A Heightened Sense of Vulnerability
A Heightened Sense of Vulnerability by Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds
the gap between the happy-story fantasies of easy fixes to institutionalized corruption and systemic stagnation and the fraying-rope reality is widening, straining the bonds holding the whole contraption together to the breaking point.
Am I the only one sensing an increase in systemic vulnerability? I’m not talking about TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) so much as a sense of things fraying beneath the surface of normalcy.
I for one have never seen the outpouring of negative emotional energy from partisan political disagreements. It has become more a matter of quasi-religious faith than a matter of fact as to whether the Russians “hacked” the U.S. election and the Democratic National Committee. The “facts” are highly dependent on one’s faith in this quasi-religious conflict; if you’re anti-Trump, the now-discredited report by a private firm reporting to the FBI (red flag #1–doesn’t the FBI have its own digital forensics assets? Why hire a flaky contractor to do this critically important national security work?) is the gospel truth.
if you’re in the other camp, Julian Assange’s declaration that the DNC material was offered to him by an insider is the obvious gospel truth.
There doesn’t seem to be any neutral ground left in this quasi-religious divide, and that in itself creates a heightened sense of vulnerability: if we’ve reached the point where verifiable facts no longer matter, and one’s faith in a partisan narrative is the deciding factor in what each citizen declares as “true,” we are vulnerable to a breakdown not just of consensus but discourse.
We have reached the state where you have to be as cautious in revealing your political views or doubts as any Catholic or Protestant revealing their faith and doubts in the Reformation wars, in which faith alone decided life or death if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That the issues dividing the nation into these faith-based camps are fundamentally unimportant no longer matters. Is it really consequential to the nation who sent the DNC emails to the media via Wikileaks? The answer is no: the DNC is not a governmental agency, it is a private-sector political organization.
Does it really matter if Russia attempted to influence the U.S. elections? There are a few ways this could be consequential, but they are speculative and lacking factual evidence.