Beck: Argumentative Block
That's what a friend mine in The Hollow called it about a week ago now, as I described to him how I was failing at remarking on the awesome time that we're living. It stopped me cold when he said it because it was perfect. It was the essence of the thing, actually quite whether Mike knew it or not. I didn't have it all worked out instantly as it stopped me when I heard it, but its perfection refines the more that I think about it.
I make my daily rounds and I watch what's going on. There are stories every day, outrageous in every dimension, from small-town murder to global dominion. I sometimes wonder: what would the fifth or fourteenth centuries have looked and sounded like with modern data gathering and distribution, supposing of course that those disasters wouldn't have been transformed through those lenses. (...not like ours, mind you.)
A great deal of the twentieth century will go down in the all-time annals of horror. Even as I conclude that it was a wonderful time to live, I must always account that it also saw executions of mortal barbarity like to the worst ever, accented with the facts of mechanized and electronic technology, as well as the new collectivisms risen from the ashes of age-old concepts of politics anchored in monarchy. I didn't have to live through any of that. I remember drive-in movies as a routine.
Forty years or so in advance, one might have been taken quite by surprise if a time-traveler landed with the news that the president of the United States had fired the president of General Motors. I can imagine someone in 1969 who could have imagined such a thing, but a person like that would not fit the average person at the time or just about anything in the popular picture of 1969, now.
With all that, however, I cannot help but seriously wonder at anyone who has actually lived the last forty years with a sense of daily events accumulating to history and who reacts to the news with something like, "I can’t quite convince myself that it’s true..." or "I‘m still in rather stunned disbelief."
I've seen both of those statements, among others in the same crestfallen tones, online since the story came down last Sunday evening. I wonder what some people think is going on here, and has been for so long that most people have no sensible perspective on it. Swinging into the twenty-first century now, what I cannot see so far is a way that it will not be overwhelmed with all the worst impulses of the twentieth, because I don't see how America can be saved now. That would take something truly drastic, and I can't imagine what it might be.
Thirteen years ago, I was convinced that there was still enough of a conscience of freedom remaining in this country open to appeal from large numbers of individuals committed to a philosophically integrated passive resistance. Now, I can't imagine where such a thing might come from, or where it might find friendly intellectual ground, and I have to account that it could very well run to the conditions of the classic collectivist concentrations of the twentieth century, under a government solemnly devoted to everything but freedom. Only events would tell, but it's certainly possible that an administration of the United States would find it convenient to simply cage the lot, for the duration. Or worse.
Of course, one would likely have a very hard time advancing such an idea, today.
Argumentative block is a bit more than the mere inertia that sets in here sometimes. It is complicated by the conviction that history is the best evidence, even when it hasn't been lived yet. An element conceptual referent is the fait accompli of Amsoc -- American Socialism -- now barely three months into its latest iteration and committing profound abhorrences on the idea and ideals of individualism, the central abstraction of western philosophy that culminated in all the best that America ever was. All of that is comprised in the facts in action: the fait accompli.
The tea parties bring me nothing like hope. I see in them people who were happy enough to live and abide the compromises, vast and minute, that necessarily brought them to their straits now, and far too little understanding of what was lost, when and how, and why it mattered. In that, I see no way for them to pitch themselves against the dominant ideology of the era. In the truest dimensions of this fight, they can be bought or otherwise fended-off at relatively small expense to the rising machine. Some sop or other will save their dignity. They have too much to lose in a serious and principled commission of freedom against ideas in action that will eventually have it all anyway, regardless of their ignorance of or complacence to the facts.
Would it be unworthy recrimination to point to all the very recent years and all the ways in which it was said that socialism was dead? I don't think so, and that's because the same blindnesses that saw Americans into this fait accompli will serve them just as badly into its future.
That's really what I think, now. For all practical purposes, this deal is in the bag.
There's not a lot to argue about, in that.
Audentes fortunat iuvat.
Fortune favors the bold.