I just finished Nietzsche’s second Untimely Meditation. It has me thinking about our political endorsements, not only in relation to a Hegelian thesis, antithesis, and synthesis becoming thesis, but in terms of unhistorical and supra historical. How do we make political endorsements not only in terms of the historical, but the yet to be? We currently make our decisions based on a half state of unhistorical and supra historical, whether consciously or unconsciously. What about in relation to a sort of ultra historical, where we combine the unhistorical, the supra historical, and make an attempt to avoid the pitfalls that Nietzsche discusses in his On The Uses and Disadvantages of History For Life?
What we’re looking to avoid is using previous cultures as a justification for voting, yet learning the lessons of history as it may apply to our lives and our society. What this can lead to is devastating in two extreme directions, inaction through fear of the past, and inaction through developing a strictly unhistorical stance. Much like Aristotle’s ethics, we must find some sort of mean between the two.
Let’s say that I vote for Trump on unhistorical data, regarding only current events in full support of his immigration and border policy. What responsibility do I have in reviewing my decision to endorse President Trump? If strictly through an unhistorical lens, he is a solid, fierce candidate who promises grandiose revisions to our current structure and ideology. If supra historical, his ravings present as the manic yells and hollers of a beerhall Hitler.
Through a purely historical lens, he is a fascist (I would like to stress that he is not a Nazi). Through the unhistorical lens, he’s in touch with what makes me a red blooded blue collar American and the disgusts that disgust me and the fears that paralyze me.
Are we responsible for the long term effects of our voting? Do we have a responsibility to a hypothetical future that will be impacted by our current events (a sort of present history)? I think the question is less do we, but instead what responsibility do we have, as time for us is constantly progressing, so we must act and believe in a way that will positively impact our and the people of the planet’s future.
How do we decide what to do from the perspective of what the future may hold, when all we have is the past? We shouldn’t overanalyze the past, lest we become immobilized to action, as every lesson that can be walked away after viewing history can paralyze us to inaction. What we should do is attempt a rational induction of what may come should we choose certain potential futures over others.
Why this historical induction? History has told us of archetypes that exist through out history, we can identify individuals in history who have similar traits to people who existed before and after, people who have impacted us severely in both progressive and revisionist conservative ways.
As an example, Trump to date has demonstrated a fascist tendency in his campaign, and several weeks into his presidency. From this, we can attempt to surmise that no good will come of his presidency, which is something we as a nation who so vehemently opposed fascism for so long should have not only realized, but actively avoided. While it does much to explain how Germany and Italy could have fallen so far before WWII, we need to also understand that there is a class of people in the country who not only allowed it, but actively participated in it becoming so.
How do we induce such traits? Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Lenin, amongst others, but in addition to the leader’s traits, we need to examine what it was in the society that led to the leader being able to achieve the status that they did.
Germany had a fervent anti-semitic ideology for at least five decades prior to Hitler. Nietzsche’s writings were often construed as anti-semitic despite his begging and pleading to not be misunderstood, and his outright cries of globalization as well as a sort of admiration of Jewish culture.
Has the United States had a such a lingering malaise of people of Middle Eastern descent? Our media would in the very least say that it’s been the case for quite some time. Going as far back as Dune, we have been exploring the inherent ideology of the Middle Eastern countries and it’s citizens. Dune went so far as to parody our culture, demonstrating from an “enlightened” point of view that those who live in sand are a primitive and barbaric culture, but with a closer examination are in fact deeply intelligent and spiritual.
We have the capacity to view our real life counterparts in such a way, but due to atrocities committed against us by the few in the name of the many (when the many disown the views of the few) we are still wounded animals operating more out of fear of the trap than the reason that begs us not to act in fear.
What can we hope for, should Trump continue to devolve as a human, and as a leader in the free world? We can only hope that Hegel was right that for the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis of history becoming true. We can only hope that what comes from this fascist tendency of our country at the moment develops into a second strictly anti-fascist society, learning our lessons much as we did after WWII (how to handle dictatorships, genocide, and fervent nationalism).