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.

Blogpost # 873  THE MAKING OF A HAPLESS PUPPET

In the immediately preceding essay, (# 872, “TROUBLES IN THE HOUSE”), we observed that the unprecedented and constitutionally, offensive insurrection, which took place at the Washington Capitol Building, two years ago, woke all America to the concerning existence of a grave and systemic peril to our constitutional Republic. Specifically, it put our Nation on strict notice, of the current, perilous existence of individuals, inclusive of certain elected representatives and officials, who are unprincipled power seekers, seeking, for tactical reasons, to confound the operations of our Democratic Republic. Regrettably, it would appear that there have been no discernable efforts, to date, to restrain the existential threat to democracy and the Nation, emanating from such populist authoritarianism.

A recent and cogent illustration, of said threat, is the stalemating of operations of the existential function of the House of Representatives, by a stubborn failure and tactical refusal, requiring the convening of fifteen House ballots, to confirm the re-appointment of its Speaker, Rep, Kevin McCarthy, or to elect an alternative. As stated in our previous writing, the practical effect of such intentionally, obstreperous course of behavior had relegated the House of Representatives to a state of “legislative catatonia;” since, among other official matters, members cannot be sworn in nor committees, appointed, as necessary to do the important business of the House, financial and otherwise.

McCarthy’s, long-delayed, selection, was agreed to, in exchange for an absurd, and shameful condition authorizing a one-person threshold for any Motion to Remove a Speaker, enabled the anxiously, awaited, seating of the present 118th House of Representatives. The latter, awarded to the hapless Speaker, (who has shamelessly, boasted, that he “never gives up,”) a cheap and meaningless, pyrrhic victory. He is, as a puppet Leader, now, existentially, beholden to any hard-right member of his party, such as, the celebrated trio, Matt Goetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, who, continuing the execrable practice of “Trumpism,” (without Donald Trump) now have the ability to, groundlessly and conveniently, oust him, effectively, renders him powerless and politically, emasculated.

It is truly, Kafka-like, to logically realize that, by such agreement, McCarthy has, identically, empowered the moderate, mainstream (non-MAGA) Republicans, who may not agree with the relevant, right-wing, extremist position of their party, possess the right to wield the identical sword of Damocles (viz., one person ouster) respecting the profoundly weakened and rendered, hapless, puppet, Kevin McCarthy.  

We are greatly concerned, that, matters relevant to the economy, such as the mandatory raise in the Nation’s debt ceiling, (to enable it to pay its debts, under the “Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution), as well as vitally, necessary, government entitlements such as social security and other established and responsibly empathic programs, will be atavistically and cruelly, challenged, due to such dual vulnerability; not to mention, the myriad of other significant matters, including, immigration policy, civil, women’s and gay rights, taxation, policy, and the plethora of others, in which the House of Representatives plays a constitutional role.

It now appears that McCarthy has morphed, from the critical designation by MAGA Republicans, as  “RINO,” (Republican in name only) McCarthy to the rarified designation of “SINO,” (Speaker in name only).

We are able to unhappily, acknowledge, as the only, situational winners, the hordes of pernicious, MAGA Republicans, previously aligned with (and still sympathetic to) Donald Trump, who have, wrongfully, resolved to uproot and interfere with the essential functions of (our) democracy, and, in their own, unfounded and ignorant perception, prefer political chaos and nihilism over democracy;  perhaps, based upon a thoughtless and irresponsible preference for tribal loyalty and autocracy.

-p. 

Blogpost # 871  TROUBLES IN THE HOUSE

Once more, a dystopic state of absolute political chaos has reared its ugly head. This time, it has occurred at the date of the (aborted) commencement of business of the newly elected, majority Republican House of Representatives. It would appear that the current generation of Conservative Republicans, who, essentially, have been aligned with Donald Trump’s, “Make America Great Again,” slogan have consigned themselves to upend and interfere with business as usual in Congress.

The outcome of the recent elections, awarded to the Republican Party, a majority in the American House of Representatives, notwithstanding which, the party has irresponsibly denied the previous and, now, putative, Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the 218 votes, necessary to re-appoint him as Speaker of The House, resulting, in grueling and raucous, disputation, and a state of legislative, catatonia. The Nation’s business cannot proceed, without the swearing-in and seating of the members of the House of Representatives, the establishment and designation of Committee leaderships, before engaging in dealing with the financial responsibilities of this Constitutional chamber of government.

It would appear that the current generation of Conservative Republicans, essentially, aligned with Donald Trump, have resolved themselves to upend and interfere with the vital commencement of the Nation’s business in Congress, pending the disputed resolution as to House Leadership. The grueling. and raucous nature of the dispute, is exemplified by the irresponsible statement of the loathsome, Rep. Matt Gaetz, “I’m resolved to vote all night, all week, all month, rather than vote for that man,” (viz., Kevin McCarthy).

The Nation, easily recalls the bizarre and publically, witnessed, analogous (conceivably, identical), brand of such blatant irresponsibility, political chaos and nihilism. As known, on January 6, 2021, following the defeat of President Donald J. Trump, roughly, 2000 of his ardent supporters attacked Washington’s Capitol Building, (“the Insurrection”) in an unprecedented, illegal and undemocratic attempt, to overturn the certified results of an election. In addition to its evident illegality, misrepresented basis and treasonous, undemocratic nature, it was a warning of the pernicious existence in the Nation, of citizens, lawmakers and political officials (the most shocking revelation, being the President of the United States) who are unprincipled power seekers, and whose subjectively, manufactured, horse blinders, exist to confirm their reductionist precepts, and irresponsible, unconstitutional behavior.

Today’s iteration of ignorant and errant, danger to our Democratic Republic is essentially, grounded in such identical, irresponsibility and nihilism, as prevailed on 1/6 (now being responded to, criminally.) The reprise of such shameful display of irresponsible behavior and disrespect for democracy, is identically, based upon excess of personal ambition, false ratification of ignorant and nihilistic, reductionist precepts or, in some cases, merely, irrational, tribal loyalty; rather than reason and moral responsibility, as controlling, behavioral guides. For such individuals, the considerations of practical wisdom and the performance of undertaken responsibility have become evolutionarily, extinct, like that of Man’s vestigial organs, such as his appendix and tonsils.

It would appear that the “election deniers” have now graduated, to “election preventers.”

-p.    

Blogpost # 871 ARCHIPELAGO NATION

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.

-p.

Blogpost # 870                              AN INFESTATION OF TERMITES

It is endlessly frustrating and disheartening, to note the existence of so vast a number of crucial and hotly contested, societal issues in which disputants are so intractable, as to have severed, for such reason, previous mutually, interactive socialization. However, many issues, ultimately, are the unnecessary, product of sublime ignorance and traditional, misunderstanding, or, just plain fantasy. Many purportedly, crucial issues, never possessed, even a scintilla, of historical or rational basis and apparently, were tactically, created out of “whole cloth,” for some surreptitious, reason, the most obvious and empirically, observable, is an underlying, lust for political influence.

Illustrative examples may be found, especially, in the extant existence and reprehensible, history of the Nation’s, anti-democratic, White Christian American, militant organizations. These hordes of deluded, radical, self-styled, but unschooled “patriots,” members in good standing, of America’s “underbelly,” are functionally, analogous, to destructive, termites who, dedicatedly, undermine the foundations of a building. These human miscreants seek, for misguided purposes, the ultimate undermining of the foundational, institutions and legal structure of the democratically, existential principle of equality, as provided in our Nation’s Constitution.

They conspire to do so by their tactically, false and misleading, premise that America was founded and intended to exist, as, a Christian, white Nation. Nothing could be further from the historical truth. The Founders, largely, Deists, with no affiliation with any official Christian sect, expressed their jointly concluded, view, that the radical experiment in Republican Democracy, would not, as, existed in the tyrannically, unjust and stormy, history of Europe, be tainted with the influence of religion. They, expressly, stated that if “God” were put in the Constitution, it would put man (i.e., “Will of the People”) out. This spurious cause of the Christian White Nationalists is one of many, based upon profound ignorance and desire for power.

An additional spurious claim of the Christian White militants, who have shown themselves to be virulently, anti-Semitic, is that the Jews (with evil intention) design to “replace” the appropriate, white, Christian citizen. The Jewish people, a relatively, small minority of the World population (thanks, in part, to the good offices of Adolph Hitler and his horde of White Christian German Populists) have neither, shown any willingness, nor, significantly, the numerical capability to replace the white Christian population. Like the typical, propagandist meme of these tactical, conspiracy mongers, the conceit is bizarre and totally, irrational, and, no doubt, known by them to be so.

Regarding the subject of “replacement,” it would be historically, salubrious if a sufficient number of mainstream American citizens were to “replace” these, dangerous and atavistic, termite- like, bigots, whose goal is the undermining of the foundational integrity of our Constitutional Republic.

By far, the greatest blemish on the complexion of the Nation is the period of the enslavement of (black) human beings. There would seem to be no more egregiously, criminal act, than stealing another individual’s life and humanity; often accompanied by the heartless, destruction of his family. Admittedly, the Nation may be proceeding slowly, in clearing up this blemish (due to the opposition of bigots, including those on the Christian right) but, mercifully, is making meaningful and needed progress.

Our readings inform us that the Saint James Bible (“the Good Book”) is the errant source and, self-interested, rationale for religiously observant, Christian slaveholders, by its recitation of its malignant and instructive story of Ham, the son of Noah. As a purported, and scrupulously accepted, biblical approval of the many, cruel centuries of immoral slavery, is the pious recitation of God’s punishment to all of the progeny of Ham (black people (?) for seeing his father, Noah, naked and drunk. Considering the millions of human lives cruelly sacrificed and the moral depravity of such heinous crime, made religiously, acceptable and morally, justified, by such self-serving, claptrap, is beyond the widest limits of rational comprehension.

We have often wondered, whether these delusional, racially and religiously bigoted, militants, have the requisite comprehension to realize, in their, dedicated termite-like, destructive ignorance, that the apocryphal, Jesus, was unquestionably, Jewish, and, further, having been born in the Middle East, was, ineluctably, not white?  

-p.

Blogpost # 869  POWER AND LIGHT: Redux

The classic, Greek, “Riddle of the Sphinx,” solved by the Greek hero and later, King, Oedipus, asked, “What walks on four feet in the morning, two feet in the afternoon, and three feet at night?” The eternally, correct answer is Man; who crawls when a baby, walks upright on two feet when an adult, and, later uses a cane (i.e., “three feet”) in old age.

The arcane question, correctly answered by King Oedipus, symbolically, relates to the lifetime changes in humankind’s dynamics of ambulation, and while symbolically, and accurately, descriptive of Man’s empirical, altering prowess, over his lifetime, says nothing about the qualitative changes, taking place concomitant with his human maturation.

One may readily find a plethora of legend and folkloric tales, in the history of Humankind, in which Man is heroically, sung, for his signal acts of bravery, physical strength and prowess. By any reasonable comparison, far less accounts of written praise are dedicated, to Man’s unique and commendable exercise of reason and judgment, when vitally, called upon. The riddling Sphinx, itself, it seems, only concerns itself with physical phenomena.

Society has eternally, worshipped youth and extolled strength and physical fitness. In our contemporary society, for example, major athletes, are remunerated in amounts, so far in excess of academic researchers, professors and scientists as to not be rationally comparable. Such preoccupation with youthfulness, notably, has provided the salient impetus for the Nation’s marketing and advertisement of clothes, cosmetics and other items, perceived to extend youthful appearance. Looking “younger” seems to be an eternally universal preoccupation and the aspirational standard for dress, and sometimes, even judgment.

The irrational and narcissistic, desire to (appear to) arrest the demonstrated advance of the stereotypic, features, naturally associated with aging, has resulted in the extensive commercial production, advertisement and sale of such creams and oils, as are purported to conceal wrinkles, crepe, dry and discolored skin, bags under the eyes, tighten throat surfaces, and, generally, fight the natural, visual, and immutable progress of species maturity. Indeed, there is a portion of the cosmetics industry, dedicated to the production, advertisement and public sale of a “cosmetic” substance called, “botulism toxin.” This widely, used, wrinkle-removing, toxin has been medically determined to be capable of attacking the human nervous system, and causing difficulties with breathing. Despite its chemical and medical categorization as being among the most lethal substances known, it, nevertheless, appears to be highly sought after, and used, cosmetically, for its rare and desirable property of removing age wrinkles. This, in our view, is as rationally, and sensible, as removing a wart by amputating the relevant finger.

In any fair competition between the natural phenomena of aging, and the most exotic, expensive, designer packaged, creams or ointments, it would be wise to wager on a victory for the aging. It might be still, wiser, to amend one’s personal criteria for happiness.

In addition to the physical features, naturally attendant upon most of us, fortunate enough to enjoy the franchise of life into our older years, there is a corresponding loss of physical strength or power. For the masculine portion of the population, this age-related liability is, at least as disturbing, for many, as the stated, facial and other visible evidence. For those individuals who have not chosen to include, aesthetic and intellectual pursuits in their life, the loss is traumatic. It should be, instructively, noted, that individuals, (male and female), who, have pursued elective areas of personal interest and have developed a wider understanding of themselves and life, in general, may be more reconciled to the dynamic, concomitants of aging.

For contemplative individuals with a developed and mature perspective, the natural decline in physical strength, or power, is sufficiently, compensated, by their unspoken gratitude for the empirical fulfillment of their potential franchise of life, together with an experiential and thoughtful understanding of themselves and a mature perspective on (their) life.  Those who have attained such enlightenment (“light”) are, incomparably, better positioned, mentally and emotionally, to be peacefully, resigned and, indeed, reconciled to aging’s steady erosion of strength (“power”) and are, thus, enabled to contemplate, and be appreciative of their, recently developed, experiential and mature insight.

As declared in an earlier essay, on the subject of aging, one learns, with the advent of maturity, the enlightened lesson, that “old age is not a disease,” but rather, the time for one’s grateful, acknowledgment, of the good fortune to have been granted by nature, the full extent of one’s potential franchise for life, and, hopefully, one fulfilled by a state of achieved enlightenment.

-p.         

Blogpost # 865    INTIMATIONS FROM KYIV 

The democratically elected, President of Ukraine, young and heroic, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appeared before a publically, televised, joint session of Congress, on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. In a profoundly impressive and historically significant, statement, he thanked the United States, for its vital, continuing, support of money and armaments to Ukraine, in the latter’s existential defense against Russia’s unprovoked, aggressive war, initiated and orchestrated by its autocratic, “President-for- Life,” Vladymir Putin.

Among his many cogent, remarks, was the sage, (and tactical), observation, that the vital assistance given by America and the Free World, should not be considered in the context of “charity,” but, rather, as a pragmatic and wise, investment in global peace, in halting the aggressive progress of Putin, before it metastasizes, to the stage of a greater (World) war.

The admirable personality and observed, earnest motivation of the young Ukrainian President, in his (English language) delivery of a highly inspirational speech, reminded many, older, Americans of the moving, and effective, wartime speeches of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Moreover, the dynamic character and candid, authenticity of the televised speech, as we came, thoughtfully, to evaluate it, had, in our perception, considerably more of an impact on mainstream America, than, presumably, the speaker’s intended, message of gratitude. It did so, in our view, in two distinct, but significant areas, as referenced, below.

Commencing no later than the time of the populist rise to power of Donald J. Trump, and his surprising elevation to the Oval Office, there developed a noticeable sea-change in the traditional feelings of American National patriotism and implicit gratitude for the good fortune to be born or naturalized, into the status of “citizen” of our free, Democratic Republic.  President Trump, personally and neurotically, demonstrated his personal preference for autocracy, as opposed to the Nation’s historic, representative democracy, by denigrating, the universal voting franchise and encouraging its limitation or distortion, denigrating the established media, educational institutions and, most shamefully, and of metaphysical importance, factual truth, in favor of subjectively, altered facts to suit his interest. Our Nation reeled, confusedly, from the bizarrely, unprecedented and undemocratic effects of the corrupt, bigoted and incapable Trump and his plethora of “underbelly,” ardent, supporters.

The clarity and extent of  contrast between the Ukrainian President, an avatar of democracy, and one, who has demonstrated a  willingness to endanger his own life for the cause of democracy and his Nation, and the autocratic Trump, is immeasurable; the latter has often publically stated, that people, serving in the military are “suckers” and complete “losers.”  

In consequence, an unfortunate and long developing, National inclination towards divisiveness, was exponentially, exacerbated, as between mainstream Americans who supported the Nation’s avowed moral compass, historical traditions and aspirational goals, and those who became cultish devotees of the serially, mendacious and ignorant President, whose stated, political and social credo was in accord with his, autocratic intentions. The Nation’s salient divisiveness, irrationally and lamentingly, morphed, so as to be bizarrely, based upon the absurd issue, whether the citizen was, for, or against Trump and his, unprincipled and undemocratic politics.

Such dystopic, “Mad Hatter,” context, resulted, in general, in a species of National amnesia, concerning, America’s historic self-image and eternally dedicated, moral aspirations, toward justice, equality and rectitude. The thick, intense fog of foul air pervading the Nation, emanating from this neurotic and bizarre leader, seemed to maintain much of its repugnancy, and principally stood in urgent need of refreshment and replacement, i.e., a sorely needed reminder of the long-standing, moral character of the historically, revered America.

The first of our observed, virtues, of the Selenskyy speech, is that it had the important salutory, metaphysical, effect of causing America to cut through the contemporarily, noxious Trump fog, and to recall America’s historically, admirable identity. It served as a necessary “wake-up call” and reminder, of who and what, the American Nation is and has been, over the decades. We are grateful to President Selenskyy for this timely, necessary and inspirational, reminder of who we, as Americans, essentially, are.

The second, perceived, notable impact is one of a discreetly different character, and one, despite its relatively, specific, rather than universal, application has great moral and humanistic merit. We were born to immigrant, Jewish parents, as related in several past, written sagas of the 1940s, in Jewish- immigrant populous, East New York, Brooklyn. The newly arrived Americans were only, too well aware of the universally distorted and grossly inaccurate, defamatory stereotype of their ethnic culture, which, albeit distorted and false, nevertheless was all pervasive and ubiquitous.

By example, it is notable, that the great novelist, reformer and social moralist, Charles Dickens, himself, in his early novels, as was common, for Victorian writers, portrayed the fictional Jew, in the timeless, empirically, inaccurate, stereotype, as a long-nosed, be-speckled, sly, money- lender, or merchant, with little to boast of, regarding masculine prowess. For bigots, with little or no contact with the Jewish ethnos, these hateful and degrading, stereotypes were, presumably, deemed factual and critically, representative.

The heroically, masculine, and militarily, fit appearance of the (known Jewish) President of Ukraine, went far, to the extent, relevant and needed, in dispelling the eternal, ignorant and distasteful, false, Jewish stereotypes, and to rationally, affirm the empirical, principle that Jews are not stereotypic, but resemble Man, in all his born, natural nuance. President Biden, thoughtfully, and generously, remarked, (if relevant), that it was the fourth night of Hanukah, commemorating the ancient Hebrew victory over tyranny.

In further and objective confirmation, of this second feature, it is especially, relevant, that President Volodymyr Zelendkyy, in fact, was, democratically, elected, by the votes of many millions of gentile, Ukrainian voters; said Nation, often perceived by many Eastern European immigrants, in current history, as universally, and dedicatedly, anti-Semitic).

-p.

Blogpost # 867     A EULOGY FOR “SMALL TALK”

It was only recently, that we were, suddenly, startled with the realization that for quite some time, the universally, ageless, social convention, commonly, designated and evaluated as “Small Talk,” has long been non-existent and, unhappily, been laid to its final rest. This genre of significant, regular, yet, completely, undervalued interaction, is, we feel, much deserving of needed, enlightened, recognition. Small talk plays a subtle and existentially, stabilizing and normalizing role in a free, functioning society, yet, has universally and thoughtlessly, been undervalued, as an essential item of societal function or, more often, instinctively, deprecated.

Our perception concerning “small talk” is, indeed, far more profound, than a mere nostalgic longing, regarding the recollection of such routine, expression of mundane, or, perhaps, meaningless, vocabulary, but, rather, of the metaphysical basis and societal function of the mundane routine, per se, as to its significant, functional value in the assurance of societal stability,  by its dynamics, relative to individually, nuanced, inter-personal recognition.

The general and expected, lack of substantive importance of the content in such common exchange of routine, often, meaningless, vocabulary, often accompanied by familiarly-known nuanced, gestures, does not, relevantly, mitigate our basis for ascribing societal importance to these common, linguistic exchanges, the content of which is,  aptly categorized as “small talk.” However, far more significant, than such regularity of exchange of routine words and familiar gestures, the universal practice has demonstrated, much pragmatic and societal value in its, unfailing, mutual assurance of identity and relationship of the involved parties, and their reassured identity of place and situation. The procedural reality of the regularized routine (of meaningless, “small talk”) has substantive, societal assurances and benefits, irrespective of the conceded, usual lack of profundity of the message.

We find ourselves obliged, to add, this one more, supplemental, societal downside to the digital revolution, by our objective, empirical, observation, that “small talk” is not, properly, or practically, suitable or convenient, for digital interaction. Aside from small talk’s, functionally, important, socially expected, exchange of gestures and words (the latter, albeit, usually, meaningless) it, nevertheless, accrues the benefits of ratification and assurance of identity. Yet from a practical and logistic analysis, the use of the smartphone and the digital route, in general, would seem to be inappropriate, even, bothersome for such transmissions as, “How be ya?” “Gonna rain,” “Is Frank home?” or “Nice day, isn’t it? “Hot enough for ya?” “You are early today” and the like.

The purported, magnificence of the exponentially, increasing (improving?) Digital Age” has rendered, extinct, all socially, confirming, “small talk,” as it has, tragically, and similarly, succeeded (see earlier essays) in supplanting, uncountable, communicatively, interactive, humanistic, practices of Man, exchanged for the inexpressive, insularity and impersonality of popularly favored, considerations of computer efficiency.

-p.

Blogpost # 866      THE UNEFFECTED CONCEPTION

The media has just revealed the consequential success of long-standing efforts at the production of nuclear fusion. It has been predicted that after some required years of refining the formula, the energy producing process (identical, reportedly, to the Solar production of energy), will enable the production of pollutant-free power. Such laudatory success, the result of decades of dedicated, experimentation, will have salutory benefits for Man and his Planet.

Experimentation, as such, requires the assiduous and precise application of novel, rational and hopefully workable, procedures, in a continuing effort to achieve a recognizable, desired, result. The failure to adequately, apply or satisfy such proposed procedural criteria, predictably, leads to an indeterminate result or abject failure. It was the English poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who penned the following, instructive, lines: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by statesmen, philosophers and divines.”

Much has been debated, in these divisive times, regarding the subject of the success or failure of the Founder’s (“radical”) experiment, the latter, consisting of the novel creation of a Democratic Republic, by and for the People. Depending upon one’s personal perception, it can, arguably, be maintained, to be relatively, successful, albeit, with certain historical blemishes. It can, contrariwise, be viewed, in an opposite light, by reason of the Nation’s seemingly, consistent propensity for dispute and divisiveness on many significant subjects.

Serious contention has persisted between the “mainstream” American, generally content with the political architecture of the present government, and the large horde of the discontented, often inadequately, educated citizen, the latter, to the extreme of recently, mounting an, aborted, attempt at insurrection.

Thematically, we would emphasize the metaphysically, inarguable, position that the success or failure of any experiment (in science or political science) cannot empirically, or rationally, be gauged or determined, unless and until the subject experiment, conducted, specifically as conceived, has, in fact, been empirically, performed. Our present, intended declaration is that the experiment, in government, envisioned by the Founders, has not, to date, been properly conducted, as conceived, by its 19th Century political architects. Like Emerson’s hobgoblins, we have persisted, foolishly, in our failure to comply, with the Founder’s proposed formula.

We would maintain that the most profound area of the Nation’s errors and departures from its  originally, devised, formulation, consists in America’s failure of compliance with the “Establishment Clause” of the Constitution; the latter, providing that government will neither aid, nor, interfere with the exercise of religion. Said failure has resulted in an avoidable, divisiveness and profound suffering, had the Nation properly adhered to the clear, secular prescriptions of its Founders. The denial of a woman’s, personal, right to elect an abortion, the penal Blue Laws, the latter, universally, proscribing business on the Sunday Sabbath (the 7th day of the week when the” Omnipotent” Deity, was fatigued and obliged  to “rest”), the untold miseries of the transgender and homosexual citizens treated as “sinners,” by reason of their happenstance, inheritance of  nuanced, assortment of chromosomes and hormones,  the illnesses and mortalities, caused  by religionists who renounce vaccination, the atavistic laws of divorce and adoption, the Christian, evangelic destruction of Native American childhood and Native ethnic culture, the unjustified exemption from taxes by profitable religious entities, the banning of books, films and school curricula, the myriad acts of bigoted mischief and criminality, resulting from subjective perceptions of religious dogma; all of which negative phenomena would be non-existent, had the provisions, mandated by the “Establishment Clause,” of the United States Constitution, as formulated and anticipated, been observed.

 How can we evaluate the degree of success of an experiment when such experiment’s devised protocol, or formula, has not been followed?

An additional, tragically impactful interference with the American experiment can be observed, as well, in the tactical, misreading of the Second Amendment. The relevant provision, itself, was the result of a settlement of the dispute between the Federalists, who favored a Central Government and the State’s Rights advocates, by permitting the States militias, (viz., the “People”) to bear arms. The Nation has experienced uncountable tragedy from the tactical, misrepresentation of the NRA and the plethora of gunslingers, in their intentional and deceitful, distortion of the subject Amendment, purportedly, to permit every citizen, without qualification or limitation, to possess lethal weapons. This intentional/ignorant and especially profitable misreading of the Amendment has tragically resulted in the senseless killing of innocent children and adults at schools, parks, places of worship, and places of public assembly.

Despite the plethora of tragedies, the gun worshipers have successfully, resisted all rational and responsible efforts to regulate guns, inclusive, at worst, military armaments with horrendous, lethal impact. The white-hot dispute, political and social, between the gun- toting individuals and their more responsible opposition, might critically, be perceived, as a failure of democratic amity, in a Nation, created, by and for, the people.

Such divisiveness and rancor, as in such issues as abortion and guns, might, along with other,  unsatisfied provisos, of the Founders’ conceived experiment, with which there has not been compliance, including, voting interference, gerrymandering and election denial, disparity in payment due to sexual bias, unfair tax laws, unjust penal system, and others) conceivably, be attributed to a failure of the Founder’s experiment.  Nevertheless, if there are failures of success to be noted, they cannot, justly, be attributed to the Founders’ experiment in the conceit of Republican Democracy, since their prescribed and anticipated, criteria, have not, at least,, to date, been observed.

-p.

Blogpost # 865 GRIFTER- IN- CHIEF

It is empirically, accurate to describe the former President, Donald J. Trump, as “the grift, that keeps on giving.” In addition to his demonstrated incapability and lack of moral compass, about which we have copiously written, we have come to realize that the scale and magnitude of his neurotic fantasy is so profound and extensive, as to be comparable only, to that described in the folktale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” In the folktale, a self-indulgent and delusional Emperor, despite the fact that he was appearing in public, stark naked, was convinced that he was fully dressed in magical clothes.

Our bizarre and shameless, past President, it seems, was not only a disparager of empirical fact, in favor of his alternate, subjective (pathological) version of reality, but we now realize, an exemplification of the sort of dementia in which basic, reality orientation is pathologically, lacking or, sporadic at best. His lack of reality orientation, in service to his delusional or self-serving perspective of reality, would seem to partly, explain his opposition to personally, unwanted but realistic fact. It was in this, subjective, context that we, early on, in his Presidential term, understood his serial mendacity and his expressed falsehoods.

The informed citizen, who came to understand that Trump was, factually, far from the successful real estate executive and estimable entrepreneur, that he publically presumed to be. In addition to losses on the substantial realty, inherited from his father, he courted successive and sixteen, telling, business failures in his presumptuous ventures, including, “Trump Steaks,” “Trump Vodka,” “Trump Mortgage Co,” “Trump Board Game,” “Trump Airlines,” “Trump Magazine,” and three Atlantic City Casinos. We know of no American President who was, thus as commercial as an Arab shook, and, by the way, disastrously failed at every enterprise. Despite a demonstrable and colossal demonstration of failure and incompetence, Donald Trump held himself out, publically, and, contextually, believed (fantasized) that he was the avatar of entrepreneurship; and his ignorant and deluded, sycophants so believed. This deceitful grifter has deluded, and led, the Republican Party, incredibly, for upwards of six years; and still, somehow, maintains a controlling influence, therein.

We are immensely curious to see if such unusual, state of facts will endure, after his demonstrably, bizarre and insanely delusional acts of the past week; as stated above, being on a rational par with the character and mentality of the King, in the children’s tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes. It will be, recalled, that in the latter story, the deluded King, went about his Kingdom, stark naked, being falsely of the delusion, that he was attired in Royal finery, produced by his expert tailors.

As diagnostically, revelatory, as the tale’s deluded, buck-naked King’s break with reality, the known, delusional, past President, proceeded to publically, further reveal the extent of his own psychotic aberration, by initially, (1) declaring that he was the best of the American Presidents, including Lincoln and Jefferson, and then, (2) proceeding, to advertise for public sale at $99.00 each, digital photos of himself, variously costumed and photo-shopped, as a Marvel Studios “Super Hero,” with all manner of comic book hero costumes, Iron Man, and many other Super Heroes, displaying their applicable, creative and bizarre variations, viz., laser beam eyes and other phantasmagoric powers.

That this absurd business venture is highly irregular and mentally deranged, and, like all Trump entrepreneurial ventures, will resoundingly, fail, is, predictable. What this voluntarily, broadcasted, and spontaneously, offered insight, to the unfathomed, depth of Trump’s, bizarre, delusional ideation, is especially, terrifying.

-p.