Public-Minded

The only kind of  an-archy the state would ever put up with is the kind where its obligations to serve are minimal or absent.  However, the way we educate only ensures that the people are always less than themselves as a people, always individually less in each representative, always undereducated, always one step or more steps out of step with the dance one must dance at the ball . . .   A society where its people were better educated and better equipped to manage affairs in an an-archy more favorable to the existence of a free people, and would not be an intolerable thing, unless the society sees as its highest political ideal the complete suppression of the people in favor of the more controlled and controlling Public.  (I know that there will be educated readers who will have a problem following this fore mostly for the sociopolitical dogmas they support and reinforce daily by the received ideas they accept as free thinking, and so I say what I have herein without expecting universal understanding, or any tolerance. I never expect unilateral agreement.)

As my friends from many of the former Republics of the Soviet Union say:  There were no people there, only an overarching and overbearing Public to whose weight each added his own by bearing the dual responsibility, the double obligation of abdicating any connection to a people, and maintaining a full participatory role as Publican in the Soviet Republic.  Publius triumphed over Populus at every turn in the Soviet Union, I am reminded.  I am also reminded by my friends from many of the former republics of the Soviet Union that there probably isn’t any country becoming more like the Soviet Union in this way than the United States, where We the People have been transforming rapidly into We the Public. As Samuel Becket reminds us time and again in his writing; there is no condition humans cannot get used to.  The lies one had to tell oneself in the camps run by the Nazis, the delusions one had to perpetuate, the surrounding surreality of day-to-day life in face of looming death–there could be no way to separate sane and insane. What course of action would you take in the camps; would you deny the rumors of armies just below the horizon ready to liberate you? I know I could not say what course I would take in looking, in seeing, what truth I would cling to, what lie I would hold dearer.  How long my mind would hold out, my body, my will, my decency, my humanity, I could not say? If you watch Americans lining up for the voting polls and see hope in that, you have no right to question how anyone could have walked into a gas chamber during the Holocaust.  A horrible analogy, I have been told by a pre-reader, but the capacity for delusion among humans is never-ending.  Our capacity for hoping against hope am strength and weakness.

The Democratic ideal here in America has been abdicated in favor of a pluralistic one.  Our pluralism has transformed in the image of the godly State, our newest form of worship.  We are no longer even in remote resemblance to the ancient  Populus or Demos and now proudly parade as Publius, the great monolithic Public.  The masses who always gravitate toward one form of pluralism or another, Bolshevik, communist, fascist, Nazis, totalitarian, Russian, French, American . . .  are always, as the masses have been everywhere since the advent of states in place of tribes–but then what is a tribe but a single identity for all, which is why when tribalism rears its head, it is always that of the menacing savage, reanimated in the form of one genocide after another . . . now is the year zero, millions chanted in Pol Pot’s Cambodia.  But then the en masse is always ready to serve the state, or create a condition where each member is ready to squander his personhood, his singular identity as one of the people for a lumpen and numerical existence.

Marx’s lumpen proletariat has cross classification in the guise of the Public-minded man.  Do we think that our contemporary liberal college student or any college student who thinks his American liberal politics are a solution for socio-political problems should be taken seriously in a world where his assumed posture of dissent is only perceived as another decadent American position of privilege anywhere in the world where American liberal and American conservative are ultimately uni-ideological?

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