Double-think [Short-short Fiction]

And what if these were excerpts from a polemic on the State of the State in America and how we persistently delude ourselves about the nature of freedom and the state of our democracy here and now, as we like to say tritely when we puzzle over just how to say what is obvious, I could assume, about place and time; but moreover, this could be understood to be a polemic on just where power lies (an interesting irony, or not irony . . . puns are abundant, are they not, unless all be knotted in the mind, confusions confounding us, contusions arising in the jousting we do both for real, in that way that art is nature, or in jest, as we do when we are inclined to see or seize the humor that lies in life, or should I say living–to live or not to live would not be the question posed that is when being is at the heart of the inquiry, all inquiring minds laying out the minefields of inquisition when asking what should be asked); and, of course, any good polemic—or should I say critique that tends toward being polemical, in as much as any piece of writing could attain being rather than merely existence . . . if you get what I am driving at—; yes, any good writing tending toward polemic in the ways, or towards the ends, I have established, or would establish (because I have not yet set what this writing is going to be, and there is that being again, but then I say writing has “being” as does the author of the wrtiting, and I have not become an intellectual twit whereby I can posture myself, of course absurdly, as one who believes or at least thinks or perhaps allows himself to imagine far too long, that the Author is dead . . . but then this would take me, if pursued, too far along on the tangent that it is to the circle of my argumentative or explicative contaiment herein . . . and so what the nature of power is when power acts powerfully in the services of power, by power and for power, that shall always be perpetual wherever the People abdicate their responsibility to themselves as the People for the slightly more lucrative role of a state-serving Public, is a concern, more than concerning this concern each of us needs to discern.

These here are excerpts from the Polemicist (a role I play? the actor prepares, he builds a character, he fulfills a role? all the pages are stages just as all statecraft is stagecraft . . .); one or another and another and another excerpt from The Polemicist would be accepted, expected  . . . and it might be important to note that he serves on the staff of a website called The Commentarian, devoted almost entirely to delivering sometimes tenchant at other times merely visceral polemics on American politics.

Okay so far?

I guess so would be assumed if I did not imagine that you, my audience, objected.

The website  also provides other forms of social commentary relevant to whom? You might ask. I do not; I have not.

The upcoming commentary as other commentaries found in The Commentarian have appeared in the blog section of the website . . . and the blogger/editor, who writes many of the pieces, signs off as POPULUS, or in Latin, The People. What this has to do with my having written what I initially set as a possibility in writing . . . and now the focus must shift to what has been written and not what will be written . . . the following having ben written, as inferred above, as a polemical piece . . . and is herein as follows:

The State in America only pays lip service to the exercise of freedom. Presidents in the State of the Union rarely ever serve more than their image. The State is incapable of respecting in the least the kind of freedom I had once believed was my birth right; I cannot believe anymore in a President of the people. Perhaps naively in my youth I believed that presidents were capable of what Obama’s most ardent supporters believe him capable of, but doubt of this has begun to supplant confidence. Perhaps my mistake was to have taken freedom for granted; I am beginning to feel like one of Barnum’s suckers. Washington does seem like the Big Tent; Capitol Hill, the White House, et cetera, other rings.

[ . . . ]

Will our civil liberties always be present? I know the slogan of the ACLU is Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself. Good cause, good slogan, the need for vigilence is constant. But that vigilance must come from the people, not a lazy public looking for men like President Obama to do it for us. We saw Bush II and did not like what we saw; we heard Obama and liked what we heard, but hearing is never listening. We might as well shake hands with the devil anytime we let leaders in Washington keep vigilance for us.

The sense of vigilance our degraded state sponsored education can imagine is the only one that serves the interests of the state; it might be something else entirely now, in that we will not think serving the state against the people is such a bad idea. The Cave dwellers again rebel against the light of day. We do prefer our shadows to the realities outside our caves. Twitter, Facebook, TV, the mirror, all of them our caves; inside ourselves, solipsists ever.

[ . . . ]

We have grown too accustomed to a state more increasingly unfriendly, bartering our civil liberties for a false sense of security; states for all times have rewarded publicans and rarely the people. America had once almost become contrary to this. Advertisements rule our sense of the real; psychologists say that the internet has made us even more self-absorbed, more inside ourselves. Metaphysics by Madison Avenue.

[ . . . ]

I do believe we were freer at a time before Reagan and Bush and Iraq one and two, and certainly the post 9/11 world; which is not to say that Bush II was worse than Johnson or Nixon. We were smarter, more literate, better educated and more willing to commit to social change in a tactile not only tangible way. Today, drug dealers, criminals, pop stars all party with the President and we somehow miss what’s happening. We have come a long way from the old New Left, even further from the Old Left, but let’s not lament yet.

It was the old left that informed many of the men I had come to listen to when I was a boy, my first lessons in American Democracy, politics, freedom, the exercise of liberty, which was never license (a confusion I see popularly spreading). But then my fantasies of the old left might not be as accurately conceived as they should be; among the old left, I include the Teamsters of the thirties and I know too many bosses who deserve the Nietzschean lessons from the Geneology of Morals.

[ . . . ]

I remember the Revolutionary slogans from the time of our Founding Fathers, whereby one stood out: The Tree of Liberty is Watered with the Blood of Patriots, and if I might add, sometimes that of the moneyed and power elites . . . le sange impur. But who gets to say when the shooting stops, or how many is enough? What Reign of Terror is next? Fear is fear not yet anticipation; anticipation not by necessity desire.

[ . . . ]

What did Jefferson mean about our obligation to liberty when he wrote in “The Declaration of Independence” that a people desiring freedom are obligated to throw of their chains? What are the inferences to be made in today’s economy and from close examination of power politics? In this America who is there Democracy for? I know that the rich get richer; I know we have a degraded sense of the possibilities of each man’s future riches, mainly because we have confounded possibility and probability. We tolerate the rich because we believe they do something for their money; they are not an idle rich aristocracy, no. But outside of drilling for oil, raping lands, putting protected land at risk of ecological disaster, what then do the rich do? Goldman Sachs was at the head of the 1929 market collapse and was there again in 2008. And they are Obama’s biggest supporters. Obama is not likely to bite the hand that feeds him and his pompous forked-tongued wife, which does not put me in the camp of the Republican Barbarians storming the gate of civilization . . . no? That’s an inaccurate assessment? 

Now the question should be–or, at least one of the questions that could be asked is if this is a finger on the pulse, or if this is the bile of one writer venting his spleen . . . you must decide for yourselves, my hypocrite readers, my brothers and sisters, all; I will not help in this way. How ambivalent I am is one thing you might guess at without help from me. What the position of the polemicist is is something you can discern without help from me. Whether I agree with him or not is not something you are going to get from me, or even should get from me, perhaps the first inkling of where I stand, or is it only could stand, might stand if x, y, or z, pertaining to my position on the should or not should of what I should give you as narrator or expositor of this, and who the author is in relation to these other roles inside a role inside a role, and so on . . . what?

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