Three Examples of Dangerous Conservative Inertia and a Lack of Existential Creativity

“…the fight of intellectual force against the brutal force of ignorance, violence and profit.”
Franco Berardi

Nearly perfect personifications of conservative canned thinking were the Soviet Communists. In their hands of lumberjacks even dreams about improving the human life became an archaic reality of the power-keepers repressing and exploiting the population. For a while it seemed that another dream about human liberation – American democracy, will be victorious over the archaic reality of social antagonism between the powerful and rich decision-makers and the masses of population. The beginning of 21st century has proved the contrary. Dressed in armor of global corporate might, with the banner of global economy and under the cloak of five conservative justices of the American Supreme Court the rich are stronger than ever over the masses of Americans losing their jobs, homes, pensions and medical care.

Petroleum vs. solar power. Thirty three years ago Jimmy Carter had the solar panels installed on the roof of the West Wing of the White House as a symbolic gesture and proclaimed the beginning of a creative reorientation of American energy politics “to achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year of 2000”. Under Ronald Reagan Carter’s solar panels were removed and his energy policies were reversed back to reliance on traditional fossil fuel. Today our country is paying a very high price for this conservative reversal by being involved in oil-wars in Iraq and Afghanistan extending into Pakistan, and, probably, into Iran. Conservative Republicans cannot make creative steps – they have canned brains. They look around with the eyes trained to look into the past. For them future is the past which they believe they can dominate better than their ancestors ever did. And to dominate better for today’s neo-conservatives means to make more money on wars, on adversariness and hate in general, on the very existence of enemies, and on disasters like oil eruption in the Golf of Mexico (where they tried to save money on safety measures and, probably, dream about the transformation of this area into a giant oil reservoir).

Wars between countries instead of war against terrorists. The conservatives’ inability to meet the challenge of a new kind of war – the war with terrorists, their psychologically deeply rooted taste for a traditional war between nations made them prone after 9/11 to look for an excuse to start the old-fashioned military campaign with all the archaic emotions involved – need for disproportioned revenge, joy of hating, righteous cruelty, the tendency to primitively brag about being stronger and to gloat over successful murders. Instead of finding a new creative strategy of dealing with terrorists as an enemy of a new type Bushmerican conservative leaders have reduced the new task and challenge into the traditional war experience with a high price for our soldiers and the American taxpayers. The awkward and frivolous wars cover up the conservative inability to think hard, exactly and responsibly.

Military solutions are deployed against non-military problems.
“[Today] that the cold war has faded away, a very different struggle for survival is emerging… humanity is facing a triple security crisis: societies everywhere have to contend with the effects of the environmental decline, the repercussions of social inequities and stress, and the dangers arising out of an unchecked arms proliferation… Conditioned by a worldview that largely equates security with military strength , traditional analysts tend to regard emerging issues simply as new ‘threats’ to be deterred. By subsuming these new issues under the old thinking of national military security, efforts to address them become militarized… But many sources of conflict are simply not amenable to any military ‘solution’. Poverty, unequal distribution of land, and the degradation of ecosystems are among the most real and pressing issues undermining people’s security. Soldiers, tanks, or warplanes are at best irrelevant in this context, and more likely an obstacle. The military absorbs substantial resources that could help reduce the potential for violent conflict if invested in health, housing, education, poverty eradication, and environmental sustainability.” (Michael Renner, “The Transformation of Security”, 9.23.2003, p.1, 4).

But canned minds cannot change, cannot reform their perception of the world and produce a fresh thinking. “An understanding of security consonant with the realities of today’s world requires a shift from conflict-laden to cooperative approaches, from national to global security” (M. Renner, ibid, p.5). The only way for us to have any future is to vote for more creative, more educated and more prone to think minds capable to address the problems of today. “…is it possible to have a self-organization of scientists that is founded on the autonomy of science from power? This is no longer a concern for a small group of nuclear physicists, but for millions and millions of workers in science and technology, in administration, in education and therapy.” (Franco Berardi, “The Warrior, the Merchant and the Sage”, p. 4)