Please click on audio of post. NOTE: only main text read; no links, text markings, images, videos, footnotes, etc. read aloud.
WN: Please see this new and powerful video–free until November 3! It tells America’s story of the past half century through White Male Identity Politics. Canadian-born Liz Plank in her fall 2019 book (before the pandemic!), For the Love of Men: From Toxic to a More Mindful Masculinity states baldly:
Although the news often focuses on the threats of terrorism, natural disasters, and nuclear war, there is no greater threat to humankind than our current definitions of masculinity. p. 1
While I cannot make such a statement from my own research, I can go a long way with the film’s (written and produced by noted social commentator on men’s violence, Jackson Katz) and Plank’s take on this. Please see this write-up: Trump Is Playing ‘The Man Card’ According To New Documentary.
Kristin Kobes du Mez from an academic viewpoint covers much the same ground in: Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. It is thoroughly researched–and deeply disturbing. I wrote a review of it here.
Some wonder that there is so much American content on this site! While I do regularly go to about a dozen Canadian sites, and some international, I’m signed up for a few dozen U.S. newsletters through which I pick my way on titles/subjects. Some reasons for this focus:
- America is the ultimate model country in the world (see on this René Girard‘s mimetic theory); meaning it is copied in a phenomenal array of cultural points: everything from politics to medicine to movies to all manner of entertainment to sex to (in the past four years) authoritarianism . . .
- The U.S. is also the ultimate (Evil) Empire in the world, exponentially beyond any competitors in everything weapons of mass destruction production/sales/deployment/development/etc., including a vast array and quantity of biological warfare agents at the ready, and cyber warfare beyond imagining. I could go on and on and on!
- This website is dedicated to “The Gospel as Counter-Narrative to Empire“, about which you may read at length on the HOME page, part way down. As said above, America is exponentially beyond any current competitor (such as China or Russia) an Evil Empire, one that, given its worldwide reach and into cyber space, and in sheer population numbers under its sway, is the Ultimate Evil Empire beyond any preceding it.
- Authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide, thanks in no small part to Trump’s administration’s leading the way. There are now more world citizens under authoritarian governments than not.[ref number=”1]But there is a huge qualifier, as stated by Bevin Chu:
If more countries move to democracy, then more of the world will live under authoritarian rule.
Democracy is not an “alternative to authoritarian rule”. Democracy is merely one of many forms of authoritarian rule.
All democracies are authoritarian. All democracies enforce their will at the point of a gun. Try to opt out and see what “liberal” democratic regimes do to you. They will start with a letter saying you owe them protection money, aka “taxes”. Refuse to pay and eventually they will show up at your door with guns. Resist and they will kidnap and cage you like an animal. Resist with armed force and their costumed thugs will gun you down in a hail of bullets.
Thomas Sowell, free-market economist, had some choice words for the facile equation of freedom with democracy:
To include freedom in the… definition of democracy is to define a process not by its actual characteristics… but by its hoped-for results.
See on this as well William T. Cavanaugh‘s compelling: “A FIRE STRONG ENOUGH TO CONSUME THE HOUSE”: THE WARS OF RELIGION AND THE RISE OF THE STATE.
See too Astra Taylor‘s: Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When it’s Gone.))
Pulitzer Prize-winning American-Polish writer Anne Applebaum published this year Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism treating of this dire turn in world geopolitics.
In the past 20 years, says Applebaum, she’s seen the same development repeat itself in “all three of my countries.” The American-born writer, 55, known for her articles and books on Eastern Europe, has spent years as a journalist in Britain and later in Poland, where she is now a citizen. “A lot of people I know—some of them used to be my friends—have made very different political choices,” Applebaum observes in an interview. Some, like her, have remained committed to liberal democracy with all its messy imperfections [and authoritarianism–see footnote above], while others have veered toward right-wing populism and authoritarianism. They support the Law and Justice party in Poland or cheer on Brexit or Donald Trump. “I thought it was no accident this was happening at the same time in those places, and in other parts of the West, too.” So Applebaum wrote Twilight of Democracy, a book alternately personal and political, which examines the emotional pull of what its subtitle calls The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.– The real reason authoritarian populism is on the rise: it’s simple, by , Maclean’s.