Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Must Be Done?

In the words of Chernechevsky, What Must Be Done? In some other immortal's words, in times like these, what is the difference between treason & stupidity? If any? America is now entering (congratulations to all all and sundry!) the interregnum between decay & collapse/chaos. Everyone has contributed; this was a team effort. Republicans supported gigantic corporations who outsourced our livelihoods & decimated the environment, not to mention suborning private property and the rule of law. They are the plutocrats. The Democrats supported factionalism and minorities who were out for themselves, and not in an enlightened manner. They are the oligarchs. Both factions support(ed) the burgeoning size of our cancerous federal government.

It is clear that something must be done. It is not clear exactly what, nor by whom, nor if this is "for all the marbles". But the general outline is taking shape out of the mists.

It has been known (at least by those who cared to know) that there was always a rather fine and subtle line between liberal-democracies and tyrannies. Particularly as we witness the 20th century in retrospect, or more so, as lived. Going back and forth in contemplation, we see that Freedom itself must be a relative concept. Even when we think we are most Free, and precisely then, and exactly because we think this, we are the most unfree, or at least, are progressing the fastest towards such a state. This is the story, or will be the story, of America in the late 19oos. A story of a State which was allowed to die with a whimper, and which found no spirits worthy of her founding to echo back and sustain her in the hour of need and challenge.

Where is the gratitude of freed slaves? Of new found immigrants? Of old settlers? Where is loyalty at all? It is gone. For the most part. People want their piece of the action and their slice of the pie. It is gone at least as part of the civic life. We had assumed that Progress meant an infinite increase in standards of consumption (I won't say "living") for all. The earth's ecology will no longer support this idea. And the extension of such to all has eroded the hopes of the white middle class in their own country, which they have (arguably) sustained and built (and destroyed).

So now we are back into the stream of history, the Wheel of Fate, the "course of human events", out of which we had perilously and laboriously and luckily raised ourselves. We are now off holiday from history. Soon, will come the return of the Gods and the punishment of Nemesis.

"You don’t hear the word usurpation in Congress for the same reason you don’t hear the word fornication in Las Vegas. When a vice becomes popular and profitable, it loses its proper name."

The only hope is to embrace what opportunity to rebuild that we find, as things fold in upon themselves. This current state of emergency (Notstand/justitium) is nothing new, it is the logical outcome of a century of liberal-democracy, its "fruit" (if you will). In the halcyon days of the 19th century, it was easy to believe that the extension of the franchise & the unleashing of economic "miracles" & the de-censoring of Enlightenment agit-prop was responsible for all the good one saw around one's self, or hoped to see. It was easy, in short, to think that the growing technology & wealth, as exhibited in the Great Exhibitions which shook Victorian England and Puritanical France and which colored the world of Sherlock Holmes with the tint of gaslight, that this was an infinite world which could be steam-punked across the face of the planet, and which would itself herald an even greater miracle, perhaps a city-world like Coruscant.

This is increasingly bizarre & hopeless. All but the most radical realize that the forces tearing apart society are so strong now that it is impossible, and that they garner strength from the very vision which is proposed, namely that of a universal despotism in which the globe would become Hamlet's prison, Panopticon.

Far away, come the sounds of Thunder. The lightning strikes the earth. The Wheel of Fate turns. Hubris & Nemesis are coming together.

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