| Society

End of Empire: Part 2

I ask you this, if the defining aspects of our existence were constructed of concrete, would not the world be made of the material of a prison?

Moreover, is this not the building material and psychic criteria comprising the neoliberal paradigm? Is it any wonder that the concept of freedom is under siege?

Carl Jung averred, when a disconnect occurs between the inner life of the individual and the outward exigencies of daily life that "the Gods […] become diseases." One way, this assertion can be taken is: There are multiple forces, tangible and intangible, in play in our lives and the trajectory of events e.g., the personal, in the form of the ghosts of trauma that haunt individual memory.

But there exist, as well, extant and within, the collective spirit of an age. Tragically, in our own time, within the precincts of power, our national house of spirits has become a madhouse.

Yet beneath the gibbering cacophony of the insane asylums of past eras, beneath the haze of pharmacologically-induced stupors of the institutions of the present, there exists much pain. This is the toll taken by a manic flight from honest suffering.

while the forces of nature are impersonal, the dilemma feels very personal

At present, this is what we're given in our age of cultural and political disconnect and its attendant sense of nebulous dread.

Paradoxically, while the forces of nature are impersonal, the dilemma feels very personal. Therefore, on this journey to the end of empire, when impersonal elements are in play, one can become alienated from the dehumanizing trajectory of the times.

Likewise, as exemplified by the U.S. political system, what process is more impersonal than the process of decay? Apropos, the air is permeated with a reek of putrefaction.

Yet the earth is kind, for one can use putrescent material in the process of renewal. The loam of earth is enriched by the rancid…just don't swallow it down whole…doing so, will cause you to become ill.

The loam of earth is enriched by the rancid…just don't swallow it down whole

Importantly, because a cultural breakdown is occurring, and culture carries the criteria of psyche, the acts of social engagement through dissent, cultural re-imagining and rebuilding can have a propitious effect upon individual consciousness, an endeavor James Hillman termed "soul-making".

Remember to disguise yourself as yourself when approached by ghosts of calcified habit and gods of tumultuous change. This is essential: Because what takes hold and brings about the collapse of an empire…is a loss of collective soul e.g., the type of loss of meaning and purpose evinced when only a meaningless, zombie-like drive remains. Because, even though the culture is dead, it refuses to accept the shroud of the earth's enveloping soil…to have its decomposing remains broken down and returned to the cycle of all things.

As circumstances stand, at present, for the 1%, their refusal to accept the inevitable has yielded grave ramifications for the people, fauna, and flora of the planet.

the economic and political elite have yet to be touched by the consequences of their actions

Although, due to their seemingly vacuum-sealed insularity, ensured by vast wealth, the economic and political elite have yet to be touched by the consequences of their actions, much less forced down to earth.

Of course, this behavior defies logic, is in breach of the law, and is an affront to any workable code of ethics–as well as, stands in defiance to the laws of nature, including the force of gravity. But you can count on this, "the unseen hand of the market" (actually the buckling backs of the 99%) can’t hold up the 1% swaying tower of hubris for much longer, and when it comes down, stand clear, for there are no bystanders when an empire crumbles.

That's just the way it is.

As exhibited by the often bland, "normal" outward appearance of a serial killer, when the apologists and operatives of an exploitive, destructive system appear to be reasonable, they can go about their business without creating general alarm. By the same token, while many present day Republicans are zealots–barnburners raving into the flames of the conflagrations created by the militarist/national security/police/prison industrial state–Barack Obama and the Democratic Party serve as normalizers of the pathologies of late empire.

Barack Obama and the Democratic Party serve as normalizers

In this manner, atrocious acts can be committed by the state, with increasing frequency, because, over the passage of time, such outrages will have been allowed to pass into the realm of the mundane, and are thus bestowed with a patina of acceptability.

In nineteenth century Britain, the sugar that sweetened the tea of oh-so civilized, afternoon teatime was harvested by brutalized, Caribbean slaves, who rarely lived past the age of thirty, as, for example, in our time, in our blood-wrought moments of normalcy, we trudge about in sweatshop sewn clothing, brandishing i-Phones manufactured by factory enslaved teenage girls who are forced to work 14 hour plus shifts.

"That's just the way it is" might be one of the most soul-defying phrases in the human lexicon.

Contrast this with the OSW slogan, "The beginning is near.” Hold both sentiments in your mind and discover which one allows your own heart to beat in sync with the heart of the world, and which will grant the imagination and stamina required to remake the world anew.


Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: phil@philrockstroh.com. Visit Phil's website or at FaceBook.
Part One of this essay can be read here.

Sidebar Image: Damian Brandon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


 

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