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And Moses sayeth unto the LORD
I implore you my LORD, could you give me a glass of water?
The LORD, comfortably seated was holding in His hand a celestial glass of water. But His heart was capricious and on that day, He did not feel like charity, nor did the thought cross His mind that he could charge the Israelites for it.
No! Thundered He.
Oh LORD, sayeth Moses, could I at least have one SIP of water, for my throat is dry and I have difficulty speaking Thy name or praising Thee.
No! Answered the LORD, I am a capricious god and not in need of your flattery in the present year. Try again after one full revolution around the sun, you noble FOOL.
AND the LORD layeth back and relaxeth.
One last time, Moses tried.
Oh LORD, could you give me one drop of water?
One drop? Exclaimed the LORD. OH my god, such a ridiculous request! Hahaha!
And the LORD laugheth and thus spoiled the water in His celestial cup. On earth, it began to rain and behold, it was a rain that the Holy Land had never seen!
Moses spread his hands and stuck out his tongue, so much he rejoiced in the Rain.
The LORD kept laughing at His humble servant’s ridiculous request and it raineth for seven days and seven nights. Then the LORD’s cup was half empty and upon noticing this circumstance, He stopped laughing.
Thank you, oh LORD, sayeth Moses, for he hath lost a dozen friends in the floods.
Don’t ask what Putin can do for you, ask what you can do for Putin – D. Trump
was originally published on Meandering home
Welcome back professor Trompsky, how was your month, I think it has been a month since we have seen each other?
– How was yours? [chuckles and murmurs]
To be honest with you, sir, it has been terrible. I was terrified by all the suspicious packages addressed to the president’s opponents, the horrendous rhetoric of Bolsonaro in Brazil, the shooting in Pittsburgh?
– What we experience is the continuation of a process that has been set in motion, really, by the election of this current president. As a scholar I think the Bolsonaro election could be something of a final blow to global democracy, at least to the spirit of global democracy. That spirit is now in decline and, uhm, against ultra-nationalism we will have to fight an uphill battle.
Do you think the world will see more terror in 2019?
– I prefer not to engage in that kind of speculation, hope you understand. What I do see is a general shift in administration. From the nineties to the early 2010s the world has been governed by comparably capable people (remember how almost everybody currently sees George W. Bush in a favorable light), and now we are shifting to, uhm, the type of rulers that appear to be the lesser hypocrites. Yes, it is a politics of appearance, what we see in Brazil for example. Bolsonaro knows, using fake news, how to appear a tough crime fighter, how to appear the equal of the ‘normal man on the street’, how to appear an outsider of the elite, which clearly he is not. Appearance trumps political expertise and experience, we have seen this in 2016 in the US [chuckles].
Do you think leaders with a similar media strategy, a similar strongman style, will come to power in Europe and the rest of the world?
– Oh yes. This is to some extent a trial-and-error process. The few mistakes Bolsanaro has made, will not be repeated by the next Orbán or Duterte.
What is the proper leftist answer to this? Should they engage in, and could they win the battle of appearances?
– I don’t know. [shakes his head]. I think it will be very hard. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or also Andrew Yang are very authentic politicians. But the left is divided and for proper idealists it is, and I think this is an important point, it is much harder to appear the lesser hypocrite. Wasn’t the media reporting about Sanders’ tax report? It is the absurd paradox of the politics of appearance that Donald Trump, with all his blatant lies, appears as the lesser hypocrite.
And the same goes for Bolsonaro?
– Yes. Brazil is in a way what awaits the US in ten, twenty years. The people are looking for an alternative and this man is filling the empty space on the right. In the case of Bolsanoara, he doesn’t lie directly but his supporters claim that what he says about gays, blacks, activists, women, minorities, it shouldn’t be taken seriously. And the riddle is why that makes him appear to the electorate as the lesser hypocrite.
We thank you for your time, Mr. Trompsky.
– My pleasure. Please do come back.
If democracy hasn’t died in darkness.
– Yes, ahum [chuckles]
Professor Trompsky, welcome. I guess you are a regular on our show now.
– Yes you could say that [chuckles]
Just before this interview, you said you had a mediocre ephiphany. Care to elaborate?
– Yes. Consider thissimple question. Would you increase your happiness at the cost of another’s happiness?
I guess not.
– But isn’t this what the market allows us to do?
You mean the exploitation? The slaves of the modern age who produce our clothes and cell phones?
– Precisely. Consider what is going on in places like Bangladesh [fashion industry, red.] or the coltan mines of the Congo.
Is it not a bit cynical to reduce the function of the market to that?
– Isn’t cynicism the only correct position to occupy these days?
Occupy? Nobody talks about occupy anymore.
– That’s because the movement was never design to last. It was a little steam vent for the neoliberal machinery is what it was. [Huffs and puffs]
Would you like some water, professor Trompsky?
– Yes, please, thank you. But I want you and our listeners to think about my mediocre epiphany. What if [systemically, red.] the function of the market is to make invisible the decrease of other people’s happiness, so we can perceive our own increased happiness as the surplus of capitalism. It allows us to ignore the fact that, to a large extent, the economy is still a zero sum game.
Isn’t that indeed a very trivial observation?
– Surely my darling. But I ain’t getting any younger. Allow me my trivialities.
We thank you for this candid conversation, Mr. Trompsky.
– Thank you. [hums and chuckles]