In my book Medieval Upheaval, I write that the “white” European culture embraces the emotional disorders of sociopathy, narcissism, and psychopathy within their societies. In the U.S., we witness examples of these mental diseases play out daily in real life, on Internet discussion threads, in TV dramas, and on radio talk shows. It’s disturbing that these regressive traits are so widespread, playing central roles in American storytelling, plot and character development. As a result, the public has been trained to accept these specific abnormal mental disorders as reasonable aspects of the human psyche, emotions to be celebrated and copied.
They are not. The natural world thrives on cooperation and balance; regressive traits that encourage individuality and extremism are the antitheses to the natural order. Being human does not elevate us above, or place us outside the bounds of Nature which has its default setting pointed directly at “balance.”
In my book, I also write that for a long time now European leaders have used a successful campaign of crafting propaganda stories (myths). This scheme is at least 2000 years old. These simplistic “good vs. evil” mythical stories always include troublesome “others” whom god grants permission for whites to conquer/destroy. European leaders have united the white collective by using myths to present an imaginary relationship of whites to the rest of the world – and to one another. Today’s myths include that white folk represent a majority; that white skin is a superior type; that whites pulled themselves up by their bootstraps; and that God is on the side of white folks. From learning these myths one easily concludes that whites deserve a disproportionate share of the world’s resources, because they worked harder than anyone else for them, and because god clearly favors them (manifest destiny) above all other peoples.
Beyond keeping the white collective consciousness perfectly malleable to manipulation, myths funnel an unbalanced amount of power to the hands of a very few individuals. Apparently, as long as a majority of the people can grab a few crumbs that fall from the master’s table, they won’t revolt against his oppressive system. This is one way that the at large white culture serves as the bulwark against the American and international kleptocracies, the so-called one per-centers.
Another myth-maker’s tale is that “others” have a tendency for violence, although history tells us that Europeans are the warring people of the world. The medieval era saw tens of millions of people slaughtered during a time when war seemed more common than rain. Heck, the Catholic Church, the governing institution of the day, is estimated to have murdered between 50 and 150 million people. Upwards of 100 million people were killed during the two world wars of the 20th century alone. This number excludes other European busybodies who ended innocent lives across the earth. We can look at the theft of Africans, and other colonial enterprises and misadventures around the globe as European countries greedily grabbed an enormous share of the world’s resources.
African-American psychiatrist, Dr. Amos Wilson said that governments are simply gangs of men, covering ever growing territories. Their rules are called Constitutions. And before someone responds that governments are nobler than smaller, less organized entities, I’ll just say this, governments – as designed by Europeans, are nothing more than highly structured gangs. As with gangs, their most important role is to expand business, and safeguard trade routes. Period. Some call this fascism, the merging of corporate and state interests. We know that states are ancient political structures, but so are corporations, which are at least as old as ancient Rome where they were recognized in ancient Roman law.
The world we live in today does not have to operate in such an oppressive, regressive and destructive manner, it’s just the way bullying Europeans, and their flunkies want to see it run. Unfortunately, a majority of the people abide by them.
But, what happens once the citizens of white cultures have to taste a mouthful of reality? What happens once they find out that their mythical all white world is really one dominated by black, brown, and yellow people who, because whites have extracted their local resources, have no choice but to relocate to majority white societies where all the resources have been transported? What happens once whites realize that African-American men and women can effectively and successfully govern, nullifying the white superiority theory? How do whites react as they helplessly watch their jobs being outsourced, and are forced to acknowledge that white’s receive as little job protection as the “others?” What happens when whites awaken to the reality that those “bootstraps” were actually economic straps attached to whites-only affirmative action programs that they now have to share with “others?” And what do whites do when they see that God remains painfully silent in the face of their pleas for help?
Donald Trump is what happens.
When the white psyche can no longer depend upon their tried and true myths to get them through the day, they return to another idea they believe has worked for millennia, the “strong man.” Psychiatrists call this response to a decay of the social norms authoritarianism, and say that religious believers are especially susceptible to its introduction.
Medieval Upheaval takes a peak at Europe’s strongmen. These early leaders – the tribal chiefs – were always the bloodiest, and most vicious men (and women) of the community. Eventually, they became kings and queens. Some of their descendants sit on European thrones today, because their ancestors brought bacon home to the tribespeople, even if it meant leaving hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of lifeless bodies in their wake. In fact, when the chiefs weren’t at war the young warriors sought out other tribal chiefs who were actively fighting. The men demanded it, as did the women who loved the bounty of trinkets the warring men brought home to them.
Donald Trump represents a strong leader to the conservative right. It makes sense once one understands the appeal that nationalism (tribalism) holds for people who are susceptible to this type of governance. Psychiatrists say that social norms are important to authoritarians who look for leaders who will uphold them. Anyone who challenges those norms are “others.” Tribe members see “others” as dangerous individuals who must be expelled (killed) from the tribe.
Additionally, Trump’s focus is on economics. And even as stories that question his effectiveness and success in the business world swirl around him, a segment of the population is looking for him to bring home the spoils of war, just like the strong men of the past did. Although some white Americans like to other-ize the citizens across the pond, Europeans are the grandparents, fathers, aunts, uncles, nephews, and cousins of today’s whites. And white’s in America are tied to their past like every other ethnic group is tied to their own.
And let’s get this out of the way: there is no such thing as a modern world, in the sense that there has been any obvious kind of social progress. The past worked so well for the kleptomaniacs that their political descendants have simply used the same blueprints, over and over again. They just tweak things a bit, here and there. Sure, there are different names for political systems – they don’t call the system that binds us feudalism anymore (why would they let us in on our fate?), but the same ancient patterns (a few wealthy owners of large plots of land plus exploited, poor worker bees) and elements (slavery, child abuse, misogyny, torture, poverty, monopolies, greed, lack of a solid education, unless one’s wealthy, etc) remain intact. The past weighs heavily upon the present, as does its traditions.
Medieval Upheaval highlights the sociopathy, narcissism and psychopathy that ruled old Europe and is found in today’s American leadership. Indeed, psychiatrists have said that Trump displays a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder. Another said that Trump displays signs of extroversion and disagreeableness. Despite their capacity to be disagreeable, strong men, such as Trump, are well liked. According to psychiatrists, disagreeable persons tend to lack honesty and are untrustworthy. There are similarities between the tactics of an authoritarian and a domestic abuser, bullying being one of them. Distortion of reality is another.
I rarely watch TV, but decided to work last week while the Republican convention played in the background. Because I’m not a regular viewer, I don’t know if the media have remarked on the psychiatrists’ appraisal of Trump’s psyche, and how it might negatively affect the American society, or the world at large. But it’s wild to watch interviews with people who are “waiting” for this 70-year-old man to change his stripes, so to speak, so that he becomes the modest, respectable, thoughtful, and trustworthy statesman he’s proclaimed he can be. It’s crazy that people giggle as they talk about whether some magical transformation can occur in this man whose narcissism and sociopathy are always on public display; but it’s not wholly unexpected in a country that values antisocial behaviors the way America does.
That an emotionally damaged Trump – as he appears to be, has managed to become a nominee in one of the two major U.S. parties is an indictment of the American educational, and political systems. The media are at fault, too, for placing dollars and cents ahead of common sense. According to one astute analysis, the combined media propaganda machine eagerly handed Trump billions of dollars worth of free advertisement, because his campaign supposedly is “good for business.” That men and women can put business interests above human ones is demonstrably sociopathic.
One final thought, I watched an elderly Black woman cry “live” on CNN the other day following Ted Cruz’s performance in front of the Texas delegation. I cried, too, but for a very different reason than she, that I will return to momentarily. Full disclosure: I am opposed to the vision that Cruz and his father hold for America and the world. But, I was fascinated by the former candidate’s composure in the handling of his delegates. He reminded me of that tiny golden angel that pops up on the shoulder of a morally conflicted human. Alarm bells sounded in my head as Cruz described a Trump whose ambitions extend beyond the U.S. Constitution – America’s oldest and most valued document, and then advised his delegation to vote their conscience. It was for this noble sounding statement that Cruz was roundly booed.
Of course, on the opposite shoulder sits the tiny, pointy tailed red demon that argues the opposing point of view. So, true to Cruz’s word, during his acceptance speech,Trump – whose father was a German immigrant, co-signed Cruz’s warning by channeling Adolf Hitler, choosing himself as the sole fixer of America’s problems. “I am your voice,” Trump proclaimed. The comparisons to Hitler’s oratory style seemed lost on Trump’s screaming, adoring crowd, seemingly beguiled, or at least, overwhelmed, by messages filled with competing thoughts. (In one instance, Trump railed against big business, although he is a businessman. Another time, he raged against low wages and the exportation of American work and jobs overseas, although Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, use overseas suppliers who pay workers low wages). Gah! I screamed at the TV.
The most startling example that Trump’s followers hold competing thoughts is Trump’s embrace of Russian president (for life???) and former KGB operative Vladimir Putin as a strong, decisive leader. (Let’s not forget that George W. Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and saw a trustworthy soul, among other fine qualities). And although conservative Americans have suckled a steady diet of “Red” fear since the 1950’s, they fully back the Putin-loving Donald Trump. On the other hand, it is centrist President Obama who American conservatives have accused of being a commie socialist in recent years.
Well, no one ever said that the myths have to make much, or any, sense at all. The point of myths is to keep useful idiots corralled. The leaders hold the reins – directing the herd in one direction, while they feast on spoils they’ve stashed away elsewhere. So, following in the footsteps of his European predecessors, the orange-faced furor (sic) Trump lied to the American people that violence is rampant. Others of his jaw-dropping acceptance speech lies are fact checked here.
America’s poor education system kills critical thinking. It’s far too easy for Americans to hold and accept competing thoughts as being true: Blacks are lazy, though our ancestors did all the heavy lifting; whites are rugged individualists, despite the number of government programs that grew (and still grow) white wealth; and it’s okay to bomb innocent citizens (as long as those citizens are not innocent Europeans, or whites).
In closing, I return to the weeping Black woman highlighted on CNN. This former city mayor said she’s been called a n—– by the very citizens she governed. Still, she passionately backs a candidate who attracts large numbers of white supremacists, neo-nazis, skinheads, and the like. She told CNN that she, a Cruz delegate, was very upset that he broke a promise to endorse Trump. The tears she shed in support of bigotry (religious and ethnic) left me wondering what allegiance, if any, the former mayor has for the African-Americans who struggled, and died so that she could be free to support the very racists who try to oppress Black folk today. I cried when she spoke, the anguish and despair of my heroic ancestors filling me up. There should be no apologies, no acceptance, and no level of comaraderie with those who find it acceptable to continue to oppress Black folk today. And there certainly should be no confusion over who these oppressors are.
Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
The European/American propaganda machine is woefully effective, having inflicted irreparable damage on the common sense of the American people.
If you don’t know history, you’re doomed to be screwed by people who do.