Psychic Reinvention


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Gasoline Plant. Okahoma. 1942. LOC.

America is the original destination for psychic reinvention. But who knew that yearning to be freedom meant intelligent logic, rational discourse, the honest details of evidence were to become chains of tyranny? Every society is defined by the contradictions it willingly accepts–the place where actions have the opposite effect of their appearance or intent. The place where police shootings become crimes. The place where social aid enables laziness (a conservative favorite!). The place where intra-gender marriage is recognized. The place where peace is its own incentive and not a fear of war. In America, this year’s vote will define the place where lies pass as common sense.

This inner line (the conscious of contradiction) is being tested by Trump. Nine Chairs of House Committees have endorsed Trump to save America; those statesmen apparently see 74 months of job growth and 14.6 million new jobs as a danger! Trump’s candidacy is predicated on how big a lie the country will accept–esp. gigantic myths of contradiction: Mexico paying for a wall; “the blacks” being happy; wages raising as the rich concentrate wealth; potential Supreme Court nominees from swing states; a candidate supported by white supremacists; a prescient candidate who “knows” who did what before the intelligence; a new trail of tears for 12 million undocumented, many here for decades, deported, their families torn apart.

This is saving–America–from danger? Really?


~~Very insightful. However, I think that the function of lying is not to appeal to common sense but to deceive, to make truth seem doubtful, and to appeal to sub-rational, visceral “feelings” that constitute the manner in which non-thinking people form their image of reality.It seems to me that Walter gives too much credit to an appeal to common sense , which is far too rational for people who”feel” and have a distorted intuitive sense of reality rather than viewing it from a thinking person’s perspective.


I agree common sense is part empirical (observation and experience; rain makes you wet, wear a raincoat), and part feeling (it is important the feeling part have a moral base!).

Common sense is not so much “rational,” as a body of wisdom (contrasted to a body of lies!). In the South, esp. segregation was once common sense–a matrix of feeling (both fear and comfort), reason (blacks are content in their schools and communities), and separatist logic; the fabled journalist James Kilpatrick wrote the “constitution made no claims of “racial equality.” For him, the legality of racial separation, esp. in schools, was “unchanged by the Civil War, not altered in any way since the Constitution was created in 1787.”

As a disciple of Ruth Benedict (Lao Tzu, Talcott Parsons (who remembers him?) and Strom Thurmond!), I abandon classic theory; convinced by Leon Damas (the Caribbean poet), Amilcar Cabral (Guinea-Bissau’s revolutionary leader), and Gardner Taylor (the famed Brooklyn preacher and Duke professor) to describe the function of the new cultural/political practice–the new paradigm.

The new paradigm is not binary, is not looking for a straight knock out/victory. It is devolutionary! It seeks to swallow and replace common sense (collective wisdom), using lies as its instrument and goal.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss the philosophy of ideas!

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