"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, November 11, 2022

Democracy Matters? Who Says? The Transparent, Meaningless Meme Of The Left

A festoon on the balcony of one of Washington’s tony, progressive neighborhoods proclaimed ‘Democracy Matters’, on the surface a simple statement of one of America’s core values and cherished principles, but a passerby smelled something funny – a hint of January 6th along with the redolent rosemary bushes on the front steps – a thinly veiled reference to Donald Trump’s attempted coup and the radical dismemberment of the inclusive, diverse society so deliberately promoted by the Left.

Yet on reflection, what was the problem?  Where were the wheels of freedom, opportunity, and enterprise coming off the bus?  Unemployment was at acceptable and retreating levels; the stock market quickly regaining the ground it had lost, interest rates high but not at all punitive – a correction to overheated, post- COVID demand – and the midterm elections well-organized and apparently honest and above-board.  

In other words American democracy was working quite well, thank you.  Walmart greeters were still smiling, gas prices were at affordable levels, COVID was all but over, and no nuclear weapons were pointed this way.   Democracy was not broken, disassembled, or in dire need of reform let alone needing the Crusaders, valorous knights, missionaries, and martyrs of the past.  The country was in fine shape, a bit ragged about the edges, but wholesome, intact, and essentially prosperous.

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It was that Trump bugger who was causing all the fuss.  A man who had become supernumerary two years ago, increasingly marginalized for his howling protest about stolen elections, for his indifferent response to a bunch of redwood rednecks and Idaho Panhandle crazies who had never seen a big city before, and for his bragging, hysterically vaudevillian protests about just about everything, was still in the crosshairs of the progressive Left.  

They knew that he was being isolated by his own party, that his day in the sun had come and gone, and that his four years would be remembered for their stage-, runway-, and big tent extravaganzas and little more; but there was still to be hay to be made from the old guy, the evil one, the bombastic buffoon.  He was the problem, the political anti-Christ, the purveyor of destruction and rot.

The memory of Donald Trump’s misogyny, racism, homophobia, and greed must never die, for his spirt might not evaporate.  The recently concluded midterm elections (11/2022) were a referendum not on the state of the union, but on Donald Trump.  The Democrats ran on a Democracy Matters ticket, and the mass of susceptible, residual Trump-hating, universalist Utopians bought the party line.

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The idea of crying wolf is not new to the American political Left.  The Climate Change mavens warned of the imminent incineration of the planet, desiccated lands, denuded forests, dried lakes and riverbeds, choking carbon dioxide polluted air, and nations of brain-addled zombies giving birth to twisted, deformed children.

The Genderists warned of the heterosexual counter-revolution – the recidivist man-on-top machismo of a discredited yesteryear; the denial of the gender spectrum and the supreme notion of pure, non-descript, non-categorized sexual expression.

The apologists for black, innate, genetic and cultural superiority – Blackists – warned of a resurgence of white supremacy, the code of the good ol’ boy, a hearkening to the days of blonde flips and blue eyes.  It was an electoral era of unbridled pomp, fantasy, and irrepressible vanity.

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There is nothing wrong with democracy that hasn’t been ‘wrong’ since the beginning – its innate inequality, oppression, and unfairness.  The system, say progressives, has been rigged since the days of Adam Smith, an opportunistic, predatory socio-economic way of life designed to suck the juices out of the less fortunate.  The underclasses of society are used to serve the privileged. They have been slaves, lackeys, and fools since the Greeks and Romans.  Capitalism is no more than the academic name for racial oppression, elitist liberty, and the preservation of social hierarchy.

While social stratification is the central feature of all societies – excellence will out, and stupidity ignored – it is the competitive, Darwinian, willful individualism innate in human nature which will always determine social outcomes.  There is nothing broken in a society which, as it becomes more complex, becomes more competitive.  Our Paleolithic ancestors fought each other for mastodon meat, cowrie beads, and territorial hunting rights.  Now we challenge Russia, China and their client states for oil rights, trading privileges, and international economic grazing rights.  When the imbalance becomes intolerable, we go to war.

So, the United States watches while the principle of Russian hegemony is played out in Ukraine, an interested bystander in a civil war of territorial ambition – neither contributing the arms, armaments , and air support necessary to defeat the Russians, and hoping that a desultory offering of stingers and tanks will do the trick.

The world rotates on its axis as it always has  - winners and losers, clods and clowns, with nothing more than applause or catcalls.  Shakespeare had it right in All’s Well That Ends Well – Fortune and Nature compete to a standoff for the human soul.  Corin has it absolutely right when he anticipates the nihilists to come.  In the end run, nothing really matters.

The great theologians of the early Christian centuries understood this well.  Life is indeed meaningless and pointless unless one grasps the insights of Jesus’ message – life without spiritual epiphany, resolution and redemption is nothing but an empty, eternal replay of hoes and rows.  Capturing the essence of the Trinity, understanding the impossible nature of duality, and realizing that the world is nothing but an illusory trap, is to be human.

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Hindus perhaps better than anyone understood this.  The world is maya, illusion, and attachment to it leads only to a perpetual cycle of unsatisfied rebirth.

So, making a big deal out of democracy is in the scheme of things nothing more than political posturing.  The world managed quite well for thousands of years of regal power, monarchy, empire, and servitude.  Who can forget Louis XIV, the Sun King, Henry VIII the champion of fundamental Christianity and the rejection of Papal Catholicism? Or the Shahs of Persia, the Emperors of Japan and China?  Or Genghis Khan?

Democracy is just a temporary, temporal, convenient political philosophy, no better nor no worse than any other but one with popular currency.  Of course it is ‘broken’, finding itself subject to the gives and takes of society’s demands; but this brokenness is insignificant, for the fundamental ethos of the system is sound. It is still the go-to philosophy, although challenged by the ambitions of neo-imperialist China and Russia.

Worrying about democracy as a political system is nonsense.  It will be gone anyway in the blink of an eye. Raising existential concerns is nothing but political fol-de-rol.

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