Posts Tagged ‘European Union’


October 28, 2018

This post is based on Timothy Snyder’s book, “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America.” When the Soviet Union existed it was a Communist nation and was regarded as being on the extreme liberal left. Under Putin, Russia has become a Fascist nation on the extreme right. So it is ironic that the Republican Party that once was strongly anti-communist, has nominated a presidential candidate who was chosen by Putin as the best person to lead the United States. Now this presidential candidate, who was clearly aided by Russia in his campaign, is joined in a mutual admiration union with Putin. And many Republicans are trying to frustrate, if not end, the investigation into Trump and Russia. This is an age of toxic irony.

Fascism is a troubling phenomenon. Germany and Italy were Fascist countries the allies fought and defeated during WW2. Fascism is a strongly authoritarian ideology. As a result of the Nazis an F (for Fascism) Scale was developed, that essentially measured the strength of an authoritarian personality. Two characteristics of Fascism are anti-semitism and a hatred of homosexuality. HM has difficulty understanding the basis of anti-semitism. The justifications for it are clearly fabricated done just to provide the basis for hatred. Actually, HM is grateful to Jews for their many contributions to the arts, science, and humor, just to mention a few. However, HM does think he understands, at least partly, the basis for the hatred of homosexuals. This hatred is found in both the religious right and Fascists. Being a cynical psychologist, who is not a clinician, HM suspects that latent homosexuality is the basis for most of this hatred. Unknowingly, they fear their latent homosexuality and project this on others. The stronger the fear, the greater the hatred. This conjecture occurs to HM whenever he sees Putin without his shirt.

Readers are encouraged to read Snyder’s “The Road to Unfreedom: Russian, Europe, and America. It outlines Putin’s goals to break up Europe into a Russian state Europa. Brexit was a successful effort to this end. He is encouraging right wing parties in the Europe and these parties are gaining increasing strength. Similarly, he is trying to break up the United States into vassal states that will support Russia. He does this by sowing dissension in these countries by various means, but primarily by social media.

Putin was extremely upset when the Ukraine, that was part of the Soviet Union, wanted to join the European Union. He invaded militarily the eastern part of the Ukraine that was largely Russian. However, the remainder of the Ukraine resisted his military efforts so that roughly two-thirds of the Ukraine remained free. During this time HM was able to view RT and saw the splendid propaganda Russian produced. It is so slick that it appears to be news, although the central message was propaganda. At the point of this writing, the situation remains a stalemate. So it appears that Putin can be contained, but Putin’s motives and means must clearly be recognized. All of this is described in Snyder’s book as well as Putin’s other efforts in Europe.

Even Putin’s efforts in the United States can only be touched on in the future posts. Much more of the text of “The Road to Unfreedom: will be copied directly. These portions will be indicated in quotes. Trying to paraphrase would only dilute the message Snyder is excellently communicating.

An Informative and Timely Read

January 20, 2013

That would be The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse by Rebecca D. Costa ( As the title promises she presents a theory of why civilizations collapse. The simple explanation is that a civilization’s beliefs do not keep up with the environmental facts in which they operate. She uses the Mayans, the Roman, and the Kymer civilizations for examples. Given the exponential increase in technology that has occurred, the problem is much greater today than in the times of those ancient civilizations.

Biological evolution is slow. At one time the evolution of technology was also slow, but the rate of change in technology is truly exponential today. So how can homo sapiens keep up? Unless the singularity predicted by Ray Kurzweil in which humans become one with technology (enter “singularity” into the search box) this is a definite problem. This failure to “keep up” is quite evident in the stagnation of governments in the United States and European Union.

Costa introduces the concept of supermemes, which are overriding habits of processing information that lead to stagnation and fail to solve pressing problems. These supermemes will be addressed individually in later healthymemory blog posts: they are “Irrational Opposition,” “The Personalization of Blame,” “Counterfeit Correlation,” “Silo Thinking,” and “Extreme Economics.”

She does provide rational solutions for dealing with the irrational world in which we live, and strategies for implementing those solutions. One chapter is titled “Building Better Brains,” a title to which the healthymemory blog resonates. She argues that insight can deal with our problems successfully and discusses conditions conducive to cognition for achieving this insight. Future healthymemory blog posts will discuss these topics.

Nevertheless, I shall be unable to do justice to these topics, so I suggest you get the book and read it for yourself.

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