The Need For Chaos by podrock 2022-01-15 21:34:26
according to this article, this phenomenon was noted decades ago.
This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism. His Name Was Hunter S. Thompson.
In Hell’s Angels, the gonzo journalist wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.” Sound familiar?
By Susan McWilliams
In Hell’s Angels, the gonzo journalist wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.” Sound familiar? By Susan McWilliams
It has been 50 years since Hunter S. Thompson published the definitive book on motorcycle guys: Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. It grew out of a piece first published in The Nation one year earlier…
Even so, I was surprised, when I finally picked it up a few years ago, by how prophetic Thompson is and how eerily he anticipates 21st-century American politics. This year, when people asked me what I thought of the election, I kept telling them to read Hell’s Angels.
Most people read Hell’s Angels for the lurid stories of sex and drugs. But that misses the point entirely. What’s truly shocking about reading the book today is how well Thompson foresaw the retaliatory, right-wing politics that now goes by the name of Trumpism. After following the motorcycle guys around for months, Thompson concluded that the most striking thing about them was not their hedonism but their “ethic of total retaliation” against a technologically advanced and economically changing America in which they felt they’d been counted out and left behind. Thompson saw the appeal of that retaliatory ethic. He claimed that a small part of every human being longs to burn it all down, especially when faced with great and impersonal powers that seem hostile to your very existence. In the United States, a place of ever greater and more impersonal powers, the ethic of total retaliation was likely to catch on.
Wait till Susan reads “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.
Ms McWilliams is definitely on to something. You will certainly profit by taking the time and reading the rest of her article, linked to above. And “Hell’s Angels” is definitely back on my reading list again. This isn’t just a book about bikers.
Dr Thompson isn’t necessarily fun to read, he comes across as crazy, hallucinogenic, self-indulgent, and irreverent simply on general principles. But periodically in his writing you stumble on the occasional passage of extraordinary lucidity and insight. Its like he’s spitting in your face to distract you from the fact he’s slipping a shiny gold coin into your pocket.
Its like he knows you won’t realize its there until you get ready to go to bed that evening.