February 24, 2016

Donald Trump and the end of Intellectualism

The 1960s were a critical decade for the modern western world. Young people born to those who had survived World War Two abandoned the assumptions of their parents en masse on a nearly global scale. Many of these young people were the first generation in their families to successfully acquire a college education. They launched into the world assuming that they held a generational imperative to reverse the mistakes of their parent's generation and create a new global society based on intimate emotional bonds that transcended national culture. Nearly every one of them believed they had a divine mandate to eradicate starvation, violence, environmental degradation, disease, and social isolation. A generation of teachers fed by the horror of the holocaust and the very real danger of global annihilation through nuclear war taught these children that it was their sacred duty to dream big. Television taught them that reality was merely a minor road bump on the way to the realization of anything they could imagine. They were taught to believe that their imagination was real and reality was a fiction created by violent, ignorant capitalists solely concerned with accumulating money.

At first, this generation honestly believed that by filling the world with music, recreational narcotics, and open sexual relations they could short-cut the hard road to utopia. Television, music lyrics, and academic leaders who had refused to fight in World War Two, all preached the secret to happiness could be found in good music, drug-induced ecstatic trance states, and the almighty orgasm. Woodstock, the Summer of Love, and the Age of Aquarius reinforced the dreams they encountered while stoned, the fantasies they enjoyed on television, and the utopian visions of their teachers. Communes sprang up all across North America and Europe. Young people flocked to these communes convinced they were working side by side with their peers to bring about a new age of peace and love. Inside the communes they found poor sanitation, disease, broken hearts, abusive relationships, and massive numbers of people unwilling to cook, clean, grow food, chop wood, and sew clothes. Many of these communes were eventually shut down for a wide variety of health violations, some were closed by massive police raids aimed at curbing illegal drug distribution, and some were simply abandoned as one by one the golden children of an enlightened age realized that in order to change the world they would have to join the world and work from the inside.

For half a century now, their influence has grown in leaps and bounds. These golden youth are now silver-haired politicians, bankers, business leaders, priests, prophets, and college professors. To their horror, the world is just as violent, just as polluted, just as sick, and just as poor as it has always been. The utopian age they have spent their entire lives working to bring about is no closer today than it was when Richie Havens opened the Woodstock Festival at 5:07 p.m. on Friday, August 15, 1969. Their generation has been an age of intellectualism like nothing that has come before it. Not even the great Enlightenment and Renaissance Age of the 12th Century had advanced this far in moving humanity out of ignorance and into utopia. Unfortunately, that is exactly the problem. For in order to bring about this great neo-Marxist utopia in which labor has finally overthrown the evil capitalist elites and ushered in a golden age of love and music, the old world had to be destroyed. The world their parents built, the world of hard work, courtesy, and an honest belief in the virtue of material accumulation, was seen by the golden children of the new age as something founded on hatred of non-white people and the subordination of women to men. The children did not understand that their parents diverse neuroses and apparent unhappiness derived from an undying sense of disenfranchisement left by the bloody battlefields of Europe, the horrors revealed in the Nuremberg Trials, and the impossible destruction witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hard work and material comfort was the best love they could provide to their children because their emotional lives had been destroyed by the violence of a war driven by two countries seeking global domination.

When 19 terrorists in four planes destroyed the World Trade Center and took out an entire wing of the Pentagon, the golden children of Woodstock came face to face with the same enemy their parents had been forced to face at Pearl Harbor. They did not recognize this enemy because they honestly believed their parents had completely destroyed it. When faced with an unrelenting fascism dedicated to replicating itself around the globe regardless of the cost in lives and treasure, the golden generation had no intellectual tools to combat this enemy. The intellectualism of the golden generation was based on the firm assumption that left to themselves, all people everywhere would seek out love and happiness. For any group of people to still harbor an assumption that violent destruction of another group of people was necessary to achieve personal happiness was completely unimaginable to the golden generation. They had been warned. Dissenters within their generation had preached long and hard that humans are essentially destructive, material success is not greed, and the only role of government is to limit the destructive capability of the human animal, but this was a completely irrational set of ideas to the children of Woodstock. These golden children had been taught by their teachers, by their televisions, and by their favorite musicians that everyone, everywhere wanted the same happiness and it was their job to make it happen. To see three thousand people dead in a single morning, killed simply for being different, was a shock to their system they could not absorb and for one brief moment, they let their parents old pragmatism sway their dream of utopia.

But now that the crisis has passed, the golden generation is once again focused on bringing about their neo-Marxist paradise where workers, managers, organizers, artists, and outcasts all share the same material comforts while they themselves, being the intellectual superiors of their ignorant, deprived brethren, enjoy a standard of living just a tiny bit above their lessers in recognition of their superior vision for a better world. This is why so many people express outrage and disbelief at the success of Donald Trump. "The Donald", as he is affectionately known by many of his supporters, represents material success on the basis of exploitation of the working class. In the minds of the golden generation, The Donald is the antithesis of everything that is good, right, and proper. To their enlightened minds, The Donald is a step backwards from their promised utopia into the crass, shallow materialism of their parents. It has not yet dawned on their befuddled gray heads that they themselves have now become the oppressors, enforcing their own fascist version of utopia on everyone else. The golden generation honestly believes that their utopia is better for everyone and that hard physical labor performed by their intellectual inferiors in order to bring about this utopia should be a reward in and of itself. After all, once utopia has been achieved, everyone's life will be better, so it is only rational for those who are less educated, less intelligent, and less visionary to conform to the future promised by the intellectual class; a future created through the hard work of those who are clearly inferior to the golden generation. A carefully educated and trained political class is necessary to organize, deploy, and reallocate the existing resources so that everyone else can be comfortable, right? To the golden generation it seems perfectly logical that their superior vision should inspire their inferiors, after all, they have the best interests of their inferiors well in hand. The only step remaining is to finally achieve the utopia they have spent their entire lives working toward.

Donald Trump is not succeeding because American voters have gone insane; nor is he succeeding because American voters are angry at the political class. What we are seeing is far more than the simple political revolution promised by Bernie Sanders. The movement that is still coalescing around Donald Trump has no name. This is not the "Moral Majority" that elected Ronald Reagan. This is not the "Age of Aquarius" that arose from the ashes of Camelot with the death of John F. Kennedy. This new movement is a complete and total rejection of the utopian vision and neo-Marxist thinking of the golden generation. It will keep growing, keep spreading, and keep gaining momentum because it is driven by real, pragmatic concerns of everyday people who have realized that the utopia promised by the golden generation will require them to abandon any hope they have of bettering their own lives on an individual basis. The average American's capitalist dream of material comfort has no place in the future promised by the golden generation and they know it. Instead, any slight material superiority has been reserved for those who adopt and perfectly mimic the neo-Marxist worldview of the golden generation and who share in their utopian dream. The golden generation has appointed specific individuals to carry on their dream. In order to achieve this, these new mentors are charged with organizing the rest of us into work bands who will build the golden generation's utopia with the sweat of our brows and the work of our hands. The Donald promises to return the average American to a world where they receive directly the rewards of their work. This movement is a wholesale rejection of the golden generation's expectation that everyone should be eager to work day and night in order to pass their wealth to the political class in order to allow the golden generations's appointed heirs to distribute that wealth to those who are deemed most needy.

The great utopia of the golden generation is based on this simple precept, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

The future being sought by those who support The Donald is based on a radically different precept, "to each according to his achievements gained through hard work and accomplished in accordance with his ability to learn from his failures."

The appointed heirs of the golden generation are promising a utopia where all men are equal. Those who are rallying behind The Donald are seeking a world where all men and women have an equal opportunity to succeed or fail based on their individual personal merits and reinforced by their ability to learn from their failures.

The Donald is succeeding beyond all expectations, but not because he is promising a different kind of utopia. His political success is far more subtle than the brusque tone of his speeches and the harsh language of his debates. American voters everywhere believe The Donald is promising to break the chains of utopia altogether. Their expectation is that once those chains are broken it will allow them the freedom to build their own individual life on their own individual terms. Whether or not he can follow through on those perceived promises is an entirely different question and one that will only be answered if he succeeds in winning his way to the White House.

As this grand drama continues to unfold, with the golden youth seeking to dismantle the world of their golden elders, the rest of us watch in horror, praying desperately for someone to come and save us from ourselves. I don't know if Donald Trump can save us, but I do know Hillary Clinton cannot.