11 May 2009
2nd Letter to the Readers
I was born in Soviet Russia and emigrated to US with the hope to live in and participate in Democracy. For me it is especially painful to see when nominally democratic authority figures think in semantic constructions or express themselves in an emotional code, which are both isomorphic to totalitarian sensibility. Reagan’s seducing pop-slogans, Bush Sr.’ military showoffs distracting from problems, Clinton’s massive capitulations through his saddened smile, Bush Jr.’ colorful blows to the American democratic tradition, and the chronic inability of lawmakers-Democrats to explain to people the policies and the goals of the right (an inability that is itself the object for psychological analysis) – put the meaning of my emigration and purpose of my life under doubt.
It seems to me that it is necessary to analyze again and again what could make eight years of Bushmerica possible.
For the last several years I was writing my new book “Ideological Superstitions and Political Misperceptions in the 20th-21st Centuries” to understand better the emotional attractiveness of totalitarian manner of reacting to the world, and how easily and “naturally” the democratic reflexes can collapse, once again, into a pre-democratic sensibility. There is, it seems, a real danger of the return of Bushmerican corp-servatives (corporate conservatives) to power after Obama presidency.
In my book I compare the particularities of Soviet and Bushmerican totalitarianism, describe some historical patterns of collective self-aggrandizement, explain intolerance toward otherness as enhancing self- or collective image, and analyze the psychological obstacles to emotional maturation, the role of superstitions and prejudices as an intuitive self-therapeutic subterfuges, the status of technical-scientific reason in a politically degrading culture, the types of social mega-organisms ruling over the individuals, political strategy of fixating people on personal morality to blur their awareness of the social determinism of their desires, progressive elimination of humanistic knowledge in culture sliding toward anti-democratic worldview, and other topics relevant to the concern about the danger of totalitarian degradation of human culture.