Ukraine and the secular apocalypse.
Sorry for chirruping on, but the irony is that, as a society, Ukraine is not much more gay-friendly than Saudi Arabia.
While homosexual activity is officially a death penalty offense in The Tragic Kingdom, men having sex with men on the DL is nigh ubiquitous there. Being openly gay in Ukraine can well get you killed, regardless of any law.
Of course, the congressman knows all that, just as he knows that the "gay-inclusive Ukrainian military units" is nothing more than a publicity stunt to keep western governments and goodthink types on-side. The question remains why he chooses to speak such arrant nonsense. Is he trying to fool himself? Or us?
This is excellent and very in line with many of my own thoughts. The UK Head of MI5 made a tweet right back in the Spring to the effect that “our” embrace of Pride is what makes us different from Putin and that is the justification for fighting. Not quite the words used but it was the implication.
Michael Hudson’s recent essay on the NC site is similar but it suggests that the US power politics came first and then the ideology followed. Not quite what he says directly but it was my interpretation when I read it.
Reality does seem to be that ideology and the power politics go together. Interdependent rather than one necessarily driving the other. People have a habit of grabbing ideologies that are helpful to them. Just think of all the PMC careers that now depend on all this! The US empire employs a lot of people and dispenses a lot of private sector contracts. This is not a purely cynical process: the people involved really do believe that Putin is evil. But it also suits them to believe that too. None of that is to deny either that Russophobia in much of Europe is very real and has a historical basis too.
Additionally, I do think that when it comes to the broader PMC then there are elements of mass formation involved here too. You allude to it at the start when you talk about a scapegoat. All of these periods of hysteria seem to have that context too. The ideology and the scapegoating breed on free floating anxiety and do seem to affect elites most. After all, contrary to myth, Nazism and Bolshevism were both elite movements.
Ok, I'll buy that thesis, as I've otherwise been rather mystified by the extraordinary, warmongering obsession with the destruction of Russia, and the increasingly nonsensical insistence that victory is nigh. How long can this mirage last, and when / if it falls apart, what exactly happens ?
Appreciate the podcast recommendation. This is a disturbing piece simply because it is too close to home. A podcast I was listening to was discussing John Foster Dulles, Wilson and accidentally verged into a similar point that I would call the messianic trait in American liberal capitalism. It certainly became openly imperial by the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It also requires an existential enemy. So now, having apparently and fully subsumed Europe, it is American liberal capitalism / radical social liberalism with an existential enemy of the multipolarity. Russia stands in for that now but China is not far behind. The existential enemies seem to become less clearly defined over time.
I think we can see that much of what constitutes modern liberalism is really an extension of what is supposedly the long discredited notion of a Christian duty to 'protect' the brown and brown-is masses of the world from their own worst instincts. It has morphed repeatedly in so many ways its almost unrecognisable, but it is still ultimately the same thing.
Arguably, its worse, as its even more hypocritical now - its breathtaking the speed with which we can be persuaded that people X are helpless victims and really like us, while people Y are monsters.
But there is now I think an increasing desperation as its become apparent that even in the West, true believers are only a minority - the majority I think are just looking on with a certain degree of bafflement as they struggle to catch up with who or what to believe. Even the far right and far left are spinning into incoherence as they try to make sense of the world today.
I've been struggling to understand the fervor of the PMC for victory in Ukraine and the destruction of Russia. In my little circle in the US, no one discusses Ukraine or our upcoming election. There is, as you say, no popular opposition to things Russian, nor are Ukrainian flags on display. It seems odd, the politicians supporting war loudly and profligately (if that's a word) without public backing. It's out of character. Your line of thought gives me a way to think about the situation.
"Glance, if you can bear to, at the comments in media sources like Guardian, the New York Times or Le Monde, and you will see presumably intelligent, presumably educated, people demanding nuclear war against Russia, the destruction of Russian property and the murder of individual Russians. Nothing like this wave of obsessive hatred has ever appeared in modern history. "
I dunno, why did millions of Germans, ostensibly the most civilized people in Europe, eat themselves alive in a frenzy of antisemitism? And this well within living memory.
"After all, few people are as obsessed by religious ideas as the militant atheist."
Is this just a joke? It seems unlikely to be true. What is a militant atheist? Have you ever met someone who claims to be one? Or it's it intended to have some other meaning?
I'm beginning to understand why patriarch Kiril is talking about Holy War
Yes, a very convincing explanation of the EU crusade, but it does not quite capture the US and UK. They, it seems, are quite happy breaking up both Russia and the EU.
The US's postwar crusade as a force for good in the world ended on the killing fields of Vietnam and almost continual subsequent wars. Money not ideology drives the real power in the US and trouble making gives lots of opportunities to make money. The current European mess is a great success.
As for the UK, being an English schoolboy once upon a time, I know how much they just like being naughty.
I've been thinking a bit more about this, and I guess the critical survival question, granted that thesis is "what balance of crazy vs. cowardly applies amongst whoever it is that's driving the bus in the collective west ?".
I'm hoping cowardice wins out when push comes to shove, or we'll all be incinerated.
Brilliant. Thanks for putting this together.
Not to be a party pooper, but Revelations describes what the inside of a church is supposed to look like, It gives the directions. The technique applied throughout the New Testament was called the 'pesher.' An Australian nun (and Phd) Barbara Theiring, could read the dead sea scrolls and she thus re-interpreted the New Testament. She said the New Testament was literally true. A history mainly about the life of Jesus. Which is understandable. Using the pesher technique Theiring revealed what the New Testament was all about. She names names, identifies where and when all the miracles happened. Judas was Jesus' accountant. When someone got tossed out of he Church they were 'dead.' If they were taken back in, they were 'resurrected.' Anyway, Thiering wrote a series of books explaining it all. Even made a documentary. And promptly was excommunicated. She's been 'dead' ever since. Zero chance at being 'resurrected. Just like Jesus, until Theiring pulled off the covers. Hope this helps.
I suggest this theme as an epilogue:
The myth of the final reckoning or the last judgement or doomsday, whatever but very much related with the apocalypsis.
"Yet what are you going to do after the apocalypse? After Russia has [won] and Liberalism has [been defeated] everywhere?
That is the actual question, because that will be the actual outcome. So what will these 'Liberal' clowns do then? No doubt do just as all the other fanatics have done through history - put back the apocalypse to some nebulous future date. But that is dependent on them having any kind of civilisation to actually promulgate such nonsense in. However, that is doubtful. Europe, NATO and with any luck the USA, are well on the way to disintegrating into some kind of dysfunctional semi-medieval ruin, in much the same way as Spain and Portugal did after they lost their empires. At least that is my hope - andit is a necessary counteragent to their long reign of arrogance and military superiority.
Transhumanism and moving one's mind is a cold dish in SF. The work of Peter F. Hamilton or the digital hell developed by the elites of a planet in Iain. M. Banks' "Surface detail", hell developed to keep the population in check are as good as one gets...
And in Frank Herbert's "The Eye of Heisenberg" we have an Earth with a handful of immortals holding a tight grip on the rest of the population.
Yes, they want to live forever, but that can become a very dangerous thing for them...