Tag Archives: Cynicism

Lights Out for the City on the Hill, by Stephen Karganovic

You’ve got to wonder how long a regime that must suppress information and rig elections can stay in power. Those are signs of weakness, not strength. From Stephen Karganovic at strategic-culture.org:

The first and most overpowering impression upon seeing a great state suddenly plunged into agony and disarray is sheer disbelief at “how the mighty have fallen”.

Elitist mind-moulder Edward Bernays’ generous concession to the common man, “People are entitled to the choices we give them,” was played out dramatically during America’s recent electoral season. The multitude gobbled up the meagre choices, and did so voraciously. The distinction between theatre and reality was plainly lost on most of them. They became impassioned actors in a self-destructive play minutely choreographed by forces unseen, for ends suspected by some but completely understood by none.

Students of the controlled demolitions of the USSR and Yugoslavia may also see the ultimate game plan “through a glass, darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12), much like everyone else, but they will at least enjoy a significant heads-up. The rumblings of impending disintegration that even in the initial stages were audible to keen minds back then, are again unmistakably perceptible today.

The first and most overpowering impression upon seeing a great state suddenly plunged into agony and disarray is sheer disbelief at “how the mighty have fallen” (see 2 Samuel 1:19 or 1:27, as the reader may prefer, for both are spot on). The magnitude of the disaster overwhelms both literally and metaphorically. In the latter sense it is particularly striking. A formerly dynamic and agile commonwealth, as in a fiendish practical joke, now in its doddering phase is being put in the charge of an embarrassing senile dotard whose decrepit condition exactly matches the demise of the once imposing entity that he is being installed to nominally govern.

Continue reading→

The Cynical Phase, by the Zman

Optimism is giving way to its opposite—cynicism. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

The Soviet Union, like all radical experiments, went through several phases in its roughly three generations of existence. The first phase, of course, was the revolution, in which the old order was toppled and a battle ensued to fill the void. This initial phase of revolution is always the one that attracts the most attention. This is when the great heroes of the revolution and the great villains of it are made. It is in this phase we get both Lenin and Stalin, hero and villain.

There is a phase that gets little attention and that is when the people come to terms with the irrationality of the world that has been created for them. One reason Stalin was able to send so many to their deaths or to labor camps is so many people kept thinking there was some rationality to the world being created. Some remained idealistic believers in the cause, while others became critics of the cause. They assumed the revolution would bring clarity and rationality when it brought only the opposite.

In time, the people came to terms with this. The humor of the Soviet Union reflected the fact that one got along by accepting the irrational in the same way you accept that the grass is green or the sky is blue. You don’t think about it. The jokes were often about these daily contradictions and how the unfortunate were those who did not get the joke that was at the heart of those contradictions. In other words, the joke was always on the fool who was not cynical enough to anticipate the lie.

Continue reading→