Why Iran is America’s best new partner in the Middle East
Fred Kaplan, Slate, June 16 2014
“Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge, which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible…”
George Orwell, 1984
Working-men of England, one word of warning yet: I doubt if you know the bitterness of hatred against freedom and progress that lies at the hearts of a certain part of the richer classes in this country… and these men, I say it deliberately, are the heart and soul of the party that is driving us to an unjust war: can the Russian people be your enemies or mine like these are, who are the enemies of all justice?
…instruct your broker to liquidate your stock in IBM and buy into the local bakery. But in the process, instruct the broker not to buy A shares but B shares, non-voting stock that gives you no power over the business. Say that you want the right to a return on your capital, but you don’t want the right to tell the baker how to run the business…To those who have money in pension funds I would say: “Do yourselves a favor. Buy stock in the local bakery building, and then buy from the baker. Create your own pension fund and the security it brings. Get it out of the markets because, you know…when the pension funds collapse, as they are bound to do in a global economy, the fiction that they were secure collapses too. Watch out for when the U.S. dollar starts to falter. Go local in the sense of buying direct stock. Don’t lend money; rather, buy stock in your local bakery in such a way that the owner has the power to do what he or she wants to do with the business. […]. When the United States began its constitutional journey, there were many ideals that have yet to be fulfilled. On this journey we’ve lost our way. Instead of blaming the environment we find ourselves in, politically and otherwise, we need to backtrack and find a new path.
Christopher Houghton Budd
Economics and politics heavily rely on animal symbols and images: bulls, bears, wild horses, hawks, doves, foxes and vultures, cows and sheeples, phoenices, wolves in sheep’s clothing and tigers: they are all massively over-represented in the media.
This is because animals have always been at the center of the process by which human beings gives shape to images of themselves. They are the sources of the most profound symbolic meanings and are oftentimes used as vehicles for moral education and socialization, models of order and morality. They are good to think with (one only has to consider the breadth of insights provided by “Animal Farm” by George Orwell).
Pets dominate the way we classify events (“black swan”), relations between nations and peoples (“grasshoppersand ants”) and people (lion, ass, bullheaded, etc.).
We celebrate them, denigrate them, fear them, transform them into symbols, introduce them into our political debate (cf. “Don’t Poke the Russian Bear”, “Chinese Dragon and Russian Bear clipped the claws of American Eagle”, Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin, the “don’t tread on me” rattlesnakes of the U.S. Tea Party, and so forth).
They fight our battles for us, or on our side, in our minds. They are actors in sagas in which we remain the protagonists.
“Democratic” and “Republican” eagles barely survive a midair battle.
Obama, also known by his Indian name: “Barack Black Eagle”, has had his fair share of trouble with the American eagle.
Even the British Labour Party has accidentally promised to provide every citizen with an owl.
A message endures the test of time if it is endowed with a pregnant, evocative symbolic content. Symbolic and linguistic structures can be used to manipulate our perception of reality (a form of involuntary conditioning) and therefore control our reactions, instilling the propensity to behave in a desirable way. When the symbols are archetypal, the influence they wield is considerable, although we seldom realize it. Totemic symbols are archetypical.
What is an archetype? The term comes from Arkhe (first principle) and typos (model, type). The Swiss anthropologist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung described them as natural structures that determine the inherited experience of reality or any how cultural structures passed on to the next generation, and deposited deep into the collective unconscious.
They are (or become) universal ordering principles of our consciousness and guide the way we perceive and interpret reality.
They can be so powerful that, in many instances, we tend to make choices on the basis of an archetypal alignment, i.e. a particular resonance, sympathy that we feel towards a particular archetype (e.g., the Father, the Farmer, the Hero, the martyr, the Mother, the Trickster, the Lost King, a certain mammal or bird, etc.).
They ritualize our thinking through subliminal conditioning and identification.
Archetypes and symbols in general may cure (psychotherapy), guide a person on a journey of individuation and spiritual development, introduce imaginary places unveiling alternative, more humane and attractive societies and civilizations, but they can also poison the mind (propaganda).
Under certain circumstances, the effect can be that of a veritable hypnotic induction, persuading us to embrace what we previously was inconceivable and unacceptable. Like, for example, the symbols associated with totalitarian mass demonstrations.
The association and the psychological and symbolic resonance of certain common expressions can acquire new, subtle dimensions. In this way communication can be perverted and cause confusion, or a false consciousness. If the outside looks beautiful and pleasant, we are inclined to believe the same about the inside. If the wolf disguises himself as a lamb, we think it is tame, because wool is soft. In addition, we most often believe that we understand something if we can name it or label it. As it were, when they are turned into stereotypes, it is the symbols that possesses us, not the other way round.
It is happening right now, on a global scale.
Aside from internecine infightings between factions, the way in which national animals and the East-West dichotomy are being played against each other – “clash of civilization” rhetoric, pseudo-scientific caricatures of human variability, ethnocentric fetishism, nationalist exceptionalism, tactical isolationism, the neonazification and carefully planned yugoslavization of Ukraine and Iraq – points to an ongoing manipulation of our collective unconscious which threatens to lead to a deadly clash between the centralizing tendencies of the establishment controlled by international banking interests) and the anarchic tendencies of the impoverished masses, in a post-petrodollar, multilateral global order.
This “growing divide” between the East and the West and their totemic animals only serves the purpose of justifying the American loss of Superpower status, which would nevertheless be inevitable, as a result of the reckless choice of printing money as if there was no tomorrow and plundering the wealth of the rest of the world through the financial system, in the pursuit of “full spectrum dominance”.
To the contrary, it is necessary to combine the two influences: constitutional libertarianism and spiritual communitarianism. Both models have become corrupt and despotic precisely because they are fragments of a single view that must be re-integrated, because unilateralism does not allow human nature to reach full maturity: two ideas that, alone, are unsustainable and sterilely antagonistic, become a single new idea.
Whereas it is undeniable that they can also ally themselves to better oppress the masses, which is most likely what is taking place these days, this is a strategy that is bound to fail and that, inadvertently, will pave the way to a different and far healthier kind of union since, by necessity, it will remove the psychological blockages that have so often held us back from any sort of understanding and benevolent integration.
The forthcoming world system might lead to the reform of the IMF and the use of gold-backed Special Drawing Rights (its “currency”: a basket which is the weighted average of the major currencies) with a fiat component for flexibility and gold component for stability.
We could then finally see the rise of a multipolar order with a monetary lingua franca and common reference point for the whole of humankind after the end of the militarized dollar hegemony, the demise of beggar-thy-neighbor policies and the rapprochement between “Western” and “Islamic” finances as well as capitalism and socialism (The Great Human Renaissance – Towards a New World Order, FuturAbles, 9 January 2015) .
This could lead to more adaptable, cooperative/mutual, harmonised planetary financial and economic policies (Robert A. Mundell, 2013) in which the seigniorage is shared and the diversity in unity (coordinated individual and collective identities and specificities) is preserved, provided that each nation sees the others’ points of view and sees itself as the world sees it (Christopher Houghton Budd, “A Single Global Currency. A political or an economic money?”, 2004).
See also: For a New World Order to live well
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