I recently told my Beguine editor, Terri Stewart, that, because I regarded the re-election of Trump as quite likely, I considered politics a dead subject for leftists / progressives, at least for the near- and medium-term future, and that I would henceforth write about science, art, philosophy, in other words, anything except politics. I had every intention of abiding by that resolution until I read a column by Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Post of April 27 exulting in his prediction – which, to repeat, is probably accurate – that Trump would not only win the election in 2020, but that the election would not even be “close” (Hewitt’s word, not mine). The reasons Hewitt cites for that prediction, while factually accurate, go straight to the heart of what it means to be a nation – and,
Admittedly, this is a seemingly trivial problem, as are all the related problems I discuss subsequently, but it drives me certifiably bat-shit crazy, notwithstanding. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that the following problems, though seemingly unrelated, are in fact constitutive of a profound and irremediable flaw in the deepest foundations, ideologically and psychologically, of knowledge-based late / 21st-century capitalist economies. OK … enough preamble … this is my problem …
o You know those bottles of, e.g., hand soap and skin lotion you buy that have bottle caps that double as pump mechanisms?
Initially, in their right-off-the-shelf condition, those bottles’ pump mechanisms are all locked down to prevent accidental or inadvertent pumping-out of the contents. Quite reasonab
For the last several weeks, I have been following the news out of the UK about the Parliament’s vote on PM Theresa May’s foredoomed plan for Brexit, including one installment of “Prime Minister’s questions,” which, for obvious reasons, centered on the still-falling debris from the May government’s unprecedented 230-vote blow-up of Mrs. May's Brexit deal. It had all the tragic dignity of, say, Sophocles’ Oedipus trilogy: you know what is going to happen, but for that very reason, you simply cannot bring yourself to avert your gaze. I was all the more horrified because, knowing the Parliament vote was imminent and that it would be followed by the 29 March deadline imposed by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, I had begun some weeks before to read about the European Union (EU), Brexit, and