We are candidly, obliged to confess that, despite our lifetime of deliberation, we have not been, even minimally successful, in our attempts to comprehend the arcane nature and parameters of the human persona or psyche. Such analysis, if such were, indeed, possible, would enable the useful comprehension of human dynamics and its predictable, responses to the varieties of experience. We, inconsistently, observe the best in Man, by his demonstrated, laudable behavior, as well as his contrary, pernicious inclinations. Such inability to rationally, describe a stereotypic human psyche, is disappointing and unsettling since the same prevents the establishment of an empirical, guidepost, appropriate to the establishment of relevant, empirical policy.
The above conundrum may be adequately, demonstrated, by a few, representative, examples of such fundamental, contextual, human inconsistency. In keeping with the theme of this essay, we see, as a conceivable, possibility, that the ancient scribes who composed the Biblical chapter, “Genesis,” were, albeit, in that early era, empirically, aware of Man’s duality, by their symbolic creation of Adam’s sons, Abel (goodness) and Cain (evil). In the modern era, the literary provenance for such duality, is illustrated in such novels as, Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha.”
On a recent occasion, we viewed, two television, videos, respectively, concerning the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich and on the Auschwitz Death Camp. To, narrowly judge the population of Germany, by these historically atrocious events would be to irretrievably, condemn that Nation, as barbarous, cruel and psychopathic. A country of highly educated, cultured and aesthetic people, including Beethoven, Brahms, Rilke, Goethe, and Hesse, somehow, perversely celebrated, with passionate love and loyalty, the destruction of the democratic, Weimar Republic and the ascendency of a demagogic tyrant and the factory style, programmatic, murderer of six million European. Jews. The World saw the ugly morphing of a National Abel to a Cain of monstrous and inconceivable proportion.
Today’s German Republic, by observable, contrast, is, and has been for decades, an inarguably, free, democratic and admirable Nation, a strategic partner to the United States, a member of N.A.T.O, and a signer to the Paris environmental Accords. Its official, public, programs of remembrance and apology for the Holocaust, exceed in number and effectiveness, any and all other National programs on the subject. Anti-Semitism has long been declared, illegal in Germany, and in contrast with the United States, there exists in that country, adequate and enforceable, gun control regulations.
In our own Nation, we are able to see the contextual, dichotomy, as between the belief in rational, democratic and inclusive, rule, simultaneously, with misguided and immoral efforts to destroy the democratic republic, in favor of (a suicidal slide to) autocracy. We would, demonstrably, make reference, to the reprehensible, anti-democratic, existence of Christian White Militias, Trump his MAGA, reprobates, the horrendous, occurrence of the Washington D.C. insurrection and the persistence of racial and religious bias.
On the positive side, we can, happily, cite major U.S. governmental and mainstream citizen efforts, to achieve universal equality, America’s continued, support for the United Nations, and for peace, its efforts to improve the environment, including the existential effort to ameliorate global warming, by the development of, non-polluting, natural sources of energy, governmental and mainstream citizen, recognition of equal, citizen rights, as stated, in the First Amendment to the Constitution, scientific efforts to prevent and cure disease, governmental, concern and assistance to needy citizens, citizen volunteer services in National and International, National disasters and, markedly, a contextually revealing, empathic concern, for the Nation’s domestic animals, (ASPCA).
We will candidly, admit our inability to explain said themed, material dichotomy of the human spirit. Nevertheless, we have made the emotionally, ameliorative decision, to eternally, maintain, the recognition of Man’s, creditably, moral and humanistic qualities, in our attempts to mitigate the angst caused by Man’s inclination to travel the “Cain” route.
Nevertheless, in addition to the singular nightmare, of Hitler’s Germany, we are unable to assuage, our profound, stomach-churning, disgust, regarding two distinct, uncomfortably, memorable, matters: (1) Donald Trump’s televised, comedic and heartless, confrontational, mimicking of a reporter with observable symptoms of cerebral palsy, and, (2) in light of the plethora of mortal shootings of young children, at schools, parks and other places of assembly, the perverse, election, of certain Members of Congress, to wear on their lapel, decorative pins, representative of the automatic weapons, employed in effecting such lifelong, heartache and loss. Some characterological behaviors should neither, be forgotten nor forgiven.
*[Apologies for the title to Herman Wouk, author of “The Caine Mutiny.”]