web analytics

Home » LitVote Latest » Currently Reading:


We are stricken with it.
A societal aphasia, and a societal anomie.
Its all been too much to absorb.
The Pandemic.
And now, Ukraine.
Society (not all societies, but all social forms rent with stark economic and political divisions like ours) is built on a shared mythology, so we all soak in a comforting vat of banana oil.
You know.
The usual affronts to intelligence and common sense provided by religion and politics.
But when the(se) veils are shredded, the vista becomes too unsightly to behold.
And now that’s really what has happened.
The myths are (near)exploded.
Nothing appears to be as it should be.
And we falter.
Who can blame us?
Religion sells us the respite of heaven, and the comfort of a divine judge.
And politics purveys the idylls of egalite and democrace(!) (and any other idyll that can be usefully tacked on).

Religion has it easy, in this game.
It , cannily, plays it safe.
By offering deferred gratification.
The promised land is (ever) in the hereafter.
But politics pledges it either now , or at the very next election.
So , it’s far more easily seen through.
It is not that we have been suddenly deceived by our latter-day governors.
Let’s not accord them the pride of originality.
Our recent ancestors were also similarly deceived.
It is that we hoi polloi have now acquired a certain sophistication in the matter.
Why is that?
Partly, it is the fault of the governors.
To perpetrate a fraud every now and then is passable.
But too many, in a row, raises suspicion.
So ,the rulers have gotten a bit reckless.
And partly the easy , even effortless, means of communications, across continents , have connected peoples – allowing for mutual learning.
In prior times , only the rulers had such means.
Now we have them, too.
This creates a strange malaise.
A sort of confusion.
Its akin to when words suddenly get shorn of meaning, especially when repeated too often.
Except this is societal.
The social game loses some of its conviction.
So , millions simply opt out, in apathy, and/or in disgust.
Whilst millions of others search for new icons, and the consecration of new myths.
The latter is fit soil for a Great Charismatic Interruption.
A (dubious) Hero might arise, religious or political.
To lead us , again, into a new, improved blight.
And so it goes.
To repeat a trite truth.
The world is as it is less owing to the ineluctable power of Evil, as it is to the willing acquiescence of the ignorant and the gullible.
As Einstein said it: “There are only 2 real Infinities, I know of. The Size of the Universe, and Human Stupidity. Of the first, I retain some doubts, but of the second, I am certain”.
So. we must now (anxiously) wait for the next snake-oil magician to show.
I know s/he is out there, someplace , putting make-up on.
It may not bode well, but in a curious, if ominous, way it is exciting.
Breaks the dreary monotony of social existence , now slipped far outside our control.
What can we do , except fasten our seat belts?
Yet another magical mystery tour!
Bread and Circuses, anyone?


© R.Kanth 2023


Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

Share Button

Comment on this Article: