[A polemic in commentary on the state of the State, the state of politics in America from the singular voice of the character of Populus, itself a mask worn on another mask worn. All political philosophy is fiction.]
I Populus speak for myself in as much as when I speak for myself I speak for the people. Commentaries and diatribes–commentaries in diatribes? A question? I ask this genuinely? Perhaps yes, perhaps no, perhaps both, perhaps other? I am not here in these pages seeking to be diplomatic; there can be no diplomacy between the People and the State or those from among the elite, monied or powerful, who seek only to undermine “We the People.”
Pots and kettles must fill our dreams. We are caught now, as we have been for decades, in a Political Party Ping-pong that holds as much fascination as that other favorite American past-time, baseball. We suffer the delusion that Democrat and Republican manifest real differences on the stage of the State, when in fact they are all of a piece. Rhetorical hop-scotch is another game we play; ethics, politics, even our families are situated in one or another square we hop into from another. Identity is therein contained, a board drawn by our media who tell us who we are, what we are, when and where we are. They draw the boxes.
There is no Truth in America, none that we believe in as a noble pursuit. We have succumbed to a materialism as gross as the one that subsumed the Bolsheviks. There is only material; there is nothing of spirit. We no longer believe in any Absolutes, and thus we have abandoned Truth and all the little ‘t’ truths that accrete in the former’s evolution. What we are left with is the Will to Power, and how we imagined that this was going to give us greater freedom is impossible for me to imagine, not while we further the transformation from a People to a State serving Public, which is what the Public is, has always been, the people in service of the State. It’s not only Media Presidential Candidates we are faced with every election, candidates formed by the media to meet our wants, not as they had been rooted in real needs and rational discourse we could engage with power as The People (that is, Jefferson’s We the People), but a media formed Public from the material of the People, one that has been formed by a Media that is more than the message. The media shows us who we are, not by what we are in ourselves but by what we must become according to the needs of power that the media elite support.
The First Amendment has been under assault from the Left as well as the Right, and the semi-literacy and systematic under education of the college educated class of the last quarter of a century or more has only aided this consolidation of power. How we ever hoped to manage liberty or democracy with as poorly as we read and write is beyond me.
We do assume that there are ideological differences between the Obama Presidency and the Bush II Presidency when they are/were, in fact, flip-sides of the same coin. They are of one minting, and it is a tribute to how endemically racist we are that we imagined Obama had a hotline to the little man and woman because he was black. One is the oil gangsters’ baby and the other the bitch of the bankers, but this is only a small part of the picture. The differences among the Presidents of the past fifty years have not been heartening to anyone committed in his life, engaged, as the Existentialists used to say, with Liberty and Democracy. There are no ideological differences from among Reagan, Clinton, Bush I and II, and Obama–none. The difference today is in the critique, the level of the critique, the focus of the critique. Too much of multiculturalism has been co-opted by the media and the bureaucracy; it has thus lost its edge, has become Status Quo, and has been used to change the color and the dress of the old power establishment. Power has become multi-culti, that’s all, and those who are in hegemony from among the various groups in the new critique have made their pact with the Devils of the elite. In our degraded literacy, thus our degraded ability to manage and use rhetoric, thus degrading our ability to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens, we are all of us living “The Emperor’s New Clothes”