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Meditations

'Polarization' Is the Wrong Diagnosis
By Martin LeFevre:
Feb 2, 2020, 2:51pm

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Having endured a bad, but short-lived head cold before Christmas, I've been unable to shake a minor cough with major phlegm production and slowly diminishing energy since. On Thursday I went in to get checked out. After X-rays were taken, I was told I had pneumonia.

They diagnosis was bacterial pneumonia, so I was given a shot of a strong antibiotic, and sent home with orders to drink lots of water and get lots of rest. I should begin to feel better in a day or two, I was told.

Three days later, and I feel worse. I'm going in for a follow-up this week, but apparently I have viral pneumonia, which antibiotics cannot cure, and can even make worse.

The idea that America's 'polarization' (a misnomer for what actually ails the nation) is the result of partisanship is preposterous. Even the truth of man's ancient tribalism merely traces the trunk but fails to get to the roots of the crisis. There is no cure without accurate diagnosis.

Bernie Bros notwithstanding, drawing equivalence between Trump's mob and Sander's angry male followers willfully ignores the autocratic actuality of the party in power---the Republican Party.

Unwittingly however, it points to an accurate diagnosis, beyond the superficial and hackneyed catchall of 'polarization.'

It isn't just the Republican Party, plus some segment of the Democratic Party that has been gutted and replaced by mad mostly white people. America itself has lost its soul, and nothing is filling the void so far except indifference and hate.

As Yeats wrote, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

'Who cares!' and 'Let the people decide!' became the rallying cries of Trump's sycophants in the Senate during the sham trial after his impeachment by the House.

They know the vast majority of Americans don't care whether the Constitution is shredded, as long as they still get their toxic constitutional of consumeristic escapes. (Am I the only man in America who doesn't know and doesn't care who's playing in today's Super Bowl?)

You won't read the truth in the MSM, but until the deadness and darkness at the core of this nation are faced (and deadness is worse than darkness, for it's the goal of evil itself), there can and will be no rebirth.

In short, the gutting of the Republican Party reflects the gutting of America. Democrats and Never Trumpers grasp at Bernie/Biden/Warren straws, desperately hoping the people will arise and throw the scoundrel out.

To attain watchful being one has to end wishful thinking. Ideas like "If President Nixon had Fox News he wouldn't have been impeached" are a sophisticated form of denial.

Fox gives half the American people the lies and gibberish they want. In the early 70's, there weren't nearly as many brain-dead zombies in America.

Another self-comforting notion that the chattering classes tell themselves, and sell in their echo chambers, is Ezra Klein's idea that "Trump's most intemperate outbursts, his most offensive musings, pale before opinions that were mainstream in recent history."

Culture is context. Despite all its reinventions, the death of America's soul has never happened before.
There can be no bottom without facing that fact.

Because "the people" had not perished prior to this time, the present crisis is the worst in American history, worse even than the Civil War. Losing 300 million to deadness is worse than losing 650,000 to war.

As imperfect and often hypocritical as it was, America used to stand for universal values and human rights. Now virtually no one speaks of human rights. Without a global revolution in consciousness, the future belongs to China, which can incarcerate/quarantine 50 million people overnight.

As humans decimate the earth and their own spirits in equal proportion, it's plainly pollyannaish to write, as David Brooks does, "human beings didn't evolve into the world's dominant species because we're vicious in tooth and claw...but because we are better at cooperation."

Right, humans are not vicious by 'tooth and claw,' but mind and maw.

Without romanticizing our primal past, it turns out that so-called civilization devolved from indigenous cultures, not evolved from them. There are billions of humans, but few human beings.

The ecological and spiritual crisis is a crisis of human consciousness itself, which means there is no choice but to change the last immutable thing---ourselves.

So if the death of America's soul is the diagnosis, and the virus is spreading globally through the pernicious mediums of individualism and consumerism under AI and state control, what, if anything, is the prescription?

Biblical miracles notwithstanding, what is dead cannot be returned to life. In fully acknowledging the death however (the death of the idea and ideal of America, as well as of human consciousness as it has been for tens of thousands of years), there can be the birth of something new.

What? A new human being, a new culture, a true global civilization. Can it begin here? It's the only way ahead, out of the darkness and deadness of man culminating in our age.

******

Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. lefevremartin77@gmail.com


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