This culture tells us that humans are selfish and greedy. It says that we are nothing more than individual islands of ego floating in a sea of chaos. It is the Great Myth of Separation that takes many forms. We’ve seen it as humans apart from nature, reason divided against emotion, body separate from mind, one tribe distinct from another. This mental tendency to categorize the world according to its separations is the root cause of illness in the world today.
Those who self-identify as “The Resistance” must understand one thing: Trump is no accident of history, no aberration. He is the logical outcome of the system that preceded him. If you would fight against him, you must fight against that system.
I went to Tillerson’s ranch in Bartonville [Texas]. I pulled up in front of his ranch, a big, big horse ranch. In front of the gate to his ranch, there was this big sculpted metal globe. It looked like someone took a carving knife to it and the whole upper part of the globe, along these uneven serrated edges, opened up into this gaping void, and I thought, Wow, that is symbolic. Here is Tillerson’s globe and it’s a world whose apex has been systematically shredded. It was quite a metaphor.
In many ways, Trump is the symptom not the cure. When there is lack of genuine leadership and a loss of meaning at the heart of culture hypocrisy can become a collective illness. An old idea suggests that hypocrisy on the part of powerful people is more dangerous than other crimes; but self-deception on the part of common people is more dangerous than hypocrisy. There is some hope in the fact that recent polls show that a growing majority of people, including Independents and Republicans, feel that Trump is both untruthful and untrustworthy
So whether you choose to perceive the dissolution of the American Dream as the hero’s journey or as the collapse of industrial civilization—or both, the American Dream was fated to fail each time the collective refused to be instructed by something greater than itself.
The weak, the sick, the different, the “impure” and the “inferior” are to be made to disappear: by deportation, by bans, by walls – and by dying.
To put it bluntly, Eurocentric modernism is not compatible with human civilization. One of them has got to go.
In a recent article “Beyond Trump: Rebooting the System from inside the Death Machine,” Nafeez Ahmed, Andrew Markell, and Gunther Sonnenfeld articulated their perspective on Trump’s rise to power less succinctly and with fewer no-nonsense tools than I intend to offer in this essay. While coming close to the heart of the matter, they didn’t quite arrive which often happens when attempting to clarify “the crisis of civilization.” After all, we’ve never been here before, and if we’re honest, we must admit that we have difficulty articulating it for ourselves and never quite know how to articulate it to others.
Chaos in the White House reflects the deepening turmoil in the psyche of the president as deep-seated inner conflicts become projected as radical dangers and threats in the outside world. Because there can be no genuine reflection and no failure can be admitted, the desperate sense of superiority demands that all enterprises be deemed a success. The need to be seen as omnipotent and uniquely able to solve everything means not only that the truth and the facts will be routinely rejected, but also that the security of the country and the guiding principles of democracy may also be sacrificed.