I had some more thoughts on the cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution (I’ve written similar things in previous articles such as “Thoughts on the cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution: distortion “in the name of the Constitution”” and “More thoughts on the “cold war mentality” – its traits and its ongoing effects” and “Thoughts on cold war thinking and how it is out dated” and “Thoughts on my statement: “The cold war is over. We don’t have to see malicious intent in peoples actions anymore . . . ” – the cold war warpage of American ideals, law, and political views and other things” which this article reiterates, in a different way, as well as adding some other things):
I tend to believe that the cold war created a particular interpretation of the world, politics, associations between people, and life in general. This is because the cold war was a unique time in history. It created a condition that has never really existed in history. As a result, it has created a unique reaction with unique viewpoints corresponding to its unique historical context. Because of this, its points of views become out-of-place and “weird” when they are used in non-cold war conditions (such as now!). Much of these “unique” cold war point of views, though, are being persisted down to today. What this does is leave a very strong ‘cold warishness’ attitude in the world today even though no cold war exists. In many ways, it is a continuing of the cold war when there is no cold war. I sometimes jokingly speak of this as the ‘frigid war’. This is the continuing persistence of attitudes surrounding a war that “almost” took place (the cold war) when the original conditions no longer exist (in other words, it has gone from the cold to frigid). In some respects, the ‘frigid war’ is causing even more distortion than the original cold war. Some reasons for this include:
- It is based on an already existing condition with its own existing impetus and justification.
- It caters to nationalistic feelings and self-righteousness.
- There is nothing to challenge it.
- There is no alternative.
Because of this, the attitudes of the cold war are kept alive and kicking in the ‘frigid war’. In this way we remain in the cold war without being in it.
THE ‘COLD WAR INTERPRETATION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION’
One of the effects of the cold war is that it has caused a great distortion in American political and legal thinking that would probably be best described as a warpage. Because of this, it has given a specific quality to the interpretation of American law and politics that is unique to the cold war era. Most of this centers, somewhere along the line, with the U.S. Constitution as the cold war was viewed as a defending of the U.S. Constitution against a threat that entailed the idea of world annihilation and destruction. In this way, it gave a particular quality to the importance and defense of the U.S. Constitution. What we see, then, is that the cold war created a “cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution” to fit the conditions of the cold war.
I believe that this interpretation is NOT the “correct” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution nor do I believe that it is an accurate portrayal of what the founders had in mind. The interpretation is only a reflection of the conditions of a specific era with unique conditions. This is because, in reality, its not uncommon that each era creates its own style of interpretation of things, such as the U.S. Constitution. In this way, each era gives a different interpretation and quality that can make it very unique and separate from other eras. In many ways, we could compare the ‘cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’ to the many interpretations of the Bible which varied with different eras. The effect of the different eras and their different interpretations, of course, is to give a multitude of interpretations of the Bible. Its really no different with the U.S. Constitution.
I should also point out that each era had the tendency to think that their interpretation is correct. In addition, they tended to think that their interpretation is the “only” interpretation that is possible. This is a common viewpoint with the ‘cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’. Because things are said in the name of the U.S. Constitution there is a tendency to think that this is the correct and the only interpretation. In other words, people seem to think that this interpretation is the ultimate interpretation and that it reflects its “true spirit”. But this interpretation is based on the cold war situation and is, therefore, specific to that situation. Its just another era thinking that it has the correct interpretation.
Its very critical to emphasize, and remember, that the ‘cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’ is based on unique and unnatural conditions that caused a paranoid delusional point of view. This was aggravated by social hysteria and panic greatly influenced by the media. This caused a particularly unique attitude and mentality that does not reflect any other era. In this way, it is not founded in the best of mentalities, which makes it even more questionable.
“THE RE-ENACTMENT OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR”
The cold war caused an over-glorification of American beliefs (as we were fighting a rival political and economic theory). As a result, American political and legal beliefs were almost turned into an act of god, as the “ultimate”. This caused a tendency, which I often call the “the re-enactment of the American Revolutionary War”. Basically, in order to “capture” the “rightness” of themselves as Americans they as if tried to turn everything into the event that they believe made them great: the American Revolutionary War. But, in order for this to work it must recreate the participants and conditions. The problem is that this situation does not exist in all situations nor does it reflect a commonly occurring human situation. As a result, by recreating these things, they had to twist and distort things to fit into their American Revolutionary War model. I sometimes speak of this as “forcing the interpretation”. Basically, it amounts to “making” things fit into a situation that it does not, in actuality, fit in. In this way, “the re-enactment of the American Revolutionary War” created a distorted view of situations, society, and people. It created abuse that didn’t happen, the villanizing of innocent people, and the seeing of social and political conditions that did not exist. To me, this distorted point of view now permeates American society.
A good example of these claims are seen with feminists, who fabricated a whole false world based in cold war paranoia and “the re-enactment of the American Revolutionary War” (for some examples see my article “Thoughts on the absurd claims of feminists“). One statement, in particular, is particularly revealing:
“Females are oppressed because we are forced to wear nylons. This is meant to reinforce our inferiority. Males get to wear pants, which are durable and strong, but we have to wear nylons, which are weak and frail, to remind us of our inferiority.”
Anyone with any sense can see that this is utter nonsense (but it was said to me like it was a serious and legitimate claim!). We see a number of themes:
- The oppressor – males forcing them to wear nylons
- The oppressed – females are “forced” to wear nylons
- Ill intent – the males do it to make females inferior (apparently, for some “sinister” reason)
- The use of the Constitution as a defense – they are “oppressed” and, therefore, fighting male oppression
- Conspiracy theory – the idea that the males conspired to force this upon them
In general, its a statement of an oppression conspired by the males to harm the females by making them feel “inferior” by forcing them wear “weak” and “frail” nylons.
Does this condition exist?
Certainly not. Its a reflection of the delusional paranoid thinking that was very prevalent during the cold war era. Not only that, its a good example of ‘the reenactment of the American Revolutionary War’: they are the “oppressed” fighting for their “freedom” against the “oppressor” with the use of the “Constitution”. Its the same old story. But, you can see that it is a fabrication they created to fit this viewpoint (they “forced the interpretation”). This shows how this thinking fabricated situations and conditions that did not exist. In addition, it also shows how innocent people were dragged into the delusion and villanized as the males became the innocent victims here. I find it interesting that they (feminists, in this case) have created a whole philosophy that paints themselves as the victims but, in actuality, it is they that are the victimizers.
Common themes seen in ‘the re-enactment of the American Revolutionary War’, and the ‘cold war distortion of the American Constitution’, include:
- The “oppressor”
- The “oppressed”
- The “oppressed fighting for their freedom”
- The Constitution to protect them (which they often wield like a weapon)
- Some form of “ill intent” on the part of the oppressor (almost always, there’s assumed a sinister or malicious or evil intent)
In order for this philosophy to work these conditions must be created, whether they exist or not. If these conditions do not exist then they have to be “forced” and created. People will be turned into “oppressors”, whether its true or not. A “fight for freedom” has to be made, whether there is a freedom to fight for or not. There must be made an “ill intent” in peoples actions whether they are there or not. In effect, a whole delusional and false image of the situation, and people, are created . . . all to fit the American Revolutionary War model and, in the end, to glorify America’s greatness.
UNIQUE QUALITIES CREATED BY THE COLD WAR
The conditions, created by the cold war, were quite unique and added unique themes that are unique to it, such as:
- The idea of world annihilation – a tendency to exaggerated fear
- The idea that everyone is against us – a tendency to paranoia
- The idea that people have malicious intent – a tendency to villanize
- The idea that evil is our fault – a tendency to self-blame
- The idea of using the Constitution – a tendency to self-righteousness
- The idea that we need to protect ourselves – a tendency for desperately defending themselves
These themes, coupled with ‘the re-enactment of the American Revolutionary War’, have created a specific type of interpretation of the American Constitution as a result. This is because these things changes the conditions, the attitude, and the context of how the U.S. Constitution is looked, as I said above.
These tendencies, above, created many new traits and qualities which include:
Fear and Paranoia
- It assumes malicious intents in peoples action. These intents tend to always have this sinister and horrible quality to it.
- They see hatred in things. There is a great over-over-sensitivity, in fact, to anything that can be construed as “hate”. In this way, the cold war created an idea of “hate” that goes far beyond and is worse than actual hate. This is because they often see it in the context of the “worst case scenarios”, such as the Nazi’s (see my article “Thoughts on ‘living under the shadow of Hitler’ – the horror of the modern world“).
- A paranoid viewpoint of things. There is a tendency to see things, people, institutions, the government, etc. as “plotting” against us or somehow trying to go against us. There is often a lot of conspiracy theories about things.
- Conspiracy theories. There is a tendency to think that “something”, be it governments, groups, and even individual people, are “plotting” against them in some way. Because of the cold wars association with the American idea of freedom its often perceived that they are “plotting” against their freedom. In many cases, its viewed that they are seeking to “oppress” us, “enslave” us, or establish a “tyranny” over them . . . obviously coming from the American view of things.
- A fear of any threat of violence. Any form of hurting is viewed as violence, down to spanking your kids. There becomes a fear of this and an over-exaggeration of it. Often, the paranoia makes them interpret things far worse than it really is.
- They act as if there is a continual threat that one must defend themselves against. Threats are everywhere, even the smallest of things. These must be defended against.
- They see things as the worst they can be. They see and interpret things in the worst possible light.
Political and legal thinking
- A legal and political interpretation of everything. In other words, everything, even down to trivial things in everyday life, takes on a legal and political context. In this way, law and politics, as well as cold war paranoia, infiltrates into our everyday lives where it does not belong nor has a basis in truth. The best example of this, I think, is how, in some places, its a crime to spank our own kids.
- They see oppression in everything. Being paranoid there is a tendency to interpret even everyday things as a form of oppression.
A sense that they are “right“
- A self-righteousness. A tendency to think that all that they do is correct and right. This is often taken to the point of view that everyone else in the world is wrong, particularly in relation to politics and economy. This also tends to make other peoples intentions and acts look small and insignificant.
- The U.S. Constitution, politics, and law are treated as if they are commandments of God. They act like god, himself, had written it as a guide to all the world.
- They think that their points of view will save the world. Since they, and the U.S. Constitution, are “right” it is the savior of the world and will solve the worlds problems.
- They view the U.S. Constitution as a great cause. Its viewed as something that must be “forced” upon people much like a “forced conversion” often in order to “save” the world.
- Their views are looked at as being the ‘all’, as if the world depends on their point of view. They tend to trivialize other viewpoints making it so that there’s is all that matters and what the world should revolve around.
A denial of life’s facts and fantasized thinking
- They deny reality and the ‘real-world’ condition for a more fantasized world view. They tend to use the Constitution as a way to create a fantasized world and reality. A common trait of this thinking is the idea that they will “change the world”.
- They deny human nature. Because many feelings scare them (hate, violence, etc.) they villanize it and thereby deny basic traits of human nature.
- They create a pie-in-the-sky solutions. Much of their solutions is not realistic (such as that everyone should love one another).
- A tendency to interpret everything a single specific way. Typically, everything is interpreted in the idea of an oppressor and the oppressed fighting for their freedom. Basically, it is a reenactment of the American Revolutionary War.
- Their solutions generally don’t work. This is because it is often based in pie-in-the-sky thinking. Interestingly, this is often overlooked because it is said in the name of the Constitution.
The creation of innocent victims
- The villanizing of other people governments and cultures. Many Americans, I found, were very easy and willing to do this and some seemed to take great pleasure in it. All they need is a reason.
- Using the political and legal system to condemn people. They have developed all these names, for example, for this purpose, such as “racist”, “sexist”, and so on.
- Seeing motives and intents that aren’t there. Oftentimes, these motives and intents always match their viewpoints and perspectives. They often painted people as horrible people or criminals when they are not.
The use of the U.S. Constitution as a weapon
- Using political and legal ideas and names as it were a weapon. Often, just quoting or referring to the U.S. Constitution is enough of a weapon to get things done. I’ve seen many people wield it like a sword. It reminds me of when people used to quote the Bible all the time as if the fact that you quoted it makes you automatically “right”.
- The establishment of a pre-established assumed bias and interpretation of thing only revolving around certain themes. Typically, these are cold war based themes and are often repetitive throughout the years and remain unchanged: the government is plotting against the people, the whites hate the blacks, the males are trying to enslave the females, etc., etc. These pre-established points of view tend to dictate how they interpret everything.
- A lot of name-calling and accusation in the name of the Constitution. They have all sorts of names, such as “racist”, to accuse people with. They have even come up with a word recently, “politically correct”, to condemn people with who don’t follow their paranoid scared Constitution-justified ways. If one isn’t “politically correct” then it is assumed that the person had these horrible malicious intents. How cold-warish . . . yeah, everyone hates one another, that’s exactly what it is . . . to someone whose paranoid and see’s the worst in things (see my article “Thoughts on the ridiculousness of political correctness – another example of cold war paranoia“.)
A narrow mindedness
- There is only one explanation for everything . . . theirs. Typically, they tend to view that their view is the view of life and the way life should be led without consideration for other viewpoints. This is a common American tendency.
- A desperation. They act like they are in a mad scramble against a great fear.
- They are over-sensitive and over-reactive. Their fear and paranoia makes people turn simple things into something horrible. Even a word or statement can become an “issue”. People become, for example, “offended” by simple things.
- They take things too literally. They see a threat in everything which makes them see too much into things.
- They do not forgive. Once you are “villanized” your are villanized. They typically do not give any leniency or forgiveness to anyone they see as bad.
THE NET RESULT: A DISTORTED VIEW OF THE WORLD, PEOPLE, AND SOCIETY – THE ‘HISTORICAL SHADOW’
What all this has created is a distorted view of the world, people, and society. They are using the attitudes, and mentalities, of a previous era and applying it to an era that does not have these conditions. One could compare it to looking at the world through blue-colored sunglasses . . . everything looks “bluish” . . . but its not.
What this shows is that we are really victims of recent history and that these recent events are casting a shadow upon us. I sometimes speak of this as the ‘historical shadow’. This consists of historical events that have caused a response that tends to persist generation after generation after the event has passed. Because of this, they tend to cause a persisting of that reality and way of viewing things (such as the ‘cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’). In short, a ‘historical shadow’ tends to alter the interpretation of life and events that follow it. In this way, it tends to give a ‘distorted’ view of life and events. As a result, the interpretation of history and events is not an interpreting of things “as they are” but “in relation to something else”. In short, the interpreting of things, nowadays, is not really as “genuine” as it may seem.
Some of the things that help the creation of the ‘historical shadow’ include:
- The media.
- Education (that is, the continuing teaching of these events).
- Culture (that is, it becomes part of the mentality, lore, and legend of a culture).
- Various means of remembering (such as memorials, holidays, etc.)
Since these things are so prevalent, nowadays, they tend to promote the ‘historical shadow’ in this society. Normally, things tend to be forgotten over the years until there is no shadow at all. But, if it becomes ingrained into one of the things, described above, it can help it persist almost indefinitely. With the strong establishment, and proliferation, of things like media, education, and means of remembering it has only helps to strengthen the ‘historical shadow’. This is particularly so with the coming of visual and sound media which makes these things remain somewhat “alive” decades after they have happened. As a result, it has become a major element in the persisting of the ‘historical shadow’ of that era into the latter generations. In fact, they keep it so “alive” that it may be hard for them to disappear at all. Because of this, we’re seeing that the ‘historical shadow’ is something that is, nowadays, hard to get rid of. In this way, we are now in an era where there is a tendency for an ‘altered’ interpretation of life caused by the ‘historical shadow’. People, for example, are always saying that we should “remember” things (such as the holocaust, 9-11, etc.) but I have always thought ” . . . but maybe it would be best if we forgot it . . . “. Keeping these things alive in our minds only keep its point of view in our minds, which seldom fits current conditions and tends to only persist the fact of the horror of the tragedy.
A good example of the adverse effects of a ‘historical shadow’ is seen in black people in the U.S. As we all know, black people were brought to the U.S. as slaves. Something like this, I would think, would be a dark period in any peoples history. Because of this, its only natural that it would cast a great ‘historical shadow’ on their descendants. The phenomena of the ‘historical shadow’ will keep this dark and terrible fact in the descendants mind even after the condition that caused it no longer exists. It appears that this is exactly what is happening to many black people in the U.S. Many black people cannot “let go” of the ‘historical shadow’ of slavery. Because of this, they are forever seeing it in everything and interpret life according to its point of view. As a result, many black people see discrimination coming out of the woodwork and in everything, even though its not, in actuality, there. In this way, life becomes dark and sinister to them. If many would “let go” of this ‘historical shadow’ they’d find that they would cease seeing dark and sinister things in things. Not only have I noticed this but many other people I’ve talked to. Even foreign people have mentioned it. In many ways, the black people have become slaves yet again . . . of their past (I’ve written an article on similar things called “Some thoughts on the identity of black people: An example of identity misalignment???“). In this case, it has become part of their identity, of how they view themselves and what they are. In so doing they become trapped in that identity seeing no way out. This shows how a ‘historical shadow’ can literally enslave a people and affect them in negative ways.
Common recent events that have caused a ‘historical shadow’ include:
- Hitler and the Nazi’s (see my article on Hitler referenced above)
- Modern warfare (which is horrifying)
- The cold war
- The damage that humanity is causing the world
These have all caused a shadow that hangs over us and colors the world we live in. If these things had not appeared then we would no doubt view the world in a much more different way.
One interesting effect of the ‘historical shadow’ is that it has a quality, in a body of people, of creating a sense of unity as it helps everyone view things in the same way and feel a part of the same historical processes. As a result, it can have great impact on identity and, in fact, is instrumental in the development of a national or cultural identity. It can create the “common ground” between people and become and “identifying mark”.
Because of this, the ‘historical shadow’ is sometimes deliberately maintained: the ‘deliberate historical shadow’. This appears in ways such as legends, myths, remembering historical events, etc. These can be verbally transmitted and even written in a book (such as the Bible). Some of these have persisted for centuries and, in some cases, over a thousand years.
But this identity, caused by the ‘historical shadow’, can sometimes become constraining and restricting and prevent growth and development. What this can provoke is something like a social rebellion where the ways created by the ‘historical shadow’ are done away with. This can range from something almost imperceptible to something very dramatic and even involving violence. Some societies, it seems, often seem to go through a ‘cycle of the historical shadow’:
- An defining happening or event
- It becomes impressed upon the peoples mind and is remembered
- The ‘historical shadow’ is created
- It unifies the people
- It becomes constraining
- A rebellion takes place
- Some new happening or event takes place and the cycle repeats (the rebellion may, in some cases, be the event that starts it off again)
This cycle can cause something like an ‘era’ in a body of people because, during this time, the ‘historical shadow’ defines the people and their interpretation of the life. The eras before and after it are often remarkably different because they are based in a different ‘historical shadow’.
One thing this shows is the power of the ‘historical shadow’ and how it can create, in a sense, a whole new “reality”. This is because it becomes the basis for interpreting and understanding life. Another ‘historical shadow’ will cause another interpretation and understanding and, accordingly, create a whole other “reality”.
So, we see that the ‘historical shadow’ can have qualities ranging from good to bad and can help or harm people, depending on the circumstance. The ‘historical shadow’ caused by the cold war, it seems to me, is something that will probably persist for some time primarily due to the power of things like the media and education. Its effects seems to be the creating of an ‘altered’ or warped view of things which is, by their prevalence, becoming viewed as “right”.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen