Third Excerpt on Partisan Fatigue (Including a Short Commentary on the Themes of Netflix's 'The Haunting of Hill House'
A number of bombs sent to prominent democratic leaders and institutions again calls a need for reflection
10/24/18, 3:29 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo from Foundation on Economic Education
A day after a bomb was found in liberal philanthropist George Soros’s mailbox, more explosives were found today sent to such prominent liberals as Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, CNN’s New York office, and even former president Barack Obama. There are also recent reports of bombs sent to NY governor Anthony Cuomo, Maxine Waters and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Given recent (and by ‘recent’ I mean not recent at all; this has all been growing since the end of the second world war (at least)) events and rhetoric furthering political divide across the globe, there might be an inclination to continue down that path (toward further division), a subconscious inclination. As things only seem to be getting worse, there’s less of an obvious need to calm the waters, and more of an apparent vision of inevitable incivility. This is especially true given recent comments by liberals potentially calling specifically for incivility, and President Trump’s recent potential attacks on LGBTQ people and his, at the very least, non-presidential way of addressing the difference between being a member of a country and being a member of a species.
Hence, any emotion begot during this time is justifiable and legitimate, and any fear relating to politics and the potential for total disaster is indeed warranted.
But fear is not the only thing in the pot here…
There’s also bitterness, ignorance, and bigotry and wrongheaded Absolute HATRED on both sides. In many cases, there is an almost insatiable need to dehumanize people for their ideas not seen since WWII, and certainly not since Vietnam (and again: this goes for both sides here). We did not get out of those situations by giving in to fear, and if we didn’t fully get out of those situations (which indeed we didn’t; all that happened after Vietnam was: we stuffed everything deeper and just hoped it would go away, which we’re now seeing the consequences of), it’s our derivation into fear which is mostly to blame. People are people, no matter what they think or what they listen to or what they read or what they feel or what they make or how low their IQs are or where they’re from or how evil I can objectively classify them as. That evil is everyone, and it is only through everyone that it will be conquered, both individually and collectively, but not inherently separately.
I finished the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House earlier today, (mild spoilers ahead) and aside from all else that show did right, I thought it said something interesting about time and death, both in themselves, and how they correlate with one another. The show switches between past and present, and it’s about a haunted house, so there are obviously a fair about of ghosts and attempted commentary on death and the ‘undead’, but, by the end, a more interesting theme is developed…
The 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant said in his Critique of Pure Reason (bolds are his): “Through inner experience I am conscious of my existence in time (consequently also of its determinability in time), and this is more than to be conscious merely of my representation. It is identical with the empirical consciousness of my existence, which can itself be determined only by something connected with my existence, yet outside me.” What I personally think this means is something very similar to what a character in The Haunting of Hill House says in the last episode (SPOILERS AHEAD (ish, it’s a theocratic dialogue)): (paraphrased) “I used to think that time was linear, that it went down like dominoes between the ‘beginning’ and the ‘end’, but I realized I was wrong: time is completely random. It falls like rain or snow and… the only way we make any use of it, the only way we can understand it, is through our relationships with other people, having them, whatever they may be– and through ‘loooooove’,” which I find to be a non-dorky way of saying what Kant was saying.
“Time is… merely a subjective condition of our (human) intuition (which is always sensible, that is, so far as we are affected by objects), but in itself, apart from the subject, it is nothing.”
“Time is nothing but the form of our inner intuition. Take away from time the special condition of our sensibility, and the concept of time vanishes as well; time does not adhere to the objects, but only to the subject that intuits them.”
“Empirical intuition is possible only through pure intuition (of space and time).”
“Space and time can never be perceived in themselves.”
“Between reality and negation there is a continuous coherence of possible realities, and of possible smaller perceptions.”
“Only through consciousness is knowledge possible.”
There is no such thing as Absolute knowledge unless you’re dead. It is impossible to judge others for lack of knowledge (for you’re really just judging yourself). You cannot justify the dehumanization, or the literal destruction, of another human being unless you’re inherently assuming that you’re ‘better’, which you cannot truly know, unless you can see all of time, which a consciousness cannot do (what happens in the future? Did anything happen in the past that you don’t know about? is there anything happening in the present that you don’t know about? These questions are what makes consciousness). The fact that things only seem to be getting worse is a symptom of a much larger disease, one that has implications running back to the dawn of man (and which involves some of the more misunderstood, or the possibly misstated, points pertaining to it: the ‘individual in society’, ‘objective/subjective’ reality, whether reality can be fully represented by numbers, the dichotomy between fact and emotion, and life and death, etc.): why am I here?
To paraphrase, and to end this the only way which seems to make any sense at this point (and I’m not sure I like it, and not only because it’s total cheesedick (but what does it mean!?!?!?):
Because I’m not the only one.