The Enemy and the Antidote

By: Bill Whaley
17 January, 2021

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” —William Butler Yeats

Plato might say the presumed values of democratic citizens, regarding self-government, fail because born of the desire for money to satisfy unbridled freedom of appetite. The passion unleashed aligns itself with power, an end, like art, in itself.

Hence the citizenry degenerates into chaos and the mind detaches from the moral imagination and/ or the virtues (Courage, temperance, justice, wisdom, hope, faith, charity) and surrenders to idolatry, chimeras, and magical thinking. When the exhausted psyche re-focuses on reason, he or she sees the tyrant as symbol, who will serve as god of order and rule (or not) by fiat.

The tyrant’s failure to govern points toward individual human weakness and error; the collective rises up, overthrows the tyrant in the name of freedom and the cycle repeats itself. The Philosopher King never appears except in arcane books and poetry corners while the Guardians betray their trust.

We had a good run and America the Beautiful lasted longer than the Roman Republic or direct democracy in Athens. But today hundreds of thousands die of plague as the virus becomes both symbol and actual “El Viro” : he who stalks the White House, Hospitals, and Headlines dies a thousand times of conspiracy.

Today, we are haunted by the failure of the founders, the Jeffersonian contradiction in the Declaration of Independence, which says “all men are created equal” but refers to Indians as “Savage” and ultimately serves as cynical eyewash, the way it once served Lincoln’s declared aim at Gettysburg.

Worse, the Founders of the U. S. Constitution (Franklin warned us) instituted white supremacy by denigrating Savage Indians (again), Black Slaves as 3/5ths of a person, Indentured Servants (the poor), and omitted “women” (unworthy of comment). The document installed property and money as ruling principles, democracy contested, not as human rights, but as a competition among the haves aimed at keeping the have nots poor.

The Supreme Court’s recent interpretation of law, based on “originalism” and the principles of “Conservatism” maintain the rule of law as a defense of status and elite secularism, regardless of evolving views, called progressive—which would expand the franchise or institute the rights of the deprived.

What was hallowed in the First and Second Amendment has been perverted; speech weaponized, no longer peaceful; the right to bear arms used as a way to intimidate peaceful law-making. The political class functions as a manifestation, mostly, of lobbyists for corporate America’s interests, which squeezes the citizens’ ability to survive until la gente, both democrats and republicans, explodes.

Hence the Sedition side sides with the “Haves” v. the “have nots” less the demos rise up and take away white privilege or tax breaks. For who has funded the rise of Trumpism and the transformation of republicans into stalwart supporters of sedition, including Maga Hats, and ragged shirts, doing the dirty business on behalf of the GOP elites? A majority of the so-called republicans, according to the polls, like their financiers and believe in the Tyrant Trump as do or did the K-Street denizens of dysfunction, the lobbyists in D.C.

Now, subject to surveillance, believers in false gods, lost to social democracy, follow false claims of perverse justice. The Calvinist or real founding principle of America said, if you’re poor by definition you are morally inferior; god has not smiled on you. From this pulpit preachers and pundits speak the propaganda of the true founders.

So “If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you” (Rudyard Kipling), you will have reached the end of false promises preserved by the city on the hill. Now this glorious architectural paean leads not only to promises unfulfilled but to opportunity. On this new tabula rasa (blank sheet), We can rewrite a creation story based less on history and more on the founder’s fact-based lovers, Franklin’s courtesans, Jefferson’s black angel, FDR’s Alphabet Agencies, and the Squad’s New Deal: Just as the Church turned water into wine for supplicants, we must turn the journey into justice for human beings.