call themselves terrorists.
Harming another being amounts to self-cherishing.
Putting oneself before others.
All suffering comes from this attitude - disputes, conflicts, wars,the end of the world etc.  



21 Oct 2004 @ 08:22 by lugon @195.53.174.18 : dry drunk? but what do we do?
I'd appreciate a link about that "dry drunk" thing.

Also, I feel this urgency about what I consider the only real problem: what can we do?

I'm not a US citizen.

I can say I want "Bush out", but I want more than that. "Bush out" may be a better start, IMO.  



21 Oct 2004 @ 10:41 by ming : Reality
Ov, yes, you're right, it would be a bit undeservedly flattering to call what they're building a "reality". Referring to my "Making Realities" post from yesterday, I'd say they're not doing a good job at constructing it. It doesn't quite fit together. The plot skips around and doesn't connect up with the history. The actors are a bit wooden. It isn't well researched. It is like an Ed Wood movie. But, still, it is being broadcast with a billion watt transmitter, so it still manages to seem real for a lot of people who don't look very deep.  


21 Oct 2004 @ 11:44 by jstarrs : Streamng like....
....an Ed Wood movie : best description yet of where we are at the moment. Excellent!
Thing is, we KNOW when the shadow of an extra passes outside the aeroplane that it's false.
Are the majority not seeing this or just ignoring it?  



21 Oct 2004 @ 12:35 by lugon @195.53.174.18 : a viral "deconstruct Bush" meme?
I wonder if a cooperative study, by bloggers, can be undertaken, with the idea of putting contradictions in the face of voters, and see truly their true reactions.

I mean, we can also not see their true reactions and see things through our "should be" lenses.

Get real feedback on the effectiveness of counter-propaganda measures. Fast?  



21 Oct 2004 @ 12:47 by jstarrs : Personally....
....I think counter-propaganda measures are to be just 'done' and not analyzed.
That's their force & beauty, IMHO.
ps. Sometimes you don't even have to lift a finger!
[link]  



21 Oct 2004 @ 23:37 by ming : Facts
The trouble with facts and with proving contradictions and falsehoods is that the people who most need to get them are exactly the people who don't believe in them. Being presented with the facts, even if they're glaring and shocking, does, surprisingly not do it for a great many people.

Probably takes something more subversive. Speaking to people where they actually are at, rather than simply trying to be sensible and reasonable and expecting them all to be the same.  



26 Oct 2004 @ 16:53 by Jon Husband @64.228.190.11 : Zombies and reality
Take a look at Inspector Lohmann's most recent blog post, titled "Zombies, Bloggers and the Will to Power" ... great stuff.

[link]  



26 Oct 2004 @ 19:45 by ming : Zombies
Wow, that's fabulous!  


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[trackback]: The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment...  


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