Tuesday, November 24, 2020

They Stabbed Me In The Back!

 Turning loss into victory has always been a popular human pastime. No one likes to lose, but there are ways to turn a loss around and make it start to look like a win. You will need an attractive lie, preferably a vaguely plausible lie, and you will need a huge chorus of supporters who will tirelessly repeat that lie until it has enough support to defeat the truth of the matter. This technique works surprisingly well.

The Civil War

Reputable historians, and all well-informed and open minded Americans, agree that the Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery. The contemporaneous written record lavishly proves that the break-away states were taking that treasonous action for the simple reason that they refused not only to give up their slaves on the spot, but also refused to admit that there was any possible future in which they would ever give up their slaves. They also insisted that human chattel slavery would follow any western expansion of the states that were doing the expanding. The new Confederate States of America, having seceded from the Union, wrote themselves a fine new constitution that clearly betrayed their true goals in creating a new “confederacy.” It was almost exactly the same as the United States Constitution, except for some new language permanently installing slavery as the everlasting law of their new land. All writings in support of secession, and all transcripts of speeches in support of secession, stress that the whole enterprise had the goal of preserving the property rights of slave holders and protecting the white people from those uncivilized (and enslaved) Africans. It's very hard to argue that there was any other cause for the war of secession.

But they came up with one after they lost! The famous “Lost Cause” mythology arose not long after the disastrous loss of the Confederate military to the Union forces. The Lost Cause holds that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War. No, it was really about states' rights! Adherents described the war as a war of aggression started by the Union (the north) with the object of denying the southern states their Constitutional rights as sovereign entities! The southern states were only protecting themselves! Slavery, in this beautifully constructed lie, was a peripheral issue at best. “Certainly we all knew that the institution of slavery was dying on its own anyway! There was no reason to rush it!” The Confederate States were still stuck with the loss, but it wasn't their fault! The Union was to blame for the whole thing! They have managed to sell this bullshit story to the entire Old South by now, and even as they continue to abuse their black population, they do so under the banner of states' rights.

The Treaty of Versailles

By 1918, World War I was going very badly for the Germans. America was in it with both feet, and German armies were being pushed back across every mile of the western front. German civilians were suffering terrible deprivations from the years long blockade, and deaths from hunger were increasing. It was the German generals themselves who petitioned the Kaiser to sue for peace. The Treaty of Versailles just made everything worse. Although it did manage to stop the shooting in the short term, it contained in its pages enough powder to blow the entire continent to hell in only twenty short years. How much worse did Versailles make things? See, “World War II.”

The Germans did not like losing WWI. They do not like losing in general. In fact, they may like losing less than almost all of the other peoples of the earth. The German military felt like they were being saddled with a loss that had never really happened! They argued loudly that they were “never defeated on the battlefield,” and a lot of people listened. The lie that they came up with to explain why they had never lost was a work of art.

Everything sounds better in German! Unscrupulous politicians and social agitators came up with “die Dolchstosslegende.” This literally means “the dagger thrust legend,” and is usually translated as the “stabbed in the back” theory. Germany, the German people and the German Army, had not lost the war at all! They were “stabbed in the back” by a rather long list of internal enemies. This grievance grew in strength through the 1920s, which were a very difficult time in Germany. I'll let you look it up yourself. The list of enemies changed along with the wishes of whomever was putting the list together. When the Nazis came along, they really ran with this lie. By the time they were done with it, Versailles and the downfall of Germany had been intentionally caused by Bolsheviks, bankers, communists, capitalists, internationalists, liberals, and, of course, the Jews.

Massaging away embarrassing loses, and turning those negatives into positives, is very common. It is an art that is still practiced around the world. Something very much like the Dolchstosslegende happened after the Vietnam War. That story goes like this: the United States government, and the U.S. Military, were never defeated by little Vietnam. We were stabbed in the back by those fucking hippies, students, and liberal college professors. Another big lie is about to come to prominence as we speak.

The Biden Presidency is Illegitimate!

As I have been saying for many years now, the real problem in America is the Republican party. They find someone that they think will serve their purposes as a figurehead and go about their business back in the dark corners of American politics. Reagan was a Godsend, and his empty head and stupid smile were the cornerstones of all of our problems today. The Republicans adopted the tactics of politics as total war during the Clinton years, and they have never looked back. Trump was spectacularly successful as a distraction while the Republicans were fulfilling almost their entire wish list out in the hallways. Trump, a brash, petulant ignoramus of a man, a brainless oaf who shouted off his head for his entire time in office, kept all attention on himself while the men behind the curtain were hard at work ruining everything that America had built over the two preceding centuries. And then he lost his bid for reelection. How he is taking that loss is a matter best left to psychiatrists. The real question is, “how are the Republicans taking it?”

They are going with the “loss as victory” idea that I described above. They are formulating a “big lie” that will allow them to keep all of their opponents off-balance for the next four years. For the next four years they will be filling the airwaves and the Intertubes with innuendo about the fraud and malice that caused the election to be stolen from good President Trump. Trump will be helping them, of course, in any remunerative way that he can, hoping either to be elected again in 2024 or at least to serve as kingmaker in that election cycle. He just wants the spotlight, and the money. Any criminal prosecutions of Trump, in either Federal or state courts, will only feed this narrative. (Civil suits will do little to damage the brand, and do nothing to keep Trump off of the money train.) It goes without saying that the Republicans will also be doing every single thing that man can devise to obstruct and oppose anything that Biden or any Democrats want to accomplish. I expect that no appointments will be ratified, no judges will be appointed, and if the Republicans keep control of the Senate, you can forget any legislation passing.

The Republicans will be fine. Their formula has a great track record of success over time. It matters little who is in the White House or in control of congress. I sincerely doubt if they care if Trump lives or dies. If he lives, they will wave shiny objects in front of him and he will do their bidding; if he dies, he will die a hero and become a martyr to his cult.

I feel obliged to mention also that any practicable scenario for the next ten or twenty years includes no hope for avoiding some level of climate collapse. At some point, one must assume, the fire will engulf the house and the television will blink out. That may get a reaction from the inhabitants. Whether the awakening comes in time to avoid the worst, I will not be alive to see. When the end comes, we Baby Boomers will be gone, and somewhere, some twenty-something will raise his fist to the burning sky and say, “those fucking Baby Boomers! They got the best of everything!”

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