Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Manichaen Paranoia

I love it when I have to go to Wikipedia to figure something out. While I was familiar with the dualistic Persian religion Zoroastrianism, I'd never heard of Manichaeaism, which strongly divided the world into the good (light) and bad (dark). So, when I heard Zbigniew Brzezinski say "Manichaen Paranoia" in a March 14, 2007 interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, I headed to wikipedia to find out what it was.

There was no entry for Manichaen Paranoia on March 15. There is now. In fact, I just went in and added another reference I found, an essay by William F. May: Manichaeism in American Politics, Christianity and Crisis, May 2, 1966. Hopefully this will save the page from deletion, because The One True and Good God (who tortures and kills all who are evil) knows that there is nothing paranoid about the All-Mighty GW Bush or his Wikipedia editors.

Note that the essay by May was published in 1966. Even back then, when I was two years old, wise men had noted that the radical right wing in this country had become Manichaen Paranoids.
In the Church this Manichaeism often expresses itself in the somewhat self-pitying struggle of "good church people" arrayed against the politicians. In the political Right Wing it generates—and anoints—a whole series of readiness committees, Minutemen and freedom evangelists pitted against the Communists, fellow-travelers and dupes in American education, press, church and government.
Yeah, that sounds familiar.

Odd that men such as Cheney and Bush have bought into this paranoia to the point that they have actually taken up the Nixonesque position that if the President does it, it's not illegal. Except these guys, in their sickening self-conviction that they are the doers of Good, have taken it so much further, to: If the US does it, it is not evil. Now, I ask you, how fucked up is that?

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