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A New Model for the Near-mythical Rise of Donald Trump; this one from the Ancient Greeks

antaeus

A New Model for the Near-mythical rise of Rise of Donald Trump; this one from the Ancient Greeks

Donald Trump’s Source of Power is the People, OnlySeparating Him From the People Will Cause His Downfall

 

Austin, Texas, May 24, 2016 — After reading yet another in an apparently unending number of ‘Dump Trump’ plans, we noticed that the latest differed from all the others, only in increasing its level of desperation.

It is now ever more evident that the party establishments are destined like Sisyphus to push their particular rocks up hills (in the current rendering) of their own making.

We’ve witnessed the attempts at explication of the origins of the Trump phenomenon to become more and more, dare we say it, detached or even unhinged from the current reality.  After all, it is now a given that the ‘establishment’ had completely missed (or were oblivious to) the rising anger, frustration and contempt that was seething beneath the surface of the body politic over the preceding seven years. (See Nate Cohn’s of the New York Times Apologia here.)

We at the Global Language Monitor have been documenting this undercurrent since 2007 And, indeed, it has and has been recorded in the pages of The Hill, the news organization most frequently accessed by the White House, Congress and  key influencers, as well as here in the Global Language Monitor.  However, those disruptive forces appear to have been masked, for good or for ill, by the triumphal arrival of the Obama Administration and its immediate aftermath. Of course, we also tracked the highs over the preceding time frame, but were prescient enough to pay attention to the lows, thinking there might be an interesting story that would unfold in the fullness of time.

At this point, it begs the question as to why would we expect these very same thought and opinion leaders, to suddenly, as if by epiphany or the unseen hand of the electorate, understand the enormity of the disruptive forces now sweeping the nation?

Nevertheless, how to explain this miss of near mythical proportions?  How would the ancient Greeks have

They might have called to mind the story of Antaeus.  (Antaeus here standing in for Donald J. Trump.)

Antaeus, the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Gaia, the goddess of the land, the earth.  Antaeus was a giant who lived in North Africa.  He would challenge other giants striding across his land to a wrestling match to the death.  So skilled was he as a wrestler that he built a tower of skulls of the giants he had conquered in a tribute to father. This went on for ages until he encountered Hercules who was in the midst of the eleventh of his famed twelve labors.  The struggle was long, brutal and bitter; Antaeus and Hercules appeared evenly matched.

Then Hercules noticed a rather curious occurrence:  Antaeus appeared to gain a bit of strength every time Hercules (or Clinton in this case) threw him to the ground. So Hercules began to hold him in the air, for longer and longer periods, until he was weakened enough for Hercules to crush him until death.

Antaeus was finally beaten because Hercules came to understand that he gained strength from his mother Gaia (in Trump’s case, the people), whenever he was thrown to the ground.

In the same manner, many have noted that the more his opponents attempt to take Trump down, the more they thrust him to the ground, the stronger he becomes.  In the same manner for Trump, the ground, the earth, his strength are the disenfranchised, the belittled, body politic.

And the only way to beat Trump in this scenario is to separate the candidate from those who love him.

The question then becomes — is there a Hercules or Herculean team who can separate one Donald J Trump from his ultimate source of power — the people?

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This MetaThought Commentary was written by Paul JJ Payack, commentator, author, speaker and Big Data Analyst, and president of both the ThoughtTopper Institute and the Global Language Monitor.

MetaThought Commentary is a service of the ThoughtTopper Institute.

For more information call 1.512.801.6823.

ThoughtTopper Institute: Re-naming the Great Recession

Re-naming the Great Recession

A Retrospective on the Great Recession that Began Ten Years Ago This Year

 

AUSTIN, Texas,  August 9, 2011.  Words have power. Names have power.   Three years ago we spoke to Newsweek about what should the then-current/still-current economic crisis be named. The ‘Great Recession’ was favored by the New York Times and eventually ‘certified’ by the AP Style Guide.  The Global Language Monitor’s position was that the economic crisis of 2008 did not resemble a recession, as we had come to define recessions, and the resemblance to the Worldwide Economic Depression of the 1930s was tentative, at best.

GLM’s position was that we were experiencing was not a recession, neither great nor small, but something of a wholly differing sort:  a Global Economic Restructuring.

Words have power. Names have power. In fact words and names can shape the contours of a debate. And, we might add, words and names carry the inherent capacity to lead us astray. Casting the current reality in the terms of those crises we’ve already experienced, provides the comfort (and illusion) that things are well in control.

It is about time that we admit that what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out, in von Clausewitz’s words “by other means”.

Globe Naming the Great Recession

Originally alluded to as a “Financial Tsunami” or “Financial Meltdown,” the major global media seem to have gained a consensus on “The Great Recession”. In the beginning, most comparisons were being made to the Great Economic Depression of the 1930s, more familiarly known, simply, as “The Depression” in the same way that many still refer to World War II as “The War”. But even these comparisons frequently ended up referring to the recession of 1982, yet another so-called “Great Recession”.

Our recent analysis has shown that while the major print and electronic media have settled upon “Great Recession”, the rest of the Internet, blogosphere and social media world have largely eschewed the term. We believe the difficulty here stems from the fact that this economic crisis is difficult to express in words because it does not resemble any economic crisis in recent memory — but rather a crisis of another sort.

“On War” is one of the most influential books on military strategy of all time. Written by Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz (1780 – 1831), it recorded one of his most respected tenets, “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means,” which is frequently abbreviated to “War is diplomacy carried out by other means’.

We believe that the reason the “Great Recession” label does not now fit, as has now become obvious, because what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out “by other means”.

This fact has entrapped two U.S. presidents, from radically diverging political viewpoints, in the same dilemma: describing an economic phenomenon, that doesn’t play by the old rules. Hence, the difficulty experienced by President Bush as he struggled to describe how the U.S. economy was not in a recession since the GDP had not declined for two consecutive quarters, the traditional definition of a recession, even though jobs were being shed by the millions and the global banking system teetered on the brink of collapse. Now we have President Obama, attempting to describe how the U.S. economy has emerged out of a recession, though the collateral damage in terms of the evaporation of wealth, mortgages, and jobs remains apparently undaunted and unabated.

And the world, from China to Germany, stands aghast as we continue to argue, in spite of all available evidence that debt is a good thing. “We all say so, so it must be true!” seems to be the all-too-familiar refrain from Washington.

The regional or global transfer of wealth, power and influence, the destruction of entire industries and the so-called collateral (or human) damage are all hallmarks of what is now being experienced in the West.

If one carefully disassembles the events of the last decade or two, you can see them as the almost inevitable conclusion of a nameless war that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the embrace of a form of the free-market system by China, India and the other rising states, an almost unprecedented transfer of wealth from the Western Economies to the Middle East (energy) and South and East Asia (manufactured goods and services), and the substantial transfer of political power and influence that inevitably follows.

It currently appears that the Western Powers most affected by these transfers cannot adequately explain, or even understand, their present circumstances in a way that makes sense to the citizenry, let alone actually reverse (or even impede) the course of history. In fact, the larger events are playing out while the affected societies seemingly default to the hope that they ultimately can exert some sort of control over a reality that appears to be both out of their grasp and control.

The good news here is that the transfers of wealth, power and influence has proven relatively bloodless but nonetheless destructive for the hundreds of millions of those on the front lines of the economic dislocations.

And it is in this context that the perceived resentment of the Islamic and Arab states should be more clearly viewed. This is especially so as they, too, watch helplessly as the new global reality and re-alignments unfold.

In conclusion, it can be argued that the reason the “Great Recession” label doesn’t seem to fit now is because what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather an on-going transformational event involving the global transfer of wealth, power and influence on an unprecedented level, carried out “by other means”.

By Paul JJ Payack and Edward ML Peters.  Paul JJ Payack is president of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. Edward ML Peters is CEO of Dallas-based OpenConnect Systems. Their most recent book is “The Paid-for Option”, which describes how healthcare reform can actually pay for itself through the application of process intelligence and its attendant gains in productivity.

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The ThoughtTopper Institute: The Global Economic Restructuring

The Global Economic Restructuring

What we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out, in von Clausewitz’s words ‘by other means’.

This post first appeared on The Hill

November 3, 2010.  It is about time that we admit that what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power, and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out, in von Clausewitz’s words “by other means”.

Originally alluded to as a “Financial Tsunami” or “Financial Meltdown,” the major global media seem to have gained a consensus on “The Great Recession”. In the beginning, most comparisons were being made to the Great Economic Depression of the 1930s, more familiarly known, simply, as “The Depression” in the same way that many still refer to World War II as “The War”. But even these comparisons frequently ended up referring to the recession of 1982, yet another so-called “Great Recession”.

Our recent analysis has shown that while the major print and electronic media have settled upon “Great Recession”, the rest of the Internet, blogosphere and social media world have largely eschewed the term. We believe the difficulty here stems from the fact that this economic crisis is difficult to express in words because it does not resemble any economic crisis in recent memory — but rather a crisis of another sort.

“On War” is one of the most influential books on military strategy of all time. Written by Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz (1780 – 1831), it recorded one of his most respected tenets, “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means,” which is frequently abbreviated to “War is diplomacy carried out by other means’.

We believe that the reason the “Great Recession” label does not now fit is because what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather a global transference of wealth, power, and prestige on an unprecedented level, carried out “by other means”.

This fact has entrapped two U.S. presidents, from radically diverging political viewpoints, in the same dilemma: describing an economic phenomenon, that doesn’t play by the old rules. Hence, the difficulty experienced by President Bush as he struggled to describe how the U.S. economy was not in a recession since the GDP had not declined for two consecutive quarters, the traditional definition of a recession, even though jobs were being shed by the millions and the global banking system teetered on the brink of collapse. Now we have President Obama, attempting to describe how the U.S. economy has emerged out of a recession, though the collateral damage in terms of the evaporation of wealth, mortgages, and jobs remains apparently undaunted and unabated.

The regional or global transfer of wealth, power, and influence, the destruction of entire industries and the so-called collateral (or human) damage are all hallmarks of what is now being experienced in the West.

If one carefully disassembles the events of the last decade or two, you can see them as the almost inevitable conclusion of a nameless war that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the embrace of a form of the free-market system by China, India and the other rising states, an almost unprecedented transfer of wealth from the Western Economies to the Middle East (energy) and South and East Asia (manufactured goods and services), and the substantial transfer of political power and influence that  inevitably follows.

It currently appears that the Western Powers most affected by these transfers cannot adequately explain, or even understand, their present circumstances in a way that makes sense to the citizenry, let alone actually reverse (or even impede) the course of history. In fact, the larger events are playing out while the affected societies seemingly default to the hope that they ultimately can exert some sort of control over a reality that appears to be both out of their grasp and control.

The good news here is that the transfers of wealth, power, and influence have proven relatively bloodless but nonetheless destructive for the hundreds of millions of those on the front lines of the economic dislocations.

And it is in this context that the perceived resentment of the Islamic and Arab states should be more clearly viewed. This is especially so as they, too, watch helplessly as the new global reality and re-alignments unfold.

In conclusion, it can be argued that the reason the “Great Recession” label doesn’t seem to fit now is because what we are experiencing is not a recession, neither great nor small, but rather an on-going transformational event involving the global transfer of wealth, power, and influence on an unprecedented level, carried out “by other means”.

Paul JJ Payack is president of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. Edward ML Peters is the former CEO of Dallas-based OpenConnect Systems. Their most recent book is “The Paid-for Option”, which describes how healthcare reform can actually pay for itself through the application of process intelligence and its attendant gains in productivity.

ThoughtTopper Institute: The Scientific Method and Settled Science

The Scientific Method and Settled Science

 

As thoughtful readers have learned since the launch of the Global Language Monitor in the fall of 2003, all objectivity in media is suspect, and for good reason.  The non-bias claimed on all sides of the political equation is itself, biased, since all media have come to see their particular viewpoint as objective and true, right and just, supported by the facts, scientific or otherwise, and agreed to by all learned people (who happen to agree with their particular beliefs).The fact that their audiences steadfastly agree with their positions only serves to re-enforce their particular biases. We all think so, so it must be true!  ( and it is logically consistent, is a frequent addition.)

One of the most dangerous of these biases is the concept of settled science.
Science, by definition, can never be settled.

The Scientific Method has been adhered to since the Enlightenment.   It is composed of five or six steps

  1. Observation
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Experiment
  4. Record and analyze data
  5. Compare the results to the hypothesis.
  6. If necessary, either modify the hypothesis or the experiment

There is always more complete data to be found and always room for another test of the hypothesis, to ensure completeness.

Another time-honored tradition is the custom of employing Occam’s Razor in the decision-making process.   Occam’s Razor is stated in Latin as  Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (Do not multiply things without necessity).  The principle is essential for model building because, for a given set of data, there is always an infinite number of models explaining the data.

The principle is essential for model building because, for a given set of data, there is always an infinite number of models explaining the data.

In other words, if you have two choices 1) a snowball moves because invisible, alien drones take it and deliver it to its target, or 2) angular momentum you must choose No. 2 because that is the simplest.

If there is any fact in science that cannot be debated, its Einsteins Theory of Relativity.  Yet nonetheless, every year there are numerous well-publicized challenges to differing aspects of the Theory. How can this be if the Theory of Relativity is settled?

The answer is because this is part of the scientific method!

Lest this be seen as an argument against human-enhanced Global Warming, please allow me to point out that this is not the case.  We consider Global Warming as close to settled science you can get but not for the reasons you might think.

Settled Science is not a new term, in fact, its use stretches back some 150 years, although the settled science that it described would seem a Hall of Infamy in the early 21st century.

Settled Science in the late 1800s:

  • The division of Humankind into races differentiated by alleged Intellectual Potential (or limitations), Color of Skin, Shape of the head, and Geographic Location.
  • Segregation of women and girls from higher education.  Alleged reasons:  women’s brains could not deal with rigorous thinking and men would become physically and psychologically unhinged in their presence.  
  • Excluding women from voting for much the same issues.

Settled Science in the early 1900s:

  • Space flight is not possible because there is nothing in space for an engine to push against.
  • Since space cannot be empty, there needs to be a substance and name it ether.
  • The Universe cannot be infinite, so we live in an island universe that we call the Milky Way.  

Settled Science later in the 20th century

  • There are so many safeguards built into nuclear power plants that the odds of an accident are 50,000,000,000 to 1.
  • A population bomb would wipe out millions or billion of humans before the end of the century.
  • An impending Ice Age would settle upon Northern climes before the end of the century with great death and destruction in its wake.
  • Being gay or lesbian was classified as abnormal and a psychiatric condition by the experts in the field.

Settled Science early in the 21st century

  • That nothing can exceed the speed of light was a given until it was recently proven that the Inflationary Stage of the first moments of the Big Bang expanded thousands or millions of light-years in less than a millionth of a second.

With Occams Razor in mind we must come to the conclusion that settled science is a term that often contradicts the Scientific Method, itself and,therefore, must be used with great caution.

 



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Are Superdelegates Just Another Form of Voter Suppression?

Over the last several election cycles charges of voter suppression are often hurled against what used to be termed the Loyal Opposition.

Most recently, the idea of using a photo ID for identification is a flash point, with one side suggesting that those living on the margins of society frequently do not have the wherewithal to afford picture IDs, while the opposing argument is that most states require photoIDs to access the basic services provided to the poor.

Super delegates have seldom been mentioned in this regard, as yet another clever way to suppress the will of the people.  However, the question is certainly a valid one, especially in view of the Democratic primaries where we have Bernie Sanders winning state-after-state.  After each victory, we are assured that these victories are all for naught, given Hillary Clinton’s overwhelming grasp on the superdelegates, chosen by the Democratic Party establishment. Bernie, the once-obscure, small-state senator, and avowed socialist, is now making a significant dent into the received wisdom of who can be (or should) be allowed to carry the Democratic flag into the 2016 President Election.

The cry heard from the Left is that Hillary is safe because the bulk of the
super delegates currently back her, and thus the will of the people can rather readily be thwarted.

On the Republican side, we have the opposite problem, where the party leadership is said to be in disarray precisely because there is no mechanism to rather easily overrule the apparent will of the people.

Can you imagine the anger and cries of foul play if the situation were
reversed and, say, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, were denied the Republican Party nomination because the majority of the unelected, non-representative, Uber-delegates were dedicated to reversing the vote of the people?

It has not yet reached this point, but if the Sanders campaign reaches parity with that of Clinton in terms of the elected delegates, what happens when the electorate realizes that the nomination will actually fall into the hands of those non-elected, non-representative, electors answerable to none?

This MetaCommentary was written by Paul JJ Payack

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You have permission to publish this work as long as proper attribution accompanies the copy since it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

MetaThought Commentary is a service of the ThoughtTopper Institute.

For more information call 1.512.801.6823

 



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