Summary: The FM website has changed in recent months. This is an annoucement of that change. This is what they call in serial fiction (e.g., TV, comic books) a retroactive continuity (retcon).
This site was born as one providing analysis. It’s readers were not satisfied, demanding solutions — and rightly so. After months of evolution, we must know re-envision the purpose of the FM website. The FM website was originally created as…
a discussion about geopolitics, broadly defined, from an American’s perspective.
On 20 August 2009 this site crossed the Rubicon from analysis into advocacy with You can end our war in Afghanistan, so now we add second line to its statement of purpose. The FM website is…
a discussion about geopolitics, broadly defined, from an American’s perspective, about ways to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold.
Here is my view of the what that means, one path to reforming America.
The first step: understanding — and revulsion
The first step to reform is not knowledge. Not logic. But rage, contempt at what we have become. From that other things can flow, good or bad depending on our character.
Weber points us toward Nietzsche as the common source for serious thinkers of the twentieth century. He also tells us what the single fundamental issue is: the relation between reason, or science, and the human good. When he speaks of happiness and the last man, he does not mean that the last man is unhappy, but that his happiness is nauseating. An experience of profound contempt is necessary in order to grasp our situation, and our capacity for contempt is vanishing.
Weber’s science presupposes this experience, which we would call subjective. After having encountered it in Nietzsche, he spent the greater part of his scholarly life studying religion in order to understand the non-contemptible, those who esteem or revere and are therefore not self-satisfied, those who have values …
— From The Closing of the American Mind, chapter “Values”, Allan Bloom (1987)
This is the opposite of most proposals offered today, which suggest blaming the world, the rich, the poor, terrorists, foreigners. Or our leaders, who don’t kiss our boo-boos and cut the cake unfairly. Everybody is responsible, except us. Folks proposing such views suggest that we adopt the attitude of alarmed cattle. Or mice.
Posts about America’s spirit:
- Americans, now a subservient people (listen to the Founders sigh in disappointment), 20 July 2008
- de Tocqueville warns us not to become weak and servile, 21 July 2008
- A philosphical basis for the Batman saga, 23 July 2008
- The American spirit speaks: “Baa, Baa, Baa”, 5 August 2008
- We’re Americans, hear us yell: “baa, baa, baa”, 6 August 2008
- This crisis will prove that Americans are not sheep (unless we are), 8 January 2008
- Are we citizens? Or peasants?, 21 May 2009
- Attention fellow sheep: let’s open our eyes and see the walls of our pen, 16 October 2009
The next step — anger
“Anger is easy. Anger at the right person, at the right time, for the right reason, is difficult.”
— Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, book IV, chapter 5 (lightly paraphrased)
“Telemachus, now is the time to be angry.”
— Odysseus, when the time came to deal with the Suitors. From the movie The Odyssey (1997)
Anger is a dangerous tool — stoking us to take action, but a bad master. I believe is the only path to reform, except in the face of disaster.
The third step: responsibility
We must accept responsibility for our fate, our lives. Others might be enemies or obstacles, but we must stand upright to begin walking the road to reform.
The next steps…
What comes next I do not know, and cannot even imagine. I have confidence in our judgement, that our next steps will be the right ones.
For more information from the FM site
To read other articles about these things, see the following:
- About Fabius Maximus and this blog
- About the politics of the FM website team
- About America – how can we reform it?
Some solutions, ways to reform America
- Diagnosing the Eagle, Chapter III – reclaiming the Constitution, 3 January 2008
- Obama describes the first step to America’s renewal, 8 August 2008
- Let’s look at America in the mirror, the first step to reform, 14 August 2008
- Fixing America: shall we choose elections, revolt, or passivity?, 16 August 2008
- Fixing American: taking responsibility is the first step, 17 August 2008
- Fixing America: the choices are elections, revolt, or passivity, 18 August 2008
- What happens next? Advice for the new President, part one., 17 October 2008
- What to do? Advice for the new President, part two., 18 October 2008
- Are the new “tea party” protests a grass roots rebellion or agitprop?, 1 March 2009
- How to stage effective protests in the 21st century, 21 April 2009
- The first step on the road to America’s reform, 29 May 2009
- Correction to my previous posts – not all citizen activism is good…, 16 October
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