Rose bush, Oak Hall, Lynchburg, TN, 1987.
Platinum-palladium print on 100% cellulose (Fabriano 5) from original 8×10 inch negative.
Over 50% of voting citizens of the USA have just elected Donald Trump for president. The untied states of america. I am in post-election depression. Policies have steadily eroded decent public education, and thereby created a monster, a sizable portion of the electorate that is frustrated by the lack of benevolent government, but essentially socially and politically illiterate: incapable of critical thought, of discerning the benign from the abusive, of acting for the social good rather than personal gain.
“History is really a record of every interruption of the even working of the force of love or of the soul…a record of an interruption of the course of nature. Soul force, being natural, is not noted in history.” M K Gandhi (source)
Trump just made history. An ethically bereft businessman, with a record of being greedy, misogynistic, self-aggrandizing, abusive, unkind and unwise, will lead, along with a similarly goonish majority in the House of Representatives and Senate, what was once the most hopeful manifestation of democratic republicanism. Chomsky anticipated this moment. And anticipated this type of leadership, as did Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations:
“But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about. These gradually furnished the great proprietors with something for which they could exchange the whole surplus produce of their lands, and which they could consume themselves without sharing it either with tenants or retainers. All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. As soon, therefore, as they could find a method of consuming the whole value of their rents themselves, they had no disposition to share them with any other persons. For a pair of diamond buckles, perhaps, or for something as frivolous and useless, they exchanged the maintenance, or what is the same thing, the price of the maintenance of a thousand men for a year, and with it the whole weight and authority which it could give them. The buckles, however, were to be all their own, and no other human creature was to have any share of them; whereas in the more ancient method of expence they must have shared with at least a thousand people. With the judges that were to determine the preference this difference was perfectly decisive; and thus, for the gratification of the most childish, the meanest, and the most sordid of all vanities, they gradually bartered their whole power and authority.” [source]
earlier this morning:
Gandhi said something about love always prevailing in the face of tyranny. It is sadly mistaken. Ignorance, ego and power are the constant and dominant threats to love. Love doesn’t prevail, it escapes every now and then. This is a soul wrenching and dark moment. A great idea has been destroyed.
late last night:
I feel ill, watching the election results come in. So, enough. I am going to get off the net, and read Joe Haldeman’s classic, Mindbridge. But another comes to mind…Edward Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:
“Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty, was successfully practised; honours, gifts, and immunities were offered and accepted as the price of an episcopal vote; and the condemnation of the Alexandrian primate was artfully represented as the only measure which could restore the peace and union of the catholic church.” Chapter 21
— substitute ‘the Alexandrian primate’ with Democracy and ‘the Catholic Church’ with US supremacy. Trump, and all that brought him to this race, disgusts me.
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