Thursday, May 09, 2019

The “rectification of names”

If theres any field in which the Trump administration excels, its in coming up with more ways to disadvantage the already disadvantaged in American society. Undermining the healthcare system, tormenting immigrants, throwing people off Medicaidthe list is almost endless. — From Michael Hiltzik’s article today in the Los Angeles Times, “Trump proposes to use a sham inflation rate to throw millions off poverty rolls

The political policies and legal effects of the President and his bootlicking lackeys and sycophants within the Administration and the Republican Party (and to an increasing extent, the judicial system), by design (i.e., deliberately thus intentionally) and occasionally by default, are systematically harming the most economically disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society, although this vulnerability may on the whole be a bit more complex insofar as it could be related to race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, disability, religious identity, what have you; in other words, there can be multiple points of vulnerability or plural disadvantages, be they embodied in the life of one individual or shared by groups. This is, at the same time, an utterly shameless dismissal of any meaningful conception of the public and common good in our society and both a de jure and de facto suppression and repression of genuine democratic will-formation or voice, let alone representation. More broadly, and whatever the source of motivation, it amounts to a denial of values and principles intrinsic to the generalized (because generalizable) praxes of welfare, well-being, and human flourishing irrespective of geo-political or nation-state borders.

At some point, the sheer scope of these blatantly systematic and sometimes insidious social and cultural causes and effects should prompt us to properly describe their true character, nature, or essence: evil. I don’t doubt that this particular desire or attempt to call things by their true name will be vociferously dismissed in some quarters as exemplifying the vice of moralism (recalling that the pejorative sense of ‘moralism’ appears rather late in our dictionaries, which is not to deny there may be perfectly appropriate meanings along these lines), in which case we find ourselves on the rocky terrain of moral psychology, raising the possibility if not probability of widespread denial, self-deception, and willful ignorance on the part of those who have succumbed to the politics and policies now firmly entrenched in the Republican Party’s feckless and immoral will-to-power, a politics clumsily and even comically but no less successfully crafted by a kleptocratic and would-be autocratic President who daily exhibits the symptoms of narcissistic megalomania.


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