This is a time of year when, whether we plan it or it just creeps up on us, we spend a considerable time reflecting on the past year, and most likely, the previous years and decades. Whenever our calendar, or clock, or project, or even our life emits a hint of termination, we are immediately and acutely awakened to insights, feelings, visions and disappointments that we may have paid little to no attention to when they poked their “heads” out of the earth of our unconscious.
Whether we are ten and our hamster dies, and we desperately want to witness the burial, or whether we are far away when we receive a phone call that a parent has just died, or whether we are lying in the emergency room overhearing a doctor whose proximity does not limit the volume of his voice as he declares to the medical team, “This poor fellow has Stage 4 cancer and very little hope of surviving!” we are nevertheless poised at such moments to look in our “inner mirror” with eyes that have changed from the last time we took this “trip”.
And the repetitive showing of a movie like “The Sound of Music” replayed every year at this time, is one of our psychic and emotional bridges that hook our memories into something like a echo experience. Last night, when CTV re-ran the movie with a very young Christopher Plummer and an also must younger and vibrant Julie Andrews, this thought jumped out at me. Although I have viewed this movie literally dozens of times, I have never watched in times that so evoked the Third Reich as these. The core of hubris (ultimately insecurity) in the heart of the 1930’s relationship between Austria and Germany, is a venomous monster let loose today in Washington, Warsaw, Budapest, Paris, Berlin, Manilla, and even to a lesser extent in countries like Canada where swastika’s have been cropping up on synagogues in surprising numbers.
Netanyahu just today boldly declared the United Nations a “house of lies” in his blatant effort to reduce any negative vote on the Jerusalem/capital resolution to detritus. Nicky Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N, declares that trump “takes each vote on this question “personally” as he threatens to withdraw U.S. aid from any country demonstrating the temerity to oppose the Washington declaration to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
White Supremacy cells have sprouted in many locations, on both sides of the Atlantic, and on both sides of the English Channel, as well as deep in the South Pacific. Racism, in its virulent form, magnetizes both the unstable and the affluent in numbers and proportions not seen in decades. Laws, and their enforcement, are unable to ferret out this ‘cancer’ regardless of whether its roots are Caucasian or not.
National Security machines are built, re-built, stocked and then reinforced with the latest sophisticated technology which is only as reliable as those operating it. Law enforcement, it seems everywhere in the west, is so overwhelmed with drug trafficking, terror threats, money laundering, and the deep internet’s capacity to subvert many of the best efforts of institutional law enforcement agencies, that ordinary vandalism is dismissed as trivial by comparison. And yet, ordinary vandalism is not trivial to those targeted by the marginalized and potentially unstable perpetrators.
When the “macro” issues on the planet needing oversight eclipse most of the ‘micro’ issues in neighbourhoods, and when the people at the ‘top’ of our public institutions repeatedly dissemble, distort and re-shape reality to fit their personal destructive ambitions as needs, then what is there to stop the petty criminal from engaging whenever and wherever he “feels” like acting out? And when the public rhetoric is not merely sprinkled with racist rhetoric, and lies, but literally saturated with both “condiments”….the burger is already contaminated, even if the beef passes muster.
We are being swamped with multiple sources of political and corporate self-aggrandizement and self-promotion all of it reeking of the poison of narrow, narcissistic ambition and hubris similar to the “supremacy” contempt held by the Third Reich for the Jews. Of course, there are already howls of protest from the peanut gallery about the apparent link of corporate greed and self-promotion to white supremacy and anti-semetism. While current journalism practice would not likely make such a tenuous connection, there is a kind of self-centred “bubble” that exclude anyone who if different and threatens the maintenance of that bubble. And if corporatism is not rampantly out of control, then how would it be characterized accurately?
When fox news airs words like these, “Robert Mueller and his team are engaged in what amounts to a ‘coup’ of government,” you know that there is literally nothing stopping the ‘hate speech’ and the ‘lies’ that history demonstrates complete the formula for the gas that fueled the furnaces of Auschwitz and Dachau.
I do not believe that hyperbole is the antidote to white supremacy, nor to racism or any sort. However, given the whisper of protest we are listening to about the dangers of any formal or informal meshing of the neo-Nazi gangs and the Islamic terrorists, plus the not far-fetched potential of either chemical or nuclear weapons “falling” (perhaps courtesy of North Korea) into the wrong hands, (and there are hundreds of loose nukes in places easily detected by those determined to use them)….and the conflation of bad and good people among KKK and white supremacists and their protesters as a moral equivalency by trump (Charlottesville, remember?) gives both cover and encouragement to those already deeply brain-washed by such hate-mongering.
Right wing political parties have secured a growing percentage of the popular vote in European national elections, and the continuing tide of refugees from Syria, Libya, Somalia, Mali, Nigeria and Afghanistan will keep the pressure those far-right parties want to support and impose on their receiving governments and people. Returning ‘trained’ combatants who fled to fight for ISIS also pose a threat the relative potential of which is quite difficult to calculate, and that threat could emerge on an street or subway in any city in the world, just as it did in Melbourne Australia earlier today (authorities have not specifically linked the accused to a terrorist cell).
The deliberate withdrawal of foreign aid from the U.S. administration’s strategic thinking also opens several doors to other countries like China, Russia and India to flex their muscle and exert pressure through dollars and diplomacy in nations profoundly in need of fiscal and planning support, as well as the kind of support that works to reduce corruption, a plague in several African countries.
Awash in lies and deception, the swirl of private money evading legitimate taxes in many countries, the potential return of the arms race (arms being the cornerstone of the trump national security strategy) the wet-noodle strength of international agencies like the UN, and a rising tide of virulent racism and nationalism are already brewing on a planet whose temperatures are rising…..
Does anyone else think this might just be a potential political/economic/military/health/disease/security/climate volcano of the size, destructiveness and unpredictability that could overwhelm current international capacity and interest to address its ramifications?
And if the “thing” explodes, we can be assured that those who already consider themselves a ‘superior’ race will have no empathy, compassion or tolerance for those they see as the enemy.