Schopenhauer, Trump, and the Three Stages of Truth
According to 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”
In terms of recognizing the dire conditions faced by the people living in some of the most violent and desperate cities in the US, such as Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore, I think that we’ve reached a point where that truth is becoming self evident.
Just this past weekend, Chicago had one of it’s most violent 4th of July weekends in recent years, with over 100 shootings, mostly on the south and west sides of the city. Indeed, 2016 was Chicago’s deadliest year in over two decades. The city saw a surge in gun violence in 2016: 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according to a statement released by the department in early 2017. There were 480 murders in 2015, the most in the city since 1997.
During his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to “Make America Great Again”, and specifically mentioned fixing America’s troubled inner cities. The press endlessly mocked and ridiculed then-candidate Trump’s promise, often denying that there was any problem at all in America’s most violent cities, or even denying that ‘inner cities’ exist at all.
After the election, we saw violent protests shake major cities across the US as the ridicule of Donald Trump and his ideas turned to violent opposition. But now is the time where across the nation, the proverbial scales fall from the eyes of even the most naive, and the truth is absolutely becoming self evident about the situation that these cities face.
Apocalypse: Metaphorical and Literal
The word ‘apocalypse’ originates from an ancient Greek term apokálypsis, which literally means ‘an uncovering’. Although some may characterize the use of the term as hyperbole or sensationalism, we feel that it is an appropriate term to describe the metaphoric ‘uncovering’ of the root causes of all of the violence and depravity that we see in the city. Eventually, we will find out the truth in regards to the root of why our cities have gotten to such a dire state.
Conversely, the popular usage of the term Apocalypse can be applied to the inner cities as well. Many of the residents are living in squalid conditions, where the infrastructure is in a state of utter disrepair, employment is difficult to come by, and their young children are caught in the crossfire of daily gang warfare. If this is not an apocalyptic scenario, I don’t know what is.
Warfare: How To Take a City in a Few Simple Steps
Looking at the state of cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore, it may be useful to view the ‘recapturing’ of these cities through the lens of military strategy, in terms of how an army would successfully gain control over a large municipal area.
1) Find a local regional warlord and co-opt him. This is a logical first step, as you will need on the ground support for the operation that you are about to launch. A tit-for-tat exchange between the feds and local gang leaders can be exploited for intelligence info, as well as on the ground recruiting.
2) Secure your funding. This step is fairly easy, because President Trump has pretty much convinced the public that these cities have fallen to what are essentially enemy forces within our borders, so it should be pretty easy to secure earmarked federal funding for these operations.
3) Conduct a successful propaganda campaign. You need to convince the local population that not only are you going to improve their lives, but that you are willing and able to protect them from the criminals that are threatening them on a daily basis. Many of these communities operate on a “no snitching” basis, so winning the hearts and minds of the public is essential if you want to successfully stage your coup against the regional warlords that have taken control.
4) Stage your coup. Act early and fast. Break up their communication networks. Destroy their funding. Sow the seeds of distrust and disorganization. Shock and awe is the way to go with these types of campaigns. Stage massive arrests. Cut off the heads of these organizations.
5) Cement your position. Most of the population will carry on with business as usual, which is fine. However, you must establish your authority by entirely eliminating your opposition, and making examples out of overly ambitious allies (i.e., the warlord mentioned above that you have formed an alliance with). This phase should be violent, short, and sweet.
6) Engage in nation building. Invest in the physical infrastructure of the cities that you are taking back. This article has some excellent ideas on how to rehabilitate these cities once this campaign reaches the nation building phase. In short, cut off the flow of illegal weapons, invest in housing rehabilitation, invest in educational and employment programs, and beef up the local police forces.
The Truth Revealed
Things are so dire that there is no longer a debate about the state of our cities. It is self evident, and this is the initial revelation. After the template of the campaign above is successfully carried out in the problem cities in the US, the truth about the root causes of these problems will be revealed.
Right now I would say we’re somewhere between stage 2 and stage 3 of this campaign, so watch for the sequential stages to emerge soon. It should be fascinating to watch. And remember: Making America Great Again doesn’t happen overnight, and we’re nowhere near a complete restoration of the Republic.