Psychopolitics of the scarecrow

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President Donald Trump has just announced that, to answer the endless list of books that criticize him (especially books written by his former friends and trusted men, who by now are almost all of them), the White House will publish “a real book”. Obviously, he won’t write it, although, in our time, it wouldn’t be absurd for a person who never reads books to publish a book.


Nor is it a coincidence that his Twitter account (which is the main medium where the president of the world’s biggest power announces the decisions that will affect the rest of the world and where he expresses his mood according to the time of day) is @realDonaldTrump, while obsessively repeating that the rest of the world is fake. The world is fake, except me, who is real.


The psychological pattern is consistent and reveals a dark inverse feeling, similar to that of the homophobia of some men who get excited looking at images of men (according to laboratory tests), similar to the consumption, by a majority of women, of pornography where violence is exerted against women (according to the latest Big Data analysis), or the strict and puritanical public celibacy of rapist priests.


Nor could it be a coincidence that, in its etymology and in some of its archaic uses, the word trump means fake, false, invention, the noise produced by the elephant (don’t forget that the elephant is the symbol of the Republican party) with its trunk, a kind of fart or thrombotic noise without content, or a childish act. Of course, the latter could be an over-interpretation, since we are talking about an individual and not an entire linguistic tradition where the patterns leave little room for doubt. At least that the boy Donald has had some information about his wonderful surname, as much as his own children’s readings.


Nor should it be a coincidence that his youngest son is called Baron Trump, exactly like the character in the children’s novels that Ingersoll Lockwood wrote in the late 19th century about a German character (his father was a German illegal immigrant) called Baron Trump. The character, in addition to initiating his adventures in Russia, being a rowdy and fond of insulting each individual who came across him along the way, boasts of his own intelligence.


Too many coincidences, such as winning the lottery four times.


Nor is it a coincidence that it was Trump who made the term “fake news” fashionable. By action or omission, the big media have always manipulated reality, at least since the nineteenth century (we have already stopped on the case of Edward Bernays and many others) but power always finds a way to dispel doubts by mocking its own methods when they reach a point of maximum suspicion. In 1996, the narrative voice of my first novel said something with which I agree: “There is no better strategy against a true rumor than to invent a false rumor that pretends to confirm it”. The logic of the designed distraction is the same (although, in this case, I understand that it is not intentional but part of the inevitable Darwinian nature of power): it invents a visible enemy of power, that resembles true power and that is in such a way that even the very critics of power end up defending the means of power. In simpler words: design a good scarecrow, distract; call the fake real and the real fake.


This logic is tragically confirmed today: the mass media have always been real in their news and fake in the created reality. By the form and by the selection of real facts, they have always manipulated and continue to manipulate reality, even though they now seem to be the champions of the people, of the peoples, of truth and justice. But for a fake president, a ridiculous person like a scarecrow, someone who became president of the most powerful country in the world with fewer votes than his adversary, thanks to an electoral system inherited from the times of slavery, with a medieval discourse, makes decent and reasonable people take sides on the contrary, that is, by defending the traditional means of real power, now “under attack,” those very people who until not long ago defended, supported or, at least, never criticized criminal actions like the Iraq war or like so many other secret invasions and plots everywhere. With honorable and courageous exceptions, it goes without saying, because in every flock there are black sheep.


Power doesn’t even need to think to be great. It is part of its nature.


When someone obsessively calls himself “real” and everything else “fake,” it is because he is obsessively trying to hide a painfully contrary feeling: a repressed consciousness of not being “real,” of being “fake,” of being Trump. Otherwise, there is no need for a consistently obsessive habit. But Trump is just a scarecrow of power. Pathetic, a dangerous amplifier of popular fears and traumas, yes, but not much more than that.


To the traditional powers (the owners of the decisive capital, of the finances, of the business of war and the peace of the cemeteries, of the physical and moral exploitation of those from below), all that confusion, all that perfect inversion of roles comes as a ring to the finger. As if there were a Darwinian logic in the staging and narrative of the power that permanently adapts to survive. Even placing a scarecrow in the power of the world’s greatest power so that crows and seagulls alike remain stressed with an artefact that insists it is the only real thing in a fake world.


(Translated by  Fausto Giudice)



Courtesy of Tlaxcala
Publication date of original article: 11/09/2018
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