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The Real and the Ersatz

 
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start.

W. H. Auden
 

 
And so the long night of everyday life , in these times, wears on.
 
We move only in egocentric circles.
 
The truest words ever spoken may be that it is Vanity that springs eternal in the (EuroModernist) human breast.
 
A few transcend that prison, since humans are nothing if not variable, but far too few.
 
I listen to you, but parse it in my tropes, You do the same.
 
Your interest in my woes is slight, and transient: and vice versa.
 
Reciprocity exists, but on a mutual aid basis only.
 
That governs friendship, camaraderie, and all such ephemeral ties.
 
Cemented, en generale, by the axial supports of sugar, alcohol, caffeine – and worse.
 
And , one day, we pass: and few notice, or care.
 
That is the epitome of the Modernist World.
 
It is that ‘rationalist’, categorically alienated, dystopia that EM (European Modernism) inaugurated so very brusquely, and brashly, claiming , all the while, to be ‘enlightened’.
 
EM , over time, had morphed a Band of Convivials into a Company of Strangers.
 
*
 
But there is/was another world.
 
I know, because I have, fortunately, savored Arcady.
 
An Affective World.
 
Most of The West has little memory of it, having systematically destroyed it, with a dreadful vengeance, for 400 years: worse, all in the tendentious name of ‘progress’.
 
No historical Vandals have achieved as much, in sheer despoliation of the basic societal integument of our fragile species.
 
Of course, anachronistic pockets still remain, few and far between, like the Amish.
 
But the Non-European world was never wholly severed from it.
 
Far older formations, like Native Peoples could also not be tempted by the
hollow glister of the Modern Life, inured, by sheer depth of culture, to the blandishments of breakfast cereal, coca cola, and the shopping mall.
 
They had to be either force-fed , and/ or expropriated, for that tragedy to happen.
 
*
 
As I have said, nowhere in the world was EM ushered in by free, majority vote, peaceably and happily: though no one, prudently, now makes any reference to it.
 
In point of fact, force and fraud achieved it.
 
And ,in but a generation or two, or more, that artificial, meretricious matrix, became internalised by the many.
 
So, we breathe that thin air , to the point of asphyxiation, and remain unaware.
 
History may be writ by conquerors, as it is oft said: but behaviors, memories , norms, and practices are always imposed by them.
 
The success of the system is when the very victims worship their oppressors, unreservedly.
 
The Brits caused the death of over 100 million Indians in just the first half century of their exploits in India.
 
And yet left behind an educational system that venerated them, long after they had departed, as humane civilisation-mongers.
 
Is that sheer brilliance, or dark diablerie?
 
There you have stark irony compounding rank tragedy.
 
*
 
At any rate, shorn of the healings of Affective Ties , we are worse than brutes.
 
And that is the certain fate of the Modernist world.
 
Within its Lead Hegemon, 1.6+ mass shootings a day proclaim the high culture, and civilisation, of EM.
 
Soon, its clones , around the globe, will vie to emulate that remarkable idyll.
 
If they are granted the time, that is.
 
For, at the moment, the Masters of the Modernist World are rushing about , falling over themselves, in their haste, seeking to end the prospects of survival of the human race as speedily as they possibly can.
 
*
 
It figures: they eroded the ineluctable moral basis of human society a very long time ago.
 
Now they simply wish to finish the job: by guaranteeing the total extinction of our kind altogether.
 

[© R.Kanth 2022]

 

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

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