As a literary kind of guy, I find myself reading a good deal of folks like Eric Hoffer, or Studs Terkel, or othersuch cultural observers--and I often find a passage that "nails it," as they say.
I recently commented on one of the coauthors of How Nations Fail speaking at Harvard University. There's a book I'd recommend to anyone whose serious about taking a hard look at what's going on in Western society today.
I've heard that Zinn's History of America is being used in public schools around the country. I don't really agree with that, simply because public school students are unlikely to get a good understanding of the text in a typical course of instruction. Just because a text is simply written does not mean it is suitable for children's study.
Still, I appreciate and admire Zinn's works, and would highly recommend him to adult readers.
I left my last posting up for a few days and went about my business. Sometimes, you need to reflect awhile on events and gather information, especially after writing a piece that encompasses the breadth and scope of the last one. I was walking down the sidewalk and pondering things when something one of my recently read authors had said gave me a "eureka!" moment.
Often figuring how to say something is far more difficult than knowing what you need to say.
I was thinking about the mass movement that surrounded President Obama's election campaigns and his first four years in office.
If as Hoffer wrote, people join mass movements to be part of something much greater than themselves, then the essence of such movements is spiritual, or psyche-driven. This goes back to our last blog posting, where I described the failure of the new prophets of the scientific-state that came into existence at the end of the 19th C. The "scientific state" isn't about science: it's about FAITH.
Whether tribes or nations, states use mythologies to create narratives and define identities. As an example, Zinn's historical works are an attempt to get past some of the old and long-cherished mythological narratives about America's presence on the world-stage and get to a more nuanced and honest account of historical events as they actually occurred.
As I wrote in The President Barack H. Obama Birth Certificate Controversy and the New Media, there were two types of anger directed at anyone who questioned or was critical of the then newly-minted political candidate's politics, personal history, associations, or character. The first was the anger of a people frustrated by decades of abuse and denigration at the hands of those that held the reins of political and economic power, and the second was an anger of religious fervor.
The scientific-state, isn't scientific, it's religious. There's an Utopian vision for a long-term goal for some future generation as yet unborn, as well as more measurable, short-term and immediate goals to mark the rising power of the new faith's followers.
As Hoffer states, the closer the mass movement comes to success, the more vigorously the movement drives to achieve victory.
In recent months, the once cocky and smugly self-assured movement surrounding Obama has found itself buried in the mire of an unending swamp of corruption, violence, lies, and criminality. Though still threatening to the safety and continuity of a free, lawful, American republic, neither Obama nor his "progressive" movement has much political or social capital left to spend anymore.
They simply haven't delivered the goods.
A corrupt state wishes to replace God, the Eternal Deity, with itself. The naturalistic humanist wishes to replace God with his own self. The corrupt religious-political leader seeks to wield God's authority and fear as their own.
The reason the scientific-states of the early 20th C failed is rooted in this very fault. Humankind, in its depraved, amoral state, indeed is incapable of creating such a mechanistic society--a clock that runs without God--and now it appears that America's apostasy and the arrogance of empire have placed our own selves on histories' chopping block for a quick trim.