By Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. October 15, 2015
Elections for the political offices in the US are incomparably worse than any horror movies, as they repeatedly and inevitably reproduce the basic politico-economic structures and institutions of class divisions, inequality, injustice, vast deprivations, crime, mental illness, selfishness, aggressions, wars, and severe damages to the ecology of nature and human nature-within the context of the most advanced capitalist political economy and the most developed scientifico-technological forces of production and destruction-which, among other things, invariably cause destruction of tens of millions of lives globally, as well as, to a lesser extent, domestically, through wars and invasions, impoverishment and deprivations that cause severe multidimensional damages to human lives, diabolical expenditures of financial and human resources on the military war machine and production of ever more destructive and advanced weapons and systems of mass destruction, and great damages to the biosphere and all the life-supporting systems of the planet. No horror movie can come even close to the reality produced by these “democratic” elections.
The structural flaws of the system and its various institutionalized processes, as well as the role of mass media, have been well-documented (see for example 1, 2), and there is no need to reproduce them here. However, there is a deficiency in the knowledge and understanding of the mass psychology and culture of political behavior in the electoral and other politico-economic matters, which will be briefly discussed in this article.
The most important questions that arise in this regard are:
1. How can hundreds of millions of adult humans-a great number of them “highly educated” and trained in various technical and other skills, and supposedly endowed with intellect and soul-constantly reproduce and put up with such demonocratic institutions and structures of politico-economic power, through regular elections, by electing candidates whose policies and actions are totally predictable to reproduce these, in close approximations?
2. An important related question is: What kind of education, educational institutions, and training can mass produce such supposedly educated and trained professionals and others?
3. What is the mass psychology and culture of this mass political behavior?
These are big questions and whole books can be written to answer them. I can only deal with these partially and briefly here.
The implications of some of my previous papers (3, 4) are relevant to answers to these questions. Much of my focus in many of my publications is on the law-regulated (not the judicial or constitutional laws, but the scientific, politico-economic, social, and mass psychological laws) foundations and processes of various phenomena, problems, and events, from which these, as well as the policies and actions of various political leaders, are produced and reproduced, predictably and regularly. While various journalists and other writers document particular empirical and other facts of these, my focus is on the above-mentioned foundations and processes. Most journalists and other writers hardly ever touch such foundations and processes, much less relate the particular empirical and other facts of constantly occurring problems and events, which originate in these, to their foundations and processes. Such an approach, which is widespread and standard, leaves a fundamental deficiency in full comprehension of the nature, causes, and potential solutions of these problems and events. Of course, particular facts are essential, but so are their interconnections within the above-mentioned law-regulated foundations and processes, which need to be integrated for correct and full comprehensions. In the absence of latter, even if some specific single problems, issues, or events are resolved, these will emerge elsewhere in different forms. For example, the war in Vietnam finally ended in 1975, with the defeat of American invaders and their allies. The focus of much of the peace movement, media, and writers was on that single event, without relating it to the law-governed processes of imperialism and militarism. Such events were later reproduced, flowing out of these processes-which constitute the common foundation and structural link between all of them-in Central America, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The resolution of the war in Vietnam did not solve the problem of imperialist wars, invasions, and militarism. To the contrary, these have now intensified in numerous parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and South Asia, and are even leading to the Third World War-which will be catastrophic for the human species, as well as most other forms of life-by provocations of the super-powers of Russia and Peoples Republic of China by the American and NATO imperialists and militarist, who are addicted and dedicated to sadistic and psychopathic domination, exploitation, inequality, injustice, and class-divisions, in their own countries, as well as rest of the world. The basic reason for such sinister developments is that the anti-war movements against particular wars failed to confront the law-governed foundations and processes of American and NATO imperialism and militarism. Currently, they are not doing anything against the ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (in which the US and NATO have played the determining role). The so-called Occupy Movement was also a dismal failure because of much worse problems than the movements of 1960s in its composition and leadership, lack of a clear agenda and goals, and lack of any effective strategy and tactics.
Almost all the educational institutions in the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Societies (ACITS) are mass producing “highly-educated” and “educated” servicers of the system-including academics, scientists, technicians, managers and employees of financial institutions, business persons, managers and employees of various manufacturing, trade, sales and other industries and businesses, etc.-all tailored to fit into the innumerable slots of the countless capitalist profit-making machines of the Grand Moloch. Not only the natural sciences and technocratic departments, but also the social sciences and humanities departments, in the so-called institutions of higher education, are oriented in that direction. Charging exorbitant tuition and other fees in most of the ACITS, and particularly in the US, they mass produce particularly mutilated caricatures of humanity that the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset had called Learned Ignoramuses, specialist who know a lot in their tiny little areas of expertise, but almost nothing about other such areas or about the overall reality of their own societies, others, or the world society, as a whole. They rely in these matters on the expertise and information of other narrowly specialized professionals in the academia, news and other media, and government agencies, who are tailored by similar institutions to those in which they are, for the same purposes. All the immense destructive effects of such one-sided and mutilating education and training are totally ignored and omitted from the mass consciousness, the almost exclusive focus being on higher productivity and profits. Mutilations of human nature in these processes are not only totally ignored and omitted, but elevated to the status of development. It will be no exaggeration to state that, with very rare exceptions, the academia in the ACITS- as well as in most of their Third World clients and imitators, and now also in the former socialist countries, in which capitalism has been restored- have become the great prestigious houses of intellectual and political prostitution, a form of prostitution that is much worse than the oldest profession. The list of results and symptoms-which are gigantic and innumerable-of the global Great Plague of one-sided capitalist-technocratic education is too long, and includes countless damages to the ecology of nature and human nature, among others.
As far as the mass psychology of American electorate is concerned, it has evolved into even more sinister and demonocratic forms than before, evident in electing the candidates of the Republican Party, including its fascist wing, the Tea Party, to majority positions in both the House and the Senate. Instead of electing lesser of the two evils, the Democrats, they elected the greater of the two evils, at this critical time of American and world history! The Presidential campaigns for the November 2016 elections are already in full swings, with the only candidate that has a truly democratic and progressive agenda and program, Jill Stein of the Green Party, being ignored by the media and electorate, and having no chance at all. Again, it will be the billions of dollars spent on these campaigns that will decide the outcome of these elections. The quality of candidates and elected officials, with very rare exceptions, has also been deteriorating consistently over the past many decades. Even a lot of Republicans of the 1970s were better than a lot of Democrats of today.
Mass psychology and culture, along with other components and institutions of the superstructure, are predominantly created by the economic basis of political economy in a given society. Surely, that relation is dialectical and not one-sided. The superstructure also feeds back into the economic basis. However, the economic basis retains its primacy throughout such mutual dialectical conditionings. This is one of the major foundations of Marxism and should be well-understood, but is not, because of the dominant influences of the apologists and advocates of capitalism, who unleash huge torrents of confusionist concepts and words to drown this major foundation of the socio-economic formations, and to mislead the public into various diversionist directions, frequently intoxicating them with non-existing individual “freedoms” and “powers” that float above and are not conditioned by the economic basis, within the political economy of capitalism and imperialism, in which the capital has totalitarian powers over everything, including the mass psychology, culture, and behavior (including political behavior). In such a society, one’s choices and actions are limited by the amount of capital and money one possesses. However, illusions of great numbers and varieties of, even unlimited, freedom of choices and actions are created and spread by the intellectual allies and beneficiaries of the system, which are contrary to all the real and empirical facts and evidence that demonstrate and prove the accuracy of the above-mentioned relation between the economic basis and components of the superstructure in given socio-economic formations, including those of capitalism and imperialism.
The class nature and contradictions of democracy under capitalism have long been understood and analyzed by communists. Lenin, in his address to the First Congress of the Communist International in 1919, had presented a thorough analysis of the extremely limited and contradictory nature of bourgeois democracy in response to the class collaborationist, opportunist, and confusionist nonsense of the leadership of some European social democratic parties, in which they were attempting to identify bourgeois democracy with democracy in general. He conclusively demonstrated that bourgeois democracy was little more than a legal form of cover for the actual state of affairs characterized by the dictatorship of capitalists. He also pointed out that the “Marxists have always maintained that the more developed, the ‘purer’ democracy is, the more naked, acute, and merciless the class struggle becomes, and the ‘purer’ the capitalist oppression and bourgeois dictatorship” (5).
The development of American capitalist-imperialist “democracy” is the biggest proof of the failure of capitalist democracy and its inevitable evolution into ever more sinister, anti-democratic, anti-human, and fascistic forms (which it transformed into in numerous Third World countries and which is now returning to the imperialist center itself). The effects of elections in the American capitalist-imperialist “democracy” are global in nature, because of its vast networks of worldwide imperialist relations and operations. Elections in other capitalist democracies do not have such vast and powerful global imperialist impacts.
As stated above, I will only focus on the effects of Capital and Money, the concentrated embodiments of the totalitarian powers of Capital in the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Society (ACITS) of the US, on the mass psychology, culture, and behavior of its inhabitants. This focus will be on the mainstream parts and processes of the population. As in other such generalizations, there are always individual and group exceptions and variations to these. However, it is scientifically valid to ignore such exceptions and variations -which revolve around and are conditioned by the mainstream- in identifying and describing the general nature of phenomena and processes.
In the ACITS, reflections of the real totalitarian powers of capital and money are established at the controlling centers of the mass human mental apparatus and the mass human brain (my usage of the term mass psychology includes these), regulating all the diverse human faculties and behaviors. It is similar to the role played by the supernatural God in the religious mass psychologies or the role played by man-made laws in regulating the mass psychologies and behaviors. During various wars between people who practice different religions, the Super-Devil-God of Capital also initiates conflicts between the different supernatural Gods in their mass psychologies, in its own service. The Devil-God of Capital and Money competes with, subordinates, and displaces all the Gods of various religions, which may also be situated in the mass psychologies. In the ACITS, among other innumerable behaviors, it also regulates the political behavior of the population. That is why under the façade of regular democratic elections, in the ACITS, Capital in its controlling and regulating position in the mass psychology, exercises dictatorial and totalitarian powers, and produces anti-democratic and anti-human results. This can explain the long history of results of such elections in all the ACITS, and particularly those of the US, in which majorities vote not only for their enemies, but, many times, even for their worst enemies, as well as for the worst enemies of mankind, justice, equality, peace, and ecology of nature and human nature. The results of the coming 2016 Presidential elections will not be any better than the previous ones, and are likely to be even worse.
The explosion of research discoveries of the past twenty years in the areas of epigenetics, gene regulation, and developmental plasticity have shown that the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the enormous numbers and types of interconnected networks of neural circuits, and neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals, associated with these, play controlling and regulating roles in the regulation of specific genes and batteries of genes for various morphological and behavioral traits in metazoans (multicellular organisms, with nervous systems, including humans), in response to external and/or internal environmental factors. Cabej (6) has cited thousands of such research studies and discoveries in his 2012 book, The Epigenetic Principles of Evolution. On the basis of all that new, as well as previous such information, cited in my own publications much earlier (3, 4), I am convinced that social, politico-economic, and natural environmental factors play a regulating role via the brain, CNS, and interconnected networks of neural circuits, through the release and secretions of numerous variable neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals, that regulate the activities of specific genes or batteries of genes, for various morphological, psychological, and behavioral traits and actions, in humans. Such processes and mechanisms are also certainly involved in the political and electoral behavior of the electorates. This constitutes a new dimension of these phenomena. At this stage of the development of knowledge and research information, it is only possible to present a general outline of these processes, like the one I have presented above, which, nevertheless, explains their regularity and relative stability in the ACITS. Specific epigenetic and gene regulatory research information, which is relevant to these, is super-abundant and can be found in the above-cited book of Cabej (6), as well as in some of my earlier articles (3, 4). The key point is that the underlying processes that regulate various human faculties and behaviors, including those involved in the political and electoral behavior, are not merely mass psychological or cultural, but are also biological and physiological in nature, involving the interactions between environmental factors; brain; CNS; networks of neural circuits; neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals; and genes and their differential regulation. These processes take place mostly on the level of unconscious. The mass and individual unconscious plays a greater role than the mass and individual consciousness in such regulations, which may even be the opposite of that required by the latter. Indeed, mass consciousness is predominantly created under the influence of such biosocial forces of the mass unconscious, with individual variations centered around it and conditioned by it. Can individuals overcome the effects of these forces within the framework of capitalist-imperialist political economy, like that of the US? It is possible, but is rare, and the overcoming is not complete, but only relative, as evidenced by the radical psychological conversions. Certainly, there are epigenetic and physiological dimensions of such conversions, the specifics of which are unknown at present. Mass psychological radical conversions in the population, in this regard, will only be possible during and after the overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist politico-economic system and its replacement with the socialist politico-economic system. However, even under socialism, it will take considerable time, perhaps on the inter-generational scale, for such transformations in the majorities.
Socialism, among other great objective and subjective transformations, will eject the reflection of the Devil-God of Capital from the depths of human mass mental apparatus, freeing both its religious and atheist forms from its controls, regulations, and domination. Of course, this will take time, but it can only happen under socialism.
The following news item about the recent debate between some democratic Presidential candidates is self-explanatory. It shows the success and effectiveness of superfluity, shallowness, acting, and rehearsed demagoguery in influencing public opinions and choices in the electoral processes. In their essence, such contests have a lot in common with the Miss America type of contests. Rather than judging the candidates on substantial issues, they are judged by how they handle and present themselves.
“Clinton, 67, was widely hailed by analysts as turning in a nimble, effective performance on Tuesday night, perhaps easing the fears of some Democrats fretting that the flap over her use of a private email server while in the Obama administration was torpedoing her candidacy.
In doing so, she at once may have dampened calls for Biden to make a belated entrance into the race, while also blunting the threat from insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist.”
“If you’re a Hillary supporter and you were worried for whatever reason, you should feel very good about yourself,” said Rodell Mollineau, a Democratic strategist who attended the debate in Las Vegas. “This is the kind of debate that helps build momentum.”
Addition of 6.7.2016
The following was added to my epigenetic and biosocial paper (3). As it is also relevant to this article, it is also being added here.
Real democracy will only become possible when humans are freed from the slavery to and domination of The Capital and the Capitalist Class, when the greatly eroded and damaged parts of their human nature, involving both the Human Soul and Human Reason, are repaired, made wholesome, and restored, and when they become de-alienated and de-reified. That will only become possible under socialism and communism. Under various stages and forms of capitalism, they are condemned to remain mutilated and eroded, and to live only under the façade and illusions of “democracy”. Capitalist democracy and human nature, mutually and dialectically, erode, distort, and pervert each other. This process greatly intensifies and accelerates in the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Societies (ACITS), in which advanced technology and technocracy inextricably intertwine and combine with the advanced capitalism and create the most powerful macro-level social forces of dehumanization; inhumanization; erosion, perversion, and transformation of the Human Soul and Human Reason; mass alienation, and mass reification, all under the façade and illusions of “democracy”. Capitalist Democracy under these conditions inevitably transforms into Capitalist Demonocracy.
Numerous logical, factual, macro-level, and micro-level inferences and conclusions can be derived from this new biosocial and epigenetic theory of the relativity of human nature. For example, the impossibility of anarchism should be self-evident. After millennia of dehumanizations; inhumanizations; alienation; reification; and differential epigenetic and biosocial regulation of human nature, in various class-divided societies in history-especially under the co-evolution of capitalism and technology-resulting in the current forms of advanced capitalism and imperialism-in which these processes have greatly accelerated and have been, both quantitatively and qualitatively, transformed into newer and more extreme forms, the restoration of the health and wholesomeness of human nature will require enormous macro-level intellectual and spiritual efforts, which will only become possible in the centrally planned politico-economic systems of socialism and communism, taking considerable historical time, on the inter-generational levels, even under these systems, for achieving significant results in these areas.
It should be pointed out that Marx and numerous other Marxists after him have already demonstrated the politico-economic and social impossibilities and infeasibilities of anarchism, as solution to the great problems of capitalism and imperialism. This new biosocial and epigenetic theory further substantiates their analyses, adding an important new dimension to them.
Anarchism always was, and continues to be, a totally subjectivist-idealist-delusional-sensationalist hypothesis and ideology, in complete dissociation from the existing realities of capitalism and imperialism, and the real possibilities of their overthrow, transformations, and replacement with another more just, rational, and rehumanizing social and politico-economic system. Even though, anarchism is completely impossible and infeasible, just imagine the consequences of it somehow succeeding in the contemporary American society. It should be clear to any thinking and informed person that, given the deformations of human nature into the current capitalist-imperialist forms, the types and levels of horrors, conflicts, bloodshed, chaos, and anarchy would be unimaginable.
1. Parenti, M. Democracy for the Few. 8th Ed., 2008, Thomson Wadsworth.
2. Greider, W. Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy. Touchstone, New York, 1992.
3. Rahman, F. Biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature: Relative to political economy, technology, and culture.
4. Rahman, F. Multidimensional and complex nature and effects of imperialism on democracy, society, nature, and human nature.
5. Lenin, V. I. “Theses and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, First Congress of the Communist International, March 2-6, 1919. Selected Works, Vol. 3, pp. 150-163. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1971.
6. Cabej, N. R. Epigenetic Principles of Evolution. Elsevier, London, UK and Waltham, MA, USA, 2012. 804 pages.
Dr. Fazal Rahman is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with background in many areas of biological and social sciences. He has lived and worked in many countries, like Pakistan, Brazil, USA, Lebanon, and Zambia, as a scientist and head of research and development programs and centers. He has done in-depth and extensive studies on Marxism, Leninism, phenomenology, existentialism, political economy of capitalism and socialism, political economy of US and former USSR, technocracy, psychology, mass psychology, and genetics, etc.