We are responsible for our irresponsibility.
I will jump in early this time.
These very kind comments: Thanks to all. I am aware, always, of the perils of undue optimism, idealism, what we want to calll it. I like the French "angelisme"--altrusism on wings. But as I wrote this I saw in myself an expectation--perfectly ralitisitc, I think--that we cannot go on as we have, suppine, soporific, profoundly unfullfilled--forever. The 20s became the 30s, the 50s the 60s. A matter of history, of human nature.
Let us all see.
I agree that a nation’s people should held separate from their leaders - and I was puzzled when one Irish friend recently expressed guilt at liking a Russian tennis player; I felt like asking why do you support American athletes given all the pain the US has inflicted on the world. Maybe not everyone can make the distinction between corrupt leadership and the people (and for the record I don’t believe Putin to be worse than his American counterparts).
We must never lose hope; however, I think the US has crossed the rubicon and going forward the nation will be forced to react to what the rest of the world wants rather than lead. Our actions have proven beyond doubt that we are no longer worthy of leadership; other nations, having been reduced to make due with the crumbs of the empire, want to call their own shots.
The US people have been devoid of heroes for a long time; I fear the people have no one to articulate a vision - the fraud that was Obama was the last straw; Trump was on point but cloaked himself in swamp creatures. I worry the people are ‘atomised’ because they have been emotionally and financially abused for too long. The slaves had their spiritual strength which kept them going - do we even have that anymore?
It does seem the whole house of cards is crumbling.....
The reverence to "the undiscovered country" I at first thought was to Hamlet's soliloquy, in which the character asks,
"Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?"
What a wonderful rhetorical style, a true pleasure.
Americans (Canadians) are, as you previously said, apathetic consumers not citizens. Sorry but your optimism is a stretch. I think we are entering a new epoch, a new dark ages.
“World War III is a guerrilla information war, with no division between civilian and military participation.”
He used the present tense: “is” in the 1960’s.
Patrick, we cannot discover anything when we work nearly every hour of our waking life just to stay sheltered and fed.
You know this is done on purpose.
Nowadays the book would be titled: From Bowling Alone To Bowling, Never: How Americans lost their leisure time to the corporate state
As I write, my comment is # 11, so, yes, Patrick, nice comments below. As always, your descriptive narrative is poetic and philosophical at the same time, but more importantly, truthful in it's content.
I'm not very optimistic these days, concerning the situation in Ukraine as the decadent leadership in Washington, D. C. and in most European capitals are foaming in their mouths like rabid animals unable to control themselves and "almost" ready to commence in starting WW3 on orders from Uncle Sam, but all NATO nations including the U.S. are reluctant so far to launch the nukes on the Russian Federation for fear their nations will be nuked as well, especially with hydrogen bombs, assuring the MAD acronym of the 60's a place in future history books.
The propaganda against Putin and the Russian people these past twenty something years has been non-stop in the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire for control of the world and all of it's resources.
Mr. Lawrence mentioned several authors and their books, and two I highly recommend on why the world scene has gotten to this point in time can be purchased at www.globalresearch.ca are:
"The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order" by Professor Michel Chossudovsky and
"The Globalization of NATO" by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya,
Tomorrow or Friday, I will purchase Patrick's latest book published by Clarity Press, as he is one of my favorite journalists and Truth Tellers as you Floutist readers already know. And I'll purchase it at Clarity Press, NOT Amazon, even if J. B. sold it for a dollar!
Always learnin' somethin' from ya, P.L. You definitely do your share in keeping us truth seekers informed on the issues of the day! The ones which really matter, that is.
“All of this is to say we need your help.”
This is more difficult to do this year, but we here did just subscribe. Thank you so much for your writing. You have indeed not only made us think, but even made my own overly-active cynicism bone STFU for the duration of the article. Pretty darn good.
The phrase, “undiscovered country”, your correspondent uses reminds one of a line from Hamlet’s soliloquy: “that undiscovered country from whose borne no traveler returns”. Of course, Shakespeare here is referring to death, an undiscovered country a great many of us may be visiting soon if the folly of our confrontation with nuclear powers continues to escalate. I’m a long-time fan of your incredible writing and wry wit. Thank you for another fine effort.
May I jump into the conversation even if it is highly unlikely I will reach the sterling rhetoric level of Arrnon. BTW I thought of the Star Trek movie - The Undiscovered Country, where Kirk and company are attempting to steal peace from the clutches of the deep Klingon state. BTW2 I like the Shakespeare reference even more; now I know where Jefferson found his inspiration - "...mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." Words for our time indeed. But I digress.
The Western culture is bound together by the pursuit of money, nothing more, nothing less. If it makes money it must be good to paraphrase The Atlantic when speaking of the justifications for the slave trade in the 1800's. Nothing has changed since then except the exceptions to this rule have been greatly reduced.
What then of our political institutions? Do we expect them to be a condensing of our highest ideals of community and rationality or of our lowest urges for power and domination? As capitalism dominates our culture only the voices of growth and exploitation are amplified; all else is ignored, suppressed or attacked. (I am looking a you - The Floutist.)
These generational turnings are suggested in Neill Howe's research, and the change from individualism to collective seems seasonal, driven, of course, by the nature of them. I fear the excesses of both even tho' that seems to be required as a corrective.
"The undiscovered country consists of the vast land between our ears and running, a key passage, down into our hearts." Beautifully said, but equally as scary!
Americas curse is having the US dollar as a unit of exchange for world trade, or if you like the worlds reserve currency. Manyard Keynes argued for a different unit, one based on a basket of currencies and minerals. Keynes lost the argument in favour of Harry Dexter White who argued for the Dollar. Ok when the US in the post war was the world creditor nation but blantantlt dangerous now theUS is the number one debtor. This had allowed the US to go on awild spree of issuing debt to fight what ever war they wish or buy whatever asset they desire. But relief is at hand. Most of the world now knows that no one is safe until Keynes is adopted and the USD is no longer credible as a unit of exchange for world trade and the US Government has to work within the same restraints as the rest of us.
Delighted see you are on Substack. I have followed your writing for some time. Will go paid ASAP.
A most excellent essay, Patrick. It motivated me to subscribe. I'm looking forward to more of the same kind of rational analysis.
I cut my political teeth on the Civil Rights movement here in Alabama with school desegregation and was very Involved in the antiwar/anti-draft movement. It has been a grave disappointment for me that the youth, for the most part, have been unable to organize any kind of ongoing protests and civil disobedience. There are exceptions, some I have seen recently so I'm not hopeless.
My biggest worry right now is that our leaders are so ignorant, incompetent, and evil that I fear they are going to continue to double-down on their failing attempts to maintain the American Imperium until someone pulls the wrong switch and blows us all up.
I’m always of the impression that this national capital city of ours acts like a sovereign country. A nation unto itself. The Vatican City of “freedom and democracy.” It runs its foreign and domestic policies irrespective of what its citizens may think of them, unaccountable to no one. A sort of capo dei capi of the international scene.
If, as your examples demonstrate, that the USA government, by its very own definition of process and structure is illegitimate, then perhaps only a dissolution or devolution of the current nation-state is in the future. One can hope that such a path will be nonviolent domestically. If taken, most of those living outside the USA will benefit.