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Imagine There's No Countries?!

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher

I bicycle every late afternoon or early evening. I go up the hill and then I come down. It gets my blood pumping. The other day, coming down Calle Guadiana I applied my brakes and detoured into the park on the high end, intending to stop and pass some time bathing in nature. My favorite place to sit is the most secluded nook of the park, down the first path on the right. Gliding along, checking the availability of that second bench, I saw that while it was empty, the first bench, between me and it, was occupied. Given my somewhat misanthropic respect for other people's privacy, that was enough to make me pass by and roll on elsewhere, to the lower part of the park. Still, moving slowly past I had time to take in the scene. The man on the first bench was large, ill-kempt and mean-looking. Stubble growing on his red, puffy face, he looked as if he had recently woken up, hungover from his daily drunken siesta. We are all God's creatures, I'm sure, but trust me, you'd steer clear of this fellow.

Nietzsche hated Christianity, because he saw it as weakening people, making them passive. I hate Rousseau, because he believed that humanity was good. This guy on the park bench was not good. And there is a lot of that going around.

This willful denial of the evil side of human nature bothers me so much that I found myself having a reaction, last week in the Saturday Market listening to John Lennon's Imagine over the PA. I felt sick.

Lennon was not a nice guy. He had a long history of alcohol abuse, erratic behavior, swinging from violent outbursts to deep remorse. He was a heroin addict and an abusive parent. If we shouldn't watch Woody Allen films because he was accused (and twice cleared by police) of child abuse, then we shouldn't listen to the Beatles because John Lennon was a bad person. Listen to his son Julian describe what a hell it was to visit him and how he only saw him eight times in his whole life.

That reminds me of the old joke, popularized by Woody Allen: Two old Jewish ladies are sitting in the dining hall of a resort in the Catskills. One says, "The food at this place is tasteless and under-cooked." "Yes," replies the other, "and the portions are so small."

The basic divide in politics comes down to whether you think people are good and made bad by society, or whether you think we are bad and made good by society.

The communists believed that man was good, but ruined by an oppressive culture, and they were willing to kill tens (Stalin) and hundreds (Mao) of millions of people to prove it. What's another ten million murdered when you are ushering in the utopia?

Believing that human beings are basically good is only possible if you are divorced from reality. Take Donald Trump for instance. From one point of view, Donald Trump is Godzilla, a monster tearing apart a well-ordered world, or, at least, preventing a well-ordered world from coming into existence.

From another point of view Donald Trump is a personification of the can-do spirit that made America great. He is a tough guy, who burst through the screen, interrupting the fake film: globalism, racism, identity politics...

Comparing racism in the US today with the corporate-supported, governmentally-mandated racism that existed when I was a boy is an insult to the brave people who fought for and won Civil Rights.

Now, a lot of you have never met a tough guy, or never have met him when he was being tough. I've caught a few glimpses. It's more than hardball. It's more than football. It's heavyweight boxing. It's combat. It's reality.

Say what you will about his domestic policies, Trump's negotiations with China, Iran and the EU (e.g., NATO) acknowledge reality. Colonialism was the way business was done until 1939, and it wasn't pretty. Colonialism resulted in many wars, including World War Two. After World War Two the US, with our navy, protected free trade for the Free World (Brenton Woods). That new world order allowed the economic development of countries around the world, ending most abject poverty worldwide. With the fall of the Soviet Union things changed. The end of the Cold War meant we did not any longer need to bribe countries, with our trade protection, for their anti-Soviet loyalty. Western Europe and China are dependent on the US for their existence. Every president since has acknowledged the change, but none did anything. Trump's trade accords make tough, practical adjustments to the new reality, adjustments that put America first.

It's like sheltering-in-place. For people in their nine-room house, with a backyard, a full fridge, working remotely, feeling like a global citizen, listening to Imagine sheltering-in-place is only annoying. Poor folks have a different point of view. Trump's trade policies resonate with them.

A man with no business and little real world experience, an academician, a rational being himself, Obama dreamed we were rational. He dreamed we were so rational that we did not have to go to war. He dreamed that we were so rational that we could make Iran rational. An Iran with a nuclear bomb, a reality that was inevitable under Obama's accord, is a much greater threat to the world than climate change and Corona Virus put together. Obama believes in Rousseau.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."

I didn't want to sit anywhere near that ugly guy on the bench. It's easy to romanticize crime and crazy people from afar. They are very interesting on Netflix, when you can turn them off just by turning off the screen. I didn't even want to look at him. Entering the park, just gliding by, reconnoitering my prefered spot, I saw too much. I saw the dirty blanket, more of a small tarp, which he had draped across his front from the shoulders down, popping forward, bulging out violently, rhythmicly as it was struck from within. There, in full view of anyone who had the misfortune to be passing by, this brute was pleasuring himself, although, judging by the grimace on his face, it wasn't anything you or I would count as pleasure.

I rolled on down to a bench as far away as possible and sat for a while. Three young boys came by playing exuberantly with their dog. With the different sense of personal space that Mexicans have, that I have only recently learned to enjoy, one kid jumped up on the bench where I was sitting, while the others chased each other and the dog sniffed me good-naturedly.

The typical presentation of a case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder involves someone, who believing the world a good place, is suddenly confronted with evil. It happens to people who believing in the goodness of mankind are unprepared to face the reality of evil.

The world is a tough, unforgiving place. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that everything could get much worse... quickly. For some people it already has. This disruption of the capitalist economy has plunged tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people back into abject poverty. I heard an estimate today that one half of the work force of the planet, 1.5 billion people, will be out of work.

Imagining the virtues of anarchy is more easily done when you are a former Beatle gazing out of your multi-million dollar apartment overlooking Central Park, while the "brotherhood of man" that you are imagining is twenty stories down and can't get past the guard at the front door.

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Dr David a victim of the Hippie movement, is still trying to change the world. He and his merry band believe that with the new expanded Lokkal (on your computer screens soon) it just might happen.

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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