Decades before Al Gore wrote The Assault on Reason, Maestro Federico Fellini and I were on a Dantesque odyssey in the world beyond death. On that fantastic voyage of the mind, we shared a glimpse into the future. « There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life, » he would say. We saw it was so, and that story will soon be retold as it supports Gore’s views on reason and environmental sanity and Hugo Chavez’ dream of a just global commonwealth and an end to poverty.
Even now, from that mysterious country Federico and I traveled together in imagination (as Virgil and Dante did), the great Maestro of imagination still influences the world. His immortal film masterpieces transformed social awareness and dissolved Catholic guilt with its dark notions of original sin and a vengeful Semitic God. Fellini dismissed Biblical nightmares and foresaw eventual liberation from the oppression of lunatics, just as Dante did by first consigning political lunatics of his time to Hell and then, in the final line of The Divine Comedy, byredeeming all creation: « It is Love which moves the Sun and the other stars. »
Fellini confronted the oppression of the self-appointed clergy, like Hugo Chavez has done. When an arrogant priest once asked Fellini if he was a Christian, Maestro answered: « If by a Christian you mean to love others, then all my films are about that. » Fellini viewed the oppressive lunacy of fascists, clergy, and all power holders — which Al Gore describes as an « assault on reason » — as a contagious sickness of the mind carried by conservatives and transmitted to every generation through cultural propaganda.
Scientific evidence of conservative lunacy is overwhelming. Ask any conservative the following list of questions and their absurd answers or refusal to answer will give you direct evidence of widespread clinical insanity. Ask: Why do conservatives push for tax breaks for the rich and call themselves Christians when so many are in desperate need? Why do they support annulling civil liberties and constitutionally guaranteed rights, like habeas corpus and due process, and call themselves American Patriots? Why do conservatives respond to the drug problem with massive incarcerations instead of medical treatment and call themselves compassionate? Why do they condone torture and the death penalty and call themselves pro-life? Why do they gut regulations that protect the environment and invest more than half of our nation’s tax dollars in aggressive wars and pretend to be civilized and peace loving? Why do conservatives do the evil things they do and imagine themselves to be moral? Are they nuts? Fellini believed that conservatives were lunatics, no matter what label they hide behind. Take Joe Lieberman as the perfect example of a dishonest war mongering lunatic, hiding his conservative treason behind the « independent Democrat » catchphrase. The spiteful invective of Ann Coulter is prima facie evidence of dangerous insanity.
The deterioration of language by devious conservative verbal frames also reveals psychotic vicious conniving. For example: the words “generous,” « open-minded, » « humanitarian, » and « progressive » are, according to Webster’s dictionary, synonyms for « liberal. » However, over the past three decades, wealthy conservative think-tank nastiness has deliberately been distorting the meaning of « liberal » by creating and repetitively broadcasting false verbal frames, like: tax and spend liberals, limousine liberals, latte liberals, and other ugly metaphors designed to smear the image of liberals in the public mind.
Interestingly, the dictionary definition of « conservative » has consistently shown that the intrinsic wisdom of language revealed a psychosis long before scientific research confirmed it, conservative being synonymous with: « obstinate, » « conformist, » « right-wing, » « fearing change, » « unimaginative, » « unprogressive, » « obstructionist, » and « reactionary. »
Conservatism is an ancient disease that now threatens all life on Earth. This implicit fact has at last been confirmed by modern science in an extensive study funded jointly by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institute of Health. Assistant Professor Jack Glaser of the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and Visiting Professor Frank Sulloway of UC Berkeley joined lead author, Associate Professor John Jost of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Professor Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland at College Park, to probe 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism.
They examined a mindset its authors politely refer to as « political conservatism » (clearly a euphemism, for such a disease should be called Psychotic Conservatism Disorder or Psycho-conservative Syndrome). In plain language, what these scientists studied were right wing lunatics across history, including the current deranged power holders who are turning America into an evil Orwellian police state nightmare.
The researchers sought patterns among 88 samples, involving 22,818 participants, taken from journal articles, books, and conference papers. The material, compiled from 12 countries, included speeches and interviews given by politicians, opinions, and verdicts rendered by judges, as well as experimental, field, and survey studies.
Ten meta-analytic calculations performed on the data yielded consistent, common threads, Professor Glaser said. Some of the common psychological factors of political conservatism were found to be: resistance to change; tolerance for inequality; fear and aggression; dogmatism; intolerance of ambiguity; uncertainty avoidance; need for cognitive closure; and terror management.
Their published report: Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition appeared in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin, 2003, Vol. 129, No. 3, 339-375, and immediately raised a predictable storm among right wing conservatives, who screamed like wounded elk in their lunatic rage and frustration. Science had officially confirmed in this report what the oppressed people of the world have always known through painful personal experience: that rich demagogues and all conservatives are emotionally disturbed, unstable, and dangerous fanatics.
History shows that deranged oppressors — whether they’re called Pharisees, Philistines, Bolsheviks, Fascists, Nazis, Communists, religious fanatics, neo-cons, Republicans, unregulated corporate executives or « Compassionate » Conservatives — are the same specie: loveless, two-legged psychotics without honesty, sincerity, generosity, or compassion. To dispel any doubt that lunacy is rampant in the leadership of most nations today, we need only look at our prisons, concentration camps, gulags, torture chambers, sweat shops, homeless sick people without health care — at the devastation of our environment, the murderous bombing of civilians, and the 20,000 children dying a day from hunger and lack of medicine.
Contagious greedy conservatism spreads and grows like a devouring cancer. As soon as Obscene Wealth achieves absolute political control, its mindless minions like Dick Cheney, Pat Robertson, George Bush, and the hidden corporate powers behind them rise up and justify unspeakable horrors against humanity — the right to incarcerate without due process, to torture and murder as they please, to terminate Constitutional government, to lay waste our planet — all in the name of a fabricated monster god and insane religious doctrine that has no connection in the least to truth.
Exaggeration? Hardly. In fact, the above scientific report concludes that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses. It links Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan, rightwing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, and others, showing that they all suffer from the same affliction.
True, there are a few exceptions that justify the rule. Not every conservative needs be isolated in a padded cell for the criminally insane. There are many nice, harmless conservatives, some of whom are carrying the infection in their blood and psyche without manifesting excessively nasty symptoms. Regardless, caution suggests that no conservatives should ever be allowed to run for public office once their Psychotic Conservatism Disorder/Psycho-conservative Syndrome is diagnosed.
Methods of Exposing Lunacy
When it comes to exposing lunacy, Fellini, Al Gore, and Hugo Chavez take very different approaches.
Fellini and Satire
Fellini uses grotesque satire that delivers its medicine deep into the unconscious, making the lunatic feel uncomfortable and seek refuge in less lunatic behavior. The discomfort was so great that when five-time Academy Award winner Fellini exposed the money elite for what they were in his film La Dolce Vita, they spat in his face in public.
Al Gore and Reason
Al Gore, after years of being the victim of low-down idiotic attacks on his person, deserves his Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth and for courageously appealing to reason amid Washington’s Congressional bedlam. His Assault on Reason is stirring a growing audience to reject fear and the poison pumped in their veins by the monolithic propaganda machine of conservative lunatics. Gore is cautious in his choice of words, but his book confirms that we are confronted with irrational conservatism pushing the entire globe into grave danger.
Indeed, the seriousness of the eco-crisis is no longer open to dispute. Illusions have been dispelled by irrefutable and self-evident facts. The frightening consequences of pollution, global warming, extinction of species, deforestation, toxic devastation, and disease are visible everywhere and undeniable, except by conservative fools who fear that saving the planet may reduce their corporate bottom line and their chance of devouring what is left. They cannot accept the fact that our civilization does not occupy a privileged position in the history of the world. Sick minds always hide their heads in the sand in the face of approaching hurricanes: witness the Bush Administration’s mishandling of Katrina as it approached New Orleans.
Al Gore’s first environmental award was bestowed on him nearly ten years before he received his Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth. In 1997, he graciously accepted California nonprofit United Eco-Action Fund’s environmental award and position on its roster of American Wilderness Heritage Guardians in appreciation of his spiritual and political masterpiece: Earth in the Balance. Read his letter to Uneco’s Executive Director, Viktoria Vidali: http://uneco.org/Al_Gore-White_House_Letter.html.
The author is proud of his wife Viktoria’s vision and her encouraging further family involvement very early to help bring Al Gore’s environmental vision into the public eye at a time when most corporate media moguls were attacking him. In 2000, my then 13-year old son, Lorenzo, having read Earth in the Balance,filmed and edited the award-winning documentary: Life & Liberty in the Balance, which was subsequently re-edited after 2001 to include many issues Michael Moore later exposed in Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004. Lorenzo sent a copy of his film with a letter to Al Gore’s office at the outset of Gore’s creating Current TV.
Today we trust that Al Gore will fulfill his destiny and stand for his beliefs by running for President. Act he must on pain of placing in doubt his love of reason and the Earth. Only as President can he effectively rescue our country and the world. No doubt, his will be the most difficult presidency in the history of the United States, considering the catastrophe Bush’s madness leaves behind, but many real American patriots are ready to help him.
Hugo Chavez and Candid Honesty
Thomas Paine, one of the Fathers of our Republic, wrote: “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
On March 2, 2004, Hugo Chavez — having outfoxed the dangerous Bush-CIA directed coup that nearly cost him his life and almost destroyed another true Democracy (view The Revolution Will Not Be Televised at: http://www.communication-evolution.org/blog/) — wisely proclaimed: « George W. Bush is an idiot! » With this truthful name-calling, the great President of Venezuela launched a new era of honesty in international relations, making it easier for decent people everywhere to see global oppressors and rich phonies for who they are. To expose the hypocrisy of wealthy lunatics, Chavez does not employ satire like Fellini or politically measured and reasoned language like Gore. Chavez is direct and uses perfectly justified and illustrative frames. When Head of State Hugo Chavez calls the criminal-in-chief of the United States: « El Diablo« (The Devil), it’s time to praise the great Latin American President.
Insults have historically been used to dramatize the truth. When Jesus called lunatic right-wingers of his time « hypocrites » and “whitened sepulchers,” he was honest and to the point. Hugo Chavez is perfectly correct to call a war criminal every name in the book.
The life and death question today is: How seriously ill are conservatives in the U.S. government? The answer can best be gauged by Christ’s simple method: « You shall know them by their fruits. » All sane people need to see for an answer are the fruits the loonies-in-power have produced. Look at Iraq, Walter Reed Hospital, New Orleans, Abu-Ghraib, Guantanamo, America’s prisons, our environment, our debt, our cities, the destruction of international law, the abuse of the Universal Charter of Human Rights, the end of habeas corpus protection…the gruesome list is very long.
Hugo Chavez is being relentlessly assaulted by dishonest conservative media whores. This fact alone proves that Chavez is a good man. Their calumnies against him reveal the hatred of oil monopolies for his restoring Venezuela’s oil wealth to its legitimate owners — the people of Venezuela — and for protecting the commonwealth for the common good. This insane hatred evidences a deep fear they have of him. Al Gore is also being attacked, and he is the best statesman America has. Gore is defeating them with facts. Hugo Chavez is laughing at the monsters and is corralling Latin America’s progressive forces into a continental revolution. He is arming his people to be ready to defend their freedom from the Evil Empire.
Since it was elected in 1998, the government of Hugo Chavez has brought health care to the sick, education to the illiterate, housing to the homeless, and millions of acres of redistributed land to the dispossessed. The Venezuelan Constitution guarantees public ownership of the oil industry and fair distribution of the nation’s wealth to its citizens. To learn the facts about Chavez, visit:
To be sure, Venezuela’s participatory democracy is a danger to corporate oligarchies. By contrast, Chavez’s social progress reveals the decadence of America’s oppressive empire: terrorizing and bombing other nations to steal their resources while destroying democracy at home, exploiting American citizens, and devouring the global environment to enrich a few corporate owners. Insane billionaires are driving the world toward a dreadful cataclysm that can only be prevented by organizing a fast political backlash — like the Venezuelan people are doing — by knocking the greedy maniacs off their stolen power pedestals.
Good people everywhere are gathering and organizing the largest movement in the history of the world to take back Democracy, the public airwaves, and to dismantle the Evil Empire. Ecological and economic problems are soluble. We still have the means to restore the environment and heal the planet through a sustainable economy. Resources for a change of consciousness and the making of a different world are plentiful. We must refuse to have our lives ruined by lunatics. The day of liberation is as close as our decision to act. Remember Fellini’s words: « There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life. »