Consensus, Non-Sensus; the Monologic Voice Among Other Voices [A Short-short Story]

Prefatory Remarks

We are all too keen on looking for any reason we live in the political shit we live in–any reason but the one that would point to our complicity in the mess we have made of our politics. Complicity is difficult to take; you only have to look at any divorce at any time anywhere with any two people husband and wife to see just how far and for how long both parties engage in he said/she said, denial in perpetuity. It may be one of the main ingredients in our sanity, our brand of sanity; it’s not me, it’s them, for sure, of course.

Who are we? I am I; or, am I this carefully crafted we? I am We the People, I know, have taken from another text I have read. The author of the text below will remain anonymous. There was a time when Virginia Woolf had an opinion on anonymity in literature, what her opinion about the Anonymous attached to a text throughout the literary past, a poem, by whom? By Anonymous. Anonymous was eponymous for woman.

Whatever needs to be discerned can be discerned from the words in the text, but only if you stay in the text, closely to and with the text, nothing outside the text I request, I should demand, but I am afraid that in our social climate that might be too strong for most readers to accept. “Consensus, Non-sensus” is the title–what does that mean to say that this is the title–entitlement is what it says, but what does it do by what it says, what it infers, what boundaries it sets and has set for it by the reader, the author, the characters performing in the piece, the text again, nothing outside the text, what are all the clues, do we really read anymore, or have we become so systematically undereducated that we only superficially skim the page, fooled as we are by the words appearing in lines, an artificial linearity to the text imposed by the inescapable linearity of the words in lines; an artificial flatness to the text imposed by the flatness of the page. All texts are paradoxes in the very material that composes them. Even screens are flat.

And now . . .

The Text

Consensus, non-sensus . . . it’s amusing to say. What else should I say? Will I say–what? We can all disagree in this pseudo-democratic nation managed by power elites bent on keeping the masses semi-educated and semi-literate–but consensus in the end is the mandate. I have no problems speaking for everybody; everybody is one, everybody is, all are, you understand, no? It is easy for me to speak for everyone.

To disagree with mandated consensus is to become excommunicate and anathema, socially, if you want to take my word for it, as I phrase it, say it here as if I am speaking from on high–why shouldn’t I speak as if I am on high when the conviction is there. If the President were Pope, I’d be excommunicate, I would have long ago become anathema. But the dogma of all Americans acting Americanly has itself reached a reinforcing consensus; after we disagree in any verbal exchange, itself only another ping ping match of monologues, we must come to some point where we all agree that everyone is partly right and partly wrong.

There is no real democratic dialogue in America? Does this point to the,possibility that there is a fake democratic dialogue in America, one that masquerades as the truth of democracy in action? Of course it does. You really do not disagree, do you? Have you actually thought–because I am not so certain that what you do and what you say have anything to do with thinking. Randomly passing images in the mind or playing hop-scotch with words does not qualify as thinking, no. Too bad for you, but then your mouth running to keep pace with the stream of sound-bite received ideas is too much and too bad for me for us.

If we had dialogue, real trenchant democratic dialogue, we would not need to scramble for consensus after extending our disagreements into tangentially drawn monologues, themselves more reminiscent of our collective psychosis in matters of reality, what is real–itself popularly drawn into consensus managed by the media themselves controlled by sponsors selling products we most likely do not need . . . yes, more so this than anything resembling a healthy expression of democracy at work. But then, democracy is rule or law by the people and all we have in America, as far as the media or the government are concerned is a public–the people are managed as a public and not as a people because the latter are independent of the State, the former are always in the service of the State, as I have said elsewhere within the Pages section of my BLOG . . . to blog or not to blog, sounds too much like blah blah blah.

What we have instead of democracy is a Public interest, a Public good, always managed in its images by the media, whether it is broadcast or print, Hollywood or Government PR . . . and you are not going to use my singularity against me are you? Others have, I know, feeling comfort for their insipid opinions by the numbers who agree. It’s absurd; it’s grotesque; this demand for consensus we hold as one of the foremost dogmas of our social interaction, our version of the democratic process. There isn’t even a thread of coalition drawn up in the paradigms of these consenses; that would at least have some residue of democracy working.

This idea has nothing to do with and mostly opposes democracy, again, rule by the People and not the State serving Public. Democratic action always benefits from more democracy; the only cure for the ills of democracy is not fascist policies or other brands of totalitarianism or dictatorship–no. The only cure for the ills of democracy are more democracy, but the democracy practiced must maintain a loyalty to the People, Jefferson’s We the People, not We the Public. The Romans, believe it or not understood this implicitly: the two words Populus (the people) and Publius (the public) were not synonyms in Roman Political Science (I am not going to advocate, as I once did in a satire I had written, that crucifixion could instruct public morality, but only if they were visible to everyone, crucify in all of squares in New York, Herald Square, Dufy Square, Columbus Circle, Union Square, Madison Square, all of these p[laces could hold public crucifixions . . .).

The kind of consensus that societal norms demand is thus the kind of thinking and acting one finds in totalitarian societies. Do not imagine that it has not already happened here, this kind of totalizing that totalitarian governments enforce. We used to say that when fascism comes to America it will come as Americanism–the real horror is that it is not fascism or Nazism or Zionism or Bolshevism, but America’s brand of totalitarian rule, Americanism, a totalizing will to turn the People into a State serving, thus a Power serving and thus Money serving Public fed by crumbs from their tables. Without it being any of the former mentioned four isms, Americanism will be a new totalitarianism.

Totalitarianism is totalitarianism–a truth revealed in tautology. I am not trying to be facetious, no more than a Buddhist is when he says good is good, bad is bad and both exist . . . because they do and there is no reductionism in this in the way we mean to make pejorative any attempt to streamline our focus on what is for us politically: America is the new Totalitarian Bourgeois Capitalist Super State.

Epilogic Remarks

What more is there to say, to have said, will have been said when a time comes for us to accept complicity in our political demise? Questions will always remain opened to many responses, will have a dearth of answers provided. Answering and responding was once the subject of an essay I had written, how long ago now I cannot say. It might be as much as a decade or more ago. They are not the same thing; we respond many times without intending to answer; we compose responses especially to avoid answering.

The Review I am editing will handle, as much as possible, a variety of social commentary and political critique, the likes of which you have seen exhibited here; the necessity for this in our current political climate is even more necessary than might be understood.

To critique or not to critique–there are many, many more questions, whether there is any nobility in trying to answer them–am I looking for praise? Some would be nice, some might even at times be necessary for continuing.






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