“You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant... oh, fuck it.” – M. Gustave, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Such is the decrescendo of our times; a diminished hope that trails off into a resigned shrug. One can only hope that our “better angels” can keep the embers of our shared humanity glowing.
I have been reading about the ethical intersection between the actor – the act – and the act’s consequences; and while I don’t expect presidential candidates to spend time on the trail invoking Aristotle, Kant, and/or Mills…I am comforted knowing when they are capable of such introspection. I would like to believe that the next leader of the Free World is capable of grounding their actions in something more than brute instinct or narrow self-interest.
Perhaps it is too much to ask of our public officials. “Every country has the government it deserves” according to de Maistre, or perhaps it was Jonathan Winters. Either way, the quote portends a long and bitter election season.
Hope (such as it exists) must rest in those who, at the national, state, and local level, aspire to promote the common good while appealing to our virtuous nature.
2016 might not be the year of the Philosopher-Statesperson, but at the very least, they can toss some kindling on the bonfire. Keep those glimmers gleaming.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.