The next Messiah won’t be televised
In this commentary, I don’t want to indulge in any elation about the crushing of that minor tyrant in the pantheon of world historical tyrants, Donald Trump. Elation is a harmful form of delusion, and it always comes before a fall.
Instead, let us be stoics here and dare to look at the real. Firstly, we should acknowledge that Trump has had an interesting effect on the world, both negative and positive. Carl Jung might say he was a sort of trickster clown-the trickster clown being one of the oldest archetypes operating at the back of our unconscious mind. And according to Jung, the trickster is the forerunner to the savior.
However, it would be credulous to suggest that Joe Biden is a savior-and it isn’t obvious that Trump is a bonafide trickster either. However, we do have to acknowledge that these archetypal forces are active in the world, and that they operate through all kinds of people. And the next messiah or trickster will probably not be televised or streamed on any media platform.
Politics shifts unconsciously between tyrant and savior. There is a potential future tyrant in every apparent savior (Biden for some)-so buyer beware. And there is a potential savior in every apparent tyrant (Trump for others). Therefore Trump, for all the chaos he has created, may have also done some good-inadvertently, of course. And Biden, for all his well meaning gestures, probably will do quite a bit of damage-as his forerunner Mr. Hope (Obama) did.
The point is also that Biden and Trump, The Democrats and the Republicans, are two sides of the same coin-the coin of a dying paradigm. Biden does not represent a new coin or a new cycle but is rather the last gasp of the old. Soon people will even become nostalgic for the Trump era just as they did for the good old days of Ronald Reagan. They will lust after the chaos of the clown trickster as the boring old order reinstates itself.
Concerning Biden, we should be careful to remember-as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both knew-that the guy who talks about empathy, unity, decency, fairness, and justice for all, also has a counterpart somewhere, a shadow. That is not to say that Biden’s well-meaning sentiments aren’t a welcome exhale … But it might be a good idea to beware of the all-American good-guy.
What will Joe Biden do about internet censorship for instance-as he promotes his benevolent message? Will he enable the monsters of the alt-right and alt-left go underground to do their damage. Are we heading for a new dictatorship of ‘the nice’, while we unconsciously feed the crocodiles at the bottom of the swamp.
When the pendulum swings back again, as it always does, there is the danger that the next tyrant will be more effective, more charming, more believable, than the bumptious Donald Trump, who was, at least, transparently ridiculous. It is sometimes better to have the crocodile in plain sight. In other words, we should beware of passive aggression, and of the Mr. Nice Guy character.
Hopefully the savior for the new paradigm (which is obviously not Joe Biden) will actually be a great leader-will actually have something to do with the next stage of history. Biden is just like the rest of the present batch of politicians: they have a reptilian quality. They are representatives of a dying broadcast mode of democracy, and they are looking at the future through a rear view mirror, as Marshal McLuhan used to say.
Not be too religious here, but the world does needs a messiah, a savior-in whatever form that might take. There are too many existential threats and nobody really knows what to do, if we are honest about it, so it is going to take a miracle of sorts to save the planet. The human race it its own worst enemy, firmly lost in the the unconscious with its omnicidal explosions, with its gift for creating things like pandemics, its future weapons of mass destruction powered by AI drones, and the present social media zombie apocalypse.
These are dangerous times. We can use a lot of awkward language like singularity, like artificial intelligence, to describe the next paradigm. But it is fundamentally beyond our powers of description.
Better not to have any naive ‘hope’ in the Barack Obama sense, unless it is a very mature and deep hope, that sees the larger unfolding pattern. And it is certainly wiser not to spend any of our hope currency on any current politician.
The belief that the Biden presidency represents a new hope is naïve. Biden is fundamentally the last breath of an extinct mode of thinking, being, and understanding. Therefore expect the exhale you feel to be followed by a rather sharp inhale. We should always be prepared for the next monster to appear, and we should always be wary of moments of apparent repose.
The president of clown world, Donald Trump, could only go on dancing for so long. And Joe Biden seems to have a good heart and some character, which is something. So bless America. And get ready for the shit to get even more unreal.
Originally published at https://www.parallax-magazin.de on November 18, 2020.