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Old February 26th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #1
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Are We All Totlitarians Now?

Let's be down to earth and look at what really is going on with our societies.

I remember a story from the late 1950's when Nikita Khrushchev made a trip to the U.S.A. and was fêted by President Eisenhower. Khrushchev was given a whirl-wind tour of the wonders of 1950's America. As the trip progressed, Khrushchev became more taciturn and morose; finally, he could contain himself no longer. "How do you do it?" he burst out to Eisenhower. Eisenhower was taken aback, but he gamely replied, "Well, it is all the result of the free enterprise system, which liberates the forces of productivity and ...." "No, no," interrupted Khrushchev, "I mean, how do you achieve such uniformity of thought without the use of terror?"

My Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines "totalitarian" as:

of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation, especially by coercive measures.

Based on this definition, all modern societies are totalitarian, and they have become more and more totalitarian ever since the end of the Second World War. Of course, to make this definition even more applicable to modern conditions, "and subliminal psychological pressure" should be added after "coercive measures."

If the following statement is indeed a quotation of Adolf Hitler, he enunciated a bitter truth:

The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it

The word totalitarian derives from the Latin totaliter, "wholly, completely," and it means a society totally controlled and composed of totally uniform sets of elements. Our societies are totalitarian beyond the wildest fantasies of a Hitler or a Stalin. Most people are carefully guided and brainwashed all through their lives ---- tens of millions all thinking the same thoughts, watching the same entertainment, all parroting the same simple-minded lies and half-truths which they have absorbed from the organs of propaganda (that is, entertainment and the mass media). To anyone who is even half-awake, these zombies seem like the walking corpses of the Night of the Living Dead. If anyone does awake from this "Sleep of Reason," he finds that our present social system is impervious to change; it is like trying to swim in a sea of molasses: a system "of the zombies, by the zombies, for the zombies." Eventually, the insanity of the system produces catastrophic breakdowns, as we have seen periodically all through the twentieth century.

Only an incompetent totalitarianism employs terror: modern, efficient McFascism serves you with a smile and strives to make you love your slavery.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 05:13 PM   #2
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'
On the Other Hand....


In my previous posting, I took a very negative view of totalitarianism, and it is true that I despise the type of totalitarian societies in which we live. However, I do recognize that totalitarianism, in theory, has some positive features.

Don't have conniptions quite yet. I know that almost all of the totalitarian states which we have seen in the twentieth century were evil. But let us turn to so-called "democracy" in the nineteenth century. How many people today realize with what horror it was regarded through most of that century? What were the examples? The ancient Athenian democracy, the French Revolution, and the United States. Ancient Athens had many deficiencies, and its "democracy" failed in the Peloponnesian Wars. The American system was usually regarded as a disorderly, violent mess, with a history punctuated by a horrendous civil war. And the French Revolution! The less said about it, the better.

Democracy was seen to be as horrible as totalitarianism is seen by us today. It took a century to tame "democracy" to the point where it was even minimally tolerable. Well, the same may be true of totalitarianism. It took more than a century to create a "democracy with a human face." It may take more than a century to create a "totalitarianism with a human face."

The point is, we do live in totalitarian societies, but we lie to ourselves about it. That cannot be healthy. Moreover, we must live in totalitarian societies. The absurdly excessive number of hominids on the planet, the complexity of modern societies, the impossibility for ordinary people to understand what is happening to them, the critical dangers of environmental collapse: all these mean that some sort of totalitarianism is inevitable. I personally loathe this fact, but I have the fortitude to look it straight in the face and see it for what it is.

Societies must be able to react quickly and forcibly to emergencies and catastrophes. The trick is to ensure that what is called an emergency is, in fact, an emergency, and that authoritarian control ends when the emergency is over (Both these conditions were violated by the American Neo-cons in the so-called "War on Terror." When George Bush brayed out that phrase, I always heard it as "War on Terra.")

In an ideal situation, individual people would be assured a maximum of personal freedom consistent with certain broad parameters of social order.

When it comes to human survival itself, or the maintenance of reasonable, basic conditions of life ---- absolute, crushing totalitarian power is necessary and desirable, and we should have no qualms about using it. The trick is to keep this wild beast under reasonable control, at least until we are able to create a human and humane society which no longer needs it.
___________________________________________

Lady Bracknell: Mr. Worthing, I confess I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?
---- Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Ernest," Act I
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Old February 26th, 2017, 05:18 PM   #3
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Nope. Capitalists, full steam ahead.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 11:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numan View Post
....snip.....]
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"We" are not there yet....our society and government however seem to be intent on heading there. There is of course a chance the population will push back to prevent it....we shall see.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:40 AM   #5
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And exactly how many registered Totalitarians voted in last election? Answer: Likely less than one(1).
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:48 AM   #6
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And exactly how many registered Totalitarians voted in last election? Answer: Likely less than one(1).
Apparently your ignorance extends far beyond that which was assumed and into the realm of party vs. government style. Though this is not overly surprising it does indeed verify a certain level of...uh...limited understanding.
It could of course be an attempt at humor but, if so the quality of this attempt also indicates a less than powerful intellect.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:55 AM   #7
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Apparently your ignorance extends far beyond that which was assumed and into the realm of party vs. government style. Though this is not overly surprising it does indeed verify a certain level of...uh...limited understanding.
It could of course be an attempt at humor but, if so the quality of this attempt also indicates a less than powerful intellect.
OK, as far as style goes, I'd say we have a more pragmatic style now.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 05:33 AM   #8
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OK, as far as style goes, I'd say we have a more pragmatic style now.
That is certainly one way to put it. Pragmatism however requires a goal to be of use.....what would you consider this goal to be?
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Old February 27th, 2017, 07:09 AM   #9
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That is certainly one way to put it. Pragmatism however requires a goal to be of use.....what would you consider this goal to be?
Many; safety, security, prosperity, peace, pursuit (and achieving) of happiness are few.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 10:05 AM   #10
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Many; safety, security, prosperity, peace, pursuit (and achieving) of happiness are few.
Then why would you champion a President who seems intent on accomplishing none of these things?
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Old February 27th, 2017, 10:15 AM   #11
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Then why would you champion a President who seems intent on accomplishing none of these things?
I seriously do not see that is the case. What do you feel he is he doing AGAINST, rather than towards those goals???!!!

Kindly be specific, or just forget about it - thanks!
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Old February 27th, 2017, 11:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
I seriously do not see that is the case. What do you feel he is he doing AGAINST, rather than towards those goals???!!!

Kindly be specific, or just forget about it - thanks!

safety~ Alienating allies and Muslims domestically as well as world wide creating an atmosphere that increases tensions in an already unstable population known to use violence.
security~ See above as well as doing absolutely nothing to quell existing racial and demographic dissent amongst the citizenry.
prosperity~ Rolling back regulations meant to prevent a repeat of the financial collapse in 2006 and installing wall street bankers into the offices that can easily make it happen again.
peace~ Creating further instability in the most violent region of the world and pissing off already nasty people who want to kill us, all while doing NOTHING to eliminate the threat beyond what was already being done.
pursuit of happiness~ Eliminating many rights from individuals (Americans) that were hard fought progressions of freedoms and working to remove the newfound healthcare stability enjoyed by millions.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 11:48 AM   #13
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safety~ Alienating allies and Muslims domestically as well as world wide creating an atmosphere that increases tensions in an already unstable population known to use violence.
security~ See above as well as doing absolutely nothing to quell existing racial and demographic dissent amongst the citizenry.
prosperity~ Rolling back regulations meant to prevent a repeat of the financial collapse in 2006 and installing wall street bankers into the offices that can easily make it happen again.
peace~ Creating further instability in the most violent region of the world and pissing off already nasty people who want to kill us, all while doing NOTHING to eliminate the threat beyond what was already being done.
pursuit of happiness~ Eliminating many rights from individuals (Americans) that were hard fought progressions of freedoms and working to remove the newfound healthcare stability enjoyed by millions.
Her is my objective view:

I don't see "uncomfortableness with a new Administration" as being "alienated".

"Rolling back" does not mean 100%! A reasonable partial rollback is definitely in order. They are mostly about labor and EPA restrictions, NOT banking.

I see saying we are suddenly "alienating" people a rediculous notion. If they have NOT been alienated by now, they NEVER will be! Even if a small percentage MORE is alienated ( a BIG stretch), I doubt they have the means to do a single thing about it, so therefore ZERO effect.

Kindly post actual, real so-called "human rights" that have been ACTUALLY been "ELIMINATED". I have NOT heard of ANY to this point!!!

Perhaps you are referring to "privileges" instead?
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Old February 27th, 2017, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
Her is my objective view:

I don't see "uncomfortableness with a new Administration" as being "alienated".

"Rolling back" does not mean 100%! A reasonable partial rollback is definitely in order. They are mostly about labor and EPA restrictions, NOT banking.

I see saying we are suddenly "alienating" people a rediculous notion. If they have NOT been alienated by now, they NEVER will be! Even if a small percentage MORE is alienated ( a BIG stretch), I doubt they have the means to do a single thing about it, so therefore ZERO effect.

Kindly post actual, real so-called "human rights" that have been ACTUALLY been "ELIMINATED". I have NOT heard of ANY to this point!!!

Perhaps you are referring to "privileges" instead?
It would seem we differ on the data being provided by global and domestic news sources, likely due to my use of multiple sources to confirm information and your belief in "Fake News" being a prevalent and clear conspiracy perpetrated by all the sources I use.
This does not allow for useful debate and makes further discussion pointless to me. I might recommend using more channels than Fox news and perhaps picking up a newspaper, but this is unlikely to happen. Even if I were to point out things like the Trans/Gay issues it would probably offend you that I stood up for those freaks and Homos.

Thus I simply hope you Have A Nice Day
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Old February 27th, 2017, 02:12 PM   #15
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It would seem we differ on the data being provided by global and domestic news sources, likely due to my use of multiple sources to confirm information and your belief in "Fake News" being a prevalent and clear conspiracy perpetrated by all the sources I use.
This does not allow for useful debate and makes further discussion pointless to me. I might recommend using more channels than Fox news and perhaps picking up a newspaper, but this is unlikely to happen. Even if I were to point out things like the Trans/Gay issues it would probably offend you that I stood up for those freaks and Homos.

Thus I simply hope you Have A Nice Day
I use realclearpolitics.com for MY source, as they uses a cornucopia of reliable independent sources for news, that have been remarkably non-fake.

You have a nice day too.

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Old February 27th, 2017, 05:09 PM   #16
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“Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.”
―Thomas Sowell
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Old February 28th, 2017, 02:11 PM   #17
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Just the sort of idiocy one would expect from Reagan

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“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.... The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip.”
―Ronald Reagan
In 1980, I was taking a course at a certain major Chinese university, whose name I will not mention because the situation there today is completely different.

I received a foreign newspaper which contained an article by a psychologist that it would be a good idea to periodically make political leaders take mental tests, to see if they were still up to running a country.

I thought it was an excellent idea, so I cut the article out and pinned to a bulletin board.

Oh! then did the you-know-what hit the fan! I was called on the carpet by the school authorities and asked to explain my actions. I did so, and one particularly ferret-like cadre exploded, "You were trying to criticize our political leaders! How would you like it if we put a similar article up in an American university!

Well, at that moment I lost another shred of my hope for the human race. Imagine! Top administrators at one of the great Chinese universities being so unaware of the difference between China and the USA! Of course, it was just after the disaster of the Cultural Revolution, and Mao's worker-peasant-soldier cadres were still fighting to keep their jobs, so perhaps one can make allowances.

I slowly and sweetly told them that totalitarianism works differently in the USA than it does in China. I said, you Chinese try to stamp out each and every undesirable opinion, whereas the Americans manage these things much more efficiently. We destroy contrary opinions by pouring Niagara's of lies, misinformation and prole-feed entertainment over and around it. I said, my newspaper article, at an American university would be surrounded by so much other stuff that no one would ever notice it!

They looked at me as if I were a man from Mars, which, at that moment in their history, I suppose I was. They just gave up and didn't bother their Foreign Guest any more.

Of course, my wise instruction in managing their affairs in accordance with the American Way was ignored, as I knew it would be. Recently, the Chinese leadership show signs of getting wise, and managing their totalitarianism in accordance with the American model, which is, of course, the most advanced model of totalitarianism in the world!
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Old March 1st, 2017, 03:11 PM   #18
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If only they had listened, the billionaires would not now be destroying the United States.

Review of Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin
by Chalmers Johnson

Inverted Totalitarianism: A New Way of Understanding How the U.S. Is Controlled

Quote:
We now have a new, comprehensive diagnosis of our failings as a democratic polity by one of our most seasoned and respected political philosophers. For well over two generations, Sheldon Wolin taught the history of political philosophy from Plato to the present to Berkeley and Princeton graduate students (including me; I took his seminars at Berkeley in the late 1950s, thus influencing my approach to political science ever since). He is the author of the prize-winning classic Politics and Vision (1960; expanded edition, 2006) and Tocqueville Between Two Worlds (2001), among many other works.

His new book, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, is a devastating critique of the contemporary government of the United States -- including what has happened to it in recent years and what must be done if it is not to disappear into history along with its classic totalitarian predecessors: Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia. The hour is very late and the possibility that the American people might pay attention to what is wrong and take the difficult steps to avoid a national Götterdämmerung are remote, but Wolin's is the best analysis of why the presidential election of 2008 probably will not do anything to mitigate our fate.
Quote:
To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: "inverted totalitarianism," a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on "private media" than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events. It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison -- 751 per 100,000 people -- of any nation on Earth). According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has "emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation's political traditions."
Quote:
The genius of our inverted totalitarian system "lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual....

Among the factors that have promoted inverted totalitarianism are the practice and psychology of advertising and the rule of "market forces" in many other contexts than markets,...

On inverted totalitarianism's "self-pacifying" university campuses compared with the usual intellectual turmoil surrounding independent centers of learning, Wolin writes, "Through a combination of governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers have been seamlessly integrated into the system. No books burned, no refugee Einsteins. For the first time in the history of American higher education top professors are made wealthy by the system, commanding salaries and perks that a budding CEO might envy."
Quote:
One other subordinate task of managed democracy is to keep the citizenry preoccupied with peripheral and/or private conditions of human life so that they fail to focus on the widespread corruption and betrayal of the public trust....

Another elite tactic of managed democracy is to bore the electorate to such an extent that it gradually fails to pay any attention to politics. Wolin perceives, "One method of assuring control is to make electioneering continuous, year-round, saturated with party propaganda, punctuated with the wisdom of kept pundits, bringing a result boring rather than energizing, the kind of civic lassitude on which managed democracy thrives."
Chalmers Johnson's latest book is Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (Metropolitan Books, 2008), now available in a Holt Paperback. It is the third volume of his Blowback Trilogy.

I hope you realize that Chalmers Johnson is a noted scholar in his own right.
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Old March 1st, 2017, 03:19 PM   #19
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Employing MILLIONS of people is the opposite of "destroying the United States". They would would be able to employ even more, if it weren't for stupid, unneccessary government regulations. "GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM" - Ronald Reagan

You are just plain loony tunes!


Last edited by Aufgeblassen; March 1st, 2017 at 03:23 PM.
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Old March 1st, 2017, 05:22 PM   #20
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Employing MILLIONS of people is the opposite of "destroying the United States". They would would be able to employ even more, if it weren't for stupid, unneccessary government regulations. "GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM" - Ronald Reagan

You are just plain loony tunes!
What a completely unrelated and irrelevant remark.

Read the article before you start ablowing, Blowhard ! ---
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