Endgame - An Essay in Two Parts on Webster G. Tarpley's New Book, Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography
For news about reality and the actual world we live in, you've got to go to writers like Rand Clifford, Mike Whitney, Sherwood Ross, Mickey Z., Chris Floyd, Jerry Mazza, Glen Ford, and others like them. And you've got to go to sites like Countercurrents, Online Review, Global Research, Information Clearing House, Judy Wood's website, the Atlantic Free Press, and certain others like them.
The writers, investigators, commentators, editors, and scientists at these sites are of an increasingly—desperately—rare kind in today's United States. They remain—still—independent-minded, and they remain, still, authentic and empirically-based observers of events and evidence around them, evidence from which they speak, write, analyze, or further research the truth. They are not paid to lie, or if so, they've turned the payment down. They have not been corrupted in any variety of other ways into lying, they have not been intimidated into lying, and they have not been frightened—at least not yet—into lying. They—right now—are almost all we've got left of a significant free press in the daily, weekly, and monthly "print" media.
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But, you may ask, what about books? Well, if what you're after is the history of knot-tying in the American Boy Scout movement, you'll probably be all right taking a look at almost any publisher. If you're interested in subjects, however, that are extremely sensitive vis a vis the political or cultural or economic status quo; if you're interested in subjects, in other words, that are pressing, important, and of an indescribable urgency and that also impinge upon or are directly related to the truth about over-governments, ruling classes and other ruling elements, or about the oligarchic, Wall Street, plutocratic corporacracy that actually runs, controls, operates, milks, oppresses, and very possibly is set on destroying the United States—well, then you're pretty much out of luck, since Mainstream American Publishing is every bit as fraudulent, corrupted, deceitful, false, misleading, controlled, and lying as is every other aspect and element of the mainstream media.
And yet there is still a tiny handful of truth-sources left for us in book publishing. There's Interlink Publishing, for example, which has brought out the vitally important books of David Ray Griffin and Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed; the University of California Press, which had the courage to bring out Peter Dale Scott's formidable, truth-telling, and indispensable The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America; Rowman & Littlefield, who bring out books by the great activist and legal scholar Francis A. Boyle (including his Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law); and Doukathsan Press, notable for making available Lawrence Velvel's powerful reformist tetralogy, Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam.
And then, far, far from least, there's Progressive Press, "America's Dedicated Truth Publisher Since 2002," known—by no means for this alone, but for this above all—as publisher of the very great and immeasurably significant books of Webster G. Tarpley.
Among a people who have been kept as naive, sheltered, and ignorant as Americans have been kept, and among a people who have been kept ignorant for so long a time as Americans have, to the point where they've become so accustomed to ignorance that they firmly believe it to be in fact a state of truthfulness, fulfillment, and knowledge—well, among such people as these, when the truth does happen along, as it does plentifully in the books of Webster Tarpley, the reception to it is far less likely to be that of a welcome embrace than it is one of stony, blinkered, shut-eyed, quite, quite total rejection.
In America today, ignorance is knowledge. Lies are truth.
Such Orwellian inversions, writers like Tarpley show us again and again, are absolutely essential if those in power are to be able to maintain and exercise the measureless tyranny and criminality needed for maintenance of what's commonly spoken of as the "American Empire," however close that entity may be in actuality to total collapse. This fact—the fact of the sheer popular ignorance necessary to make possible the unretarded exercise of criminality and power—this fact is the real subject of Tarpley's books all the way from George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography (that is, father Bush, not Dubya) to this present repeat performance in the case of the Unauthorized Biography of Obama. And throughout, Tarpley is quite aware of the wall of denial he's likely to encounter among the majority of readers.
He says so explicitly here, for example—while at the same time conveniently synopsizing the new book:
Much of the American public will object to this book's thesis that Barack Hussein Obama must be considered as a postmodern fascist, or as a neo-fascist, a fascist lite or simply as a fascist. Left-liberals will predictably be the most vehement in their rejection of this theme, since it is they who have embraced the New Messiah with the greatest willful blindness and hysteria, refusing to listen to any reasoned arguments to the contrary. How can Obama be a fascist when he has cultivated a pose of being the true anti-war candidate-apart from such trifles as his demand that Pakistanis be slaughtered with reckless abandon in their own country without notification to their government. How can he be a fascist when he is some kind of leftist, and when he poses as an insurgent? Rightists will object that Obama is really a Moslem. Other rightists will claim that he is a Marxist or crypto-communist. Many ordinary people will tend towards the view that he is just another American pragmatist like the rest of us, but with views that are somewhat extreme and radical on a range of subjects-making Obama someone to vote against perhaps, but not a fascist. In order to clarify this issue, we need to go back and look at what fascism was. To make matters simpler, we will concentrate on the Italian fascists, partly since it was they who invented fascism, and partly since we can conduct a calmer analysis if we do not make Hitler and the Nazis the prime examples-although we will mention them from time to time to illustrate what we are saying about fascism in general. (p. 380)And that's a passage, as you can see, from near the end of the book, where Tarpley reinforces his thesis through historic parallel—and most, most expertly. But for readers who'd like to know how Tarpley got to his thesis in the first place, let alone how he got to page 380, some backtracking will be essential.
In fact, let's backtrack to the book that preceded this one, Obama—The Postmodern Coup: The Making of a Manchurian Candidate. And again, let's let Tarpley himself start us out, this time from page 305 of the Unauthorized Biography:
In my book Obama—The Postmodern Coup: The Making of a Manchurian Candidate, I argue that presidential candidate Barack Obama is a wholly-owned puppet of Zbigniew Brzezinski and his associates of the Trilateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller. As some have noted, Brzezinski has been attempting to conceal his actual domination of the Obama campaign, for which he is the chief guru and controller. Now a rhetorical outburst by Obama on the campaign trail in Oregon at the close of the primaries once again pointed to the reality that Obama is a ventriloquist's dummy, with the Russia-hating fanatic Brzezinski, a barbarous relic of the Cold War, acting as the ventriloquist.We'll hold that "rhetorical outburst by Obama on the campaign trail in Oregon" for later, since a few more words about Obama and Zbigniew will be helpful here at the outset. For anyone who still is hoping to peek out from under the edge of the great American blanket of ignorance—for anyone conscious of the absolutely essential importance of doing so—I couldn't recommend Obama—The Postmodern Coup more earnestly. Still, a few words about the Obama-Brzezinski connection are necessary.
Tarpley's second chapter in the present book is "Columbia University and Recruitment by Zbigniew Brzezinski," and a doozey it is. In simplest terms, the story is this: After high school in Hawaii, Obama went for two years to Occidental College in California and then transferred to Columbia University ("He said in a recent interview that he had begun to weary of the parties and fretted about a lackadaisical approach to his studies," Tarpley, p. 50). At Columbia, he met Brzezinski, who at that time, in his immediate post-Carter administration years, was head of the university's "Russian Studies" program. Not only did Obama, then, meet Brzezinski, but he wrote his senior thesis with Brzezinski as his advisor. A close association with a powerful figure? Well, yes. And is that all there is to it? Well, no. The mystery is this: It turns out that, as far as the public record is concerned, it's almost as if those two years of Obama's life—at Columbia—never even happened, so deep an abyss of secrecy have they fallen into, or so thick a vault have they been locked up in.
Before leaving for Occidental College, Obama visits Frank [Frank Marshall Davis] one last time to get his advice, somewhat on the model of Laertes going to Polonius in Hamlet. Frank tells Obama that college represents "an advanced degree in compromise." Frank explains that Obama has to understand the "real price of admission." The real price is "leaving your race at the door. Leaving your people behind. Understand something, boy. You're not going to college to get educated. You're going there to get trained. They'll train you to want what you don't need. They'll train you to manipulate words so they don't mean anything anymore. They'll train you to forget what it is that you already know. They'll train you so good, you'll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that s**t. They'll give you a corner office and invite you to fancy dinners, and tell you you're a credit to your race. Until you want to actually start running things and then they'll yank on your chain and let you know that you may be a well-trained, well paid n****r, but you're a n****r just the same." (Dreams [from My Father, by Barack Obama], 97)Now, that's a lot of story, I know—it's about race and race-consciousness, it's about existentialism, it's about the Trilaterals and the Bilderbergers, it's about Obama's past—before Occidental—and about his future—with his indoctrination, or brainwashing, into the "role of abject puppet and stooge of his masters," at Columbia under Brzezinski.
This is one of the most illuminating passages in Obama's personal memoir [Dreams from My Father]. He is in effect confessing to the reader what is about to happen to him at Occidental College and above all with his encounter with Zbigniew Brzezinski at Columbia University: to become a wholly-owned asset and career sponsored by the networks of the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberger group, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Obama describes a process of training and indoctrination so thorough that it needs to be described as brainwashing. The personal identity of the individual is largely erased, resulting in a kind of automaton or zombie. Obama has now passed beyond the stage of brainwashing into the phase of spouting slogans to get ahead. He knows that what awaits him is a phase of nominal authority masking the reality of his role of abject puppet and stooge of his masters. This chapter might be subtitled "The Confessions of St. Barack," since he gives us a thumbnail sketch of his life, past, present, and future. This extraordinary revelation of the real nature and basis of Obama's career is of course a potential source of immense embarrassment, so it must have taken a compulsive urge to impel Obama to include it in the published text. This elementary lack of prudence illustrates another aspect of Obama's existentialism and fatalism: powerful, sincere emotions acquire for the existentialist a validity and justification which cannot be questioned, no matter how irrational and sociopathic those sincere emotions may be. (Unauthorized Biography, p. 43-44)
The compression is due to Tarpley's fast-forwarding through the entire story—on pages 43-44!—before he's had anywhere near the time or space needed to tell it chronologically, a telling that will take up more than four hundred pages.
Every page of the four hundred, however, is just as riveting as is each element of that story. To get going, let's pluck out just one of those elements, existentialism, and see what happens as we follow it. What we're going to find, though, given the associative and deductive quickness of Tarpley's extraordinary mind, is that "existentialism" will lead us immediately into the subjects of despair, psycho-pathology, brain-washing, post-modernism, and fascism.
That's the way it is, though, when you read Webster Tarpley. The truth isn't simple at all, and it hardly ever goes in a single straight line. In fact, possibly the biggest problem we face today is that most people think the truth is simple, just as they've been indoctrinated to do—and that's precisely why they miss it altogether.
Frank Marshall Davis is the mentor whom we saw Obama visiting just before enrolling at Occidental. And just who is Davis? Or what is he like? We know a fair bit already, but Tarpley tells us further that Davis is an imperfect Marxist ("There is every reason to believe that Frank Marshal Davis imbibed the major negative aspects of Marx without absorbing the minor positive ones," [p.41]) and a "black cultural nationalist":
Well, all right, but what does "Frank's" racialist view have to do with Heidegger and existentialism? Here's the path, in the life of Obama, from one to the other, again as told by Tarpley:
"Frank" was almost certainly a member of the Communist Party USA. But the quality of his assimilation of Marxism is quite another matter. The level of Marxist theoretical development in the CPUSA [Communist Party U.S.A.] was notoriously very low. The lack of theory in the old CPUSA was one of the factors that made it so easy for the FBI to infiltrate it to the point of becoming a majority. Especially when it came to recruiting in the black community, the CPUSA was infamously opportunistic, always ready to jettison dialectical materialism when it appeared possible to recruit some new members on the basis of resistance to white racism. Based on what he says, Frank is not interested in proletarian internationalism in the struggle against world imperialism. He thinks that white people cannot understand his experiences as an oppressed black man. He rejects the unity of world history. Frank has nothing to do with Marxism. He is already a black cultural nationalist, with hardly a veneer of Marxist phraseology. Frank is more of an existentialist than a Marxist himself.
. . .Obama narrates that he went to visit Frank Marshall Davis. From Davis, Obama received quantities of whiskey accompanied by a lecture on the incommunicability of race-based experience to persons on the other side of the color line, namely Obama's grandparents, the "white folk." Frank tells Obama that his grandfather is basically a good man but that the black experience for Gramps is a book sealed with seven seals: "He can't know me," says the communist Frank, "not the way I know him. Maybe some of these Hawaiians can, or the Indians on the reservation. They've seen their fathers humiliated. Their mothers desecrated. But your grandfather will never know what that feels like." (Dreams 90) Frank concludes: "what I'm trying to tell you is, your grandma's right to be scared. She's at least as right as Stanley is. She understands that black people have a reason to hate. That's just how it is. For your sake, I wish it were otherwise. But it's not. So you might as well get used to it." (Dreams 91) [Tarpley, p. 41]
By all indications, this is the experience [his meeting with Frank Marshall Davis] which made Obama not only a confirmed racialist ideologue, but also a thoroughgoing existentialist in the tradition of Heidegger and Jaspers. Obama recounts the moment thus: "The earth shook under my feet, ready to crack open at any moment. I stopped, trying to steady myself and knew for the first time that I was utterly alone." (Dreams 91) This experience is of vital importance for understanding the mentality of the adult Obama. If Obama had been taught Marxism by Frank Marshall Davis, he would at this point say that he had decided to submerge his own existence in the greater reality of the march of class struggle through history. But he does not say that he is part of the vanguard of millions of workers. He says rather that he is absolutely, metaphysically alone.The alone-ness and emptiness of the existentialist—in my own view, of the failed existentialist—is itself not at all hard to grasp, nor is the idea that such a person, through "wallowing in existentialist self-pity," might well be internalizing "some of the indispensable preconditions" for a "career as a mob orator" who "[writes] his speeches out of a bag of alienation, despair, and absolute metaphysical loneliness, appealing with some semblance of pathos to the desire of his target audiences for community, hope, and change." More later on despair—both in the speaker and in those spoken to—but first we need to pay some attention to fascism.
The finding here is that Obama was by this point a convinced existentialist, and that Obama's embrace of existentialism, the point of view which pervades so much of Dreams, gave him the prerequisites for becoming a full-fledged disciple of Frantz Fanon, an implacable enemy of Western civilization, proto-fascist, an apostle of purgative violence in the Sorel-Mussolini tradition. Obama spent years wallowing in existentialist self-pity. Obama's eager embrace of the existentialist world outlook provided some of the indispensable preconditions for his current career as a mob orator. It has equipped him to write his speeches out of a bag of alienation, despair, and absolute metaphysical loneliness, appealing with some semblance of pathos to the desire of his target audiences for community, hope, and change. At the same time, however, Obama's existentialism has provided him with his own personal path to fascism. (pp. 40-41, emphases added)
After all, the leap from existentialism to fascism may seem a harder one to follow, and Tarpley himself comments that "Many American readers may be surprised at the idea that existentialism is somehow connected to fascism, or can serve as an immediate prelude to fascism. This is probably because of the popular identification in this country of existentialism with such French writers as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, both of whom were at pains to make a show of having supported the resistance against the Nazi occupation of their country." (p. 42) But it isn't from Sartre and Camus that we can find out about real existentialism—it's from Heidegger. And Heidegger, as Tarpley points out, is dangerous goods:
We must remember that Sartre and Camus represent lesser gods in the international existentialist pantheon which is actually presided over by Martin Heidegger. Heidegger was a full throated, cardcarrying member of the National Socialist party who delivered a public paean to Hitler in the form of his inaugural address as rector of the University of Freiburg. It is in this speech that Heidegger made the comment that the decision in favor of National Socialism had already been made by the youngest part of the German nation, thereby validating the fascist myth that it is youth and youth alone who are the arbiters of the political destinies of great nations-an absurd fiction which echoes [today] through the empty vessels of the Obama lemming legions. In Obama, we see the intimate epistemological and ethical proximity of existentialism and fascism which is exemplified by Heidegger, the world's leading existentialist thinker and a Nazi at the same time. (p. 42)Whatever the depths that remain to be explored in Heidegger, we nevertheless turn away from him now and toward "the Hungarian-Marxist philosopher" Georg Lucaks, who, Tarpley writes, "has provided the most detailed study of the ideological precursors of fascism and National Socialism in his 1952 book Die Zerstörung der Vernunft (The Destruction of Reason). Lukacs' summary of the existentialists Heidegger and Jaspers, both much touted by US and British philosophy departments, may give us some insights into Obama's mentality today."
How could that be, do you suppose? Heidegger, Lucaks, and Obama? Well, it may seem strange at first blush, but how could any intellectually curious person resist the temptation to follow Tarpley's deftly connective and richly associative thinking? So:
Lukacs is especially interested in the role of despair in fascist ideology, both before and after 1945. Lukacs writes: "The mere word 'despair' as content of this ideology is not enough to explain it, because we have seen that Heidegger's despair was actually a direct preparation for Hitlerism. [. . .] We are dealing here with something different with something greater and something more concrete. It is not just general despair about all human activity; just despair has led thinkers from Schopenhauer to Heidegger into the reactionary camp or at least into collaboration with the reactionaries. [Post-1945 existentialists] are not only in despair about things in general; their doubts and their despair are directed above all against those glad tidings which they are supposed to be proclaiming, namely the defense of the 'free world,' understood as the Anglo-American sphere of world power." (Lukacs 704)"For Lukacs," Tarpley adds, "the pre-1945 fascists displayed cynical nihilism, while the post-1945 fascists have been characterized by cynical hypocrisy. This is a shoe that may well fit Obama." (p. 43)
All right, despair has now been directly entered into the mix, a subject logically resulting from post-1945 existentialism as portrayed by Lukacs but originally derived, pre-1945, from Heidegger. We know also, from Obama's own words, that he himself experienced the existential awareness, if not of meaninglessness, at least of pure solitude ("The earth shook under my feet, ready to crack open at any moment. I stopped, trying to steady myself and knew for the first time that I was utterly alone").
But just exactly what is it, now, that this existential sense of aloneness will lead to, once it's been mixed in with Frank Marshall Davis's powerful epistemological ingredient of total race-separateness and with whatever other elements may have come to Obama in the remainder of his education, including his extraordinary and extraordinarily secretive years with and under Brzezinski?
Answer: Postmodernism. If certain steps may seem to have been left out in the string of knots from existentialism to postmodernism, I trust that the reader will remain patient. Those steps, I guarantee, will be filled in. They won't be filled in all at once, but filled in.
Back to Tarpley:
We are arguing, in other words, that Obama's embrace of the philosophy of academic postmodernism has constituted an important stage in his development towards fascism. The postmodernism of which we speak has of course been the dominant intellectual outlook among most college and university faculties since about the 1970s. Intellectually speaking, it is a thin and unappetizing gruel, suitable for crabbed little people operating in a phase of imperialist decline. The starting point of postmodernism is the despair, disorientation, demoralization, and defeatism which emerged from the collapse of the positive social movements of the 1960s. From its very beginning, postmodernism has been much more interested in race and gender than in class. Postmodernism is an unsavory stew of existentialism, structuralism, deconstructionism, anthropological relativism, and Malthusianism, all thrown together in the cauldron of historical pessimism and cultural pessimism. The aspect of relativism has been especially important for the rejection and destruction of classical culture with its indispensable notions of human reason, human freedom, human greatness, and the heroic sense of the world historical individual. Instead, the drawings of patients in mental institutions are placed on the same plane as the works of Leonardo and Rafael, and Athens and Florence are compared unfavorably to hunting and gathering societies where cannibalism and infanticide proliferate. (p.43, emphases added)What Tarpley means by postmodernism, in other words, is the same mixed pot of shallowness, narrowness, solipsism, self-interest, anti-intellectualism, and reliance on seeing and thinking by means of "issues" rather than by means of looking directly at life itself that I wrote about in A Nation Gone Blind. I didn't use the word "postmodern" in that book, but instead the words "simplification" and "deceit." The aim, however, was to describe—and condemn, and lament—the same views, manners, attitudes, and logical, epistemological, and intellectual failings that are described by Tarpley in the paragraph above and named "postmodernism."
Does anybody wonder what Tarpley is going to say next, now that we've followed our way from racialism to existential aloneness, on through Heidegger and Lukacs to fascism, and finally—at last—to this familiar, hateful, omnipresent thing called "postmodernism"?
Well, here's what he says—and it's a shocker enough that I think it calls for a break on the page:
"Postmodernism is the creed of the morally insane." (p. 43, emphasis added)
I'm reminded all over again of the dismal claque of writers demonstrating exactly what Tarpley is talking about in the first chapter of A Nation Gone Blind. I may have to go back and re-write that book, calling it this time A Nation Insane. Never in my life did I believe that art, culture, and politics can conceivably remain separate from one another-it's simply that, in my earlier years, I didn't think much about it. Now, however, not to think about it, and not to think hard about it, seems to me tantamount to committing artistic or cultural or intellectual—or political—suicide.
And yet most of America's intellectuals and artists, especially if they're left-leaning, have done exactly that. And so have most of those now supporting the Obama presidency.
With all three of these things, art and culture and politics, firmly in mind, let's read Tarpley's whole paragraph. The emphasis is mine:
Postmodernism is the creed of the morally insane. A thoroughgoing postmodernist (or "postie") must axiomatically reject any notion of objective reality; postmodernism when challenged beats a hasty retreat into a dream world of myth, metaphor, and archetype. Postmodernism gets its philosophical underpinnings most of all from Nietzsche and the other exponents of what the academics like to call "Continental philosophy," so as to avoid talking about the strong fascist overtones of many of these thinkers. The latent fascist potentialities of present day academic postmodernism are immense, and have only been waiting behind masks of cynicism and apathy for the appearance of an appropriate demagogue to mobilize them into the obvious forms of frenetic sociopathic activism. (p. 43)Does anyone disagree that the crucial element here is the part I've put in italics? Tarpley identifies the insanity in "postmodernism" as a moral one—and isn't that the worst kind imaginable? Regular old standard-issue insanity, after all, can harm or ruin the individual self suffering it. But consider moral insanity: Isn't that kind of insanity destined to affect not only the individual suffering it but all of those in the entire world whom that individual comes into contact with, indirectly or directly?.
Moral insanity, in other words, is a disease that can know no boundaries, can have no boundaries, cannot be delimited as to the range of its influence.
It is, in addition, a disease whose sufferer cannot reliably or properly or wholly understand anything that he or she might do, this being the case because that sufferer "must axiomatically reject any notion of objective reality," thus being required, by a medical necessity that has now become an epistemological necessity, to follow whatever may be or seem to be defined by others as objective reality.
Those suffering this disease are no longer empiricists but must be considered, instead, to be visionaries of one sort or another, since moral reality for them cannot be other than a shifting thing, a thing received by them from others, or then from others even than those, from elsewhere, and subsequently embraced by them even though no empirical evidence exists to justify that embrace, and even though this "morality that they embrace now may no longer exist soon after, or may with the bat of an eye be changed into something else entirely.
The implications of such a disease in relation to the political health or well-being of any group or nation are staggering: The diseased become not an electorate, but a mob. They become, like any mob, manipulable, fickle, changeable—in a word, they become leadable. They don't elect, but they follow. Blindly.
The application to our nation's present moment is obvious. But there's more, and worse, to understand. Tarpley makes it abundantly, absolutely, clear, that not only do the lemming-like followers of Obama have the disease, but he whom they follow has it just as badly as they do.
We are at a moment in our history—a moment with the bright light of analysis shone on it steadily and clearly by Webster Tarpley in this book and the one preceding it—when our nation is indisputably not one merely where the blind are following the blind, but one where the blind are leading the blind.
Obama's signature mass rallies are perhaps the factor that first alerted some right-wing journalists to the nature of the Obama pseudo-movement. For many, this awareness began to emerge in February 2008, when the Obama postmodern coup was already well underway, despite temporary reverses. David Brooks, for example, wrote: "The afflicted had already been through the phases of Obamamania—fainting at rallies, weeping over their touch screens while watching Obama videos, spending hours making folk crafts featuring Michelle Obama's face. These patients had experienced intense surges of hope-amine, the brain chemical that fuels euphoric sensations of historic change and personal salvation. But they found that as the weeks went on, they needed more and purer hope-injections just to preserve the rush. They wound up craving more hope than even the Hope Pope could provide, and they began experiencing brooding moments of suboptimal hopefulness. Anxious posts began to appear on the Yes We Can! Facebook pages. A sense of ennui began to creep through the nation's Ian McEwan-centered book clubs. Up until now The Chosen One's speeches had seemed to them less like stretches of words and more like soul sensations that transcended time and space. But those in the grips of Obama Comedown Syndrome began to wonder if His stuff actually made sense. For example, His Hopeness tells rallies that we are the change we have been waiting for, but if we are the change we have been waiting for then why have we been waiting since we've been here all along?" (David Brooks, New York Times, February 19, 2008) (Tarpley, pp. 380-381)Thus David Brooks. Now, Paul Krugman:
The other aspect of the Obama lemming legions which has attracted the attention of some commentators is a specious rage with which they turn on those who do not share their fanatical devotion to the Perfect Master. Professor Paul Krugman is surely one of the more intelligent of these critics when he writes: "Why, then, is there so much venom out there? I won't try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I'm not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. We've already had that from the Bush administration—remember Operation Flight Suit? We really don't want to go there again." (Paul Krugman, New York Times, February 11, 2008) (Tarpley, p. 381)And Tarpley himself:
One of the most reliable indications of Obama's fascist ideology can be found in his obsessive preoccupation with the theme of "hope." One of the staples of fascist demagogy from Mussolini to Hitler, and especially in the latter, is a constant attempt to mobilize the latent and conscious despair of the target audiences into a form of frenzied activism or flight forward in the service of the Fascist party and the fascist cause. One of the favorite themes of National Socialist propaganda was the idea that Hitler represented the last hope of the despairing masses after the torments of World War I, the great hyperinflation of 1923, and the great deflationary depression starting in 1929. This theme was used in some of the NSDAP's most effective posters. In Obama's case, his ability to appeal to the despair of his followers is significantly enhanced by his own existentialist background, as indicated by his interest during his college years in the existentialist-terrorist works of Frantz Fanon. As has already been mentioned, a thoroughgoing existentialist is in grave danger of sliding into fascism under the impact of a social crisis including military defeat and acute economic depression, as was seen in the case of the leading European existentialist, Martin Heidegger, who became an active Nazi propagandist. Every day, existentialists and other radical irrationalist subjectivists who have been supporting Obama are sliding towards fascism like passengers careening down the steeply sloping decks of the Titanic in its last throes.(Tarpley, p. 381)The great subject that lies inside the truly great, and horrifying, subject of impending American fascism is the subject of despair. Because of the space necessary for a discussion of that subject, or question, I'm breaking this essay into two parts. Unfortunately, it's obvious already that I'm going to miss deadline—I'm never going to be able to finish writing this complete essay before November 4, 2008, now only four days away.
Therefore, two things. First, Tarpley does examine the origins of this crucial element in the making possible and bringing about of the events now overtaking us—that is, he does examine the origins of the despair that has to exist in the first place in order for people to fall prey to the allure of fascistic personalities, agenda, or to fascistic "thought." That part of his analysis is as penetrating, rare, and indispensable as are other parts and elements of the Unauthorized Biography. But discussion of it, for me, at least, is going to have to wait until after the big wedding—as some of the insiders called 9/11 before they pulled it off. I'm sorry.
The delay, though, brings me to the second of the two things I mentioned a moment ago. Since because of space and time I can't here and now analyze certain of the causes of our present danger, I feel some justification, in closing, for simply emphasizing the enormity of that danger.
Therefore, back to Georg Lukacs:
Once again it is Georg Lukacs who, pre-eminently among the historians of European philosophy, has pointed to the intimate interface between radical existentialism and fascism. Lukacs writes: 'no matter how distorted the presentation may be because of the solipsism of the phenomenological method, we are dealing with a social fact: the internal situation of the bourgeois individual (especially the intellectual) in the crumbling world of monopoly capital, faced by the perspective of annihilation. Heidegger's despair thus has a dual character: on the one side the implacable exposure of the inner nothingness of the individual in the crisis period of imperialism; on the other hand-because the social causes of this nothingness are fetishized away as timeless factors having nothing to do with the social situation-the resulting feelings can very easily kick over into a despairing reactionary activity. It is surely no coincidence that Hitler's agitation continuously appealed to despair. Of course, this mainly addressed the economic-social situation of the working masses. In the case of the intelligentsia, this mood of nothingness and despair, whose subjective validity constitutes the starting point for Heidegger's philosophy, and which he elevates to the conceptual level, transfigures into philosophy and canonizes as "authentic," represents the most fertile soil for the effectiveness of Hitler's mass agitation.' (Lukacs 441) (Tarpley, p. 381-382)Parallels. Obviously enough, we, today, also live in "the crumbling world of monopoly capital" and thus we, too, may very well see things from "the perspective of annihilation." And we, today—although this is the part we're going to have to talk about next time—are a nation of people, whether each individual is aware of it or not, who are positively driven by the uneludable fact of the "inner nothingness of the individual"—a people, further, whose inner nothingness is ritually and routinely and incessantly relied upon and exploited by the very cultural and political agencies and elements whose supposed and perceived purpose is not to exploit its own people but to serve, care for, and protect them.
As a result, then as now, here's what comes about:
Existentialism, reinforced by the postmodern consensus in the Anglo-American academic world frequented by Obama, represents a perfect culture medium for the postmodern fascist mentality. The general nature of this dynamic was already clear many decades ago: "Agnostic irrationalism. . . has as its final result a passionate rejection of objective truth of the same type that we see in Hitler with other motives and with other justifications. In the interface between existentialist irrationalism and the fascist world outlook we are not dealing with individual epistemological findings. . .but rather with a general intellectual atmosphere of radical doubt about the possibility of objective knowledge, about the value of reason and understanding, and with a blind belief in intuition-based, irrational 'revelations' that contradict reason and understanding. We are dealing with an atmosphere of hysterical-superstitious gullibility, in which the obscurantism of a struggle against objective truths, against understanding and reason, is presented as the last word of modern science and of the most 'progressive' epistemology." (Lukacs 633) These considerations should help make clear why. . . Obama personally finds the postmodern fascist outlook to be congenial and coherent with his general attitude towards life. As has already been shown, Michelle Obama represents an even more militant version of this same fundamental worldview. (Tarpley, p. 382)"[An] atmosphere of hysterical-superstitious gullibility, in which the obscurantism of a struggle against objective truths, against understanding and reason, is presented as the last word of modern science and of the most 'progressive' epistemology." So it appeared to Lukacs, so it appears to Tarpley, and so it appeared to me in my writing of A Nation Gone Blind.
But that it would have come to this?
Much of the Unauthorized Biography, naturally enough, is about Obama's years in Chicago, both before and after his time at Harvard law school, and the story of those years is in no way a pretty one. Instead of meekly and ritually honoring Obama's work in "neighborhood development," Tarpley tells, plain and simple, what he sees it as having really been:
When Obama says that he was a community organizer, it would be far more accurate to say that he was a poverty pimp for the Ford Foundation network, a paid race-monger whose job it was to organize politically naïve and desperate groups on the south side of Chicago into corporatist, dead-end, fragmented, parochial projects from which they would derive little or no benefit, and the goal of which was simply to use up enough of their lives in futility until they dropped out altogether in despair. (Tarpley, p. 67)That is material for next time, too. But what I've just quoted can suggest, for now, the seaminess of what went on then and there, though not the enormity of it as related to the past forty years of the nation's history and the probable direction of its future. That, again, is for next time. Either way, in his Chicago years Obama was involved very intimately indeed with criminality, and that simple fact provides a context for this next passage from Tarpley's book. The key phrase? Keep your eyes open for the phrase "abject fools."
The appalling contrast between Obama's presidential campaign and its hypocritical slogans about hope and change, on the one hand, and a horrendous reality of the senator's corruption was a national mockery of the first magnitude. Obama claimed that he was setting out to teach the world to hold the United States in high regard once again, but the first result of his candidacy was to demonstrate to any rational foreign observer that most Americans were abject fools, eager to listen to edifying verbiage from the mouth of a sleazy Chicago ward heeler who was lucky not to be standing in the dock next to his godfather Rezko.As for the question of who Rezko is, here's enough for right now—a simple Google search will find everything:
Obama's bosom buddy Rezko is now a convicted felon, having been found guilty on June 5, 2008 on 16 of 24 counts in Chicago federal court, including for scheming to get kickbacks out of money-management firms wanting state business, and a contractor who wanted to build a hospital in northern Illinois. (Tarpley, p. 9)And why, exactly, am I mentioning this right now, right here, at the end of this "part one," when we're pressed for time and out of space and perhaps of patience as well? I'm doing it to show that what Lukacs said about the nature of hysterical blindness in Europe in the early Hitler years is the same as the nature of our blindness in these years. Then, Lucaks said, there was "an atmosphere of hysterical-superstitious gullibility, in which the obscurantism of a struggle against objective truths, against understanding and reason, [was] presented as the last word of modern science and of the most 'progressive' epistemology.'" In other words, people then looked at falsehoods and believed they were truths. They looked at the corrupt and thought it was the creative. They looked at up and thought it was down. And we looked at "a sleazy Chicago ward heeler" lucky not to be in jail and thought he was the savior of the nation.
A couple of miles back, I said that the we'd "hold for later" a certain "rhetorical outburst by Obama on the campaign trail in Oregon" that Tarpley mentioned. Well, later is now. Here's that quotation, complete with the "outburst."
At a campaign stop in Oregon, Obama intoned:That's it. That's all, a little outburst ending with the ominous little sentence "we're gone." Tarpley finds these implications in the "outburst":
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said. "That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added. If India and China's "carbon footprint gets as big as ours, we're gone." (AFP)
This remarkable statement reveals the true program of a future Obama administration: savage austerity, brutal economic sacrifice, and a massive further reduction in the standard of living of the depleted and exhausted US population—as demanded by David Rockefeller, George Soros, and Obama's Wall Street backers. This will be done under left cover—through a global warming tax, a third world solidarity tax, and other demagogic frauds, with the revenue going to bail out Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase. The tired, discredited post-9/11 "war on terror" slogans will be largely dumped. . . (Tarpley, pp. 305-306)
The great question is a simple one: Who is Obama working for? And the answer, for anybody who's read Tarpley, if I may use yet again that word from the last line of The Sun Also Rises, isn't pretty. Read this:
Obama has thus unmasked himself as the exterminating angel of super-austerity dictated by the elitist Trilateral bankers' clique. Will he cut the current US standard of living by 40%? By 50%? When he does, will he still call it the politics of hope? The rhetoric recalls the malaise of the earlier Trilateral puppet and austerity fanatic Jimmy Carter, but it goes much further. Is every American child to be put on rations, like Oliver Twist, and forbidden to ask for some more? Obama is eager for this kind of cruelty. Obama has been trained to hate the American people through two decades of association with hate-mongers like Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Brzezinski himself. For Rockefeller and Soros, Obama's hatred of the American people is a positive guarantee that he will enforce Wall Street's austerity decrees with a vengeance. Forget the utopian platitudes and the messianic rhetoric: Obama's real economic program is now clear for all to see. It is a path that leads to genocide against the US population, among others. (Tarpley, p. 306)If that sounds crazy to you, you're somebody who ought to read Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography. I couldn't recommend it more highly, or more urgently, to anyone. And it's not a matter of bringing bad news: The bad news is here already. Tarpley just helps explain it to those who may not have quite seen it yet, or heard it yet, or read about it yet. You know the ones I mean, the blind. Some of my very best friends are among the blind. Some of those most beloved to me are among the blind. In fact, that's what makes the blinding, and even more the exploitation of the blinding, the most unforgivable, the most heinous, and the most criminal, and the most despicable.
When I next see you, to talk more about Tarpley's extraordinary book, November 4, 2008, will have come and gone. We'll know then whether the rigged voting has been crooked enough to put the geezer and the dumb chick into office, in which case god help us all. Or we'll know then-or I hope we'll know-whether we've ended up with Biden-Obama.
Either way, the fix is in. We'll be in endgame. See you there.
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