Dying to Live, Living to Die, Lying to Live, and Living a Lie: Should American li(v)es be saved at all costs?
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 16 Nov 2015
The principal slogan of American foreign policy in this period appears to be articulated most frequently as “Saving American Lives”. It is used to justify any action, in terms of an unquestionable need to ignore constraints which might otherwise be held to be of relevance. It notably frames the intervention in many countries around the world — seemingly held to be engendering a threat to American full-spectrum dominance. There is therefore a case for noting the contexts in which policy is articulated with this principled justification.
Whether or not the play on words is trivial, there is also a case for exploring the slogan by which American foreign policy might well be framed by critics, namely “Saving American Lies”. This too appears to be interpreted with the qualifier “at all costs” — irrespective of the deaths that might ensue, whatever form these might take. A notable preoccupation with preserving this illusion is acclaimed as vital to American national security. This has been called into question by recent revelations of the content of diplomatic communications and the extent of electronic surveillance.
The complementarity between lives and lies suggests further playful exploration of the tragedy that so many would now tend to frame their personal circumstances in terms of the aspiration “Dying to Live”. This contrasts with any sense of experiencing life as a “Living Death”, or one in which one is effectively already “dead” in some sense — or held to be so by others.
The exploration can be extended to those who might see themselves as “Living to Die” — most notably the jihadists accepting the need for their own death in commitment to their own higher cause. It is of course the case that jihadists, like many others, would choose to frame those who do not subscribe to their cause as “Living a Lie”. This view would be shared by many critics of a consumption society indifferent to the consequences thereby engendered for others, for the future, or for the well-being of consumers themselves.
The approach can therefore be understood as framing a tripolar dynamic — Living (life), Dying (death), in relation to Lying — as essentially mysterious, despite misleading belief in the possibility of their simple definition. Whether or not the playfulness is misplaced, such an exploration can be suggestively extended to other permutations and combinations — if only to clarify any irrelevance to the current condition of society. Dyeing, for example, is interesting given preferences for a particular coloration. notably evident in the identification of political parties with distinctive colours and a shared commitment to the eradication of others — as with the black favoured by ISIS, pirates and anarchists.
Continuing credence is given to the famous recommendation of Sun Tzu: Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy (The Art of War). However it would seem that the “enemy” of authority has now been reframed (Playing the Great Game with Intelligence: Authority versus the People, 2013). The argument therefore interweaves the Knight’s-move lateral-thinking (valued by military intelligence), with the magic squares of mathematicians in which Benjamin Franklin was so remarkably skilled whilst a Founding Father of the USA.
The argument explores the probability that Franklin’s insights may have subtly informed both the formulation of the US Constitution and the freemasonry in which the Founding Fathers are controversially held to have been significantly complicit (David Barton, The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers, 2005; Masonic Myths of the Founding Fathers, Meta-Religion). The pattern and controversy continue to be evident in the secrecy and mystification relating to current male-dominated leadership. However the salvatory concern here is whether an associated aesthetic quality continues to be missing from the understanding by leadership of the integrative challenges vital to the global governance of today.
This dimension is exemplified by the continuing existential appeal of the subtle poetic insights of the polymath Omar Khayyam upheld as a man of truth — especially given his own unusual mathematical skills under the constraining religious circumstances of the Persia of his time. The missing dimension is potentially characterized by a dynamic complementary to that implied by the top-down “bent diagonal” symbol favoured by the freemasonry of Franklin and its particular preoccupation with the magic square.
In a period of widespread economic challenges, the austerity measures advocated are clearly being extended to “being economic with the truth”. However with an increasingly evident degree of universal hypocrisy, and global governance in disarray, efforts to frame “Paris 11/13” as an “act of war” highlight the urgent need for new forms of insight — subsequent to very active French military involvement in the Middle East (Michel Chossudovsky, The Paris Terrorist Attacks, “9/11 French-Style”, Global Research, 14 November 2015; Bill Humphrey, France and the West: Inconvenient Questions — action-reaction patterns in the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris, The Globalist, November 17, 2015).
Having accepted the possibility of thinking the unthinkable during the Cold War, the present limitations of conventional thinking in engaging with otherness suggest that this is a time for the extraordinary. Is there therefore a case for revisiting Franklin’s appreciation of his own discovery as the most magically magical of any magic square ever made by a magician?
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Nov 2015.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Dying to Live, Living to Die, Lying to Live, and Living a Lie: Should American li(v)es be saved at all costs?, is included. Thank you.
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