Monday, November 21, 2022

Athens or Rome?

Will the Old or New Testament prevail when the Republicans take over the house? Will the ethos or culture of capital hill be an eye for an eye or turn the other cheek? In "Culture and Anarchy," Mathew Arnold differentiated between the Hellenic and Hebraic, "spontaneity of consciousness" versus "strictness of conscience." Athens and Rome the seats of the pagan or classical versus Christian culture will also infuse the debate. But in chess terms are the current tight margins of victory a recipe for endgame or stalemate? Of course, the Babylonian captivity in which the papacy was moved to Avignon, the age of Augustus and then Constantine all come into play. Not to mention the Napoleonic Code in which you’re guilty until proven innocent. The pressure cooker doesn’t just explode overnight. “History is a nightmare from which I’m trying to awake” say Stephen Daedalus. Though it sometimes seems like the End of History a la Francis Fukuyama or Ideology (Daniel Bell), even the most cohesive of social contracts is comprised of competing agendas. One can only hope that a divisive society in which opposing sides adhere to Manicheans vision of good and evil like the one that exists in the United States today will at least be tempered by the synthesis of Hegelian dialectic.

 read "Lincoln" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Changes" by David Bowie

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