By Vladimir Golstein
January 13, 2018
Trump and the Fine Art of Dialectics
Alexander Blok, one of the smartest and most noble of Russians, wrote this amazing essay on Catiline, a Roman rebel whose plot was crushed and who was utterly maligned by the father of all bullshit, Cicero.
So Catiline was this patrician, a decadent SOB who, when mistreated and challenged by the Roman establishment, organized the Roman deplorables and started a rebellion.
It was squashed of course, but for Blok, he remained a hero. Blok calls Catiline the Roman Bolshevik, and insists on approaching him not from Cicero’s moralizing NYT-like perspective, but from the perspective of World Revolution.
For Blok, as he puts it, the heart of the Roman Empire stopped when Christ was born. It continued for another few hundred years, but in a zombie-like state until its petty, militaristic, provincial, materialistic character was finally exposed as the bluff it always was, and it collapsed under the weight of its own corruption. And here is Blok’s paradoxical view: Catiline’s rebellion makes sense only from this perspective.
Catiline might have been corrupt, decadent, debauched and what have you. Yet, he did expose how rotten Rome was. For that, both Blok and Ibsen (another rebel against stifling bourgeois order) place Catiline in heaven.
Which takes me to Trump. Whatever his critics say, he has it, and then some, but like Catiline, he fully exposes how corrupt, venal, and petty the established order is.
The genie cannot be put back into the bottle. Mass media is exposed for what it is: a spinning machine for the militaristic oppressive order, a purveyor of fake news. And this is not the view of some obscure academic like Chomsky.