Doctor Faustus & America’s Demons

nazi-american-flag

We can see and feel it coming, and we hope that we will be wrong. It’s a sickness that we share: an insanity rooted in nihilism, xenophobia and hatred; creating a general paranoia that is very much alike to a diabolical possession.

There is nothing new in what we see now: the demons have been lurking in wait to take possession of their inheritance for as long as we can remember. It was conceptualized in nineteenth-century imperialism, becoming manifest in twentieth-century fascisms, and has been simmering under the surface ever since Nazi Germany was defeated by other kinds of fascisms wearing democratic masks.

The success of Trumpism lies in the fact that he sold his brand to the voters by claiming to be the only one untainted by the errors and miscalculations that have brought our consumer civilization to the brink of an apocalyptical demise.

But did the void have to be filled by such a monstrous apparition? For potentially, this creature is even worse than the Nazi Führer. He is capable of everything Hitler was capable of and yet wields a power a thousand-times more potent than Hitler’s was, and a psychology that is more infantile and egocentric than Hitler’s was.

At the end of the Second World War, Thomas Mann, in a talk entitled ‘Germany and the Germans’ described a pact between the German people and the devil, Hitler. The speech was given in retrospect, Satan was already defeated, but Mann had developed the metaphor years before and had written a novel about it called Doctor Faustus.

Like Faustus, Germany sold its soul to Hitler, and like Faustus, America has sold its soul to Donald Trump.

Trumpist America has many of the same symptoms of Nazi Germany: the evocation of nationalist (patriotic) feelings and militaristic pride; the humiliation of past bungled military operations; the influence of perverted theologies and the feelings of family love – and these are all themes that are developed in gruesome detail in Mann’s Doctor Faustus.

The Second World war did not bring about the End of Times, but the demon-Hitler certainly pushed us to the brink of it. It inspired the creation and utilisation of the doomsday weapon (the atom bomb) and we have been living under that apocalyptic cloud ever since.

In Trumpism, even when he chants his own optimistic slogan “Let’s make America great again”, there is an apocalyptic atmosphere that engulfs our present, creating a tone of fear: a fear of the nihilism; the xenophobic and egocentric stupidity that the devil-Trump represents.

Middle-class America is shrinking and the divide between rich and poor is widening; a generalized decline which has been running its course since the 1970s[1]; a decline that is not only reflected in an increase of poverty but is also a psychological depressant as it worms its way through a way of life that has always been deeply fragile in its depth of consumer-based nihilisms, precariously held up by the fragile supports of hypocritical evangelical theologies and the symbol of the dollar. It is hardly surprising, then, that they have mistaken Trump’s promises of greatness as a chance to restore what has been eroded away. His message is that America’s middle-class can only be resurrected by flexing America’s muscle, creating the common-sense, but intrinsically false, equation that the country with the biggest army should be able to dictate any and all the terms in order to bring the maximum profits to all American nationals.

But the greatest errors that these believers-in-Trump have made, and the greatest misfortune for them, is that they expect this restoration of consumer-power to come from a silver-spoon-fed businessman, who built and ruined his own empire on the bricks of inheritance, who has a perverted, psychopathic self-esteem and a mind that is anything but centred and orderly, and who prefers watching Fox & Friends to receiving counsel from his advisors.

If the Trump presidency does succeed, the most logical outcome of that success will be alike to a biblical End of Days. The success of Trumpism depends on a Trump-dictatorship. It is doubtful that the prolongation of the Trump regime will be able to last without intense gerrymandering of the already intensely gerrymandered electoral system in the U.S.A., or without a more blatant redesigning of the constitution to allow his dictatorship to be formalized, but, logically, these are all part of Trumpism’s agenda – the one who seems like a dictator wants to be a dictator, and they will continue to seem like a dictator until he or she is a dictator.

This dictatorship will be a bellicose one, pushing the world to the edge of the End of Days. To avoid it, the Americans will need to everything the Germans in the 1930s did not do when Hitler rose to power, and that means recognizing the devil for what he is before he is allowed to begin his destructive Armageddon and become the personification of Satan himself.

For this recognition to happen, the enlightenment has to be stirred, not in the already enlightened liberal folk, but in the vast army of evangelist Trump supporters themselves. The great irony of Trumpism is that its Satanic ideology has so easily infected the hearts of those who should have known better – all the God-fearing Evangelists.

We can now read Thomas Mann’s description of Germany’s pact with Satan because Satan’s attempt, as Hitler, to either control or destroy the world failed. But now the devil has made a new pact with a country more powerful and potentially more destructive than anything ever seen on Earth before. If he is successful this time, there won’t be any new Thomas Mann to tell us about it afterwards.

[1] Richard Florida, THE GEOGRAPHY OF MIDDLE CLASS DECLINE, 2016, CITYLAB

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10 thoughts on “Doctor Faustus & America’s Demons

  1. yes … dt is bad …. but I think you are over rating him >

    first he is not as satanic … as he seems >
    and second … what president could be better ?

    did you know …
    that barry and his heath care was basically more satanic
    then dt doing away with it ….

    because the FDA was payed for by ….
    the pharma drug satans … and dt has made this federal agency again
    a federal agency … so now some real therapies are legal again

    where before … you could not use them in the united states !

    the same is true about hitler ….
    the present powers are much more insane
    because they are causing the end of our days for sure !

    did you know ?
    the residents of this federal republic have to pay >>>
    for the satanic system propaganda every month ?
    those ard and zdf programs ….

    and the nuclear danger is nothing
    to the coming of the second venus !

    because this will end our days on planet earth for sure ….
    and we need not comply with paris or what ever

    so we need not to reduce the co2 creation
    but actually reduce what is in the atmosphere already

    and why is this not possible ?
    because of the competition of insanity >

    as you are saying ….

    so how could we do away with this competition ?
    we would have to make it >>> illegal to compete with insanity
    via constitutional order > because it is not honorable
    to compete with insanity …

    so we have to guaranty the honor of every citizen
    and this is what I am trying to do now …..

    what is your idea of stopping this insane competition ?

    .

  2. “The great irony of Trumpism is that its Satanic ideology has so easily infected the hearts of those who should have known better – all the God-fearing Evangelists.”

    I wouldn’t generalize too much. Most Americans in most demographics don’t vote on a regular basis. Voter turnout was dismal this past election. Trump won mostly because who didn’t vote and not because of who did.

    By the way, Evangelicals are split along similar lines as the rest of the country. The majority of young Evangelicals identify as progressives while supporting women’s rights, gay marriage, etc. It’s a divide of gender along with race, economics, etc. But the problem is that the young don’t tend to vote as much and the choices this past election were uninspiring.

    Related to this, I’d point to the following:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/evangelicals-turn-left/

    “70 percent of evangelicals now tell pollsters they don’t identify with the religious right, and younger evangelicals often have more enthusiasm for social justice than for the culture wars”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/southern-baptists-call-off-the-culture-war/563000/

    “Though most Southern Baptists remain politically conservative, it seems that some are now less willing to have their denomination serve as a handmaiden to the GOP, especially in the current political moment. They appear to recognize that tethering themselves to Donald Trump—a thrice-married man who has bragged about committing adultery, lies with impunity, allegedly paid hush money to a porn star with whom he had an affair, and says he has never asked God for forgiveness—places the moral credibility of the Southern Baptist Convention at risk.

    “By elevating women and distancing themselves from partisan engagement, the members of the SBC appear to be signaling their determination to head in a different direction, out of a mix of pragmatism and principle.”

    • Yes, but sometimes generalizing allows us to see the bigger picture, which in this case is that Trumpism is pulling America toward fascism. This is an alarmist statement, and sometimes being an alarmist is necessary. No-one has yet closed the door and the horse is about to bolt. If Trump gets enough support to gerrymander another electoral victory it may well be a tragic goodbye to American democracy.

      • I understand. And in that light, I agree. But I was just making a side point. I happened across that article right before reading your post. There are many changes happening in our society right now, involving both the progressive and the reactionary.

  3. .

    I have been reading a report of a research think tank ….
    and they predict in 2020 a radical leftist president
    being voted into the white house !

    because of all the debts > all those young americans are having from studying
    and their financial hopelessness in general > so they think >>>

    that some buying votes president > making them the offer of erasing their debts
    of giving every citizen a monthly check > of getting taxes up for the rich
    of providing free heath care will get them voting in masses ….

    and according to the research > the numbers
    of all the disenchanted show them it will work

    .

  4. .
    I will give you a hint …
    it will just aggravate the situation
    just as every president has done nothing
    but aggravating the situation
    since the fall of the SU !

    because the rich will still be rich
    and the poor will buy more of all the garbage
    they are producing

    so what would be the solution ?
    I hardly dare to telling you >>>

    a sapient order of course >
    you have been telling us about
    for all those years

    there is only one thing wrong with your idea
    you are thinking >

    that the left is the way to save this world
    and every sapient on it ….

    there while a progressive government
    will just as much be wasting the environment
    as the conservative will not conserve our planet

    so what kind of party do we need ?

    none it all >
    we just need to have a argumentocracy
    where every one can bring forward a better argument
    and the best one > will be used as the solution

    like we are doing it > on all those planets
    for all this billion of years

    any kind of voting
    can only be leading to a catastrophe

    .

    • No, I don’t believe any political party is the answer. But there is a space between understanding the problem and solving it, and in that space the politician’s will have to play a role: and the left role would be less destructive on the environment than the right will be.

  5. really ?

    would …
    giving every one a check to be buying more insanity … be less destructive ?
    or creating a free heath system …. when this is just keeping every body ill ?when all this pharmacy poison is doing all the damage > obama care !

    do you know ?
    that no body has to get cancer > any heart failure ?
    any dementia … psychic disorders > stroke ?

    the left has created this situation > as has the right and the center
    and they will not > can not be part of the solution !

    we need to talk > we need to have a platform for the billions to argue
    to being informed > to finding the best solution > the best realization of ….

    we have to forget about all those responsible for our predicament
    there is no one to help us > we sapiens have to do it all ….

    can you not see this ?
    .

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