George Bernard Shaw’s book, “Man and Superman,” was assigned for discussion at our Fitzgerald monthly meeting held at the University Club in St. Paul. Written in 1903 when Shaw was 47, he advanced his revolutionary ideas of the advocacy of a mystic force that creates and goes on creating life, which he calls the Life Force — ‘the working within man of Life’s incessant need to learn more and more about the possibilities of a better life.’
Presented in a format most confusing to me – a series of acts where the inferior woman becomes the aggressor and the intellectually superior man becomes her victim, the book gets most murky for me with its plays within plays, until I get to a part near the end of the book entitled: THE POLITICAL NEED FOR A SUPERMAN which moves me to compare Shaw’s Superman with a man called Trump. And here I wander off-script.
Shaw suggests the need for a Superman is a political one. Countries driven to Proletarian Democracy by the failure of alternative systems, often start depending on the existence of Supermen acting as despots or oligarchs. Countries like France or USA are independent protected democratic republics — but as neither are healthy, wealthy or wise and could be worse instead of better, their ministers alas, are not experts in the art of dodging popular enthusiasm and duping popular ignorance.
The politician who once had to learn how to flatter kings now must learn how to fascinate, amuse, coax, humbug, frighten or otherwise strike the fancy of the electorate. He must hold popular convictions with excessive energy convincing others that he is indeed ‘the man for the mob’ !
Who, I ask, is more ‘the man for the mob’ than our very own Trump? Is he working to help Russia conquer America? If he is unknowingly or actively working on behalf of Russia, this would get him involved not only with Mueller, heading the investigation, but also with our new leader of the House, a woman named Nancy. Whereas he could easily control the House’s previous leader, a man named Paul, Trump finds Nancy easily sidesteps all his efforts of control over what he wants, politely but firmly insisting he not call her ‘Nancy’, but Madam Speaker of the House. Thus he finds himself involved in shutting the country down far longer than he had intended — making it the longest government shutdown in US history. Yet she calmly maintains that to negotiate further with her, he must first end a shutdown that has become frightening to thousands of Americans, who end up working for no pay.
Now finding himself laughed at by many who had feared him, he states that if she continues to make the same demands when they meet again in three weeks, he will close down the government again and return to his initial demands.
Since I am more a blogger than a writer of anything, I know not how this shutdown will finally end . Will it effect whether our Trump continues to look and act like Superman? Or become a mere mortal.
What do you think?