Blogpost # 874   POPULIST AUTHORITARIANISM v. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

History has chosen to award the French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, credit for the conceit and name, “The Social Compact.” To very briefly, summarize his extensive writings, the fundamental concept is, The individual surrenders a portion of his rights and personal liberty to his society, in return for desired benefits (ex., protection, services, social interaction), granted, in exchange, by that society. Our various readings, however, inform us that other eminent thinkers, similarly, espoused the idea, prominent among whom was, our often referenced, and lauded, Englishman, John Locke; of whom, we take additional notice, because his written statement is referenced in the American Declaration of Independence.

Such implicit, foundational contract and its praiseworthy context permits people to live,  together, amicably, in society, in accordance with their personal choice, as may be philosophically, distinguished from the atavistic belief that a Deity requires it. Stated in a somewhat different way, the acceptance of rules, regarding behavior, is fundamentally, based,  upon the mutual understanding, that the other members of society also accept them.  Locke also declared that when such a social contract is broken (or, “breached”), revolution becomes an imminent, possibility.

Thematically, we have eternally, been in a quandary to discern the possible motivation of those who, contemporaneously, campaign or act, to repudiate, this inarguably, universal and salubrious utilitarian concept.

America’s deplorable, population of white supremacy adherents, effects a virtual mockery of the societal concept of the mutual compact. Their unconstitutional and delusional, gospel, castigates all human beings, (especially, immigrants) other than white Christians, under the spurious, self-serving, conceit, that white Christians, by nature, exclusively, occupy the top and controlling, position in society. Anything discerned by them, to threaten such aberrantly perceived pecking order, is deemed, valid justification for violence.

Events such as the “Black Lives Matter, public demonstrations, were neurotically, and bizarrely, perceived, by such perversely bigoted miscreants, as a purported, failure (breach of contract) on the part of government to protect “its population of white Christians,” from peril. It led to their acceptance of Donald Trump’s criminal (and egocentric) invitation to, infamously, stage the riotous, and deadly, Capitol Building insurrection, under the deluded and false, anti- democratic banner of a purported, “stolen” election. Additionally, certain Conservative controlled State Legislatures saw fit to tactically, promulgate unconstitutional and undemocratic, legislation, limiting, or making difficult, the vote of America’s black citizens (who supported the successful Joe Biden, over Donald Trump in the last Presidential election).

Disappointed mainstream Americans have been, justifiably, concerned about the recent right-wing Conservative political successes, in placing Justices on SCOTUS, which, rather than traditionally and mandatorily, being entirely neutral and strictly, non-political, now appears to be unprecedently, disposed to be influenced by promoters of the conservative worldview. The latter misfortune includes, among others, the traditionally,  forbidden, religious issues, the most egregious example being the recent surprising and tragically impactful, overturn of the half-century precedent of Roe v. Wade.

In the wake of Donald Trump, many legislators and officials have been elected, whose sentiments, sadly and alarmingly, jibe with the anti-constitutional and undemocratic ultra-conservatives, most notably, including, the White Christian Nationalists. It would worrisomely, appear that populist “Trumpism,” has somehow, survived the political loss of office by that previous, aberrant President. Many Americans, evince, understandable concern about the continuance of America’s vital programs of citizen assistance, like Social Security and other meaningful, substantive entitlements, should the right-wing gain determinative, ascendance.

The World, for some time, sadly, has experienced a recession in democracy and an inflationary increase in populist autocracy. Political leaders have been seen to tactically, manipulate their populist supporters into believing that they are working and fighting for individual democracy when, in reality, they are acting against it. In Brazil, the populist supporters of Bolsonaro, the losing Conservative candidate for President, mirrored the Trump sycophants, by, similarly, staging a violent, illegal, anti-government insurrection. There appear to be autocratic leaders at every point on the globe, including Hungary, The Philippines, North Korea, Russia, and many countries in Africa, South and Central America, the Near, Middle and the Far East.

We have often expressed our disbelief, amazement and frankly, disgust, concerning those individuals who earnestly and thoughtlessly, seek to replace, their unique experience of liberty, afforded by our democratic republic for repressive autocracy.  Those same individuals with, presumably, little or no apprehension of Man’s history, lacking in foresight, and, regularly dancing to the enticing tunes of demagogues and ignorant soothsayers, as declared in our earlier essay, “LEMMINGS,” are in uniformly, hypnotic, lockstep, ignorantly, marching in the direction of their own misfortune. In the course of such tribal lockstep, and mindless, synchrony, they unwittingly, act contrary to their own personal interests, by their opposition to governmental programs of citizen assistance, including those under the Nation’s Social Security Program.

Such militant authoritarians, undemocratically, persist in their overt racial, religious and ethnic prejudice, oppose immigration, (choosing to ignore, regarding the latter, the indisputable, fact that the American Nation, is entirely, composed of immigrants and their descendants), oppose salutory government health and safety regulations, and as well, environmental and global, protection policies. They, irrationally, oppose vaccination against illness, gay rights and same-sex marriage, favor dangerous and unregulated gun ownership, and are vulnerable to “snake oil” demagogues while, simultaneously, being dedicated and efficient transmitters of cynically, bizarre conspiracy ideations.

Humankind made the existentially wise, pragmatic choice, eons ago to, live in community to enable the benefits of inter-social interaction, the mutual sharing of skills, and when needed, available mutual assistance. This was in stark, opposition to, single-handedly, venturing to taking on the vicissitudes of life, food and water gathering, protection from predators, human and animal. It necessitated the empirical, development of, what was, much later, in Man’s sociological and anthropological, development, expressed as “the social contract.” The practical, humanizing, effect of such pragmatic and moral, mutual, undertaking resulted in a universally improved, life experience, in cooperative peace, and made possible human advancement.

We, find it, unremittingly, frustrating, to attempt to fathom the ultimate agenda of those American citizens, generally, described as “populist authoritarians,” in their perverse and self-defeating aspirations toward a controlling and intrusive, autocracy. One is obliged to assume that such hostility to the existence of an established, humanistic and (sociological-anthropological) institution, of the citizen-oriented, peaceful and democratic society, implemented and assured by the existence of the social contract, is one of plain, atavistic ignorance, perverse cynicism and, perhaps, neurotic fantasies regarding the personal acquisition of the unattainable and longed-for, attributes, of recognized, self-importance.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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