Sunday, April 29, 2012

Epochal presidents

Although we have kept the same Constitution for 200+ years, the country has, of course, changed. Was watching a History Channel piece on the Louisiana Purchase as an example. Fascinatingly complex.

Certain Presidents seem to mark sea-changes in the country's history.

From Washington to John Quincy, we had the period of the Gentlemen Founders, but Andrew Jackson changed everything. Lincoln was the next transformative administration. Next I'd list Teddy Roosevelt and especially Woodrow Wilson. Then, of course, the massive morph of Federal power under FDR.

In the last 65 years...are we still unfolding the logical outcomes of FDR's country? Too close to say: JFK and Democrats following him certainly are the proximate markers of the Republic's continuing alteration up to the loathsome Barack Hussein Obama.

Although Righties tend to romanticize Ronald Reagan, if you ask yourself where his "revolution" is now...??

My conservative brain tends to focus on the relationship between demographics and government power.


Anonymous said...

And Lefties tend to romanticize Martin Luther King, but where is his "dream" now? I mean, of a day during which one is judged by the moral content of his character, rather than by the race and gender circus? Did all his followers leave the world on the inner path, in accordance with his remark, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"?

Maybe MLK is one more dead white male in the inner world with Allan Bloom. Ask'd in an interview in 1965 what book besides the Bible he would have with him were he "marooned on the proverbial desert island," the Reverend King violated diversity and multicultural sensitivity and selected Plato's Republic:

"it brings together more of the insights of history than any other book. There is not a creative idea extant that is not discussed, in some way, in this work. Whatever realm of theology or philosophy is one's interest — and I am deeply interested in both — somewhere along the way, in this book you will find the matter explored."

Anonymous said...

These words by MLK also treat Plato's Republic, especially re the cave and the shadows on the wall cast by Hamitic fire upon poets' idols: "Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see."

Perhaps these words too, on the Unsaid (cf Heidegger) and Leo's presentation of the Old Testament (Ari OT): "A riot is the language of the unheard."

And on the thrown off course obedient will-to-power Ego sum quis ego sum: "Whatever affects [the] one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to find a discussion in Max Weber of "cool" as a legitimating charisma for political leadership, but if "cool" helps a president with his foreign and domestic agenda I'm sure Weber would approve -- in a value-neutral way, of course.

WJC was cool and this help'd him politically. ... GWB was not that cool, but coolness would not have help'd him in any case since coolness would have seem'd offensive as a legitimation of his "policies." I mean, during his administration American domestic policy began to really involve inequality and American foreign policy began to really involve militarism; and how cool are those things, really?

Anonymous said...

P.S. on "My conservative brain tends to focus on the relationship between demographics and government power":

Possibly a happy outcome will be born from the demographic programme of the desublimation aiôn, namely that parenthood ("staying home and baking cookies") is a waste of time and potential compared with careerwork even in the American law system (for persons of any 'race' or 'colour).

I mean, perhaps because of this demographic programme promoted by the subterranean government American Anglo-Saxony and Americanized Europe** is no longer the gollem or "mistake" (js4165) fear'd and condemn'd by ever-watchful Big Brother Sigmund Freud because parenthood is so little supported by the culture both in terms of honour and in terms of material support (adolescents' running to ruin is validated on grounds that recreational desublimation as in promiscuity and rejection of Calvin is fun and ultimately harmless compared with Hitler and Apartheid).

Rather than marching the Baby Boomer guys off into a vast war in order to make America undangerous, the government sent out an enculturating decree that we should do career and lifestyle like we have no tomorrow, and since we have no concern for the morrow we don't want to give our concubines and girlfriends even so many children as they might wish to bear.

Such male progeny as our generation did have are now less and less inclined even to make much effort for career (that's woman's work, eh?).

Girls still seem bright-eyed and energetic for career work and higher-education as preparation for career work because it is liberation from the restrictions that prevail'd formerly, as one can see in the PBS documentary series "Madmen."

Both "conservatives" and liberals or "progressives" wish only to be "counter-cultural" against American institutions. America is no longer the "concentrated rebound of the willed nature of modern Europe upon Europe" fear'd by Rilke et al way back in the era c.1920-1946 (Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, p. 113).

Future possibilities arrive to the present from out of the past (dixit Heidegger, Sein und Zeit [sc moon, Sin, and Chronos, Ninurta]). Our fathers would beget only undoingness (desublimation, counter-culturalness, protest, resistance, etc) in us. Therefore, America is no longer the golem that Freud condemn'd.

Presumably, then, post-Christian cultural heap and politico-demographic mess of America c.2012 is sitting pretty. Too bad Freud didn't live to see the working out of his call for the discombobulation of the American gollem.

Anonymous said...

Even today's Assyrians will still complain of Nietzsche as the dangerous possibility in American "violence" (cf W.R. Mead, God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World, p.70). Nietzsche's gelassenheit -- not containing wastelands, not rescuing selfings that wholly lack reverence -- is perhaps refer'd to in the "racially biased programs of compulsory sterilization based on very defec-tive definitions of mental unfitness and hereditary disease" (ibid p. 263). ('very defec': sc covenantal revelation cf etym also of 'echt' with the floating log of state).

But basically, "poor Nietzsche" (ibid p. 205) has been got around as a futile starer into some sort of "abyss" that occurs when one sees that "poetically man dwells" (dwells in the world by fiction, making: "revelation" for biblical religion; "rhetoric" in our day) and thus "Nothing is true and everything is permitted" (ibid p. 205).

Nietzsche made clear that this was an old recognition, e.g. among the assassins, and in any case was formulated for Europeans by Dostoevsky, wasn't it?

What dismay'd Nietzsche was not that man had depended on poetic craftings (veilings and unveilings) of various sorts to present the object. He was not dismay'd even first of all by the nihilistic doctrine of truth (aletheia; the veiling and unveiling and reveiling systems), namely that the everything system (ta panta) is for the glory of nothingness (nothingness "permits" everything). He was dismay'd that man would be satisfy'd with the removal of the meaning of "Be" from the world, so that "nothingness" was not reveal'd as "non-being." In sum, that man would become finally wholly fraudulent in his selfing: no reverence in selfing, no transcendence of the falseness in selfing.

But he didn't say at all that man would not be glad to do lack of reverence in selfing. The Prologue of Zarathustra makes clear that the European crowd eagerly wants to become "last men" -- men who no longer do self-transcendence; who were final, last.

And in fact, with "poor Nietzsche" merely struck with 'fascinated horror' at "nothing is true, everything is permitted" (p. 205), traditionalists can welcome Nietzsche as a critiquer of Anglo-Saxon commercialism, consumerism, greedy materialism, etc etc, (perhaps also as the Anglo-Saxons are help'd along in these ugly pragmata by Jews pp. 70f). Nietzsche is now useful to help rhetoric etc in resistance and counter-culturalness etc in "meaning, morality and authenticity" (p. 409), or maybe "folk values" in a populism free from the 'intrusiveness" of Christian revelation (p. 262f).

Traditionalism is still man trying to arrive at the last-man condition. Will the trappings of "something pre-modern" etc prevail where the much richer ye olde scenery of Wilhelmine Germany fail'd? ...

Anonymous said...

That the floating log should have no cybernetic guidance -- and indeed perhaps no helmsman or maybe only a non-helmsman:

Michael Oakeshott:
»In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.

»The [sc as in Star Trek?] enterprise is to keep afloat on an even keel; the sea is both friend and enemy; and the seamanship consists in using the resources of a traditional[ist] manner of behaviour in order to make a friend of every hostile occasion [hostile Leo (Strauss) casein (phospho-protein in milk [OT: king, angel; aleph epsilon] and the basis of cheese; used in plastics and glues. Maybe also sc a case for Sein).«
(p. 355, David Brooks, The Social Animal).

In Plato's Republic 488c, the ship-owner (Canaan: Phoenicians are sea-farers) is [unconsciously] gennaios or vornehm (trans. "noble" by Bloom except at 558b where it translates kalos). The traditionalist convenant of men ('odds') to keep the ship "even" (fe/male and woman: only routinizing, evening up), sc with no outer path input into the cybernetic question, presumably avoids the idle and quarrelsome cybernetic situation described by Plato.

And indeed when all the heavens and the earth was wateriness during the Flood, Noah's ark had no helm. The spirit of yhwh guided the ark to the Armenian mountain Ararat. Is the American ship of state in thoroughly undangerous waters -- with no port to sail toward, no enemy fleets to avoid, no storms that could capsize the ship [only 'hybristic' mimetic competition could cause the ship to lean dangerously]? thus no need for conscious helmsmanship? so that a non-helmsman will suffice?

In the American system, cybernetic became gubernatorial (peanuts swimming?). In our aiôn, cybernetic means control'd by unconscious elect-ronic computers etc. ... I have been supposing that "government" translates regime in Hegel's Phenomenology etc. But perhaps "government" especially in relation to (computer) "programs" refers to unconscious helmsmanship. ...

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