“All the armed prophets conquered and the unarmed ones were ruined.”

Paul Wong
Ron Paul works on the engine of a car at the Firestone Tire & Service Center on East Huron Street yesterday.<br><br>RACHEL FEIERMAN/Daily

Niccolo Machiavelli

Recognizing our culture of violence as a necessary precursor to violent rule, it”s reassuring that we made it through another SuperBowl. That faux-war machine of commodified antagonism is just the distraction we need to ignore Bush Sr.”s “New World Order.”

Pigskin keeps the violence at home, sideshow to our ringleader”s democratic irreverence. Read Junior”s latest guffaw: “I”m about to name my brother the ambassador to Chad.”

Enough with the election jokes Big Brother. All the people want is your sinfully simian smirk. Let war hawk Cheney run the show. At least he”d give us an intimation of the malevolent maelstrom brewing in the bowels of the trilateral commission.

Oh my. I”m quite ahead of myself.

The telling of the tale begins during dinner at grandfather”s assisted living center. Conversation had run dry. Ethyl, my grandfather”s caretaker enlightened us with a world view quite influenced by the book of Revelation, which ecclesiastics have since fictionalized for mass consumption. Imagine Schwarzenegger”s “End of Days” in print.

And I quote: “You”ll be sitting there like you are now and I”ll look down to butter my bread and when I look up, bloop you”ll be gone,” Ethyl prophesized. “You”ll just disappear.”

Chewing my soggy macaroni and cheese, I looked down to butter my bread, hoping for the impossible.

No such luck.

Fictional Revelation-based books seem to be all the rage in convalescent home circles these days. But according to Ethyl, this wasn”t fiction. Apparently, before people start disappearing, the Antichrist will unite the world under his totalitarian rule.

It”s a compelling enough argument. Machiavelli is in our blood. Neitzsche, no fool, predicted Hitler”s ascendance. Can the Bible do the same? Is the rise of the Overman inevitable?

Hitler didn”t win the war. We did. And how do you win a war against totalitarianism? You become your enemy. You take control.

Noam Chomsky shares this sentiment. Our society is heading toward a more rigid and absolutist structure, the linguist asserts. Private media excludes legitimate public dialogue. The everyman is nothing more than a statistic. You are nothing but a consumer, lost in a sea of bogus ideologies pursuing created wants.

And that”s the capitalist ideal: Total atomization. Watching TV, playing video games or otherwise not paying attention. We can also refer to this as the great recline of Western Civilization.

It”s probably hard to imagine your future self as nothing but an atom of consumerism while you”re coveted in this tight-knit Ann Arbor community. But in the hearts of every talk-shown and pornoed liberty lover is a feeling that democracy is Dubya. And that”s scary. Plutocracy, autocracy and aristocracy are not democracy.

While the “dumb president” is uniting, not dividing, the nation-state is disappearing. The ascent into hyper-modernity is taking shape on the global stage.

But I”m hopeful for our ascent into fascism. Not that I”m a fascist.

Look at the benefits: War mobilizes, catalyzes and pushes people to the limit. To realize the full reach of our abilities, we need to finish what modern thought has set in motion. Fascism can negate the modern world by pushing our period of high modernity to the breaking point.

And then we wake up.

“Oh captain, my captain …” where are you steering this ship of fools?

Dubya, trusting Jesus as his favorite philosopher (whatever that means), is leading the charge to the gallactic millenium.

Chomsky is right. The portent is ominous. You are being recruited for a war.

Now it”s decision time. Are the odds better pulling strings and playing a part in the world charade or jumping ship to swim?

Me, I wanna disappear.

Josh Wickerham”s column runs every other Friday. He can be reached via e-mail at jwickerh@umich.edu.

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