Americans took to the streets today in record numbers to voice their opinions about the Trump presidency, but I was somewhat ambivalent about it. What’s more important than marching is critical thinking. We need a society of people who know how to discern between truth and falsity and have the courage to stand behind their discriminations. Protesting is fine, but instagrams of pithy protest slogans will not stop the incessant creep of fascism. We have created a toxic milieu in America wherein people are not capable of creating logically coherent and systematic structures of thought that conform to the rules of evidence. I am quite cynical of the the prospects of a society that has real liberty as a core tenet. My dream is a balanced society of tough as nails people who also have deep levels of compassion.
I know that I don’t fit in on the left or the right anymore, and honestly, I think both modes are effectively dead. We need a center position that is capable of wielding both the left hand and the right hand at the same time, in balance. Both are necessary. In my dualistic belief system, the right is known as the side of severity, and the left is known as the side of mercy. Each by itself is weak and ineffectual. I believe that we are running back and forth between severity and mercy in a dialectic schizophrenia. Yes, the right is probably more deranged than the left at this point, but worn out Marxist class warfare is not the answer. You don’t have to study much of the Maoist cultural revolution of 1960’s China to know that youth + Marxism can get very ugly very fast. This kind of left/right extremism is what fueled European problems for the first half of the 20th century. The fascists and the communists could not reach a middle way, and the continent was reduced to ruin.
America has always been fairly good at balancing the two halves of its intellectual brain, but it is spinning out of control at this point. I think that the problem is rooted in the acceptance of the philosophy of Relativism or the notion that there is no truth and all ideas are of equal merit. All ideas are not equal. We, as humans, are blessed with an understanding of mathematical logic to guide our actions. I am not an Ayn Rand, cold logic over all, kind of thinker, but I do think that without an understanding of how to reason, how to avoid fallacies, and how to support your positions with evidence, the modern thinker is reduced to being completely at the whim of campaigns of manufactured consent (propaganda) by the .1%. Since humans first looked up to the stars and noticed that the stars moved in mathematically predictable patterns, we have known that there is a thing such as truth. We have moved away from the exaltation of truth at our peril.
However, I am aware of why this does not exist. There was a great schism between the understanding of the spiritual world and the material world in the schools of western society centuries ago, and it has not been rectified. Until there is a coherent system of thought that combines logic and science with the world of religion, there will be no progress because humans need sustenance from science and religion to survive. So at this point, individuals scramble back and forth between the two to try and stay sane, but this generates chaos socially. I don’t know if there will be a solution to this until there is some sort of technological advance where physics acknowledges consciousness in spiritual terms. I have reached a synthesis of the two in my head, but I don’t know how to communicate it in a convincing manner. It is a conversation that I had in my head over decades where I came to understand certain truths.
Donald Trump is popular because somewhere in the American collective consciousness, people feel that America is a weak country. America is somewhat weak in my opinion. It’s sad but true. I’m not saying that Trump is right as to the reasons, but I sense it to be true like many other people. I believe that political strength comes from two things: collective unity and logical coherence of thought. We might have some sort of unity on the left or the right, but I am underwhelmed about what either side are really fighting for. And this issue is very, very deep. It’s a very tough problem that requires a very strong commitment to overcome. Our world has changed completely, from head to toe, over the last 140 years. You don’t go through that kind of change without having to completely reformulate your systems of philosophy. But I don’t think that has happened. And because of this we have charlatans openly lying to the populace and promising them things that will not be delivered.
So, I don’t like to have a very cynical outlook, but I do. I’d rather not think that the ship is totally out of control, but that’s the way I see it. And, there are some big icebergs out there in our path. If we get hit with a nasty recession, we are absolutely not prepared economically to deal with it, and this will create the surplus of fear needed to usher in some new system of authoritarianism. If people can’t speak up with utter honesty and fight for truth with courage, things will keep degrading. And, lastly, let me say that celebrities should not be making the political arguments let alone leading the ship. We need political scientists and not actors crafting the zeitgeist.We need a new intellectualism in the United States. We need a return to logic and evidence. We need this in a new, moderate synthesis and not some rehash of the John Birch Society or Marxism.
But personally, I’m actually fairly zen about the whole thing. The Earth has always been messy. I’ve had a hard life, and it has prepared me well. Getting over addiction has calmed me. Fighting your mind is the biggest challenge of all, and I do think we can get through this as Americans, but we need to wake up.