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Things Fall Apart. Because they Must.

There are any number of reasons to have contempt for the atrophied, sclerotic, geriatric cryogenically frozen head that sits atop the Democratic Party.

Its corrupt fealty to Wall Street, exemplified by, Nancy were capitalists get used to it Pelosi, her equally inbred utterance that, we have to vote for it before we can read it, in reference to the Orwellian Patriot Act, the party’s lack of rhetorical passion, its wonkery in place of charm, and its charm in place of wonkery, its simplistic binary sound bytes in regards to complex issues, as in, Obama, campaigning back in ’08 saying he was going to tell third world dictatorships to clean up their act – which drew Borg drone cheers from the moron college kids to whom he was selling snake oil 2.0. and of course, the fact that as is normal with old(er) people, they are slow.

This sort of generational war is a consistent pattern of history.

Back in the 19th century having learned from Frederick the Great that soldiers must march at 70 paces per minute, or there about, the old regime high hats were shocked when the mad dog from Corsica had his men march at 100+ paces per minute and tended then to arrive first with more.

Camelot may have been pure PR BS (not withstanding how myths are a combination of smoke, mirrors and truth) and JFK’s Vigga may have come in a syringe but the facts remain, Ike was old and had a bad ticker and Jack was young, had a hot wife, and hung around with movie stars and molls.

It’s easy to forget, or succeed in not remembering, that part of Bill  Clinton’s appeal back in 1992 was that he was young(er) than Poppy Bush who, had fought in World War 2.

Never mind that his actions were almost heroic, and honorable, what people saw, was an old man in grainy black and white film footage about a war they didn’t understand because Spielberg and Tom Hanks hadn’t won it yet.

And so to the current situation.

Bernie Sanders was too old before he had the heart attack and he’s now got one foot in the grave.

80 year old people should be prohibited from running for president and anyone who will be over 80 at the time of their second term, should be disqualified from running.

There is a legal age requirement of 35 to run for president and there is good reason for that.

There is just as good a reason for an upper age limit and 80 should be that number.

Essentially the limit should be the average life expectancy plus 4 years.

And yes, Joe Biden is too old.

And no this has nothing to do with policies about which reasonable people can disagree.

What matters here is the sad tortoise pace of older people who, even if perfectly sharp and or acute in certain respects, simply cannot maintain the pace required for a full time campaign, let alone a job for which no one (even a smart 40 year old) is qualified or can be truly qualified.

While one could point to any number of issues that highlight the cold dead hand of the wizened cadre squatting atop the pile of mold that is our current political scene, we turn, however briefly to the looming lurch of the not so United Kingdom into a hybrid of fascism and populism.

While the nearly 80 year old Pelosi was driving Miss Impeachment at a stately rate, and having already arrived after last call a few months back to kick the soon to be reanimated corpse of Brexit by announcing anything that wrecks the Good Friday Accord, would result in the House blocking a trade deal with post EU England, she just this week, missed an open goal.

Sure, one could say, she’s got a lot on her plate. After all bringing down an American Caligula is a full time job.

But we’re talking about a stiff who really couldn’t understand the soul crushing leaden East German chic and abandon all hope ye who enter here tone of, we’re capitalists get used to it. And we mean Pelosi not Trump.

And of course she’s not about to connect the dots that show how that sort of toxic bilge leads to Trump Inc. Having inherited a sense of the fine art of brass knuckles from a political family in, Baltimore, and having amassed a fortune in real estate, no one in their right mind should expect the dowager Pelosi to quote Trotsky let alone agree with Sanders.

Of course she’s not alone.

The Clintons, the mass media, Obama, the Russians, a failed education system, the tech sociopaths, and the cynics and fascists in the Republican Party are all too blame.

As are the 60 million bigots and fascists who voted for him.

And the pinheads who voted for Jill Stein and before that, Ralph Nader.

Or as a noted stand up had it: there are many who do not know they are fascists but will discover it when the time comes.

And then there’s Nigel Farage.

We’ve already outlined in previous missives how he’s Oswald Mosley 2.0.

And we highlight the comment by England’s smartest author, Will Self, who said to the irritation of human turd and Brexiter, Mark Francois: every Brexit supporter is not an anti-Semite, but every anti-Semite is a supporter of Brexit.

And just three days ago, the marble in Trump’s head rolled to a slot labeled: support racist neo-fascist Farage by saying he and Boris would make an unstoppable force.

And two days later, at a pre-election rally, Farage said, if BoJo doesn’t bend the knee, I’ll cut his political head off by contesting every seat.

Anyone who thinks this isn’t in part being orchestrated from a basement bunker in Moscow is an idiot.

Anyone who thinks neoliberalism isn’t the seed bed for this political Ebola is a bigger idiot.

And anyone who thinks fascism hasn’t been an essential part of capitalism and the conservative movement is so stupid they should be shot into space.

And so, like Union generals before Grant cut Sherman loose to open a big can of modern warfare on the South, the Democrats just keep walking around the shopping mall in orthopedic shoes discussing reruns of Matlock and Murder she Wrote while hoping Hooker or Little Mac will cross the Rhappahannock and beat Bobby Lee’s ass – while humming, mine eyes have seen the glory. *

Yes the system is slow by design and yes impeachment is moving at a relatively quick pace.

But the impeachment gang got outflanked by Trump which is like being outflanked by a blind guy in a crash helmet and a wheelchair.

Pelosi Inc will say something about hey I’m focused on bumper sticker slogans to keep the brain dead masses on side and raising money so someone other than Trump can be the next figure head.

And that’s true but it is also pushing against an open door.

What’s required is someone or a gang of someone’s who can stay three steps ahead of a psychopathic moron who is as stupid as Godzilla is big, can be on social media, on the networks, on YouTube and be spreading their gospel in enough places that they dominate the agenda and all talking points are theirs.

Instead, a giant severed head with a brain consisting of pigeon shit, soggy fries and loose marbles, is always out in front.

Yes impeachment will grind him down but the further this goes along the more damage he does and Pelosi and Sanders and Joe are old generals ready to fight the last war.

The truth is, if a shambling mound of donuts and tequila and leather thongs like Steve Bannon can set up a war room, so can the Democrats but they haven’t because they are old and slow and stupid and conservative and frightened by what they see in the mirror.

Up against Farage there’s Bojo who has a spine made from rusty Slinky’s, and the ethics of a virus.

And then there’s Corbyn the Uriah Heap of British politics, only less interesting and somehow, more annoying.

Farage of course has the advantage of being an idiot with one idea – Farage.

And he’s ruthless.

The UK may very well be a colony of the American empire and the monarchy is an anachronistic joke combining Python and Waugh in equal measure but it is strategically vital to America.

The EU not only must survive in order to prevent Europe from once again setting itself on fire but in order to do that the UK – in whatever form – must not tilt into outright fascism and dystopia.

There is more at stake in this than anything in “Afghanistan” or “Syria.”

And the truth is both of those places are in a sense political, strategic synonyms for, Europe, which in turn, is a political synonym for, America.

While it’s perfectly reasonable to be sanguine about the looming catastrophe in the sense that capitalism has to die anyhow, the fact is in a situation like this you are either with the fire, or the fire brigade.

And Farage is a flame thrower, Corbyn and BoJo are cans of political napalm, and Pelosi is a leaky, rusty squirt gun.

Take note of Bannon doing his Sith Lord Nazgul wannabe routine which he has employed before – Pelosi he croons, is delivering a master class in political blitzkrieg.

Well, ironically, he would say that wouldn’t he?

Yes and not because he believes it but because he believes it sounds sophisticated and samurai-esque and it creates a fog of war the same way a staggering drunk belches a cloud – and it helps him stand above his cyber Brownshirts encasing his girth in a mantle of perceived wisdom.

Come to the window you bitches, says Bannon, the sea is calm tonight and my business is with the East. We ride at dawn.

And because his opposition is wearing plumed hats, and is tripping over their ceremonial swords, he’s ahead of them.**

Obviously Trump and Farage and probably the Kremlin or a Kremlin cutout, had this in mind a few weeks ago as Parliament stumbled like a drunk having a seizure into a general election.

Yes the epic fuck up with the Kurds and Turkey is an epic fuck up but it’s as if Pelosi Inc can’t handle more than one crisis at a time.

Which begs the question: why the fuck aren’t they employing an army of people in their 40s with managers in their 30s running war rooms full of people in their 20s to topple the beast?

Because that would spell their own political demise.

And no, we don’t mean hand the keys to AOC but put the entire team into the field because the fucking planet is on fire.

That of course requires actual leadership. And yes, in the middle of the, they shoot horses don’t they, campaign, it’s not as if Sanders and Harris and Pete and Warren are all going to coordinate but, that’s where leadership steps in and knocks heads together and says, hey, Pearl Harbor has just been bombed, get your fucking asses in the game.

Pelosi bloviates about Trump as a threat to “our democracy” and either can’t understand why people under 50 hate her or doesn’t care.

Yes they agree he is a threat but so they believe, is Pelosi.

And so here we are on the brink.

The gang that can’t shoot straight versus the gang that doesn’t care who it hits.

Things fall apart.

Because that’s what they do.

 

 

 

Addendum:

Obviously a generational shift is underway.

A growing cadre of pols in their 30s is on the rise as has been discussed just about everywhere.

But instead of making use of them Pelosi Inc is more concerned with (to use a worn out and trite image) rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

It is likely Biden will fade. Sanders is as discussed too old and has a heart one crisis away from exploding.

That leaves Warren and either O’Rourke or Mayor Pete as running mates.

Harris being from California offers nothing Warren doesn’t get as part of the starter kit. California is voting for her regardless of who her VP is. One could make the case that as a Black woman she brings a coat tail but does she?

O’Rourke is too goofy but he does possibly put Texas in play which is no small issue. On the other hand Texas will be in play even if he’s not on the ticket and any sensible candidate will put him to work even if he’s not running for anything.

Mayor Pete is a vet, has more LGBTQ cred than anyone else this side of Ellen (despite her recent can’t we all just get along stumble), appeals to the centrists, and to the left side of the centrists while Warren appeals more broadly (no pun intended).

The further left faux Jacobins you find on YouTube hate him with a passion that suggests both purity tests and long ditches filled with people who wore glasses and didn’t have calloused hands.

As always the yelpers should be handled carefully and shunted off into as much irrelevancy as is feasible while understanding they speak for a sizable cadre that has to be arranged one way or another.

No team is perfect but that’s probably what we’re looking at come next year.

While the Bernie Bros and the radioactive Muppets among the Young Turks and Majority Report will whine that it should be Bernie and Warren is too centrist or not left enough, that’s too bad.

Biden may yet stagger to the finish and appeal to a terrified middle and add Warren as a see I’m hip to the jive sop and pick Pete as something – say UN ambassador – but regardless, the gyre is spinning.

 

For a glimpse at Farage et al:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/01/farage-to-johnson-join-forces-or-brexit-party-will-contest-every-seat

 

Postscript.

Another factor that deserves attention is this: sanders and healthcare for all supporters  point to Western Europe as an example of how UHC can work.

There is a forest for the trees quality to this.

The conservatives and reactionary right are of course wrong when they blather about failed socialism or how Denmark can fit into California twenty times and therefore it’s not a legitimate comparison.

Luckily for the UHC supporters the right wing is generally as smart and historically aware as a piece of lawn furniture.

The reason there is universal healthcare in Western Europe is because there were two apocalyptic world wars (or one with a relatively brief time out), a wholesale collapse of the economy, a pandemic, and the villains in that spectacle were so over the top insane that for a while any opposition to their enemies was like cheering on the shark in Jaws.

Universal healthcare in the UK was, ironically, brought in by arch conservative Churchill and was part of a national all or nothing war effort which was, essentially, socialism.

On the continent the attitude was: Look we’ll give you whatever you want just don’t set anything on fire and no more torch-lit ceremonies.

While the US experienced the wars and the dead economy and the plague the major difference was, there was no battle for New York. No one laid siege to Boston for three years and reduced it to a pile of ruble.

Buzz bombs did not destroy a million buildings in any American city.

And sure enough as soon as they could, the speculators, the banks, and their friends, got rid of FDR era rent control and food price control and all the rest and Kapital was back on the menu.

Western Europe is not a perfect analogy.

It’s not bad but one should be thoughtful.

Which of course leaves out most people.

 

*Historical anachronisms to one side.

 

** Speaking of the Sith Lord, there’s a clip making the rounds of Bannon bloviating at Anderson Cooper who bloviates back and they sort of have a slap fight.

The clip is being headlined as Cooper gets the best of Bannon by laughing at his assertion that Trump is doing something about corruption in Ukraine.

This of course is as believable as the assertion that OJ is searching for the real killers.

What Cooper and CNN either are too stupid to understand or too cynical to care about, is that for Bannon, the victory lies in just being on the show.

Being on with Cooper gives him and his propaganda street cred.

And it allows him to muddy the waters with noise.

That was his goal.

He drew that shit up in the dirt on the floor of his cave – or war room.

CNN which is a media whore house said, sure, you don’t need to wear protection.

Because they frame it as their star, Cooper, smacking the ogre.

And or they are too stupid to grasp that Bannon wanted to be smacked because he understands the optics for his tribe – get smacked by an elegant establishment queen on “evil CNN” and the needle revs to over 6000 RPM.

CNN and Cooper are of course complicit in furthering the de facto fascism of Trump and the intentional fascism of Bannon.

Bannon is who and what he is but any reasonable person should have hurled a brick at the screen when Cooper said (and repeated) that Bannon was a smart guy.

Compared to whom?

To Cooper?

Yes, obviously.

Compared to Trump or Giuliani?

Sure, and so is a piece of flint.

Bannon is what passes for an intellectual in DC among the pols and their drones.

That doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.

Or that CNN isn’t a pathogen or the delivery system for one.

 

Update: 1011/19

Farage has announced his Brexit party will not, as threatened, contest every Conservative seat in the election.

Various British pundits have weighed in with analysis ranging from a Farage retreat, to a tacit alliance between BoJo and Farage to siphon off Labour and Lib Dems.

Another has suggested a Trump intervention to push Farage to back off and line up with Johnson.

The problem with that is Trump being incapable of keeping his mouth shut. If he pushed Farage he would have tweeted about it or will within the next 24 hours.

Several things can be true at the same time.

The Brexit party may be less financially able than suspected.

British polls suggest Farage and his crew have slipped in public appreciation.

And of course Johnson may have made Farage an offer he could not refuse.

We speculate that politics being politics all of the above are factors but what seems most likely is Johnson’s people having dirt on Nigel that they have either just discovered or have been sitting on for just such an occasion.

We also return to our speculation from a few months ago regarding the level of concern among the Whitehall Mandarins, their allies and the spooks.

Johnson may be three kinds of feckless moron but he’s more a creature of the system than Farage.

Johnson can be managed.

Farage is Mosley 2.0. Useful up to a point but not beyond that.

And Farage could either be in a Russian pocket or be surrounded by people in a Russian pocket and perhaps someone let him know they know that.

Releasing that to the public would be bad for business – for Nigel.

And so, he retreats.

He continues to stand to Johnson’s right but the Conservatives seem to have eaten Farage for a meal; a sort of Borg assimilation tactic.

The article linked below offers some additional scenarios.

A Lib Dem official suggests Farage’s tactical retreat is part of a Farage-Johnson-Trump move to allow US corporation a chance to colonize England’s NHS.

Possible but Trump’s silence is so out of character it seems unlikely even if the destruction of the NHS is still a conservative objective.

It’s also worth noting that Farage has been offered a peerage.

He claims he turned it down as it would have been too off brand. And it is worth considering the story is a fabrication designed either by Farage to show he’s still a man of the people, or by Farage and team Establishment. Or it may be the truth.

But what’s more interesting is that the offer is like a gun in the first act of a Chekhov play – it must go off in the third but, it’s there as a can’t miss sign.

In other words, it is a smoking gun piece of evidence that there was a negotiated deal.

Surely no one only offered Farage a Lordship and even if that’s all he was offered, when he said no they had to offer something else.

Leave it to the establishment media to stand around with their thumbs up each other’s asses and not ask the important questions:

Who made the offer? (via the odious tabloid media, Farage wont say who made the offer)

What else was offered?

To whom were they reporting?

Having said no, what did Farage ask for or demand?

Was he blackmailed?

If so, by whom and with what?

Occam’s razor and shaving cream is useful up to a point.

One could say it all boils down to the less Le Carre intrigue facts of making the political sausage and even the offer of a peerage is banal.

Except it’s not and it is certainly not in this context.

Farage in the House of Lords or some-such, is not business as usual, the people making the offer would have known he’d say no, unless they were banking on his being chased off by potential dirt becoming public.

And regardless, having turned it down they had to have something else behind door number 2 – a better deal or a deal that keeps the dirt hidden, or both.

The plot (sic!) as they say, thickens.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/11/brexit-party-will-not-contest-317-tory-seats-nigel-farage-says

More, no doubt to follow.

And it does, and quickly:

HRC adds her voice to the stew of the British election.

Which is not what matters.

What matters is that she is exposing a curious sequence of events.

On the face of it she’s calling out the Brits for not making their Russia interference inquiry public before the election.

Obviously this hits two birds with one stone.

First it allows her to bounce a rock off England’s head to hit Trump et al.

Secondly it highlights the extent to which (despite hysteria from certain quarters who insist it’s all CIA inspired bs) that the Russians are engaged in a massive counter attack in response to the US led effort to cause the crack up of the Soviet Union.

But while all of that is important what matters here, for the moment, is that two official inquires have been suppressed.

The first, announced a few days ago, was that Johnson’s apparent quid pro quo with a woman will not be made public until after the election.

A few days after that it’s been announced that the investigation into Russian interference has been suppressed.

Following that Farage announces he’s folding his tent.

Again, more than one thing can be true.

As with the Mueller Report, on-going counter-intelligence operations demand both secrecy and compartmentalization.

A side effect of making reports public is that the people you’re investigating can often read, often have televisions and get the internet.

Which means they get a glimpse into what you know about what they know about you.

That this is a kind of Kafka-esque stand up routine goes without saying but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Being absurd does not make things false, it just makes them absurd.

As the article below makes clear, multiple plot lines are in motion.

As the late and sometimes missed Christopher Hitchens said, when asked if he believed there was a conspiracy to kill JFK: the question is not was their a conspiracy but, of the multiple conspiracies, which one succeeded.

To which we would add the qualifier – why assume only one was a success?

Johnson obviously has no capacity to think beyond his next meal or ejaculation.

His goal is to triumph in the moment.

Therefore he figures that delaying the release of the report until he’s won the election is worth the damage in the here and now.

Of course if he wins and then the report is released, Parliament will turn on him.

His view then being so the fuck what, I’m in N0 10, they’re not, and Corbyn is a loser, my opponents are in disarray and I’ve got a majority.

Except he may not have a majority and even if he does, uneasy lies the crown let alone the clown shoes.

As to Uriah Heep, Corbyn has taken the obvious political bait and is calling the refusal to release the report, a clear sign of a Trump-Farage-BoJo alliance.

It may be that and as such it’s low hanging political rhetorical fruit and even a knob like Corbyn can pluck it.

But again, Trump’s silence speaks proverbial volumes pointing to someone else pulling strings.

It is also possible that not releasing the report may be a political bridge too far – but here the ball gets cloudy.

If nothing else, Johnson’s opponents should be able to figure out that they should be saying loudly and in unison: if you have nothing to hide, release the report.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/11/uk-government-delay-of-russia-report-is-shaming-says-clinton

11 comments on “Things Fall Apart. Because they Must.

  1. I don’t know about a forced choice between the fire and the fire brigade. From my position on the bottom looking up at the all-consuming blaze, it feels like a choice of roasting a marshmallow in the approaching flames or throwing oneself onto the pyre to get it over with.

    It’s sort of like those in a burning building who, instead, choose to leap out the window. Sure, it’s a choice, I guess. Others rush further into the burning building in a desperate hope that they’ll miraculously find a way down and out through the smoke and heat. Neither option is exactly rational.

    Most people are simply paralyzed by the incomprehensibility and impossibility of the situation. They won’t particularly do anything and events will continue to develop toward some end point. It’s not like anyone is in control of this wildfire at this point. It’s just burning and, even for those who don’t want the world to turn to ashes, no one knows how to stop it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rauldukeblog says:

      I understand your POV and agree with your conclusion.

      I have a gut feeling that the collapse of the old order in Europe (and elsewhere) is inevitable but I’d hate to see Old Man Europe set himself on fire again:-/

      But yes certainly most “lack all conviction while the worst” yada yada.

      Reminds me of the overdubbed voices on Sgt Pepper and one can be heard saying: Ity’s all leading to something…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. rauldukeblog says:

      But i’d also add that I can’t see being either neutral towards Farage et al or on the same side. Thus fire/fire brigade.

      The man’s a fascist and a demagogue and dangerous and BoJo is what he is. the two in combination would be very V for Vendetta.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would never pretend to be neutral, whether on a moving train or before a raging fire. If I ever happen to find myself standing next to someone throwing gasoline on the blaze, I promise you I will do my best to either wrestle that gas can out of their hands or give them swift push into the flames. That is to say I’d gladly strangle baby Hitler in the crib (with the necessary time machine) or, for that matter, assassinate adult Hitler.

        In my present situation, I don’t see such an opportunity arising. I’ll keep my eyes open, though. I’m not against taking action, even if it meant the ultimate self-sacrifice in the process (my survival impulse is somewhat compromised from too much depression for too long). Maybe there is no stopping the wildfire. But it’s always worth trying to stop it. And I’m all for noble heroism against impossible odds. After all, if the odds really are impossible, there is nothing to lose.

        Besides, I never thought I’d make it this far in life. I’m already on borrowed time. Whatever comes next, most likely I won’t be among the survivors who sees what comes after. I’m already in middle age and this pyrrhic era might take a while to burn itself out with cleansing flames. Until my end comes, I’ll act as a witness,if nothing else, for I’m not sure what else there is to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. rauldukeblog says:

        I didn’t think you’d be neutral and just to be clear I was speaking in general terms vis the current scene.

        Choking Ah in the crib is of course a classic what if.

        The obvious issue being what other “rough beast” would show up as a result?

        Is that metaphysics?

        and I’d say existence is essentially borrowed time for everyone though most people are happily unaware of it and most spend their time avoiding it and replacing that awareness with “stuff.”

        “After all if the odds are really are impossible. there is nothing to lose.”

        Spoken like a proper Spartan;-)

        Or Existentialist;-)

        My favorite line, attributed to Camus: Should I shoot myself or have another cup of coffee?

        And to act as a witness is no small thing and, as I see it, honorable.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m never an entirely pessimistic person. But I do have a sense of inevitability about certain things. It’s not exactly fatalism. It’s just that certain things get set into motion. And when gone down a path far enough, there is no turning back.

    It can seem there is no other choice than to play it out and wait for its final culmination. Or maybe push it along because the anticipation can be so excruciating. Whatever it is, let’s get it over with and move on. Even though I’m not an arsonist, I have to give fire credit. Fire can be cleansing and, as in nature, new growth follows. It likely will be a conflagration, but it probably won’t be the doom of civilization, not quite yet.

    I’ve sort of become a nihilist, both in the form of its original accusation and in the form of those who later adopted it. The charge of nihilism was against radicals and revolutionaries, those who presumably just wanted to destroy. I find myself, as a default position in a shitty world, cheering on its inevitable ending. I do dream of something else, not that I want the ever greater violence and suffering on its way. Still, there is no way but forward. We have to go through it to get to the other side. That is always the case in unhappy eras.

    The later nihilists in Russia embraced the label. Some sought violence and others did not. But what they all shared was the acceptance that no one can know what comes next. To realize that the present situation is bad and getting worse doesn’t require a genius. And pointing out that obvious fact should not be dismissed just because one lacks an answer. We either create something better or we don’t. But remaining the same and stopping change is not an option.

    About fire brigades, maybe there are ways to limit the damage in the process. We can redirect the fire and save enough of civilization to build on in the aftermath. But interestingly, to follow this metaphor, fighting wildfires requires purposely setting fires to burn out areas that will break the advance of flames and so protect homes. In such times, though, it might be hard to tell the difference between the arsonists and the firefighters, as both could be seen starting fires, if for far different purposes.

    I thought of the following post again, about the weirdness and insanity that comes from such times:
    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-transparent-self-to-come/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here is a quote I’m quite fond of, added to the conclusion of a post of mine:
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/the-disease-of-nostalgia/

      “Living amid an ongoing epidemic that nobody notices is surreal. It is like viewing a mighty river that has risen slowly over two centuries, imperceptibly claiming the surrounding land, millimeter by millimeter. . . . Humans adapt remarkably well to a disaster as long as the disaster occurs over a long period of time”
      ~E. Fuller Torrey & Judy Miller, Invisible Plague

      Moral panics, mass hysterias, and diseases of civilization (including melancholy, vapors, nostalgia, neurasthenia, schizophrenia, etc) have been the slow rise of waters and now we are treading to stay above the surface.

      Society obsesses about these changes at points of crisis and then quickly forgets about them again as society attains a abnormal state of social norm. But our capacity to adapt to impossible conditions can only last so long.

      We’ve spent centuries externalizing costs and eventually some generation will have to pay what’s due. If we aren’t quite yet at that point, we have to be darn close. Human adaptability, as amazing as it is, has its limits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rauldukeblog says:

        All true.

        As we’ve discussed one of the built in problems is that people are born, ignorant and each succeeding generation has more to learn and learns less.

        It shouldn’t but it always stuns me when I hear people bloviating and it’s obvious they are ignorant of even the most basic facts.

        And so people end up with short term focus and live inside social nesting dolls that generate still more social nesting dolls like nostalgia or moral panics and each time the number of people who think it’s the first time seems to grow or at least be large enough to drown out any mindfulness or (gasp!) wisdom.

        Of course wisdom usually requires time both to achieve and to dispense and the system is built for speed and for erasure of the past which of course just repeats the process and I think leads to your point about points of crisis – quickly forgotten.

        Of course it may be a quirk of evolution. On the one hand a perpetual state of fear dulls other sences.

        On the other hand having once been chased by a lion one hopes not to forget.

        But now the lion is more abstract though still lethal – it’s the environment and all of its attachments but, notice people still think protests are the answer vs actual direct “revolutionary” action.

        “our capacity to adapt to impossible conditions can only last so long.”

        Indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. rauldukeblog says:

      My hunch, for some time, has been that fate is other people.

      Free will is essentially an illusion as there are so many people “acting/taking action” that it creates a set of fated conditions.

      And yet as you say one may try (perhaps it only appears to be trying?) to redirect the fire.

      Nihilists of course puts me in mind of Lubowski (sp?).

      All kidding aside, Nihilism has its place in the or along the spectrum.

      I wouldn’t trust anyone who wasn’t partially unhappy and or anxious about the state of things but I also don’t trust zealots of any stripe.

      Oh oh, keep talking that way, I might get accused of being, a liberal!!!;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here is a thought. Consider the situation before and during the world war era. Who understood how bad it was going to get? And who was there to save what they could of Western civilization? So much was destroyed. Yet there were people attempting to protect libraries and museums, if it was often futile.

    Or think further back in history. Even in the darkest of ages, there have always been rare souls who carefully hand copied obscure and largely forgotten books in the hope that future generations would read them. They may not even understood what it was that they were preserving, but the impulse to preserve itself was what mattered.

    What is the equivalent now? How does one prepare for the unpredictable? How does one seek to soften the landing as we crash? What is of most value to be protected? If you were escaping total destruction as bombs were dropping around you, what handful of books, cds, dvds, etc would you gather in your arms?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rauldukeblog says:

      Righteously profound questions.

      during the World war era the people who had a grasp of the horror, the horror, were the philosophers by whuich i mean some historians, and artists.

      A few others usually classified as theologians.

      But generally most people were clueless.

      Your question of what to save reminds me of the end of Fahrenheit 451 where each person has to remember/memorize a passage from a book.

      Robert Graves had a theory that the Druids used trees as letters in an alphabet and thus as a system of memory.

      It’s analogous to the Aborigines and Songlines. (and I cannot recommend enough the book, The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin).

      It may be that we are returning to a time when memory will return back out of devices and into the earth – trees, and other features of the landscape.

      Liked by 1 person

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