From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale.
In trying to account for the experience of color, neurobiologist Humberto Maturana decided to treat the nervous system as a closed system, depriving it of external sensory inputs. Incidentally, he found that deprived of such inputs, the nervous system can’t distinguish between ordinary perception and hallucinations.
Similarly, the Rethugs, by becoming a closed ideological system, have no way of distinguishing between their own hallucinations and the reality the rest of America inhabits. They have transformed themselves into Capt. Ahab lashed to the Great White Whale of tax cuts, plunged time and time again beneath the roiling waters of reality.
Eight years of tax cuts under their leadership produced a measly 3 million jobs, compared to the 22 million created under the last Democratic administration. In the present economic crisis, one doesn’t have to be an economist to conclude that direct government created jobs programs are going to produce way more jobs than will tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, who have no incentive to do anything but hoard the money in these uncertain times.
In the climax of the movie version starring Gregory Peck, Moby Dick surfaces one last time. One of the arms of the now drowned Ahab has come loose, flopping back and forth. The Rethugs mistake that pitiful movement for life and direction.
Just before Moby plunges them one last time into the depths.
Success may generate courage and promote confidence, but wisdom comes only from the experiences of adjustment to the results of one’s failures. Men who prefer optimistic illusions to reality can never become wise. Only those who face facts and adjust them to ideals can achieve wisdom. Wisdom embraces both the fact and the ideal and therefore saves its devotees from both of those barren extremes of philosophy — the man whose idealism excludes facts and the materialist who is devoid of spiritual outlook. Those timid souls who can only keep up the struggle of life by the aid of continuous false illusions of success are doomed to suffer failure and experience defeat as they ultimately awaken from the dream world of their own imaginations. • —The Urantia Book