What has the medieval world — its views of humanity and related political methods — been doing in our modern one?
Perhaps I’ve been naive about the evolution of the political management of power across time, for I have thought my modern American democracy and its many responsible and responsive institutions the most wonderful humanist and secular invention on earth and in history. However, some beg to disagree with the evolution of the optimal organization of open modern democratic communities, and here are we Americans saddled with surprisingly medieval mobs, an “authoritarian” president (on his way out) and, at least before the recent election, a senate full of head-bobbing lords before his questionable majesty.
Quite often on this theme, I’ve hauled in “Basic Training” — the pledge of America’s civilian and military officials and officers to the Constitution — or, as here, made mention of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, but as this morning’s start brought the following ‘graphs flying off my desktop, well, a copy-and-paste seemed fitting. The first comment addresses the basic issue of having the past dragging the world’s future backward toward what has been known not to work. 🙂 The second excerpt deals with Russia’s 19th Century political ambitions for what should be a thoroughly hopping 21st Century EU/NATO.
From the Awesome Conversation
I’ve come to see the great divide in the management of power as that between feudal-medieval political absolutism underpinned by desperation, dogma, and some propensities for evil and the MODERN open democratic distribution of the same by balanced and checked integrated systems and related processes. I think there’s difficulty in popular understanding of what has been deeply planted in the soul of medieval leadership where one inevitably finds the despotic and malignantly narcissistic among kings, essentially. In the milieu of despots and Presidents-for-Life remains the endowment we have inherited from the “Old World”, and while it is here in us, we are all together still part of an evolving New World. Putin and Xi see no necessity for it. Where one may place the present personalities may well have to do with that “Medieval v Modern” theme.
DJT chose this gentleman for his first campaign manager: https://www.businessinsider.com/paul-manafort-russia-ties-2017-10
From the Imperial Period to the Bolsheviks to Putin, Russia has not been able to escape feudal-medieval political absolutism. Worse, is has been able to encourage the same in EU/NATO with reversions in political modality standing out in Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey. Great Britain has been a little mixed up in this too with its reaction to 9/11, post-9/11 attacks, and the Moscow-Damascus driven forced migration from Syria. It too chose to “swell” (as flesh does with stings and other assaults) against greater cooperation with Europe in the interest of sealing and securing its own culture and traditions via BREXIT.
Putin’s promotion of Russia as a pious White Russian Nationalist enterprise belies its own multicultural reality — and you have seen the Grand Mosque opening video from2015 — but for the time being in Russia and the European states mentioned, a resurgent past holds sway.
What we cling to for assurance and safety, no less than mother’s dress, is always somewhere back in time.
I’d say Moscow has had a good and medieval run against an unprepared West, but if the problem is the persistence of the Medieval world in our Modern one, then we may proceed with the greater development of a more modern and democratic world. It’s all a bump on time’s highway, not a permanent turnaround into a much, much less desirable past.
Our nation was born forward of the Age of Reason and designed to defy absolute power in favor of a checked and balanced distribution of power to be managed through democratic methods. The nation has (to this point) succeeded with that. In the regions of personal behaviors, ethics, and morals, it has been generous with tolerance but some part has migrated from raised eyebrows and winks (naughty!) into criminally dark enterprise plainly criminal incidents. Such matters require investigative and Justice Department solutions, not cultural overhauls.