The word metaphysical is as amorphous as the things it refers to. As I see it, the word simply pertains to dimensions and dynamics of human consciousness are poorly or inadequately understood and explained.
Rather it relates to mysteries in need of clarification. So-called paranormal phenomena may fall within metaphysical purview, but there are much more important things—such as the meaning, if any, of America’s crazy presidential election in the context of human history.
The weirdness, surrealness, ugliness and flat-out circus-like strangeness of this interminable election are due to the fact that it is more metaphysical than physical. Usually unseen and poorly understood things have been made manifest, and no one other than a few outlier philosophers understand what the hell is going on.
A joke making the rounds is that there are a dozen women who have come forward attesting to Trump’s groping, but a hundred women have come forward saying they’ve seen Anthony’s wiener. Until scientists perform accurate measurements, we won’t know if there’s an equivalency.
Seriously, I’ve written for over a year that Donald Trump would not only be the Republican nominee, but that his presidency may be a historical fait accompli. That will spell the end of American centrality and leadership in the so-called free world.
Indeed, it will spell the end of the post-World War II international order that the United States formed after emerging unscathed as a superpower at the end of the Second World War.
It’s important to remember, especially as the tension between a weakened, humiliated Russia reaches peak Cold War levels, that while the US lost about 400,000 soldiers during World War II, and almost no civilians, the USSR lost about 30 million people, of which two-thirds were civilians.
While America is consumed with its shameful presidential election, “across Russia, 40 million civilians and military personnel just finished up emergency drills aimed at preparing the general population for nuclear attacks,” The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a man not given to hyperbole, wrote earlier this month that tension between America and Russia is worse than during the Cold War. “It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War,” he said, “the current times are different and more dangerous.”
The proud Russian bear is never so dangerous as when he feels put down. And the United States, “the sole remaining superpower,” spent the 1990’s rubbing Russia’s face in its collapse, even as America was also collapsing, just in a different way (socially and culturally as opposed to politically and economically).
It’s hard to believe, but in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, as the Berlin Wall and communism were breaking up, Russians respected and revered Americans. They made the distinction people around the world used to make—they liked Americans while disliking our government. No such distinction exists any longer, certainly not in Russia.
I started a joint-venture company with a leading proponent of perestroika to build “an ecologically and ethically sound market,” and was invited to Russia during the waning days of the Soviet Union, in January of 1990. They rolled out the red carpet (pardon pun) everywhere I went, naively believing, as I naively did, that Americans would help them build a market and democracy.
Needless to say, the venture failed due to American arrogance and Russian pride. They got Putin, and we may be about to get Trump. Even so, the premise and promise of that hinge of history is the same at this hinge of history:
People have to begin pouring the foundation for a new order before the collapse of an older order, or a new structure cannot be built from the rubble.
Explaining the metaphysics (that is, the underlying causes and dynamics) for what is happening with this election with respect to the world as a whole is part of pouring that foundation. That requires more than one or two people.
The distinction between the old order and the new one has to be clearly drawn. At the previous hinge of history, the bi-polar superpower order ended without the philosophical and psychological foundation for a new order in place.
So we got Putin and Trump and all they represent. Not only are they brothers in autocracy, but apparently FBI Director Comey has been sitting on evidence of Trump’s cozy business relationship with the Russian government, even as he’s being a conduit for dark innuendoes about Hillary’s emails.
However even if Hillary is elected, the post-World War II international order is history. So what is the basic element of the new order?
Unlike 25 years ago, the window of opportunity is not for the international community (a phrase that became a bad joke in the last 15 years), but for the global community. That means the emergence of effective, limited global governance for a global society.
Evangelicals believe Trump is part of God’s plan. Given that there is a cosmic intelligence operating in and on human consciousness, perhaps he is—in a way very different than they imagine!