End Times Feed

Canvassing a fair rule set for the upcoming "Save our Country" Scapegoat Lottery

Taking "The Bacchae" as a model of healing the  body politic does have one defect. The scapegoat was the King, Pentheus, and we don't have a King. We are a democracy, leading to the need for a fair procedure for picking scapegoats, which is the purpose of this important post, created pro bono publico, by a citizen down on his luck, but hopeful of preferment, when things get better again in our messed up country. 

In the earliest myths, the priest slits the throat of the sacrificial animal, and is then stoned to death himself. Scapegoats included outcasts and pariahs, the deranged, foreigners, lepers, political enemies, and the mentally ill. But they also included wise men like Socrates and Boethius, godly men like Christ, patriots like Cicero, clerics like Saint Thomas Beckett, and Kings like Oedipus, Pentheus, Charles I, Louis XVI, and even a Tsar and his whole family. 

Given all of human history, and much of literature and political theory and practice, surely, we can all agree on the need for a steady supply of scapegoats, but we must also agree on a fair procedure for designating as many as needed. I realize that calling for scapegoats to unify a nation is a good way to become a scapegoat, even if I was not one already. By way of ground rules, maybe, we can agree to exclude any elected officials, designated Morals Tutors, or anyone who is a significant owner of property. That would narrow it down to the expendables, while keeping me (destitute as I am, and a pariah), off the bad list. I come under the exemption for Wise and Virtuous Counselor to the World's Wealthiest Families and their Puppets. (That is a long list, and I am happy to share it with any Billionaire, in or out of the Cabinet, needing a Wise and Virtuous Counselor, but the short list is either me or The Happy Tutor, and he is currently fully engaged in mentoring Audrey, our once and future Queen to Be.)

Actually, maybe we should put on the good list anyone who has read "The Bacchae" and/or Rene Girard on Violence of the Sacred, or Carl Schmidt on a body politic defined as friend against enemy; or building on Schmidt, Agamben, on the state of exception, in which democracy is abrogated during a state of emergency because only a top man can save us inside/outside the rule of law. Anyone who cannot prove he or she has read and digested at least two of these (may my feminist friends please excuse the word) seminal texts goes into the Scapegoat Lottery, unless they qualify under one of the other exceptions, like powerful person, wealthy person, male, white, of European descent, Christian, monolingual in English, or a personal friend of mine, or full-paying client for morals tutorials.  

How To Save The World Through Loving Conversation

Dave Pollard:

Whether you want to change the political or economic system, save the whales, stop global warming, reform education, spark innovation or anything else, the answer is in how meaning, and understanding of what needs to be done, emerges from conversation in community with people you love, people who care.

Dave is operating on the assumption that life on earth has entered a new extinction phase. Also, that we among the ruins, or in the Halliburton Freedom Camps, can cultivate a loving conversation of what went wrong, so that the survivors will carry forward our belated wisdom.  (c.f., Aeneas fleeing Troy in flames.) I can see why, envisioning the end of our civilization, one might turn to D. H. Lawrence rather than Milton Friedman for succor.  Our spiritual and communal instincts, the instinct for life. How it rises in us, even now, perhaps too late.