Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure!
(Soundtrack: The 101’ers Elgin Avenue Breakdown)
It’s almost unanimous–Ronald Reagan boosted America’s confidence in itself. I don’t disagree. And I don’t think he was a “demon” either. But my question is: what the fuck does “confidence” have to do with the American Project? As far as I’m concerned, liberal democracy is only as strong as its ability to doubt itself.
The Puritans did not cross the Atlantic in search of a “perfect society”–they came to bask in the glorious blacklight of true human imperfection, unmediated by the feudal veils they left behind. An oppressed people never learns anything from their experiences–they just get angry, and waste all of their time trying to “get even” or “get away with something”. Caste systems, prejudice, restrictive moral codes: these things give us carte blanche to imagine that pain is “socially constructed”–that the self is, by nature, “unlimited”. They turn us into lifelong adolescents. True maturity comes from acceptance of the fact that arbitrary heartbreak/limitation is inevitable–but as long as people have something else to blame their woes upon, they’ll do it! That’s just the way we are. We don’t want to grow up. And no one wants to admit that they’ve been “grounded” by the nature of reality itself.
Liberal-democracy rests upon Calvinist foundations. The “story of freedom” is not a “feel good” enterprise. That “malaise” Reagan “cured” was actually an indicator of health, culturally speaking. So come on America! Wave goodbye to the nice man. Vote his pale imitator out of the White House. And take a good long look at life as it really is! It sucks doesn’t it? But it’s wonderful!
Okay–from now on, it’s all Spider-Man all the time on this blog, until I get to ASM #151! For a warm-up, see here and here.
Good Day Friends!