## July 2024 - Don't be fooled by the surface over the substance -- think about Biden's unbeatable foreign relations experience (and Kamala Harris's now as well ) vs. how quickly a Trump world would become a Putinesque strongman culture. Meanwhile JD Vance has the same amount of foreign relations experience as I do -- if Trump is assassinated or dies in office, god help us as a planet, quite literally. - I'm tired of the circular firing squad attacking their own guy instead of The Other Guy. It's a dereliction of duty from a campaign perspective -- we need every moment of positive sentiment we can get for the candidate... and for our sad gossamer democracy hanging in the balance. - I would very much like these folks to not squander 2 months' (and more... even if a candidate is chosen at the DNC, it ain't gonna just go smoothly) worth of precious time creating and stewing in our own scandal. The man is 81, he's not 101. He's clearly a superager and he seems mostly as sharp as he ever was -- which was always notoriously gaffe-prone! Charles Koch is 88. Rupert Murdoch is 93. I don't see anyone wailing and gnashing their teeth for them to step down. At some point you've got to take the man at his word if he's confident about beating Trump (which, why shouldn't he be?! He did it once already) and managing to stay this side of conscious for the next 5 months. After that, he's free to step down and let Kamala capably take the reins without even needing the drama of an election. * Time has an opportunity cost. Any Democrats who are aware of the stakes of this election ought to be wise about how we choose to spend our critical time between now and November -- will it be focusing on our candidate's weaknesses? Or would it rather be a better idea to focus on the opposing candidate's delusional ramblings full of retribution and fantasies of violence against anyone who dared speak out against him (including "military tribunals" for Liz Cheney!). ## June 2024 - Screw the politics of pie slicing. Let's just bake pie. - "Originalists" are bringing the process of "scriptural inference" into the public sector -- in part as a way to intentionally ignore context and subtext. They can lean on a framework that allows them on one hand to say "the words 'separation of church and state' are not *literally* in the [[Constitution]]" while on the other hand having no qualms inventing executive powers out of thin air such as "[signing statements](https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-28-2024)" that allegedly allow the President to ignore the laws of Congress by "interpreting" them however he wishes (so much for "textualism" whenever it suits them to behave otherwise). - Relatedly, what they may at least in part mean by the "decadence" and decline of the modern world is that other people are now finding knowledge from Other Places to have value -- outside of the "sacred texts" they feel ownership and mastery of. The modern world pulls them out of their comfort zones and threatens the very foundations of what they believe they know, and what powers and status they believe that knowledge is supposed to confer upon them. - Both the right and the left are being conditioned to dislike each other, but the sources and goals are different. - On the right, the sources of conditioning are political elites whose goals are to secure the votes of the conditioned. - On the left, the sources of conditioning are mostly our peers, and the goals are oriented towards displays of social identity (as well as, in many cases, self-protection from identity threat). In fact, there is great consternation on the left that our political elites aren't *more* focused on political messaging that centers on the dislike of the other party. - Super cool high school writing project in Notion: [Prosetrain](https://theprosetrain.com/) -- I think this might be old/inactive now but I love the idea so much. ## May 2024 - [[Donald Trump]] is a [convicted felon](https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c2qqnxnwl7wo). - A reminder as the right-wing spins up its [disinformation](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/disinformation-dictionary/) machine about Biden weaponizing the DOJ: this investigation has been going on since 2017 as a result of Suspicious Activity Reports provided by Michael Cohen's bank. Cohen was already sentenced to 3 years in prison for his role in the same criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States. - For [[conservative]]s who remain challenged by this timeline, 2017 came before 2021 when Biden took office. ## April 2024 - As the world grows ever more complex, those who feel threatened by complexity and ambiguity will be triggered constantly by their craving for [cognitive closure](https://doctorparadox.net/psychology/cognitive-closure/). They will cling ever harder to the simple narratives of [conspiracy theories](https://doctorparadox.net/why-do-people-believe-conspiracy-theories/) and proscriptive conformity of [extremist](https://doctorparadox.net/psychology/extremism/) and [fundamentalist belief systems](https://doctorparadox.net/fundamentalism-starves-the-mind/). Change triggers backlash. Progress triggers [fascism](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/authoritarianism/what-is-fascism-definition/). Rinse -- repeat. - EBITDA: Every Billionaire Is a Tax Dodging Autocrat - Republicans who profess to hate bureaucracy but love the US military -- the largest bureaucracy on Earth. - Why does the [Protestant Work Ethic](https://doctorparadox.net/collective-narcissism-is-a-bad-solution-to-modern-anxiety/) place such a high value on endless drudgerous toil at things you don't enjoy? Because then you will value doing other peoples' work (i.e. those in power who doled out this ideology) instead of your own -- which you do enjoy, and are naturally passionate about, as opposed to the kind of bland, vacant Stockholm Syndrome most of us enjoy with our work lives. Even speaking as someone who usually loves the work -- there are times when I still question it all and wonder if I shouldn't just be doing whatever I think is most interesting, and trusting it will somehow lead to some sort of livelihood, or epiphany about livelihood? - Why is [[generative AI]] so good at confabulating? Because it learned it by watching us. We confabulate everywhere -- especially online, where it is basically mandatory you sound authoritative about something to get attention. And [[ChatGPT]] et al have been trained on a corpus of, well, us. It's ingested most of the internet and now the answers it gives sound kind of like "the average of us," statistically and technically speaking. ![[Screenshot by Dropbox Capture 2.png]] ## March 2024 - It's not that hard to get people to believe things they already want to believe. The right-wing [propaganda](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/authoritarianism/propaganda/) machine works so well because it targets the people who already believe what they're selling; it mirrors them back, to amp them up into seditional frenzy, for profit. And it is fantastically profitable -- outrage gets attention, because it hacks so many of our [primitive psychological biases](https://doctorparadox.net/data-sets/psychological-biases-list/) that we can all never fully escape, no matter how hard we try (and let's face it -- most people are not even very seriously trying). - I wonder how [Peter Navarro's 4 month prison sentence for Contempt of Congress](https://doctorparadox.net/peter-navarro-prison-sentence-begins/) will help his role in support of Project 2025?! - Some of the [most powerful people on earth](https://www.opensecrets.org/outside-spending/detail/2024?cmte=Americans%20for%20Prosperity&tab=donors_all) are pretending to be downtrodden and aggrieved by government (despite being largely MADE by them in many cases) and, apparently... being believed? - Ever notice that the Republican Party only cares about corruption when the Other Guy does it? ## February 2024 - What if everyone in the world is secretly "twins" or twin selves -- and integrity represents the smallest possible gap between your "real" inner self and the outer, socially-acceptable shell you present to the world? - "Welcome to the end of democracy. We're here to overthrow it completely -- we didn't get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it, with this (makes and raises fist)." -- [Right-wing provocateur Jack Posobiec at CPAC](https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2024/02/23/jack-posobiec-cpac-remarks-democracy-cnc-vpx.cnn) - "There is no power, Divine or human, that can oblige a stream to flow back to its source." -- Gustav Le Bon - I've owned my own business and raised venture capital. I own stock. I like markets. I am not a socialist. I am a Democrat, but not a "secret" socialist or communist. - "Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence." -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn - The [Declaration of Independence](https://doctorparadox.net/save-democracy/declaration-of-independence/) -- the animating document leading to the [[Revolutionary War]] -- says "all men are created equal". It does not say "all men are created equal, but rich men are better." ![[wealth-cult-rich-men-midjourney.png]] ## January 2024 - On [Disinformation](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/disinformation-dictionary/): Tabloid fodder has become mainstream news, under our noses. Science and democracy are being mocked. Wealthy power-brokers benefit from a gullible and credulous population, eager for something to believe in. ## December 2023 - [Pathocracy: Are we in one?](https://doctorparadox.net/pathocracy-definition/) ## November 2023 - [Christian nationalism](https://doctorparadox.net/people-data/christian-nationalists/) isn't any kind of Christianity that Jesus himself would recognize. They are "CINOs" -- using the symbols of Christianity to get power; which Jesus preached adamantly against! They are blind fools and Pharisees. - The Woke vs. The Sleepers -- who wants to be asleep at the wheel?! It's dangerous. I'd rather be aware, clued in, and inspired by The Enlightenment (i.e [[woke]]) than unaware, unmindful, and unthinking. - Appeal of the [[Ku Klux Klan (KKK)]], [QAnon](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/what-is-qanon/), white power [[militia]] and other secret societies of their ilk: gives insecure white men a framework to exalt themselves and deify their petty humdrum lives. - Voter fraud: to the extent that it exists, it mostly seems to happen on the right as in the case of [David Cole, former GOP official in the Alabama House of Representatives](https://apnews.com/article/alabama-lawmaker-fake-address-voter-fraud-7b3269b97e64431cec81f4e66da9f2bc)... ## October 2023 - [[Peter Thiel]], a multi-billionaire, claims that American government has destroyed economic prosperity. - [[Charles Koch]], a multi-billionaire, claims that American government has destroyed economic prosperity. - These guys have been crying economic wolf for over half a century. - Wealth ideology / **right-wing ideology defines "poor people voting" as socialism**. - Lies are noisier than the truth. ![[thiel-palantir-isengard.jpg]] ## September 2023 - Power doesn't like fairness. - Power sees fairness as *unfair* - Power sees fairness as a threat to its entitlement - Republican Party weakness -- they can't say what they stand for. Spotlight this! - Right-wingers know -- consciously or subconsciously -- that their "way of life" is circling the drain -- their white Christian toxic masculine worldview is coming to end. NOT by government persecution as they absurdly claim, but via the kind of stunning self-owns over the years that only a zeal for for Bigot Jesus could pull off. - Any idiot can destroy things. It takes talent and/or perseverence to *build* things. - This is part of why the far right loves [[Donald Trump]]. All he has to do is be a wrecking ball to the administrative state -- which he can do via both carelessness and malice. ## August 2023 - Why do the [power](https://doctorparadox.net/essays/definitions-of-power/) hungry gravitate towards the [right-wing](https://doctorparadox.net/tag/right-wing/)? Because that's where the marks are. -- [Bob Altemeyer. The Authoritarians](https://doctorparadox.net/books/bob-altemeyer-the-authoritarians/). - Right-wing partisans are jealous of LGBTQ folks because they see our successful self-expression -- something they've repressed and are preternaturally angry about. - We're wired to focus on threats. It's imperative to balance this out with finding joy, building community, rest, and self-care. - [In Defense of Foolishness](https://jaredyatessexton.substack.com/p/in-defense-of-foolishness) -- Jared Yates Sexton - [[democracy]] doesn't have a business model. - Clinton banned assault rifles in 1994 and mass shootings went down 43%. - Republicans let them expire in 2004 and mass shootings went up 243% - We spent $6 trillion with a 'T' dollars fighting fruitless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- but the right-wingers who screamed bloody murder for those wars still don't want to pay for them. Meanwhile, they want to nickel and dime America's poorest and most vulnerable people to swindle them out of things their country believes they ought to have: accessible health care, nutritious food, affordable housing, a good education ## July 2023 Co-opting [[populism]] (as the [right-wing](https://doctorparadox.net/tag/right-wing/) has done) is a way of de-fanging perceived sympathy with [[Communism]] -- it takes the basic premise of class struggle ("The People vs. The Elites") and redirects it *against the Democratic Party whose policies actually aim to help The People*. It's a kind of hijacking -- the wealthy conservative elites are wolves in sheep's clothing who pretend to sympathize with the plight of the (white) Common Men while not-so-secretly robbing them blind out in the open while they're distracted and misdirected in their hate project against The Libs who are trying desperately to help them from an economic policy perspective. The [Libertarian](https://doctorparadox.net/libertarian-narcissism-right-wing-ideology/) goons perform this sleight of hand in their usurpation of government project by telling uneducated whites they are "restoring power to the people" when in reality they are aiming to cement their own power. The claim is that they want to give a tyrant unchecked power "to do the will of the people" when in fact, they want the powers of [[tyranny]] to crush the opposition and maintain one-party illiberal rule for as long as they possibly can -- letting their friends and cronies steal from the till and drink from the trough of American taxpayer largesse. All while pointing the fingers cynically at the Democrats for "corruption"! ## June 2023 ### The Nazis were high as a kite Excellent read from Norman Ohler about the little-known drug-fueled nature of the Third Reich, all the way from the Fuhrer down to the mass-produced meth for soldiers that spawned the blitzkrieg: [Blitzed](https://bookshop.org/a/55755/9781328915344). ### More generative AI creations - [[Steampunk Carnival]] - [[Harry Potter -- Tron]] - [[Bit City]] - [[Joshua Tree at Night -- Midjourney]] - [[Fallout Rome -- Midjourney]] ## May 2023 Stop rewarding billionaires for earning rewards. ## April 2023 - I've been reading material from the indomitable [[Dorothy Thompson]] lately, who led me to some big realizations: - Ideologies and -isms took on a new intensity in the 20th century - [[nationalism]] + industrialization combined became a kind of pressure cooker that threatened the fabric of democratic civilization, because nations needed some new kind of powerful story that could knit together citizens into a unified whole and prevent them from rebelling against the new economic landscape of neverending toil in dangerous conditions - Into this vacuum of motivation to persevere through interminable drudgery leapt the [sociopathically evil personalities](https://doctorparadox.net/mental-self-defense/narcissism-and-cluster-b-personality-disorders/) of [[Adolf Hitler]], [[Benito Mussolini]], Vladimir Lenin, and others whose [malignant narcissistic traits](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/authoritarianism/malignant-narcissism/) made them feel uniquely qualified to control entire nations by [cult of personality](https://doctorparadox.net/rule-of-law-vs-cult-of-personality/), deception, and force - New political technologies particularly in the realm of media made it possible to blanket entire populations with relentless [propaganda](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/authoritarianism/propaganda/), warping their very view of reality into the delusional visions of the [authoritarian personality](https://doctorparadox.net/essential-thinkers-on-authoritarian-personalities/) - This authoritarian leader and follower dynamic created a permission structure for psychological escape into pure fantasy on the scale of an entire nation -- leading to a profound collective [cognitive dissonance](https://doctorparadox.net/psychology/cognitive-dissonance/) and dissociation from the actual reality, in which vile murderous aims and pathologically selfish goals were relentlessly being pursued - Meanwhile, [[fascism]] was portrayed as the opposite of [[Communism]] when in fact, both are forms of [[collectivism]] and [[totalitarianism]] in which a dictator or politboro desperately seeks psychological security from the fear of death by murdering everyone else and expanding their footprint to assume control over the entire globe (Ultimate Ego Expansion) - The modern [GOP](https://doctorparadox.net/the-gop-is-3-cults-in-a-trenchcoat/) is a totalitarian party -- they seek to completely crush the individual down into a mass of conformity such that its wealthy acolytes may be the only ones individuated as a sort of pantheon of secular gods (or as the false religious gods of [[Christian Nationalism]]). They took their revulsion for [[collectivism]], [[Communism]], and [[totalitarianism]] that consumed them during the [Cold War](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/cold-war-dictionary/) and obsessed to such a degree that they became the enemies they despised. ## March 2023 - New creation via [[generative AI]]: [[Game of Thrones -- Tron]] - [[Sovereign Citizen Movement]]: "I want all the rights, benefits, and protections granted to me by the [[Constitution]] -- but I don't want to have to contribute to its maintenance, be subject to any laws, or pay any taxes." ## Feb 2023 - [Conservatives](https://doctorparadox.net/mental-self-defense/the-conservative-mind/) believe [liberals](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/authoritarianism/liberalism/) don't appreciate the past -- we do appreciate the past. I love the Stoics. I adore the Buddhists. And the [[civil rights]] activists, and the [[suffrage]]ttes, and Greek tragedy, and Teddy Roosevelt, and John Maynard Keynes, and Hildegard of Bingen, and so on. I'm just not convinced I should blindly accept all of the past -- we get to be choosy. We did some lousy things in the past too. - Perot voter as silent 3rd party / 4th column that became the [[Tea Party]] that became MAGA - 1/3 of populations are generally authoritarian - [Authoritarian leaders](https://doctorparadox.net/essential-thinkers-on-authoritarian-personalities/) are always around, plotting to seize power -- whether or not they succeed depends on a large combination of factors, most notably including how many authoritarian followers are present and activated within the general population