Blog #121 A LIGHT IN JANUARY *

It was very different this year. The traditional lowering of a large crystallized ball, on New York’s Times Square, to signify the arrival of the New Year, bearing new promises of hope and resolution, was seen by many troubled citizens, to issue bright beams of alarm. Instead of the shiny orb being slowly lowered to signify a new start and a refreshed resolve, they saw its “descent” as a symbol of an anticipated retrograde, if not, apocalyptic, year’s expectation, redolent with the bizarre irrationality of a combination of Orwell’s “1984,” Kafka’s “The Castle” and Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The extent and nature of the fear was an advent of a modern day “dark ages.”

The intent of this writing is to observe the “Effects” relative to the “Causes” written of previously, most recently in “the Chosen.”

By simple comparison, when a retail business establishment posts a sign,” Under New Management,”   reasonable people will defer their judgment pending empirical experience. By bright contrast, our new “General Store Manager-Elect” has already publicly revealed his unique persona and undisciplined character, with the nimble and adroit poise and studied reserve of the proverbial “bull in a china shop.” The public has been deluged with a myriad of his bizarre statements and his reductionist declarations of purpose, evoking substantial concern in a great many people, here and abroad.

It is distressing, and, frankly, embarrassing, to acknowledge that, contemporaneous with a great and ambitious international effort by several countries to raise the “phoenix” of the legendary repository of world knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, that our pharaoh-elect is very busy degrading knowledge and deprecating, what he and his sycophants term, the “intellectual elite.”

He has devalued the opinions of the world’s greatest scientists and climatologists, degraded scholarship and learning, castigated the “intellectual elite”, and has put every citizen of our country at great risk, by reason of his ignorance and abysmal lack of “fahrschtandt” (in- depth understanding) of domestic and international matters. This, again, in stark contrast with the international world’s current passion for the restoration of the ancient Alexandrian Library, the proud symbol of man’s intellectual prowess and accomplishments.

It is remarkable that our president-elect has developed the perverse talent to convince and virtually mesmerize, the low-information, “flat earth people” to a willingness to ingest the belief that all of their troubles are caused by the acts of an “intellectual elite” (when in reality, brilliant individuals have been responsible for civilizations’ advancement and the ongoing enhancement of human existence) and that he, alone, has the formula for a better life and a great America. It must be conceded to him that he has such sufficient demagogic capability as can persuade such people, who often are among those of our population, most in need of government assistance and services, to vote against it (remember the Weimar Republic) and, further, to support a tax policy which undertakes to lower taxes on the billionaire class (which has in fact, virtually, all the money) and to raise the taxes on the working poor (who don’t). If it were not so evilly perverse, it might in some quarters, be denominated as true “chutzpah,” but it more aptly merits the term, fascistic fantasy. The contrast between good (light) and evil (dark), here, is no less than Zoroastrian.

For us, conceivably, the most devastating development, accompanying this perverse President-Elect is the demagogic exaltation of importance of the declaratory statement above the ethical stricture of mandatory factual basis. This practice, especially effective among the low information population, is no less than an act of criminal fraud, particularly (perhaps, predictably) emanating from this “reality show” Barnam. This reprehensible disease, in addition to its unhealthy introduction by our newly elected chief, has fully metastasized to the level of the new phenomenon of “false news” (where is Lewis Carroll, when you need him?).

No ship of State can be successfully navigated without a capable captain, with requisite nautical experience, a good crew, maps, depth charts and above all, a dependable compass. Foreign heads of states which are friendly to the United States have been understandably confused and worried; those whose interests are opposed to ours have already begun strategizing and maneuvering to advantage themselves (i.e., comrade Putin).

Impulsively, prior to his taking office, and during a period remaining of President Obama’s term as President, this “sorcerer’s apprentice” has disastrously made informal telephone calls to heads of State (ex, Taiwan), completely oblivious of their perceived symbolic significance, and in total ignorance of relevant protocol, applicable treaties, and decades of diplomatic and tactical precedent.

Predictably, and pathetically, his low information, “flat earth” constituency will soon, disastrously, discover the price to be exacted for a Pied Piper whose attractive music enchanted them sufficiently to vote against their own vital interests and basic needs.

To misquote Charles Darwin, the civilized world will be faced for some time with a new publication, this one entitled. “Origin of The Specious.”

-p.          * with due apology, for the above title, to Mr. Wm. Faulkner, renowned author of “A Light in August.”

 

 

 

 

 

Blog # 120 THE INSIDE PRICE OF COMPROMISE

Considering the incalculable number of our personal interactions, it is predictable that differences and disputed issues will at times, arise. Interestingly, an insight to emotional maturity and character may be acquired by observing one’s response to the uncomfortable presence of controversy.

Inarguably, compromise is the preferred vehicle for the peaceable (and face-saving) resolution of disputed matters. In this interactive conception, functionally known as the process of “give and take,” the negotiating participants have agreed in advance to abide by the ultimate resolution known as the compromise.

Occasionally, certain issues may arise which appear to be of demonstrably greater importance to party A, as compared with B , when a concession by B would be generous and appropriate. Such acts of concession, under like circumstances, are especially appropriate and beneficial regarding disputed issues between spouses, members of the family and close friends. It is not necessary to suggest that it would be petty and inconsistent to maintain a “score card” of previous voluntary concessions.

Regarding the general context and setting of the procedure, two unrelated matters are implicitly clear: (a) that one of the parties may not be in an equal position of strength as the other, and (b) that the ultimate resolution will necessarily result in all participants getting less than originally demanded.

For purposes of simplicity, we will assume that all parties resolve to participate in the process in good faith and exercise sufficient respect towards the other. Both should actively cooperate, mutually bearing in mind that compromise is preferable to any alternative.

In certain (thankfully, rare) instances, one is confronted with the type of dystopic participant whose penchant is for the (non-productive) “zero sum game.” This exemplar of neurotic trend will insist upon having everything “my way”; any minor concession, represents to him a major face-losing catastrophe. Such species of primitive personality is predictably destined to an insular and joyless life experience; no reasonably healthy person would be willing or able to tolerate a relationship with him which would predictably be typified by the metabolism of a steady diet of dictatorial edicts.

While participating in the process of dispute resolution, the parties should ever be cognizant of the human dynamics involved, such as the nuanced personality and discernable reactions of the other party and act in accordance with the principled criteria of their avowed self- image.

The route to the compromise of differences may be somewhat comparable to driving a car in a substantial fog. The object which is difficult of discernment in the fog of contention is the private, perhaps emotional, “cost of compromise” on the part of the other participant; this invisible element must always be considered and respected.

TWO ADDENDA:

  • Failure to reach compromise is often due to a failure to strictly adhere to the issue in contention; insertion of any other problem or subject matter is predictably fatal

 

  • Some subjects are NEVER subject to compromise: i.e., love, morality, loyalty, and empathy. -p.