Thursday, November 10, 2016

Reprise: Anti-Trump Protests: A Pre-Emptive Strike for Liberty, or a New "Reign of Terror?"

I almost forgot that I wrote this, back in March 2016, due to a mixture of an illness in the family and not even believing that Trump had a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning the election. In fact, I wondered if my comparison betweeen the protests at that time and the French "Reign of Terror" may have been too strong, and was hoping as much. But now that he has, and now that the protests have taking a chilling direction, including an actual assault:

"Die Whites Die': Anti-Trump Rioters Vandalize NOLA Monuments"

Here's the original post from March. "Ominous Parallels", indeed...

"All politics in this country is simply dress rehearsal for civil war." -Billy Beck, 2009

I'm starting to think that the claims against Trump (who, for the record, I do not support) are really "Jungian shadow projections" of these more strident protesters own totalitarian impulses...

"Trump Supporters, Protesters Clash Outside Rally in Salt Lake City"

"Crowds who chanted “Donald Trump” were met with “Mr. Hate Out of Our State” as police in riot gear blocked the entrance to the Infinity Event Center in Salt Lake City. Protesters tried to rush the door of the building and got into screaming matches with Trump supporters who were barred from entering the venue."According to KSTU-TV, people who were exiting the building were being pelted with rocks. Some protesters were seen tearing down a security tent that the U.S. Secret Service used to screen attendees before they entered the building."

And this one just takes the Jungian projection cake, particularly since it doesn't fit the narrative of a racist Trump, or the idea that all minorities are opposed to him:

"Black Trump Supporter - Stomps Anti-Trump Protester In KKK Hood At Tucson Rally"

The idea of Trump as fascist ruler vs. the revolution of the people has a parallel with Rand's witnessing of the Russian Revolution, and her almost-admiration for Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky, as reported by Barbara Branden in The Passion of Ayn Rand. Rand originally viewed Kerensky (a moderate socialist) and the movement against the Czar as a beacon of freedom:

What fascinated me was that it fit in with my own stage of development— it was the only time I was synchronized with history. It was almost like fiction taking place in reality. That was why I became so interested. I know that I romanticized it a great deal. It seemed the fight for freedom; since that’s what they were talking about, I took it literally— by which I meant individualism: it’s man who must be free.

With the fall of the moderate socialists, and the rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, however, young Rand soon caught on to the reality of it all.

As Alice had witnessed the first shots of the Kerensky revolution from her balcony, so she witnessed its last rites: the funeral procession of the delegates to the Constitutional Assembly who had been shot down by the Bolsheviks. It was an event that, even thirty-five years later, she spoke of with a shudder of horror. On the day of the funeral, in a gesture of defiance against the new regime, shops and schools closed; all of Petrograd swarmed into the streets to salute the fallen delegates. As the open coffins moved slowly beneath her window, to the sound of drum rolls and the thunder of cannons, the twelve-year-old girl looked down at the body of a beautiful young woman whose white face and black hair were vivid against a scarlet pillow. In the city streets, as the weeks passed, the funeral was replaced by its cause: soldiers with bayonets and a hooligan manner— and by its effect: one’s sense of being helplessly in the power of something brutal, savage, and mindless. The terror had begun.

"The terror had begun." This brings me back to the present, with my own similar observation of the "Anyone But Trump" movement, and brings to mind another revolution, the French Revolution, and the rise of the "Reign of Terror". Their, a similar reaction to an overbearing ruling class led to a revolution that mirrored the American Revolution, supposedly in the name of Liberty, but really led to another brand of tyranny, and arguably the rise of Marxism and other assorted socialist revolutions. The "Reign of Terror" was also symptomatic of the "Jungian Shadow projection", and I'm seeing parallels in the reaction against Trump, today. Some might say that they are acting "pre-emptively" against someone they see as a potential Hitler, in the name of "freedom"; I see it as more akin to the failure of the French Revolution, and the "Reign of Terror" someone who's experienced threats of violence (ha, bring it on, chumps) from "freedom-defending" leftists myself for my libertarian/Objectivish views, I wouldn't be surprised if some of these people would not feel uncomfortable bringing back "la guillotine"... (Hyperbole? Maybe...maybe not.)And a passage from the Wiki entry on the "Reign of Terror" has another modern-day parallel:
"As this ideology became more and more pervasive, violence became a significant method for dealing with counter-revolutionaries and the opposition because, for fear of being labelled a counter-revolutionary themselves, 'the moderate men would have to accept, endorse and even glorify the acts of the more violent.'"

This prompt me to call back that passage from Rand about the Russian Revolution: "In the beginning, it seemed to Alice “that everybody of any political denomination was in favor of the February revolution. And everybody was against the Czar. " To switch analogies a bit, putting Trump in the place of the Czar, both parties today seem hell-bent on "Anyone but Trump." And first, it was through the voting process, but now, it's through open violence (at least, by those of the left, so far...). And though the defense of Bernie Sanders claims that he is a not a communist, but a "Democratic Socialist",  something like the moderate Kerensky, history has not been kind to the more moderate socialists, as witnessed not only during the Russian Revolution, but to those in Germany that ultimately gave way to Hitler's National Socialism. If Obama and Sanders are not socialist enough, we're already seeing the rise of a violent uprising against not only Trump, or his supporters, but against the general public:

"Trump Protesters Block Streets in Fountain Hills"

The protestors are targeting unnamed drivers and FORCING them to comply or be "shut down"...building a "wall", so to speak, in protest of a proposed wall in a "border state"...but does the "moral equivalence" add up?
Think about this, if you try to criticize the anti-Trump protesters for initiating violence and intruding on private property: you'll be accused of supporting Trump and branded a racist if you don't accept the revolutionary methods. And with Trump supporters more than willing to escalate, in return,  are we going to witness something similar to the betrayal of hope of the French Revolution, and the hope of its sister American Revolution, or what Rand witnessed in the Russian Revolution? Have we already heard "ominous parallels" of a new civil war? And, if so, what hope remains for those of the Libertarian/Objectivish persuasion? (And why do the Objectivish continue to attach themselves to either particular party in some hope that such an alliance will change the course of the country?)

"We will not be voting our way out of this."

"Just one of the Banner's Smear Campaigns!"

I guess Howard Roark isn't the only one who can survive one of The Banner's "smear campaigns." Whatever else I might say about Donald Trump, he's got fortitude; I'll give him that much. Not since Howard Stern was "Crucified by the FCC" (* see the comments section for more on that) have I seen someone take such a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

"I never knew anybody to survive one of the Banner's smear campaigns. Everything was against you.
How'd you break through?

"What'd you think of the Banner's campaign?"

"It was a vicious appeal to fools."

"Haven't you answered your own question?"

-From The Fountainhead (film)