Thursday, April 08, 2010

sex and fascism in an unconscious america

RigInt | I read Thomas Frank's book, What's The Matter With Kansas, unsatisfied, wishing it went "all the way."

I devoured it upon publication, agreeing totally with his thesis: that "red staters" vote Republican at their economic peril. But, I turned every page believing the next would reveal what lies at the heart of Kansas; what's the secret explanation for their peculiar "normality."

I got nothing. Just one story after another about "chronically outraged," midwesterners "offended by everything...convinced that they are powerless to change the world."

PROBLEM OF AUTHORITY
WHY are Red Staters "chronically outraged'? WHY the "imagined persecution" and "hate" toward the left? HOW can a "taste for authoritarian leadership" blind them to real oppression? They weren't just born this way. It's not biological. These are psychological "units": hate, outrage, perceived persecution. Since 82 percent self-identify as white and christian, it's easy to imagine a sociological explanation, based on religiosity (degree of devotion). But there's something beyond Sunday sermons -- something in the fabric of their existence. Something essential, psychological. I believe Kansans are psychologically conditioned to these affects. It's not geography. It's not farming. Otherwise we'd be talking about ALL midwesterners. Iowans don't exhibit this psychology. How come they aren't our national symbol for conservatism?

"Kansas" has been used as a symbol for family paradise by everyone from Ann Coulter to Frank Baum. We imagine toe-headed boys at afternoon little league and fall festivals at the church. "Family" lies at the heart of the symbol. What is it in the psychology of these particular midwestern families, that predisposes them to paleo-conservatism? Why does the idea of family "equal" authoritarianism?

If we want to take the country back in one piece, we need to know what lurks in the hearts and minds of Red Staters that makes them prone to pushing this country toward fascism. HOW does it work that these folks can be herded into war and economic dire straits and take us with them?

Frank observes that Red Staters respond to identity politics, ironically, despite their "railing against" identity politics as it applied to gays and people of color in the late 80s and early 90s. They LOVE identity politics when it applies to THEIR identity, i.e. suburbs, SUVs and super churches. Frank digs deep into this "identity," asserting it's a Christ-like persona they affect -- a "humility to service," evident in their sacrifice of economic interest for the good of the culture. Abortion, homosexuality and sex education will be extinguished. Economic security will come later, I suppose in the thousand-year paradise on earth. This is their myth. What is their essence?

TO BE CLEAR, Bush DID NOT win either election. We have a problem with election fraud and this needs to be fixed. But I do think the acquiescence to authority throughout middle America most certainly ENABLED the stealing of the last two elections. Apathy toward authority (respect?) was reinforced by a mainstream media whose mission is limited by pandering to this demographic. If this country didn't have a malignant attitude toward "authority," Bush would have been impeached many times over. Now think about Clinton. He represented authority too. What's the difference?

S-E-X.

LETS UNPACK the mind of the Red Stater. Lets separate their individual and social consciousness and get to the bottom of the Red Staters' problem with SEX. Religious devotion requires servitude to authority and suggests limits to sexual behavior, but not all religious people crave unquestioning authoritarianism the Red Staters do (suicide bombers notwithstanding). There's something deeper the Red Stater psyche that drives them to church in the first place. Something deeper drives them to the particular forms of religion they choose. This "deeper something" REINFORCES social and religious conditioning. This quality renders the Red Stater powerless to authority.

If we can identify what, in the individual consciousness of a Red Stater, makes them prone to exploitation from authority, we will have the key to dismantling the mechanism of our creeping fascism.

EYES ON JESUS
Frank mentions a "Christ-like" sacrifice in their swapping economic issues for social issues, and yet he contends they aren't aware of how they are ripped-off in the trade. This is a very odd contention. They aren't AWARE of their exploitation? I usually know when I'm getting screwed. What's their problem? Perhaps we need for more blue collar spokesmen like Ed Schultz. But, how can we assume they will become aware of their sacrifice when they can't even see their setbacks or failures? Their political life seems entirely unconscious and beyond our reach.

In the individual consciousness of the Red Stater lurks a pre-modern world of Gods and monsters; good and evil.

Deep in the unconscious, it's S-E-X that separates the good from the evil.

Red Staters are OBSESSED with sex (and death, it's ugly sister). The struggle of good vs evil manifests in the bedroom. It's the same for everyone, no matter how low your knuckles drag. Sex animates our world and death sets it's limits. Advertising works because our unconscious psyches are fertile ground for symbolic conditioning. The difference between a Red Stater and a Blue Stater is the dominant myth that is used to unconscious desire. In the dominant myth of the Red Stater, the world is falling into social chaos and sex is to blame. This is convenient because ostensibly, we can CONTROL sex. Can't we?

The Red Stater can't just mind their own beeswax when it comes to sex, because if someone is getting a blow job, like the tsunami-causing Chinese butterfly -- they will feel it. They mean well. They are Do-Gooders at heart -- believing only "they" see the problem and only "they" can save us.

They are AGAINST sex education. "If kids knew what all that was down there, it would be like telling them, 'it's okay.' We can't have that."
They are AGAINST pre-marital sex -- "My parents waited. I waited. You can too." No wonder they are chronically outraged.
They are AGAINST abortion -- "If she wasn't ready for children she shouldn't have spread her legs."
They are AGAINST homosexuality. "Because that's just disgusting -- the thought of two men together."

sidebar -- funny they don't identify pedophilia as an urgent moral issue: