Jangling the Mystic Chords of Memory

Just by the by: I think the most worrying trend in American politics is not Donald Trump but polarization. This polarization is destroying all possibility of a single standard for judging behavior. Everything is becoming a matter of who did or said a thing, not what was done or said.

Such standards are the only common ground we will ever have, and the loss of such standards inevitably leads to apocalyptic fantasies. That is: without common ground, the only resolution is extermination of the other side.

Unfortunately, people who are beyond incensed by some nitwit spray-painting a swastika are totally unconscious of their own slide into final-solution thinking. In a nutshell: the resistance to fascism is dangerously superficial and unconscious.

To make matters worse, post-modern skepticism has already undermined the very idea of a common standard. According to this skepticism, all standards are just cons perpetuated by those in power in order to clothe their status within a mantle of justice.

So, the intellectual idea of a single standard has been dissolved on a mass scale, over decades; and now, emotional polarization is destroying the common sense perception of one. The country is splitting into narrative and counter-narrative, with each side taking on a religious tone, so that individual virtue has been entirely replaced by belief in the narrative. The destruction of standards leads to a superstitious faith in the power of belief, beneath which the old tribal psychology predominates.

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