Skip to main content

Spotting out the truly dangerous

Lloyd's new article is up at www.psychohistory.com.

You'll note a couple of changes in this latest work from what he's 
written before. After a quick first read, these two stand out:

Current:

Kennedy soon needed a new war to consolidate his defensive masculinity 
pose, increased the U.S. military spending the largest amount in any 
peacetime, and then committed 16,300 U.S. soldiers to Vietnam. When he 
went to Dallas, where there were many highly publicized death threats 
to kill him, he needed still more “toughness,” and told his wife, 
“Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, 
nobody can stop it.” “His Secret Service aides told him he better put 
up the bulletproof plastic top on his limousine, so he specifically 
told them not to do so,” committing suicide to demonstrate his 
hypermasculinity. (Global Wars to Restore U.S. Masculinity)

Here, Kennedy is hypermasculine, even in suicide demonstrating his toughness.

Before:

Despite all the warnings, however, Kennedy unconsciously accepted the 
martyr's role. He was, after all, used to doing all his life what 
others wanted him to do. So although a Secret Service man told him the 
city was so dangerous that he had better put up the bulletproof 
plastic top on his limousine, he specifically told him not to do so. 
In fact, someone instructed the Secret Service not to be present ahead 
of time in Dallas and check out open windows such as those in the Book 
Depository, as they normally did whenever a president traveled in 
public as Kennedy did. Only then, with the nation, the assassin, the 
Secret Service and the president all in agreement, the assassination 
could be successfully carried out. (Assasination of Leaders)

Here, Kennedy is the life-long martyr, so used to compliantly doing what others want of him he agreed to "follow through" even to his death.

- - - - -

Current:

In addition, the U.S. is the only nation not to sign the U.N. 
Convention on the Rights of the Child—all of which helping us 
understand why the U.S. spends half of the world’s military budget. 
(Global Wars)

Before:

Sorry, can't find the exact quote. But it's more that the reason for 
America's comparatively enormous military budget lies with its "right 
to happiness" philosophy: that is, owing to the marked allowances permitted by the long-ago psychoclass innovators -- the American 
founders -- not its mostly reactionary (psychoclass-lagering) "core." 
I wonder if Lloyd believes that America is not even home to the best 
of the world anymore? That what-would-appear-to-be modest -- and 
therefore benefacted -- Swedes are perhaps the most innovative in the 
world as well. I know in hockey, this is appearing the case. The 
best in the NHL are not Cdns or Russians anymore: other than the 
important exception of Crosby, the next three are Swedes -- the Sedin twins, and Lindstrom. People are noticing that the Swedes are less 
flashy but ultimately more effective and far, far more lasting 
(they're playing strong at 40, whereas everyone else is 
depleted by 30 or so years of age); maybe true genius can't be seen when what we're looking for is truly as much hightened sensation?

Or is lack of attention to America's highest psychoclass in Lloyd's 
current writings owing to something else? Sweden is clearly doing 
great things, but it's easy to take non-individualistic Sweden as 
mostly an example of a nation that quietly has all along been laying 
solid foundations while reckless America has so lost all that was once great about it to be now fairly just identified as a base, resource-depleted nation. That is, it's easy to not look at America too clearly, if your 
efforts are to show how you now too are for the long slog, the less 
flashy, but also the less selfish and more community-building: in 
sympathy with the kind of mindset that dominated the communal, purity-concerned, "simple but grounded" 1930s crowd.

My own guess is that the very highest psychoclass are still in the 
States, and that Sweden's best to some extent flourish because they 
bow, masochistically, before nation-before-self "philosophy," which 
earns them tolerance for a more enabling state apparatus.

- - - - - - - - -

I will add to this a note about "hypermasculine" language, something Lloyd talks about a lot in this chapter.

I would ask anyone who is on the lookout for tough-talk so as to ID groups or leaders as regressive to be somewhat careful, because if 
you're not empowered, if you're amongst the groups that are being 
heavily discriminated against, though possibly your language use might 
remain the same, very likely you'll start talking tougher. You're not actually hypermasculine, driven mostly by your innate rage, but as you are being pressed upon to the 
point that you sense that some people are trying to completely lay waste to you, your language will start seeming as if composed of 
an alphabet of missiles while your confidently empowered opponents -- representatives 
of the Great Maternal, who they know has surely got their back -- will have an easier 
time seeming moderate, patient, more-than-fair, and perhaps even laid-back – considering, and finally, reasonable, and grossly affronted by your unruly conduct. This advantage wouldn't make someone like 
Johnson become less hyper-masculine in style, but it will probably
 assist Obama in remaining so. In sum, be careful: when regressives 
are getting their time, and by regressives I'm not thinking so much tea-partiers as I am the regressing center, the regressing left -- the Obama-loyal -- part of what'll assure them of their rightness is how
 calm and reasoning they remain while their opponents flap 
about like nut-cases. Remember, the likes of conservative-and-ultimately-deficit-focussed-and-therefore-massive-sacrifice-enabling David Brooks, who recently wrote an article titled “Make everyone hurt” – and wasn’t so much not kidding as licking his lips – who laughs at the more moronic of Republicans but points out more vividly the Hitler talk used by Democratic public unions as well as their Orwellianism, who is looking for “founding fathers of austerity” who will show the public, “[b]y their example, [how to] [. . .] to create habits that diverse majorities can respect and embrace, when, as Krugman points out, it was largely through oligarchs that the deficit-bloom was created in the first place, which should, you would think, lead everyone to focus a bit more on what the mass of public benefactors have to say about all this rather than to a rarified elite, is probably playing out as the voice of reason here.

Watch all this Wisconsin business, how it plays out. Pay attention to 
who is using hypermasculine terminology. My guess is that the 
people under normal circumstances are least likely to use it -- the 
real progressive left, those of the more advanced psychoclass - are actuallly 
going to be the ones caught out for their threatening, disturbing aggressiveness, their unbalanced mental state. The California students who rebelled against criminal, jolting, astonishingly cruel sudden drastic tuition increases, became very 
aggressive. Be assured, these weren't regressives but progressives once again caught out by a state that is beginning 
to seem Nazi-denatured from normal emotional response.

Perhaps rather than look for hypermasculineness -- which would just 
have us shaking our heads at tea-partiers (who, I repeat, are mostly irrelevant: just the foil by which the relevant meanies make irrefutable their ostensible own fair-headedness) 
-- we need to be looking for lack of heart, disconnect, signs of a fugue-like status -- calm language at a time when a nation is so willing to undergo another 20 year period of uninterrupted sacrifice 
(everyone is agreed: we must reduce our deficit) that in their minds they will still persist in seeing it happen even if some miracle could stop it from actually occurring, when if it was 
truly reasoning, it could step out of it maybe even pretty much near right away? With 
this, we'll spot out the most dangerous, that much more quickly.

Link: Global Wars to Restore Masculinity (Journal of Psychohistory)

Link: Make Everybody Hurt (NYT)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…