Political Interest wrote:My friend, I hope all is well with you.
In my opinion we should be cloud dwellers. The world would be a better place if we had more people who are not completely involved in the contemporary world as it is.
Which is why Jesus called upon his followers to leave their worldly lives behind if they wished to follow him - they could have no personal wealth, no job, no permanent house, no family. The monastic ideal of medieval Christendom was a logical development of that.
The people of this modern world are not real cloud dwellers because they don't dwell on much. If they really were dreamers and living in the blue clouds they wouldn't be producing such superficial contrived nonsense that is the output of Western universities. A cloud dweller like Pasternak is incapable of such theories. All the writers and producers of art of any value I would say are cloud dwellers, because the creative impulse is not grounded in hard material realities. A great writer like Mikhail Bulgakov seems to me to have been not so much a politician or banker. And what of Sergei Yesenin? I think he was also somewhat of a man in the clouds, at least a man who was in his own universe, and yet he was not a bourgeois but a real peasant son of Mother Russia!
I think someone once said that Pushkin was a man who lived "up to his neck in life" - he was gounded on the Earth, through which his body moved and acted, but his head was in the clouds, above it all, and it is this distance, this alienation from everyday life, which enabled him to be objective about it and to evaluate it as it truly was. It was Mayakovsky's failure to maintain that distance which destroyed him - as he wrote in his suicide note, "The barque of love has been wrecked on the rocks of everyday life" [bytie].
Most certainly the people of pre-modern times were not cloud dwellers but the majority of people today are not either. It's very difficult to understand people who carry on through life with no thoughts that aren't entirely grounded in reality. But perhaps that is just me, because I too am very much a cloud dweller and not entirely grounded.
I simply think that the majority of people in the modern world don't really think very deeply about much, except that which concerns their every day lives. They believe in many artificial notions of reality and live in virtuality but none of these they have given much thought. Most of them are second hand opinions they've taken from the press or social media.
This is how most people have lived throughout most of human history - unconsciously. They are barely aware of their own existence, let alone anything which is not immediately under their own noses. But this is just another way of saying that humanity has not yet attained the Hegelian 'Absolute', or the Marxist 'communist society', or the technological 'Singularity', or the Christian 'eschaton', or whatever one wants to call it.
The developments in Washington are the product of material realities and a politicised public who have absorbed the Trumpist ideology. It's unlikely many of those people have given their political beliefs much thought, perhaps none at all. Afterall how could someone lost in any sort of thought be drawn into the Trumpist movement let alone participate in such lunacy. Trump is not the sort of man who is going to attract book reading introverts, or perhaps it is a broad brush generalisation on my part. What we can be certain of is that Trump is not a philosopher or a deep thinker, he's a deal maker and a doer. In a sense it alludes to the man of action that the fascists want to lead them.
Indeed, and men like Trump pride themselves on being doers rather than thinkers. This is why Stalin was so deeply and personally offended by the second part of Eisenstein's movie Ivan the Terrible. Stalin had repeatedly and explicitly compared himself with Ivan the Terrible, whom Soviet propaganda held up as a great Tsar. But Eisenstein portrayed Ivan as a man lost in gloomy introspection, a "Hamlet-like figure", as Stalin put it (which he seemed to think was an insulting term). Stalin wanted to be thought of as a man of decisive action. And this is exactly what these people's followers want them to be - unreflective men of action, decisive father figures.