Democracy in Chains written by historian Nancy Maclean has written one of the most important books published within the last 100 years. If you want to see what the enemies of democracy are up to while Trump deliberately distracts everyone then give this a read; while everyone has been distracted by Trump’s antics (and he’s doing it on purpose because if there’s one guarantee its liberals will lose their shit at the least provocation), the Republican Party has garnered 24 of the 30 votes necessary to call a constitutional convention. The last convention was held by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc. back in the 1770s.
The objective of the new convention will be to repeal certain amendments. For example, they want to repeal Amendment 17. Amendment 17 was considered a victory by progressives back in the 1930s because it got rid of the practice of appointing senators and introduced the current system of having the People themselves vote for them. By repealing Amendment 17 the practice of appointing senators would be reintroduced and I can assure you that the will of the People will be utterly ignored. What you’ll see is an increase of corporate influence and interference over the organs of government.
You guys: if democracy fails in the United States it is only a matter of time before that sickness spreads to other countries. Quit falling for the distractions, put aside your petty differences, and come together.
Note: for context you need to also read a book published by Mark R. Levin (an influential thinker from the far right in the United States, e.g. The Liberty Amendments). You can see ALL of the amendments that the Right wants to push through. Another amendment is to make it illegal to pass budgets that create deficits. This sounds great in principle (i.e. don’t spend money you don’t have, etc.), however, this will be the Trojan Horse leading to the repeal of social programs like Social Security and Medicare.
One way or another, the United States will not look, feel or be the same following the next presidential election.
It’s best to cast off whatever mind-forged manacles you might have as early in life as possible. Funny thing, the mind, for all its free-willing one cannot imagine a more perfect prison.
You look at the beautiful and colorful Saskatchewan sunset–with its purples, pinks, oranges, magentas, blues and greens–and feel the same emotional response I do despite our being separated by whatever distance.
There’s an interesting metaphysical implication in this: in the same sense we can be separated from one another by distance (and feel an identical depth of emotion) we can likewise be separated by time and share the same connectedness or emotional response.
For example, if someone looked upon Michelangelo’s sculpture entitled “David” in the 1500s and felt awe at the sculptor’s ability to represent the human form, which I am sure happened, and then you yourself looked upon that same marble statue in 2018 and had a similar response you would, in a sense, be united through time with that person living in the 16th century by your shared emotional response. The same effect takes place with listening to a piece of music produced by Beethoven, reading a psalm written by King David, or spending some of the little time you have in this existence experiencing the natural world like a sunset with someone special.
So despite the geographical or chronological distance separating us we can share the most deeply held sentiments and experiences in common; kind of a beautiful notion when you think about it.
“Ours is a time that would have sent the Greeks to their oracles. We fail at our own peril to consult our own.”–Harold Goddard
The older you get the more you learn about yourself (or so some say that is the way of it). Surprisingly I find myself currently on the other side of reason despite my genuine love for logic, the rule of law, intellectual honesty,integrity, and the practical application of knowledge. I can honestly say I no longer see myself as solely governed by reason (and I am excited by that because a whole new organ of perception, as Goethe observes, has re-opened before me). Though I will continue to consult oracles–science, history, honest inquiry, objectivity, books, experience and curiosity–I think my allegiance is returning to that youthful and exuberant hand-maiden of reason known as ‘wonder’ (and with that reality is suddenly pregnant with possibilities again because I have finally given up the desire for certainty)
“All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them.”—Simon du Beauvoir
Aaron: why’d Achilles die the way he did?
Me: because his mother Thetis dipped him by the foot in the River Styx so he wouldn’t die young. The water made him immortal. But his ankle was not immersed so he remained vulnerable there.
Aaron: why not turn him over, dip him in the water completely and finish the job? Or switch feet and hang him by the other side?
Me: because Achilles would not have been nearly as interesting if they did that I guess.
This exchange got me thinking: all myths–whether produced by the ancient Greeks or by we moderns–never stand up to even the simplest most childlike question. Myths persist precisely because human ignorance and credulousness continue to make such fertile soil; by simply inventing answers to mysteries we are not actually increasing our knowledge but moving further away from reality. So your belief in homeopathy, acupuncture, astrology, etc. all anesthetize the intellect making one a slave to both mindless abeyance and absurdity.
If you need money then go to the “banca.” In the 14th century, when capitalism was emerging through the work of a growing class of merchant bankers in Italy, these bankers exchanged money at the “river bank” where they met traveling merchants to exchange currency. Hence, the name “bank” is a reflection of a centuries old Italian “riverbank” financial exchange. We are surrounded by words, ideas and concepts whose origins have passed into memory and then into complete obscurity; we presume they’ve always existed in their current form (a form we’ve inherited) giving our worldview an unjustified veneer of sophistication, meaning and purpose.
This is one of the reasons why knowledge and literacy are so important: knowledge increases a person’s awareness of where things come from (increasing the possibility of change and improvement) while literacy provides a person with the means to continue unlearning the nonsense their well-intentioned parents, teachers and parent culture taught them.