Monday, November 05, 2007

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated By Gore Vidal

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated by Gore Vidal is a short book I came across at the semi-annual library book sale. At first, I expected it to be the usual screed about US Imperialism, and it certainly touched upon it, but a large portion of the book concerns Timothy McVeigh. As someone who had friends injured (both physically and psychologically) by the Oklahoma City explosion, I am not inclined toward any particular sympathy. However, as I read the essay, I could see why he did what he did. Although intelligent, he was a simpleton, or a potential "useful idiot." He was certainly not a white supremacist (especially considering he was disgusted at killing Arabs), although he took certain ideas from their "literature." Since his only other option was life in a box, I also agree that he probably opted for "state-assisted suicide" rather than rat out any accomplices or confederates. The government gave him no incentive to talk. I also concur with the conclusion that the Federal Government does not really want to publicly admit the extent of the hatred directed at it.[1] I would also add that media, having financial stakes, certainly do not generally want to pursue this thread either. The power structure would rather leave murders free than shed light on its increasing illegitimacy.

[1] And it isn't just the far, far right wing by any means.

2 comments:

Civil Disobedience said...

“Since his only other option was life in a box, I also agree that he probably opted for "state-assisted suicide" rather than rat out any accomplices or confederates.”


It has been my experience that most people that are overtly preoccupied with the limitations on self frequently experience and perceive these limitations as external. The fact that McVeigh was able to construct and elaborate intellectual scheme to justify the rather unsophisticated mechanisms of the USPS for delivering harm to others other than himself (per anthrax delivery) is indicative of such externalization.

The schizophrenic material of which his mind was reported to contain is indicative of reasons why his behavior and innate abilities lacked sufficient competence to achieve more constructive ends. The refusal to deny that one self is an absolute fool, nitwit, incompetent, and isolate ignored by those of influence is rarely mirrored with happiness or health.

To remove one self from the obvious requires extraordinary efforts to externalize and blame others; if faithfully believed these result in sufficient commitment to the philosophy of self protection which in turn may require self selective action. It is ponderously curious that McVeigh chose such a violent act on the American psyche albeit through such removed and cowardly mechanisms.

It appears that it Freud was right in that we are always trying to avoid the original state while simultaneously, repetitively, and compulsively returning to it in an effort to elude ourselves of its actuality (via externalization, etc). The disharmonious achievement of both self-abnegation and externalization of blame is indicative of an unsustainable and thus self-destructive entropic field. Only self deluded narcissism could sustain.

SRL said...

In other words, no one likes to admit that they have been a Chump. It's always some one else's fault. However, even nuts sometimes know things worth exploring. The haste of his execution certainly leaves open a lot of uncertainty. What's the hurry? It wasn't like he was going anyplace.