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14 November 2017

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I'm happy to be proven as gullible and confused as anyone else Ross but I just can't see anything worthwhile in Donald Trump - he scares the hell out of me.

Poor old Jeremiah. He gave his name to the noun 'jeremiad', meaning 'doleful complaint' according to the Oxford dictionary.

But why is the old world order dying?

Every founder of the American Republic knew that their creation could only survive if its people were virtuous.

In “The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom”, Thomas G. West writes that the founders were realistic about the self-interested nature of man, but still sought to idealistically build a government that served the common good.

The founders considered “virtue as a condition of freedom” and property rights as essential so that “the poor as well as the rich can benefit.”

The founder’s trade policy was based above all on a “consideration of interest”, and they did not believe “in laizzez-faire economics at the expense of American prosperity or national defence.”

The US was on track when it introduced anti-trust laws in 1890 to break up monopolies, but they dropped the ball in recent decades. Surely the founders would have opposed globalization that destroyed US industries and left American workers unemployed.

They would have regarded as delusional: the transfer of US capital and technology to China in the hope it would become a liberal democracy; the payment of billions of dollars to North Korea in the hope it would abandon its nuclear ambitions; wars in the Middle East in the hope those countries would embrace democracy—the first democratic elections in Egypt resulted in the election of Mohamed Morse of the Muslim Brotherhood.

One of the founders, John Adams, wrote that the principles of the American Revolution were “the principles of Aristotle and Plato, of Livy and Cicero” of “nature and eternal reason”.

So what would they make of universities today that routinely censor free speech and shut down opposing points of view?

The philosopher Roger Scruton wrote: “The spirit of free inquiry is now disappearing from schools and universities in the West… A single theme runs through the humanities as they are regularly taught in American and European universities: the illegitimacy of Western Civilization.”

In Australia too, the “black armband” of history prevails.
Scruton writes that academics like Foucault, Derrida and Rorty share “the view that truth, objectivity, value, or meaning are chimerical” and “no argument, however rational, can counter the massive ‘will to believe’ that captures their normal readers.”

Marxist-inspired academic Herbert Marcuse’s paeans to “polymorphous perversity” and “primary narcissism” and his attacks on “procreative sexuality” were another solvent of Western traditions. His ideas and the idea of sexual identity being plastic have been absorbed by large sections of Western culture.

In the US, the majority of college graduates can’t recall “the substance of the First Amendment” (freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly). So when black student Kmele Foster tried to justify free speech by quoting Martin Luther King Jr., he was shouted down by a Black Lives Matter protester with “I don’t need no facts.”

Then there’s European stupidity. Post-war Holocaust guilt saw them embrace mass immigration as their penance for their 20th century failures. But the beneficiaries are Muslims with the Jews on the receiving end, yet again.
Chris is correct to say it’s hard to ascertain what the truth is. The Western media has long been corrupt.

Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen wrote in 1990 how they would use the media to engineer a change in the public’s attitude to homosexuality: “through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media…our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic or proof.”

Simply use emotive terms like “equality” “justice” and “fairness” and ignore rationality based on science, philosophy and anthropology, and Australians will vote for it.

The media showed why it is so mistrusted when it even falsified a fish-feeding story. CNN published a story, “Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring entire box of food into Koi pond” to portray his actions as a gaffe, without pointing out that he had simply mirrored the actions of his host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Similarly the mainstream media ignores everything positive in Trump’s term: Unemployment at a 16 year low; food-stamps use lowest in 7 years; consumer confidence at an all-time high; stock market at an all-time high; petrol prices lowest in 12 years; reduced illegal immigration by 70% just by enforcing existing laws; gutted 800 Obama-era regulations that inhibit growth and created a million jobs; mortgage applications for new homes at a 7 year high; changed the rules of engagement against ISIS resulting in numerous wins; etc. etc. etc.

And he’s done it without the help of Congress and with a media out to destroy him.

Then today I read Philip Adams in The Weekend Australian Magazine criticizing Trump as the most “stupid person on the planet.”

Adams is the champagne socialist who cheered on Hugo Chavez and invited him to Australia as “a source of inspiration and ideas” for us. Venezuela, with the world’s largest oil reserves, is now bankrupt and its people starving. Adams has learned nothing of value from his 78 years on this planet.

Hollywood’s endless sermonizing from the podium at various ceremonies took a hit when the open secret about Harvey Weinstein’s reprehensible sexual behaviour became public.

It was followed by a flood of sanctimonious denial and condemnation giving new meaning to the Grouch Marx adage: “Sincerity is the key to success. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

The churches are just as bad. An Anglican theologian writes, “Is Pope Francis a Liberal Protestant” because “it seems Rome itself has been infiltrated by the sexual revolution.”

This mirrors criticisms by Catholics of the pope’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia which appears to be “intentionally ambiguous” on grave moral and doctrinal matters. It is an old philosophical truth that once you abandon the principle of non-contradiction, you can prove anything you want.

But all this disaster has happened on OUR watch. We have let Marxism, the greatest failure in all history, dominate educational institutions.

The communist propagandist Willi Munzenberg boasted almost a hundred years ago, “We must organize the intellectuals and use them to make Western civilization stink.”

The Culture of Death that now pervades Western society stems from the mindsets from people such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, Jack Kevorkian and Peter Singer, who are all lauded in Western academic circles.

Yeats was right: “The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Ed notes how the Chinese stress the importance in “maintaining stability and good order in society”. Hardly surprising then to read that the head of Zimbabwean military visited China the day before the coup. China is the new colonial master in Africa owning diamond, gold and platinum mines in Zimbabwe and giving loans which propped up Mugabe’s corrupt regime, allowing him to last longer than Nkrumah, Nyerere, Kenyatta, Kaunda and the other Afro-Marxist kleptocrats.

Finally, poor old Jeremiah get another bad press. Fundamental Christians embrace him a prophet of doom, but Phillip has commandeered him to the environmental cause. I prefer him as the bloke who said, “They have eyes and do not see, they have ears and do not hear.”

Along with creating 'a legal, economic and financial environment in which business can flourish', I would have thought that a central role of government was to ensure the well-being (material and otherwise) and security of the populace. On both counts, Chinese governments since the death of Mao, regardless what you think of them in ideological terms, have been remarkably successful in lifting millions out of poverty and creating a modern economy which will soon leave the US in the shade of their own hubris.

Sure, Chinese citizens have to endure without the trappings of democracy: rule by law and not rule of law; restrictions on freedom of speech and such and/but, a good friend of mine (who managed billions of dollars in assets owned by his employer - the largest Chinese general insurance company) told me that he and his generation were prepared to forego those (and other) trappings for the sake of maintaining stability and good order in society.

It's an interesting proposition and, of course, we've had these sorts of predictions before.

George W Bush is a strong believer in the Apocalypse and that belief had a lot to do with him invading Iraq & Afghanistan.

The fundamentalist Christians are currently preaching the line that Jeremiah meant the increase in things like adultery, homosexuality and not observing the Sabbath as signs that God was about to come down hard.

A closer reading of Jeremiah reveals that he actually meant our destructive treatment of the planet. Climate change and the other environmental damage we have done fits neatly into what he was talking about. That's pretty prescient given when he was making his point.

Unfortunately climate change and environmental damage doesn't fit into the fundamentalist's agenda - they think God wants them to dig up coal and trash the environment to make money. Trump, who is an ignorant bastard, plays right along with this crap. That's where he gets his support.

So, essentially, the US has a nutter for a president supported by millions of other nutters.

Poor old Jeremiah would be turning in his grave.

Phil.That's the reason I raised it.
Between N K's little rocket 'N' Blinkty blank Trump + the overabundance of zealot's and Putin's devious inputs,
Not a lot needed to set the fuses off.

A lot of people, especially Americans, believe this is what is going on William.

Jeremiah not only has currency with Christians but Muslims too.

Those of us who are secularists will be cynical but we should also remember that there are lots of Christians in the US and Muslims in the Middle East and what they believe can influence what they do.

If they all think we are headed the way of Jeremiah they just might make it happen.

It shall come from the east, And be seen in the west. Wow, woman with child. Is this prophecy of Jeremiah's' now.

There is an old Roman proverb that runs: 'Whom the gods dislike, they first send mad.'

I too liken the imminent collapse of western democracy to the crumbling Roman Empire that could not be held together due to size and incapable leadership at the centre.

As I continually refer back Santanaya's view that: 'To turn your back on history is to repeat it.'

If the nascent Chinese empire is now to evolve into the next dominant power in the world it will inevitably suffer the same fate as all those empires that have gone before.

Humans have not been able to evolve past our current point in history but considering most life forms take millions of years to evolve, perhaps we are merely being too impatient?

In a recent documentary one commentator suggested that people who have Asperger syndrome were in the past, consigned to places like monasteries etc. Could this be the start of a new sub species? Stephen Hawking might well illustrate how our species could evolve into separate and identifiable sub groups interdependent on each other but only in time of need. A bit like a colony of bees or ants.

The real problem that no politician has the 'intestinal fortitude' to confront world overpopulation. We are in imminent danger of running out of the potential to feed and water ourselves across the planet.

When that scenario plays out in the near future, there will be inevitable wars to determine who and what will survive. We are currently already in that first phase of undeclared warfare. The next phase logically will happen in the very near future as no one has any answers that are politically acceptable to ensure whoever raises them will get re elected.

The profits of cents from the Chicago School of Economics provide a theoretical model but once you put a real live human being into the equation anything can happen. Not that I would call the current US president a real live human being.

We owe much more to improved sewerage than to psychology and despite many recent developments such as neurolinguistic programming, neurochemistry and neuroscientific imaging it would take an extremely brave individual to state that our self-understanding, with the forlorn hope of an existence free from inner and outer conflict, is now greater than that of Shakespeare or Montaigne.

There are three types of economists in this world, those that can count and those that can't (apologies to Paul Flanagan).

The ultimate objective of any neo-liberal regime is to extirpate the humanitarian and social reforms of democratic governments. This includes social welfare, education, superannuation and health care.

I can't help thinking that the end point of the present form of capitalism is epitomised by Donald Trump.

He seems to be everything that's wrong with capitalism wrapped up in one human being. It's remarkable that the USA elected such an ignorant egotist as its leader. Don't they realise he is going to destroy them?

What also disturbs me is the way our politicians seem to be cosying up to him. How could anyone with half a brain allow themselves to be seen in the same room with him?

If he's still around come APEC in 2018 it will be excruciating to see Peter O'Neill and whoever is the prime minister of Australia fawning all over him.

The other thing that is currently disturbing is the way Xi Jin Ping is beefing up as a new Chinese dictator.

Also worrying is Abe's push in Japan to change the constitution to do away with Japan's pacifism.

I think with them and Trump we have the perfect storm bearing down on us.

If of 'more and more' as purports Chris, what then is that which is less and less?

Is that magnificent invention, that hugeness known as the Hadron Collider, but the latest hope of discovering relatedness, spectacularly less and less of matter?

The huddle which offsets atomised disjointedness is relatedness hitherto known as neighbourliness.

Thanks, Chris. A very good attempt at trying to explain the last 70 years and to work out where we are going.
During our recent holidays we met some visiting Americans who had voted for Trump because they were "sick of professional politicians".
It does seem to be a time of "chaos" in international relations but one can only hope that... "the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it".. John 1:5.

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