The God of the Left Hemisphere : Blake, Bolte Taylor and the Myth of Creation By Roderick Tweedy
Twilight of the Psychopaths
The title of the present chapter derives from an article in the March 2008 edition of the Idaho Observer by Keith Barrett This piece, whilst occasionally rather literalist in its interpretations, is nevertheless energetic and thought-provoking.
It was also the first time that I came across references to a book by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman called On Killing. This neglected masterpiece of analysis and original research does to the subject of killing what Freud a hundred years ago did to the subject of sex. Grossman’s book is based on a remarkable piece of research conducted by the American military in the 1940s by Brigadier Gen. S L A Marshall, relating to firing rates. To their surprise they found that only fifteen to twenty per cent of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would actually use their weapons. As Grossman summarises it:
“Those (8O—85%) who would not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were willing to risk great danger to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their Weapons at the enemy, even when faced with repeated waves of banzai charges” (Grossman, 1995, p.4).
Marshall’s discovery and subsequent research suggested that this statistic was roughly comparable in all military engagements, including previous wars throughout history. The conclusion from this seemed to be that in most wars it was only a tiny minority of soldiers (estimated at around three to five per cent) who would in the pily fire without any qualm, and another five to ten percent who in the traumatic and stimulating situations of battle, and encouraged by this more extreme element, would imitate their fellow soldiers.
Gossman’s examination of Marshall’s report is formidable and deserves wide attention. It challenges not only the media presentation of killing (as a relatively easy, and even “sexy”, pursuit), but also some extremely deep-seated and disturbing assumptions and ideological prejudices, in which we have been brought up to believe, concerning humanity. Indeed, it calls into question the motivations of both the media and the wider educational apparatus of society: whether there is an agenda, unconscious or not, driving the contemporary media industries and corporations, in the negative promulgation of wider belief structures concerning humanity’s status and which routinely appear in everything from natural history programmes and advertising to the realpolitik of current affairs.
Analysing these assumptions about humanity is one of the main aims of this chapter. Grossman’s findings, based on the military’s own research (and he is himself part of the military), seems to have been corroborated and supported by a surprisingly broad range of other sources, from anthropological and sociological studies to more political and military research. This includes the work of Leakey, Renfrew, Lewis—Williams and Pearce, and Taylor, and forms the basis of the following discussion on the underlying “Urizenic” nature of contemporary military, political, and economic élites.
These recent studies seem powerfully to reinforce Blake’s analysis of the nature of Urizenic control in modern society. To understand this, one must first understand the conditions in which it first arose.