A Small Torrent

There is a sense of everything closing in or coming to a head. It is palpable. But this sense does not answer to simplistic and tribally convenient conspiracy theories. It belongs to the more complex realm of historical inevitabilities: clear warnings long unheeded, moral perceptions catastrophically blurred, general comfort inuring mankind always to seek the explanations and solutions least likely to demand any honest self-criticism, tribal interests themselves reduced to four-fifths mass entertainment. And above all, a war of ideas in which one side, the side once or ostensibly aligned with reason and freedom, has lost faith in itself, lost its will, and hence gradually ceded the field of battle to a trivial but more relentless adversary.

A cult of populist demagoguery depends for its survival on the illusion of invincibility, for populist demagoguery’s primary or defining appeal is the projection of power, specifically the leader’s power, which is to serve, in the demoralized and near-suicidal souls of the true believers, as the last available substitute for the sense of personal efficacy which they have lost. For this reason, nothing is more debilitating or paralyzing to such a cult and its members than the specter of ignominious defeat — not the romantic fantasy of the great leader’s shooting star martyrdom, but the shameful crash landing of the pathetic incompetent finally exposed. But when a fact, if acknowledged, would destroy a man’s ego and intellectual stability, he will of course make every possible effort not to acknowledge it. That rule applies to both the demagogue and his followers.

World Famous Intellectual Confronted By Actual Smart Person, aka Fake Meets Real.–

Which leads me to wonder yet again, based on previous evidence: Has Neil deGrasse Tyson ever said anything that was not immediately debunkable upon subjection to the most elementary logic?

“If you love and admire me, if you follow and emulate me, I will teach you how to let go of your ego and become one with the cosmos.”

Does this not make the speaker himself, in his own estimation at least, the cosmos?

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