The film “Dr. Strangelove …” may be so old that many readers may not know much about it, but it anyway describes how the world is wiped out by human experts who think too narrowly and eagerly within an official (and hyped) frame, not seeing the dangers of something going possibly wrong in unexpected ways. And I do think that there are quite similar dangers in the way how our mainstream media are handling the NATO discussion.
We do know which parties in Finland want very much to join NATO – it is Kokoomus and SFP -, and we also know that joining NATO is treated by the media as a guarantee against being invaded by “the enemy in the East” (which is the way how Russia is not called but described). The belief in the guarantee is based on Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which obliges the other members of NATO to take “adequate” action once any member of NATO is being attacked (a definition what “adequate” would mean exactly is not given). The discussion in the media does anyway strongly suggest that one expects the USA to go to war and that the other NATO members will then join. This takes such forms that, e.g., the British Navy puts so much money into the building of a new and very big aircraft carrier that there is not enough money left to buy as many airplanes as to fully equip it – but it is explained that, after all, there is then space on the carrier for the airplanes of the USA which will surely come to help … .
And while the media otherwise are full of the newest idiocies (quite a few of them criminal) of the present US president, and there is also quiet agreement that the invasion of Iraq by the previous Republican president was a criminal act (for which he had also tried to recruit the other members of NATO, being successful with several of them), there is nowhere even a whisper of a doubt that it might in ANY way be problematic to tie oneself more closely to the USA. Whereas in reality Trump’s presidency is less of an unlucky accident of history than rather a symptom of the rot of the whole US system. And with this I do not mean Trump’s attitude towards women and his according doings (for my sake he could even have several porno stars in bed at the same time – with them one can even expect that they agreed to the arrangement), but I mean that I do not see any way how the Republican party could become somehow responsible in some future: the inequality in the distribution of money in the USA has so far advanced that any candidate who is willing to neglect the poor in order to make the rich still richer will have a truly HUGE advantage in any future election campaign: the Big Money will rather blindly support the party which can be expected to provide further “tax relief” (= the Republicans) – and never mind the consequences for anybody else … . Aside of using money, Big Money will also be able to work with the huge share of the media which is owned by it. On top of which comes an educational system which encourages at least its male pupils “to believe in themselves” (which will make them inclined to favour candidates which are as “average American” as they are themselves), which also cultivates a blind patriotism which has difficulties to imagine that there might be anywhere anything better than “the American ways” of the moment. To which can still be added the parents’ councils which make sure that schools cannot teach anything which contradicts the parents’ (often religion-based) prejudices. All of which hinders pupils from developing critical thinking.
Together, all of this means that there is hardly any hope that any future Republican president of the USA will be much more responsible/reliable than those two which we had/have already in this still very young century. And every four years there will for the foreseeable future be quite some possibility that the Republican candidate will win the presidential election. – To which Borgaren Strangelove will reply that this is all just speculation and that very many very respectable people have something like PROMISED that NATO will help us in need. Well, in Hbl of ti 16.01., p.13, the very appreciable Anna-Leena Laurén was mentioning that “… i det så kallade Budapestavtalet år 1994 … … USA och Storbritannien garanterade” the borders of the Ukraine. And when Russia invaded the Crimea in March 2014, “fick Ukraina ingen hjälp”. And the Ukraine is certainly a rather bigger nation than Finland. Meaning, the USA will VERY CLEARLY not risk a nuclear war in order to prevent a Russian occupation of tiny Finland.
All of which will not change the mind of Borgaren Strangelove. But if one would ask her/him WHY, one may get only some very sweeping/superficial answers (if any), in the line of “we have to make clear that we are a part of the West” and that “we believe in human rights and democracy” (to which a psychoanalyst may comment, “at least consciously”). But to me these claims are not any convincing explanation for the striking blindness to any faults which the USA may display (as far as in connection to NATO and its tasks). Rather, I have some intuition that the USA are felt to be the home and protection of the free world’s money makers (which may be correct, at least for US money makers), who are felt to be in need to be protected from the demands of the political Left (which is felt to be greedy, irresponsible and anyway incompetent, already by not being part of the class of the money makers; “what do they , after all, know of business …?” – well, they anyway may have been able to read and understand Ha-Joon Chang …). And if there should come war, or climate change, then prority is expected/demanded be put on saving the productive elements of society (= the money makers), whereas one can rely that those nonproductive (not to say parasitic) elements one will always have anyway … . In the normal case (at least in Finnish society) these attitudes will be largely unconscious (just producing “fitting” opinions via mechanisms of which people are not aware), but the mainstream media (as far as they consider themselves “seriös”) will rather automatically produce flattery in support of these attitudes. While thinking it on the other hand “embarrassing” if Donald Trump is openly displaying them. – Here I stop, but I should be grateful if some psychological-minded reader could take the matter up and help in developing the line of thought further. I feel that there might result some instruments by which one could tackle the present political situation, which is based on blindness.