We’re Going to Lose

Here’s “Jesus Made Me Puke” by Matt Taibbi, an excerpt from his new book The Great Derangement:

Fortenberry began to issue instructions. He told us that under no circumstances should we pray during the Deliverance.

“When the word of God is in your mouth,” he said, “the demons can’t come out of your body. You have to keep a path clear for the demon to come up through your throat. So under no circumstances pray to God. You can’t have God in your mouth. You can cough, you might even want to vomit, but don’t pray.”

The crowd nodded along solemnly. Fortenberry then explained that he was going to read from an extremely long list of demons and cast them out individually. As he did so, we were supposed to breathe out, keep our mouths open and let the demons out.

And he began…

“In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of incest! In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of sexual abuse! In the name of Jesus…”

“In the name of Jesus,” continued Fortenberry, “I cast out the demon of astrology!”…

“In the name of Jesus Christ,” said Fortenberry, more loudly now, “I cast out the demon of lust!”…

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast out the demon of cancer!” said Fortenberry…

“In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of handwriting analysis!” shouted Fortenberry…

“In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, I cast out the demon of the intellect!” Fortenberry continued. “In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of anal fissures!”

It’s things like this that make me convinced progressives, whoever we are, will ultimately lose and mankind will destroy itself.

That’s because incest, sexual abuse, astrology, lust, cancer, handwriting analysis, intellect, and anal fissures are genuine problems for people. Anyone who suffers from them naturally wants to know WHO’S RESPONSIBLE.

Bad political movements provide easy answers in the form of all-encompassing worldviews: it’s the demons, or the Joos, or the filthy Arabs, or the dirty Mexicans, or the capitalist swine, or Jane Fonda. (Or all of them working together.) Cast them out and all your problems will vanish.

By contrast, good political movements cannot provide easy answers, or in most cases any answers at all. What we think we can do is get us all $4 an hour more, plus health care and a little more control over our lives. What we can’t do is end human suffering.

Rationally speaking, this would be a giant improvement, particularly since the likely alternatives involve the deaths of billions. But irrationally speaking, we don’t want to just suffer less, we want to stop suffering. And this is something honest movements can’t offer.

That’s the problem. We’ll need to go to the barricades just to solve the problems that can be solved. But the larger problems will remain, and in the end, everyone will have to deal with them alone. It’s hard to get people to the barricades on this platform.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of a slight increase in pay
Plus a little bit less teasing for teenagers poor or gay
And a crappy little state for Palestinians someday
And that is all we’ve got
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
And that is all we’ve got