by Robert Gore, Straight Line Logic:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
Middle Earth had its Mount Doom, into which the One Ring of Power could be tossed, ridding that evil from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional setting. Real Earth is not so fortunate, but in all other aspects the lessons drawn from his classic apply. It only comes up short in one respect. Tolkien never delved into the psychology of Sauron, Saruman, and the lessor denizens of Middle Earth who lusted after the One Ring’s power, other than to depict the inevitable corruption of the soul their lust produced.
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There are two conclusions uncorrupted souls have difficulty accepting, although both experience and logic point uncompromisingly towards them. The first is that those in power and those who lust for it want power for power’s sake, ultimately to destroy and kill. The second is that they want to destroy and kill because they want to destroy existence and kill themselves. We owe the first conclusion to Orwell, the second to Rand. (For a fuller explanation see “The Last Gasp,” Robert Gore, SLL, March 24, 2020.)
This article assumes both conclusions are well-founded and that the second in particular is the key to understanding where the world is now and where it’s going. They offer a realistic assessment of the chances for nuclear Armageddon.
It is no coincidence that the twentieth century witnessed history’s most totalitarian regimes and its bloodiest wars and genocides. By all indications the twenty-first century will extend the connected trends. Power goes hand-in-hand with destruction and death. Governments are based on their capacity to inflict violence; what else can they produce? Rejecting lofty rhetoric and revolutionary rationales, Orwell wrote that: Power is not a means; it is an end. The twentieth century demonstrated that power is a means to inflict incalculable destruction and death. Know them by their fruits—those are the true ends of those who seek and hold power.
Report after report details the injury and death inflicted by the Covid mRNA vaccines, puncturing hollow platitudes and invocations of “Science.” The travesty offers a refresher course we don’t really need: from world leaders down to petty politicians and functionaries, they want to kill us. Those who aren’t killed are to be frightened into compliance with their ghastly and tyrannical edicts, herded like cattle into some other slaughterhouse.
The gelatinous souls who move whatever direction the bowl tilts usually don’t recognize what’s happening until the moment of their execution. Beforehand, a few of the more intellectually adept will argue that the powerful will be limited by their instinct for self-preservation—if they kill too many they’ll end up killing themselves. Perhaps that thought offers comfort, however scant.
But what if the powerful are like those mass shooters whose terror ends only when they turn their guns on themselves? What if mass murder is the means to their desired end: suicide? Someone who kills himself but no one else is to be pitied. Someone who kills innocents before taking his own life perpetrates paramount evil.
. . . . Now he knew that he had wanted Galt’s destruction at the price of his own destruction to follow, he knew that he had never wanted to survive, he knew that it was Galt’s greatness he had wanted to torture and destroy—he was seeing it as greatness by his own admission, greatness by the only standard that existed, whether anyone chose to admit it or not: the greatness of a man who was master of reality in a manner no other had equaled. In the moment when he, James Taggart, had found himself facing the ultimatum: to accept reality or die, it was death his emotions had chosen, death rather than surrender to that realm of which Galt was so radiant a son. In the person of Galt—he knew—he had sought the destruction of all existence.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957
Rand pinpointed the core motivation of those who seek power, whose lives are defined by those they subjugate. Regardless of their differing aims, professed justifications, and ideological platforms, the powerful are united against existence. Spoken or unspoken, acknowledged or unacknowledged, they are united by the ultimate evil: to slaughter innocents before their own lives are inevitably extinguished. That puts the prospect of global nuclear war in a whole new light.
How would it play out? Credit Putin and Xi with more intelligence than the cast of cretins running the American empire. It’s a low bar. But are they any less power-driven, any less evil? Russia’s oligarchy and China’s totalitarian dictatorship are, like the U.S. government, organized crime. Angels don’t get to the top of such syndicates, and these two non-angels have set themselves up as rulers for life. Putin’s and Xi’s intelligence are matched by their ruthlessness, which may surpass that of their Western counterparts.
Say the brain trust that masterminded the Nordstream sabotage decides that a low-yield, false-flag nuclear or dirty bomb detonation in Ukraine would accomplish important objectives. They could blame it on Russia, shoring up empire support for the Ukrainians sagging war effort. It would be the perfect excuse to cancel the elections the Democrats are set to lose and perhaps institute martial law. Russia might respond in kind, and the brain trust’s giddy hopes for global nuclear war would be realized. Obvious insanity for most of us, a feature not a bug for the suicidally inclined.