The first day of 2023, a Sunday, dawned cloudy and foggy in a special city, one set high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, a city for some reason associated with the soul. The word “nebulous” comes to mind, both for its climactic connotation and for the lack of clarity in which we find ourselves mired as a world. The colonial “Western” empire formerly led by the United Kingdom and now by the United States has been in its “death throes” for a long time, kind of like a wealthy old relative on her deathbed, on her deathbed for several decades now, one who refuses to die and who seems insistent on wreaking as much havoc and chaos as possible before she leaves, if she ever leaves; one whose once beautiful body has been possessed by a selfish and bitterly jaded specter. She just can’t help herself it seems, she has to own and control everything, and, except for a tiny few, to hold everyone in bondage. Bondage which, in a more honest age, would be perceived as slavery.
Not exactly an optimistic perspective as one starts a New Year but the old one has been so utterly controlled by evil, as though Saul of Tarsus, that evil quack, had correctly perceived the coming of an antichrist (even if his timing was a few millennia off). The Deep State’s own Democratic Party, after more than fifteen years, has finally succeeded in goading the Russian Federation into a war with the Ukraine, that bedeviled and utterly corrupt land haunted by its Nazi past and neo-Nazi present but now firmly under Deep State control, a Deep State prepared to sacrifice the Ukrainian People and to expend the hard earned taxes paid by people in the nebulous West to assure that the world never progresses beyond its hegemony. It’s just too profitable a state of things to permit change as populists from both the left and the right wings of the political spectrum in the United States have discovered (the real left I mean, not that simulacrum that passes for the left in the Deep State’s Democratic Party and corporate media). Odd that the utterly obnoxious and self-centered leader of the populist right is more honest and trustworthy (not that he’s honest or trustworthy, it’s a relative comparison) than the leader of the populist left, but naivety reigns there, which may be why it is not perceived as a real threat by the Deep State. At least not yet.
Things are bad but, to an extent, pure evil has been forced into the light. It is now clear that “democracy”, as a political reality not only does not exist but, in all probability, has never really existed. What has passed for democracy during millennia has only been its convoluted verisimilitude specifically designed to assure that real democracy is never attained. Then again, democracy is not synonymous with justice, or with equity, and it is certainly antagonistic to liberty and pluralism. Apparently no political system we humans have tried has even been truly benign, although a few individual rulers may have briefly, from time to time, evaded systemic trends and governed both wisely and fairly. However, in the end, self-defined “elites” always attain control and once attained, do everything they can to perpetuate themselves in power, corrupting all efforts to effect positive change, or else, “eliminating them” by means camouflaged as fair or else, just blatantly foul.
It should be clear that the current political paradigm is premised on a meld of electoral fraud and electoral manipulation through withholding accurate information, in place of which, fiction disguised as news is offered as gruel for the masses, of course spiked with propaganda disguised as information, and even spectator sports, used as means of misdirection emotions that might otherwise lead to addressing uncomfortable realities.
In that context, “nebulosity” seems a downright positive concept.
Thinking about it, an air of nebulosity seems, at least to me, to pervade the all too accurate dystopian literature of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley (his French teacher at Eton) and Kurt Vonnegut. It pervades Tolkien’s Mordor, into which we seem to be morphing. However, nebulosity would seem to imply the possibility of an escape and I don’t recall that being the case in any but Tolkien’s novels.
What a negative manner in which to start 2023, but then again, we have the results of the recent purported elections in the United States as a catalyst. The phrase “two wrongs don’t make a right” comes to mind, but United States voters are at best mired in a system designed as a quest for lesser evils (which, by definition, are always evil), never considering that evading evil is an option.
On the other hand, the global south may be waking and at least attempting to cast off the neoliberal chains which, through neoconservative pressure, have shackled it, seemingly forever. Many Latin American countries are doing their best to veer to the left, although the Deep State’s own intelligence communities, freed of any restraints by the Biden administration, are waging a frequently successful rear guard action, most recently in Peru and Argentina, with fifth columns artfully planted in legislatures and judiciaries everywhere else. Hell, that’s even true in the United States.
Which all makes for a probably all too interesting 2023. “Interesting” in terms of the Chinese curse which wishes on its enemies “interesting times” in which to live.
And speaking of China, ….
Well that’s a similar topic best left for another day.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.