Friday, September 01, 2017

David Brooks Calls for Caesar

In Praise of Equipoise
How do we get out of this spiral?

The first step is to just get out. Turn the other cheek, love your enemy, confront your opponent with aggressive love.
This won't get you out of identity politics, but it's not bad advice. It's not cucky to wish your enemy a happy and healthy life in his own homeland. Feel sorry for the sick and twisted individuals promoting white genocide, do not dwell too much on your hatred of them. Focus on stopping them, but hatred is ultimately self-destructive because you end up doing things to harm your enemy (such as arming up in Charlottesville to do violent battle with Antifa) instead of focusing solely on elevating your self. It also makes you reject choices that are win-win. Finally, for enemies who really do irrationally hate you, returning love back at them only drives them more insane.

Brooks swings back to rootless cosmopolitan values:
The second step is to refuse to be a monad. Maalouf points to the myth that “‘deep down inside’ everyone there is just one affiliation that really matters.” Some people live this way, hanging around just one sort of person, loyal to just one allegiance and leading insular, fearful lives. In fact, the heart has many portals. A healthy person can have four or six vibrant attachments and honor them all as part of the fullness of life.

The more vibrant attachments a person has, the more likely she will find some commonality with every other person on earth. The more interesting her own constellational self becomes. The world isn’t only a battlefield of groups; it’s also a World Wide Web of overlapping allegiances. You might be Black Lives Matter and he may be Make America Great Again, but you’re both Houstonians cruising the same boat down flooded streets.
This reiterates the first point. It's possible to love your enemy, but the fact that enemies might help each other in a flood or root for the pathetic Houston Texas doesn't change the fact that they have different religions, want different forms of government, and one of them wants to take the other's stuff.

He ends with a call for a Caesar to rule over the diverse American Empire:
The final step is to practice equipoise. This is the trait we should be looking for in leaders. It’s the ability to move gracefully through your identities — to have the passions, blessings and hurts of one balanced by the passions, blessings and hurts of several others.

The person with equipoise doesn’t feel attachments less powerfully but weaves several deep allegiances into one symphony. “A good character,” James Q. Wilson wrote, “is not life lived according to a rule (there rarely is a rule by which good qualities ought to be combined or hard choices resolved), it is a life lived in balance.” Achieving balance is an aesthetic or poetic exercise, a matter of striking the different notes harmonically.

Today rage and singularity is the approved woke response to the world — Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. But you show me a person who can gracefully balance six fervent and unexpectedly diverse commitments, and that will be the one who is ready to lead in this new world.
This is America 2000 shmaltz. It's also crazy to create a new world without a leader. Defense contractors can build fighter jets that cause higher G-forces than the human body can withstand. The Pentagon, as stupid as they can be with procurement, don't bet the national defense on building such jets on the assumption that one day some people might be able to withstand those forces. Yet that is what the elite have done in America, created a system that can only be sustained by a non-existent philosopher king.

1 comment:

  1. Shmaltz is the perfect encapsulation of this. Perfectly so considering it follows yesterday's broadside against the hated white underclass.

    ReplyDelete

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