The Zeitgeist or Spirit of the Times

image for article Spirit of the Times, representation of the idea of the ZeitgeistTo understand Hegel (the philosopher) the reader must be in perfect health, though sometimes the minds of geniuses deliver compact nuggets of wisdom, understandable by the rest of us. One such instance is the idea of ‘Zeitgeist,’ the spirit of the times.

Pedantically speaking, Hegel preferred the form ‘Geist des Zeit.’ It was English poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold who introduced the term ‘Zeitgeist’ into the English language in 1848.

‘Zeitgeist’ gives a habitation and a name (1)  to a range of concurrent, palpable and often-irrational phenomena observed by many, and yet not immediately traceable to their source. Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter and Related Matters

For many or most history is the study of what man did in the past, in different times and civilizations. Yet man is both the protagonist and the writer of history. It is he who develops a historical understanding of the past. And while studying the past man really studies himself.

Which brings to the fore and in question the inherent subjectivity of history. Take the battle of Waterloo, for example. For some, the genius of Wellington ensured the victory of the ‘coalition.’ For others Napoleon’s hemorrhoids significantly influenced the outcome. An objective observer, while recognizing the unquestionable conclusion of the battle, would consider both Wellington’s skills and Napoleon’s physical conditions as contributing factors. Continue reading

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Pandemics and Ideologies

image for article Pandemics and IdeologiesA man’s life’s no more than to say ‘one’ – Hamlet tells his friend Horatio (1). And Voltaire has a character from one of his novels declare, “… We in a manner begin to die the very moment we are born: our existence is no more than a point, our duration an instant, and our globe an atom… I consider myself as a single drop in an immense ocean.”

On the other hand, whatever we see, new or old, flourishing or declining, either directly or by a very short deduction, leads man to the consideration of his own end. Accordingly, we find that the fear of death has always been considered as the great enemy of human quiet, the polluter of the feast of happiness, and the embitterer of the cup of joy. Continue reading

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Erewhon or the Crime of Illness

Front page of novel "Erewhon"Samuel Butler published his novel Erewhon in 1872. The title is the (almost) reverse spelling of ‘Nowhere’ and it applies to a country the author discovered. He probably had in mind the Southern island of New Zealand where he minded sheep for a while.

The protagonist, Higgs, tending sheep in a prairie, looks at a mountain in the distance and wonders what lies behind it. A native tells him that it is prohibited to visit that land. But inherent curiosity and the attraction of the forbidden prompt Higgs to attempt a visit.

After various treacherous obstacles he discovers a passage and finds himself in a beautiful rolling plain, where the air, nimbly and sweetly, recommends itself unto his gentle senses (1), whereupon he falls asleep. Continue reading

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Washington’s Bastille

The original fortress of he BastilleTrump’s supporters, having found the vanity of conjecture and inefficacy of expectations, resolved to prove their own existence, if not by violence, at least by physical presence.

They came forth into the crowded capital with an almost juvenile ambition that their numbers would be counted, their voice heard and their presence noticed. Continue reading

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The Power of Confusion

Image of confusionIt now seems certain that we have a Joe Bidet for president. For if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet (1), a Biden, metaphorically speaking, by any other name still smells like a poorly maintained sanitary device, however many euphemisms the imagination may body forth out of the forms of things unknown. (2)

The American election campaign with its arcane modalities, along with the contemporary pandemic narrative, and somehow functional to it, have revealed the progress of an inextricable confusion. Statistics, medicine, health, illness, science, opinion, belief, critique, criticism, freedom, law, crime, punishment, openness, censorship, liberty, compulsion, have lost their original meanings. And the amazed world by such amazing changes, no longer knows which is which. (3) Continue reading

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The Google Archipelago

Image of front page of the google archipelago transformed into google archipelagoDuring the cold war the West called dissenters those Russians in the USSR who voiced their complaints against the system. A definition – ‘dissenter’ – which, processed through the lexical grinding machine of the CIA and associates, was actually stripped of its original meaning to become a weapon of trivial instrumental imperialist propaganda. Said it another way, it was the dissenters who gave the pigs of the animal farm the tools for the pigs’ full spectrum propaganda.

But none can halt the inaudible and noiseless foot of time. (1) Continue reading

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Biden’s Data in the Cloud

Image of clouds symbolic illustration of the articleIf flattery is the infantry of negotiations, then mendacity is the air force of politics. There are exceptions, but as a practical rule truth tellers are not deemed worthy of the public trust.

To the question, “who does the deeming?” the reader will have already answered euphemistically, “the mainstream media,” better known as “media from hell.” Meanwhile the social media conglomerates are now the official Ministry of Truth and the unchallenged administrators of the First Amendment, quietly turned into “Non-Freedom of Speech”. Continue reading

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A Stroke of Genius

Trump's vignette for "A Stroke of Genius"It takes strength, endurance, resignation and stomach to like Donald Trump. Not for what he actually is. Under the pen of Alexandre Dumas, for example, Trump may even appear as a not-dislikable Yankee D’Artagnan of sorts. Maybe with less finesse than the original musketeer, whose contained yet French swaggering captivated millions of readers, when reading was still ‘cool’.

Rather for some infamous things Trump did and for some unspeakable people he has endorsed or surrounded himself with.

As for things evil, I’ll refer, for one, to the disgraceful delivery of the stolen Golan Heights to the Zionist entity – proving that before the Arabs’ complaints were to be finally dismissed, all remedy should be hopeless. Continue reading

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The Sheep of the Apocalypse

sheep overlaid on a representation of the ApocalypseThere is a history in all men’s lives (1), and in the history of their lives men often meet with mysteries, meaning events inexplicable via the resources of common sense and logic. Some mysteries are terrestrial, some metaphysic. Setting metaphysics aside, I’ll deal with the terrestrial.

I refer here to the turbulent events of the just ended summer of 2020. Emblematic of last summer’s turbulence were the destructive and deadly riots, associated with (objectively) random police incidents.

This is in no way an expression of insensitivity towards the undue loss of human life. But seen in the context of violence in America, the death of a suspect with a hefty crime-record and who violently resisted arrest is not – however regrettably – an extraordinary event. Just during the last Labor Day weekend, and just in Chicago, there were 11 people killed and 70 wounded among those who survived the shootings. Continue reading

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