Rumours of war and the lexicon of war permeate the culture of empires, and the US empire is not an exception.
Oh my my my my my! What a wonderful Halloween treat! This is the most succinct article I have read in years! Thanks Phil Rockstroh for the attempt to rescue dialogue. I wholeheartedly agree!
The author said: “Acts of exploration will serve to uncover more questions.”
Yes, and perhaps questions lead to…the tipping point?
I am happy that someone put so poignantly the need for all of us to continue with our dialogue, our questions, our musing…and not become angry when the writer does not come up with the perfect “solution.” I am guilty of this myself–always looking for the answers, the how to, the final act that will reward us with resolution.
Perhaps the more we mull over a subject, the more people become engaged in the issue, the more chance there is of spreading the topic far and wide–the more the issue permeates the frontal lobe and itches and itches so that we work together to finally “change!”
Phil Rockstroh has to be, in my opinion one of the most puissant, sagacious and cogent writers of our time.
Speaking of monsters, the worst one I have seen in my lifetime, is in the White House.
Excellent. And I didn’t even have to use the dictionary.
Even “langent” and “plangent” ?
Phil Rockstroh clearly understands the power of the human mind, to spin illusions and become trapped in them, as well as its power to dispel those illusions by retaining mindfulness, keeping the question open without demanding instant solutions.
I learned as a child that if I posed a question deep in my consciousness, concentrated on each of its working parts and how they fit together, then left my mind alone to sort it out, often an answer would emerge, either after a long walk or a good night’s sleep.
Without demanding an answer. Without trying to force an answer.
Brilliant essay. Thanks CD for posting it.
Empire built on Death, Human Suffering, and Weapons Proliferation is not an Empire at all, it’s merely some rich men’s hateful wet dream set to self destruct once they’re all dead.
About that most-recent monster in the White House, look on the bright side: because ONE Mr. Putin voted for him, MILLIONS of us Americans didn’t have to! Putin’s people just made so many would-be voters sick of Trump’s opponent they simply didn’t vote, which may have served her right, but it screwed the rest of us. I wonder what would happen if each of the anti-Trump Americans were to sue Putin in International Court for damages from Letting An Incompetent Drive.
I’m in awe of writers with such talent. Their works are challenging to read. More not less please.
What a pleasure. I don’t know if I somehow missed his recent essays or if this is his first one in a while but I am delighted to see Mr. Rockstroh on here again. I have missed his insightful articles and look forward to many more. His is a voice we need in these times of “Trump Trauma” and all the dysfunction, corruption and incompetence that entails. Our country seems to be creating a new version of its own “Dark Ages” with Trump and his appalling regime leading the way. A well-informed and engaged citizenry can fight back against this regressive tide.
“Rumours of war and the lexicon of war permeate the culture of empires…”
A few random thoughts triggered by the essay:
I must say, girl-children do not dwell on monsters and war, and so they should be excluded from the world-view that emphasizes war is inevitable through the lexicon of war. That is not their natural world-view unless their lives have been hellish. Mostly, the lexicon of war seems to be something that is ignored by most young girls. Boys on the other hand seem to readily and lustily accept war-monsters in their imagination (my 3 sons did) and do imaginary battle with them when young. The “monsters” can be army figures, super-heroes, evil demons, and comic-book characters. And more.
Young boys need to be taught compassion – sometimes it takes only reminding – as a first step. When I was a teenager, I recall a young boy in a department store, maybe five, walking over to a bawling baby in a stroller whose mother was not in sight and saying with great concern, “Are you unhappy?” Then he patted her arm and she quieted down. It struck me mightily that he had done that “from the heart”, propelled forward by his own empathy.
I have read that women will fight with greater ferocity than men if they or their children or other loved ones are threatened, so to the extent that the left has many feministic tendencies (I think of the right as toxic patriarchy), we will likely fight willingly when we must. But I don’t think the left is voiceless. Wherever blame for war-making is laid, the left certainly is not quiet. Whatever “voicelessness” we are charged with is just the right’s refusal to hear us. That does not mean we will not act, nor that we are ineffective. Words can sometimes do groups of people in (DJT seems to think so), but action is the stronger element.
Your post is a beautifully expressed tribute to Phil’s article, which might just be the best that I’ve ever read in terms of understanding why and how we have arrived at this state of affairs, and helping us understand that the solutions must come from our minds, hearts and words of truth. Positive change must occur as a continuous process, and will never be complete. The process of dialogue and growth towards something better, must happen organically. It is a journey, more than a destination.
In the 1994 mid-term election, a monstrous sabotage of San Diego’s Greenpeace community was thwarted. They had been wrongly misled to oppose a ballot measure to fund a light rail expansion believing it would harm the environment along its course through Mission Valley and the dammed, neglected, abused SD River channel. The measure passed, the expansion built, and not only is the river habitat beautifully healthier than in many decades, the salt marsh estuary at its mouth in Mission Bay is recovering. Monstrosity is within all of us, but it takes smiling, ingratiating, calculating forces to enrage its reckless power and set it loose. A major American oil corporation owns a portion of the land along its route and I suspect had something to do with the sabotage attempt. In the end, they too benefited from the light rail expansion though it’s doubtful they’ve learned a lesson in long-term planning.
This is the 3rd I’ve seen recently:
Thank you. I will read all three.
Just to toss a little salt on our progressive wounds, the DNC has just purged the party hierarchy of all progressive voices and installed Donna Brazille to the rules committee. Any hope you may have had that the Democratic Party has seen the error of its neoliberal, capitalist ways should be jettisoned. We’ll need to find another organization for our efforts.
So someone who has never grown a bite of food for anyone, built a single room or stitched a single cut thinks food, shelter, and health care are human rights and the government should proved those to him.
Why would a farmer work 70 hour weeks and risk half a million dollars to grow a crop and not make a profit? Why should a developer borrow millions of dollars to build an apartment house and let people live there rent free? Without a profit motive everyone will have to grow their own food, stitch their own cuts, and build their own dwellings.
Most humans want more and will actively work to increase their wealth. One push cart becomes two which becomes 100. Only a ridged authoritarian government could police every activity of every citizen.
It will be funny when they try to redistribute Uber’s billions and find out there is zero to give out. Everyone gets a share of Amazon then finds out no one has any money to buy it. Why would you if you had money? If you have two the government takes one to give someone who has none. Imagine China before they decided to become capitalistic and suck up trillions of American dollars. That is what true socialism will bring you.
“What appears to be an all-powerful system is but a group hallucination, a join dream of interior phantoms.”–Phil Rockstroh
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”—Albert Einstein
How about this: When Iraqis, Vietnamese, Chileans, etc. etc. etc. can sue American war criminals for slaughtering their people and destroying their countries than - if you can produce credible evidence - you can sue Hitl-, I mean Putin. Deal?
PS - And Russians, of course, can sue Bill Clinton for using American influence to “help” re-elect Boris Yeltsin, that great friend of American capitalism, who actively aided and abetted the plunder of his own people.
PPS - If you are looking for answers to "why Trump? outside of America you are looking in the wrong place. The Trump phenomenon is 100% American.