MR TRUMP AND THE PARADOX OF INDIVIDUAL POWER
By John Moser
Posted on December 14, 2018
Among the most disturbing things that has ever happened to this country has not just been the behavior of Donald Trump while in office: it is the permissive nature of all of us who have allowed this man to ingratiate himself as a self-proclaimed messiah. I have pointed out the dangers of the rise of a demagogue in my book The Supercivilization: Survival in the Era of Human Versus Human. I argued in 2015 that we need to be extremely careful in choosing and even managing our leaders through meticulously stable institutions that do not allow rogue behavior. Today we are subject to manipulations for two very important reasons: first, the propaganda we are exposed to has never been more subject to manipulative behavior from single sources and second, the conduit for this propaganda has never been so lightning-quick to affect every single living human being nearly instantaneously. I call this the paradox of individual power.
The paradox of individual power means that even though each of us has never been a smaller, so seemingly trivial share of humanity (1/7.7 billionth), each individual has never had so much power to influence the entirety of humanity than today. Our interconnectedness is so great today that we have never been so susceptible to the propaganda of those in power. Why now? Because, in the past, if we didn’t like someone or the ideas of someone who ruled over us, we could leave and go to other geographical, spiritual, or cultural areas in which that person’s propaganda was nonexistent or irrelevant. Today, that is impossible, and so we are extraordinarily susceptible to the manipulation of our minds from rogue leaders, or demagogues. We have no place to go as the Internet has created a social glue, or a gigantic homogeneous culture (I call The Supercivilization) that binds us together and profoundly favors those interests in power. Continue reading
WHY DID WE VOTE FOR THIS MADMAN?
By John Moser
Posted on September 06, 2018
With this week’s announcement of Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House and the anonymous op-ed piece by a senior White House official in the New York Times, it is becoming clear that President Trump’s presidency is not just in turmoil, but is seriously undermining the credibility of this county. My greatest fear is that the pressure that Trump is now feeling could lead to more irrationality and perhaps more unbridled, dangerous behavior. With a President who is overseeing thousands of nuclear warheads and the largest army on the face of this planet, humanity, in its entirety, now faces a crisis we have never seen before. Humanity is being run by an amoral madman. Hopefully, we will 1) live through this and 2) if we are able to survive Trump, never see it again.
The revelations that are being exposed about Mr. Trump this week should be the metaphorical death of a President. I do not need to list his behavioral shortcomings, because we are all aware of them. Or are we? The President has more lives than a cat. We hope we are not seeing the death of a nation, but I argue the inevitable is occurring: his removal from office or the death of the United States.
Let’s be clear. Not one American should be surprised by his bizarre behavior while in office. His behavior is his pattern of self-promotion that started in his childhood and has continued on unimpeded. Many people are trying to figure out why still 90% of Republicans support this madman. Are Republicans crazy?
To answer this, I will now extend a bit of Marxism to the enlightenment of us all. While Karl Marx is not correct on every level (the effect of class on American cultural values has always been in question), he certainly has forecast the Trump fiasco correctly. Republicans (i.e. corporate America) enjoy Trump because he is the class clown. He is the Ted Baxter of politics. He is the one who only cares about making himself “known” to others, not about the future of this country. He keeps the wealthiest from parting with their money by doing essentially “nothing but buffoonery.” For Carl Bernstein, Jeffrey Toobin, or Anderson Cooper to get on the television and point out his shortcomings (as embarrassing as they are) day after day, they seemingly have not altered the opinions of the “Republican base.” Continue reading
WE NEED A WALL (AROUND TRUMP)
By John Moser
Posted on January 28, 2019
As of this writing, President Trump just ended the Government shutdown over “The Wall.” It quickly became clear to Mr. Trump that Democrats would never allow the building of a wall. Why? Let’s first look at the origins of the concept. The idea, according to Stuart Anderson of Forbes magazine, came originally from Roger Stone (now under indictment) and Sam Nunberg as a means of keeping the United States focused on illegal immigration. Trump became smitten with the concept as he eventually called it a “big beautiful wall.” And he often corrected reporters by correcting them, “It’s not a fence, it’s a wall. You just misreported it.” No scientific evidence went into the concept; no real thought; no studies of significance. It was merely a campaign slogan that eventually became Trump’s reality. Trump said it so many times, he convinced himself of the concept and it became his personal battle with humanity. Continue reading
CALIFORNIA FIRES RAGE BUT AMERICANS DON’T
By John Moser
Posted on August 10, 2018
August 6, 2018 seemed like a typical day. I woke up and found soot on my car in Napa, California and the sun did not shine; the sun was an orange hue which seemed a mix of smoke and overcast. I drove to Sacramento where I work and got out of my car. The soot was still raining down on my car like snowflakes. Inland, where there was no overcast in the summertime, I noticed more white cover. Odd? After realizing Sacramento doesn’t have overcast in the summertime, I concluded these were smoke clouds, not water clouds. There was no place to go to get out of the soot. No one seems to care. Casual acceptance is the operative phrase.
California is changing rapidly. And for the worse. I went to Lake Tahoe in late July, one of my favorite places on this Earth and dipped my toe into the water in Incline Village, Nevada. I couldn’t believe it. The water was incredibly warmer. I could suddenly swim without any difficulty, unlike the times as a child when I was chilled to the point of shivering and being forced to take my time to adjust to the outrageously cold water. My suspicions of the warmth were confirmed by a UC Davis study that showed the water in July 2017 was indeed 6°C warmer than it was in July 2016. Furthermore, the average overall water temperature has increased from 5.6°C in 1970 to 6.1°C in 2017. The clarity also dropped to its lowest level of 59 feet which was well below its historical clarity depth of over 100 feet in 1970.Continue reading
HELSINKI: THE DEATH OF THE NATION-STATE AS WE KNOW IT
By John Moser
Posted on July 22, 2018
On July 16, 2018 President Donald J Trump stated, “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who would be responsible for the election hacking. He added, “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” When Mr. Trump was asked directly whether to believe Mr. Putin or his own intelligence agencies, he replied, “I have confidence in both parties.”
To most people who have been following Mr. Trump, this response is no surprise. Mr. Trump is all about “Making Trump First” not “Making America First.” After Helsinki, it could even be stated Trump is “Making Russia First” or “Making the ‘Honorable’ Mr. Putin First.” A month ago it was making “Kim Jung Un First.” Who will be next? It certainly won’t be us Americans.
None of this is surprising to me now. What is surprising? How about starting with the notion that someone like Donald Trump and his misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, misanthropic, ignorant, egotistical, and despicable personality traits could even come close to the most powerful office in the world. How? How for the sake of us all? How?
I pointed out in 2015 in my book The Supercivilization: Survival in the Era of Human Versus Human that our major threat to humanity was not some external, natural event: it was ourselves. Why? We are in an era of problem solving in which our major problems are human-based and not nature-based. In the past, when solving problems for us was an external threat to humanity (like the weather, exposure, disease, volcanic activity, etc.) we were brought together and bonded because we all benefited from their resolution. The adversarial “natural environment” that resulted in our deaths contain no supporters or beneficiaries. Our major problems today (nuclear war, terrorism, climate change) are exponentially more difficult to resolve, because powerful interests are at odds with their resolution. Continue reading
ONE DECISION AWAY FROM TYRANNY
By John Moser
Posted on June 12, 2018
When scholars someday look back at the decline of the United States, they may conclude Donald Trump was the responsible party (or at least the lynchpin or at the very least the straw that broke the camel’s back). Trump is one man, but he is only one man who requires support from a majority of US citizens. That is all he needs to destroy this country. The greatness of our Constitution that we so proudly proclaim to other nations could be no more. Our forefathers predicted a man like Donald Trump could salivate over power and abuse that power in ways that could destroy the sanctity of the country. We have realized this and have worked hard to fight tyranny, as can be seen in our Revolutionary War in which hundreds of thousands perished. The last significant fight against tyranny involved an amendment ratified in 1951 limiting the terms of a President to two. The Constitution has a series of checks and balances on this power, but, most importantly, this power grab must be supported by a majority of Americans. Until now, I felt relatively safe from tyranny. Donald Trump is the figurehead of a country that has made a series of blunders that led to his rise. Continue Reading