Contemporary events have unhappily, led us to the observation that, despite its traditional, aspirational declaration, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” the extant American Nation, is rather more accurately, described, analogically, as an “archipelago.” In sad contrast with the Founders’ predicted foundational stability, of a Nation, populated by diverse, but nevertheless, socially, interactive and amicable citizens, the reality of the outcome of their experiment in democracy, has devolved, internally, to a socially and politically, disparate and insular state. It is conceivable, perhaps, that our revered Founders’ joint perception of the 18th Century Man, is significantly, at variance with the latter’s 21st Century progeny.
In service of our present theme, viz., that the temporal discordancy evinced in the American population has become inordinately, and fruitlessly, pronounced, we have chosen a dramatic, geographic image, “the archipelago,” as our symbolic analogy, du jour. The latter, as known, is the geologic designation applied to a substantial chain of independent, albeit, naturally and politically, related, islands, such as is geographically, manifested, in the Nations of Hawaii, The Philippines and Indonesia.
Our fellow Americans have evinced a remarkably, inordinate, degree of political and social disparity, eventuating in a Nation, characterized by insular, political division, sadly, accompanied, by unproductive, rancor, conspiratorial ideations, alternate facts, acts of insurrection, and, a seemingly endless perpetuation of racial and religious partiality.
Among the effective causes for the above, we would attribute: the voluntary and foolhardy, surrender, of the beneficial assurances, implicit in natural, humanistic interaction, in exchange for impersonal, less intimate forms of technological communication, the prophylactic, social separation, necessitated by the Covid pandemic, Donald Trump’s populist, attack on empirical truth and human empathy, together with the unconstitutional reprise and exacerbation of right-wing, religious, influence on society, most notably, and shockingly, on its judiciary and legislature.
The detrimental, consequence of such phenomena, was a widespread, “tribal,” politically, insular divisiveness, egged on by cynically motivated, profit-making, special interests, such the gun, anti-abortion and anti-immigration lobbies, and the tragic persistence of bigotry, all of which have been somewhat discussed, in earlier essays. The intent of this essay is to convey our perception of the resultant impact and undesirable, social manifestations, of such unnaturally, limited interaction, (“social archipelago”) on the experience of everyday, human life.
It has, eternally, been our presumption that, regarding individuals, inclined to inner contemplation and rational perspective, the personal impact of such separation and diminution of vital interaction, leading to the described, unfortunate, condition of societal archipelago is, to a notable degree, attenuated. For them, the existence of personal internal resources and the continuing pursuit of elective, personal interests are of substantial utility, in the preservation of their previously developed, self-image and personally, identified persona. We, at plinyblog, in the course of our many writings, have, often, bravely, run the risk of tiresome repetition by our numerous, fulsome and dedicated recommendations, concerning the latter subject.
It is our further presumption, that individuals, disinclined to practice such inner contemplation and analytic thought, with lifetimes of possibly, limited education, are much more, fundamentally, affected by such loss of existentially, vital, stabilizing and confirming, social interaction. In consequence, they evince even less than their previous motivation to develop an empirically, secure, perspective of themselves (self-image) and their environment. They would seem to be inclined, in varying degrees, to a sense of disassociation from the fundamental conceit of joint civil society, and in exchange, suffer exacerbated feelings of insecurity, loneliness and bleak, insularity. In such state of aloneness, atavistic, personal fears, insecurity and delusional perspectives appear to flourish and all too often, find expression in undesirable, word and action. It is such, described, individuals, we further, presume, who are neurotically, prone to give homage to canny demagogues, and systemically, vulnerable to the perpetuation of conspiratorial ideation and, ultimately, to the recommended, evils of autocracy.
To insure the desired success and hopeful continuance of our unique, democratic republic, there exists a dual, existential responsibility of the mainstream citizen, namely, a personally, dedicated aspiration for self-improvement and advancement towards the goal of ultimate wisdom, coupled with an aspiration for universal equality and a dedicated responsibility for a just and moral Nation.