Thursday, July 23, 2020

How America’s Adult Children Who Never Grew Up Became Dostoyevsky’s Demons - By Martin Sieff

Many contributors on this platform have rightly pointed out the two most perplexing developments within the United States this century that carry truly terrifying implications for the peace and stability of the entire world:
The first is the manic American obsession with lecturing other nations around the world and then intervening recklessly and without end to topple governments and remake entire societies. Over the past half century these endless misadventures in so-called “nation building” (in reality the exact opposite, the destruction of nations) have failed catastrophically wherever they have been tried.
The second, is the looming disintegration of the United States itself, ripped to shreds by a bizarre 18th century federalism that in truth has been obsolete since the creation of the steam-powered railroad locomotive almost two centuries ago.
And as if that was not enough, we now see the shredding of American society into two antipathetic sections, the ultra-liberals and the caricature conservatives that hate each like poison and seek no common ground whatsoever.

But beneath both these obvious disintegrating factors, I propose lies a single deeper destructive force. It is the infantilization of more than 200 million adult Americans themselves. In the words of St. Paul in Second Thessalonians in the New Testament, God has sent them strong delusion so that they may believe a lie. Except today the delusions and therefore the lies have proliferated beyond number.
Beneath, them all, however, lies the same terrifying phenomenon. For more than half a century, the United States has experienced the largest number of broken families and children brought up by single parents or in drug and alcohol-riddled families than any other nation in the world.
What this has created is generations of human beings in a nuclear-armed society of more than 330 million people who are emotionally simplistic, however well fed, well-educated and well informed (in reality of course they are not) and how financially wealthy they are.
My wife has an insatiable appetite for classic American movies of the 1930s and 1940s: I confess to my own passion for 1950s crime dramas such as “Perry Mason”, “The Untouchables” and “M Squad.” The appeal these ancient cultural artifacts offers to us both is a time when men were men and women were women. When adults acted, or at least tried to act like adults in public. And a time when grown-ups did not pathetically bend over backwards to take responsibility for crimes real and imaginary that occurred generations before they were born.
What kind of younger generation is produced by such a generation of “Mea Culpa, breast-beating , whimpering bowls of quivering human jelly? They are selfish, narcissistic and arrogant: They believe they have the right, the power and even the duty to remake the world in their own image. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” — St. Paul again in Second Timothy 3:5.
This is a delusional state far more dangerous than one that merely afflicts bullies and weak little boys who dream of becoming big, bad, simplified over-macho men. Fyodor Dostoyevsky recognized the horrific, arrogant creatures of limitless nihilist destruction bound to emerge from such a society in his most haunting and terrifying masterpiece, “Demons” or “The Possessed.”
The so-called progressives on the left wing (also so-called) of American society are even worse afflicted. They are determined to impose on everyone their simplistic, uninformed and laughably ignorant views on environmentalism, the supposed “evils” of greenhouse gases and the iniquities of DDT — still the best and most potent insecticide for suppressing the mosquitos that kill around two million human being every year (sharks worldwide only eat about a dozen or so unfortunates per annum.).
When one realizes that one is dealing with an entire enormous society of ignorant, arrogant spoiled brats (male and female) who never grew up, the deeper explanations for otherwise baffling behavior patterns and policy obsessions become clear.
Why the idiotic and truly suicidal need to endlessly pressure, punish, lecture and alienate the great nuclear-powered nations of Russia and China? Why the continuing obsession, ludicrous from the very beginning, of trying to turn Afghanistan and Iraq — and now Ukraine and Georgia too — into exact replicas of the social and moral perfection that the United States itself is imagined to embody?
Why the genuine universally held confidence that the United States is the most prosperous, fairest, least violent, most secure and plain happiest society anywhere in the world — universally shared by those who have never been to any other ones?)
Why the charming but bizarre resistance to learning true facts about daily life in other countries among all those who have never actually visited them — and have no intention of ever doing so?
Why do Republicans and Democrats alike join forces in Congress to demonize Russia in particular as the embody of evil when Russia has never been more tolerant, more open and more prosperous than at any time in its long history?
It is because generations of Americans raised on simplistic fairy tales continue to crave them and swallow them whole long after they have grown up. And since they lacked the discipline, the restraints and the wisdom born of experience that fathers usually — more or less — endeavor to teach their children, boys and girls alike, it follows that successive generations exhibit the psychological symptoms of ever more disintegrating psyches.
Just as a nuclear cyclotron fissions subatomic particles into ever smaller specks of matter and/or energy the faster it spins, the crazy, ever-accelerating disintegration of American society produces more absurd and extreme pathologies with every generation — and now with every year that passes.
This is why the cautious restraint practiced by the leaders of Russia and China provokes so much incensed wrath from the people of the United States as well as their leaders. And it explains why the ignorant hysterical mob who now fill the halls of Congress wall to wall scream like spoiled brats and shrilly impose ever more ambitious economic sanctions against the increasing number of nations around the world that have tired of their excesses.
How much longer can such a state of affairs, such an imbalance in the order of the world, endure?
Not much longer at all.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

During his 24 years as a senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and United Press International, Martin Sieff reported from more than 70 nations and covered 12 wars. He has specialized in US and global economic issues.

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