The “path of totality” slashed across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. In the aftermath of the celestial hype devoid of terrestrial hope, it feels like the eclipse drew a dark line through America.
For this contemplative, the lunacy surrounding the lunar “show” was perplexing, and disturbing. We’ve forgotten that for most peoples through most of human history, eclipses were ominous portents.
At the height of the eclipse here in northern California, which afforded about 85% coverage of our workmanlike star, morning became dusk. As the light dimmed, an owl began to hoot in a nearby tree. The pall felt otherworldly in a way that seemed all too worldly.
Those in the path of totality reported that time seemed to stop and the earth seemed to hold its breath. Afterwards, things seem to be at a standstill in the world, as people wait for the next shoe to drop.
Contrary to what discredited public intellectuals malignantly maintain, the truth is not plural. This seemingly unassailable first principle of
conventional wisdom perniciously advocates living a lifetime in shades of gray, never knowing the light and color of insight. The truth is dynamically singular.
Politics, at best, is the art of principled compromise. It rarely has much to do with the truth. Government can neither provide beautiful things of life, nor “create a platform upon which the beautiful things in life can flourish.” Beauty requires living soil, internally and externally, not man-made platforms.
We have forgotten what true leadership looks like. So we accept definitions from “moderate” mediocrities such as: “Leadership is about determining which viewpoint is more needed at the moment.” When “the truth is plural,” the banality of evil is inexorable.
Only a filthy man attempts to make a vice of purity.
False modesty camouflages willful ignorance by insisting, “how much is beyond our understanding.” Venerating thought’s complexity is a way of avoiding the imperative of inward simplicity.
To ensure that the heavens didn’t steal his media thunder, Donald Trump, America’s mirror, moved up a speech on his purported overhaul of Obama’s failed Afghanistan strategy to the evening after the eclipse. The address was remarkable for its treacly patriotism and flagrant militarism on one hand, and its moral vacuity and lack of leadership on the other.
Afterward, Trump was either hailed in the media for being either “presidential,” or his military men were heiled for “containing” him. Thus the corporate media is still laying track for Trump’s mob (aka his base), and greasing the rails of America’s deepening slide into militarism.
“Since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage and resolve is unmatched in human history,” the draft dodger president pronounced. “When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate,” the pathological liar intoned.
America’s founders are rolling over in their graves. George Washington proclaimed: “My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” Led by the United States, conflict and war have become the world’s biggest business.
War is inevitable under these conditions and this POTUS. Global citizens have to prepare for the aftermath of a real war, as opposed to the phony, self-fulfilling prophesy of America’s “global war on terror,” or the interminable police action in Afghanistan.
“Are we preparing plans for a preventive war?” Lt. General H.R. McMaster recently asked in a television interview, defining the term as “a war that would prevent North Korea from threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon.”
He answered his own question: “The president’s been very clear about it. He said he’s not going to tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States.”
Don’t say we weren’t warned, and couldn’t see it coming.
Trump’s “carnage” reflects the invisible and projected slaughter of the American spirit that preceded and enabled him. And now the international order, based on the sovereignty of the nation-state (which the United States largely formed after the physical carnage of World War II), is running on fumes.
A true global order is possible. But only if a psychological revolution ignites and a philosophical foundation is poured before the looming real war brings the undeniable end of the old order and the old species.