Earth as a Shithole Planet — from a Universal Perspective?
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 22 Jan 2018
Understanding Why There Are No Extraterrestrial Visitors
22 Jan 2018 – Produced in response to widespread media coverage of an alleged phrase by Donald Trump (Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries, The Washington Post, 12 January 2018; ‘A New Low.’ The World Is Furious at Trump for His Remark About ‘Shithole Countries’, Time, 12 January 2018; Here’s What People in the Room and Out Are Now Saying About Trump’s “Shithole Countries” Remark, The Slate, 15 January 2018)
As the declared leader of the free world, President Donald Trump is alleged to have described some countries on Planet Earth as “shithole countries”. The allegations have been taken very seriously by many — despite denial from Trump himself, and controversy regarding that denial. The United Nations has formally condemned the racist language of Trump — seemingly without any substantive proof that the accusations were more than a conspiracy by those with vested interests in his impeachment (Kim Hjelmgaard, U.N., African countries blast Trump’s ‘racist’ words in angry global backlash, USA Today, 12 January 2018).
The accusations are a feature of the “fake news” which increasingly substitutes for facts in global discourse. Due process is being variously set aside, as controversially argued by Margaret Atwood in relation to allegations of sexual abuse (Am I a Bad Feminist? The Globe and Mail, 13 January 2018).
The controversy engendered by the allegations against Trump invites a more fundamental insight — irrespective of their veracity. Given the personality of Trump, and a well-recognized pattern of behavour, is his argument in any way appropriate, namely that the quality of life in some countries can indeed be deprecated with “tough” language? He admits to his toughness in this respect. How does this relate to past recognition of some countries as “failed states“, or “basket cases” — as widely recalled with regard to a dismissive statement by former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, just prior to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?
Whatever the phrasing, tough language would indeed be typical of informal discussion of life in some countries — and a reluctance to engage with them or to visit them. It is hypocritical to deny that. Diplomats, including those of the UN, may well be specially compensated for taking up appointments in countries where the quality of life is an extreme challenge. Few of those protesting so vigorously would care to live in the countries purportedly characterized in that way. Why is that? Given the need for political correctness, in what terms would they frame their reluctance?
Is it possible that — unconsciously — Trump’s ill-considered frankness has now made it possible for the world to recognize an unfortunate truth — in public discourse, finally? Distracted as he has typically proven to be, is “shithole” indeed an appropriate qualifier, readily recognized? However, rather than its applicability to a select group of countries, does it notably apply to the USA in particular and to Planet Earth as a whole? Is any purported projection of “shithole” status, on countries other than the USA, a case of cognitive displacement — a process which might be readily recognized in his case, and appreciated as such by Americans?
Understood otherwise, there is a further possibility. Do people have a real need for the “shithole” condition of the planet to be recognized by one of its highest authorities? Is this the more fundamental reason for the scandal so widely expressed at this purported phrasing? Rather than blinkered assumptions, characterized by multiple defensive denials, is there a fundamental need for the real condition of the planet to be articulated — rather than collective indulgence in pretence and illusion? Of course it helps if that recognition can be articulated by a personality who can be condemned and ridiculed for doing so — a “fool rushing in where angels fear to tread“. The articulation can then be set aside as ridiculous, with any truth to be accepted minimally and tentatively, if only unconsciously. Too much truth in that regard would of course be unbearable, intolerable and unacceptable.
The concern here is to explore the evidence for Planet Earth as a “shithole” planet, as it might be perceived in the light of various criteria.
The argument is used as a means of explaining the absence of any overt contact with extraterrestrials. This is despite intensive search over decades for intelligent life in a galaxy of myriad worlds, especially that coordinated as the programme of search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) — recently renewed through Breakthrough Initiatives. The absence of such contact has long been a mystery for which few explanations have been satisfactory. However if Planet Earth has been recognized as a “shithole planet” by distinguished galactic authorities, this would then constitute a credible explanation — thanks to President Trump.
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