It is true that many of the more radical items on this administration’s wish list have yet to be realized. But make no mistake, the full agenda is still there, lying in wait. And there is one thing that could unleash it all: a large-scale crisis.
Large-scale shocks are frequently harnessed to ram through despised pro-corporate and anti-democratic policies that would never have been feasible in normal times. It’s a phenomenon I have previously called the “Shock Doctrine,” and we have seen it happen again and again over the decades, from Chile in the aftermath of Augusto Pinochet’s coup to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
Chaos in the White House reflects the deepening turmoil in the psyche of the president as deep-seated inner conflicts become projected as radical dangers and threats in the outside world. Because there can be no genuine reflection and no failure can be admitted, the desperate sense of superiority demands that all enterprises be deemed a success. The need to be seen as omnipotent and uniquely able to solve everything means not only that the truth and the facts will be routinely rejected, but also that the security of the country and the guiding principles of democracy may also be sacrificed.
Susan Tchudi speaks with with Carolyn Baker about her new book “Dark Gold: The Human Shadow and the Global Crisis.”
“Home” is a word for the feeling of being whole, of being at peace with oneself, and with the world. Home was a reason for going off to war, yet it is becoming more difficult for the warriors to find a way home again. Modern wars are not simply more lethal, they are also more confusing and soul-battering. The enemy can be anywhere, can be anyone. IED’s can erupt at any time and reverberate in the brain for years making it impossible to simply drive in traffic or enter a shopping mall. A city street or parking lot can become a “war zone” simply because of an unexpected noise or a sudden peripheral movement. The war fragments the soul and makes the peace-time fragile at best.
While much has been written in the field of psychology about resilience, the disaster environment provides an active and ongoing opportunity to reframe, reorganize and construct new meaning in a compressed timeline. In Japan, the disruption they face challenges, as a society, their capacities to respond to widespread loss of human life, environmental devastation and infrastructure. The sheer magnitude of the natural and man-made catastrophe boggles the mind for those of us who are, for the present, frozen bystanders. While we may share some of the intense anxiety and fear, we cannot grasp the full impact, both physiologically and psychologically to this country.