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Both sides of the political spectrum are acting out this dynamic, with the vacuum in the middle sucking vitality out of each side.The Left has become a kind of pagan religion of sacred victims and victimhood, collecting sacred injuries and martyrs.The Trump Right also enjoys the writhings and sufferings of its adversaries, squashed bug style, as it goes forth in the quixotic battle to bring back 1962 at all costs.Both the Left and the right show not a little sadism in their methods.Its dark secret, though, is that these sacred things are only straw-dogs and wicker-men.The real animating motive for the Left these days is simply the pleasure of coercion, of exercising the power to punish their adversaries and watch them suffer.I guess you’ve noticed by now that the center didn’t hold.
Societies may not exactly be organisms with intentions, but they move in a particular direction because they are emergent phenomena.
In the background of these histrionics, the great groaning machine of Modernity lurches toward collapse — not the end-of-the-world as many foolishly imagine, but the end of a phase of history when things that used to work, don’t.
At a certain point, we’ll have to try other ways of being with each other on this planet, and then for a while things will come together again.
I say so-called because the campus Left and the Trump Right have escaped the categorical corrals they formerly occupied.
And they may have left their customary official parties stranded and dying too.