Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbenonnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbenonnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

A Found Letter [short fiction in the service of political commentary]

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Ubi dubium ibi libertas:

Where there is doubt, there is freedom.

–Latin proverb


Doubt has become dogma and masquerades as revealed Truth.

—Jay Ruvolo

(every day in one version or another,

in these and many other words)


 “I wish . . . [Liberals] would have the same enthusiasm for intolerance elsewhere in the world as they do for Christians here at home who really aren’t a problem because they don’t really get their way. It’s laughable.”

—Bill Maher


You do know that almost all the Muslims you meet, see or hear about in America, even the seemingly most benign and least conservative of a very conservative religious base–you do know as soon as they reconcile their differences with Evangelicals, they will be right on board with them in helping to take a woman’s choice away from her, and the laws that protect her human right of choice . . . her unimpeded access to safe medical procedure will be denied. Which side are you on, you Americans you do not know what a liberal is or what it means to be one, or how to defend it when it is necessary? Which side are you on?

—Jay Ruvolo

He was carrying a spiral notebook. He had it in hand as he walked in. Someone at the table asked him what it was, I forget whom. He said he found it on the bench next to him on the train. I was about to ask him what was in it when he said he had been reading it on the the train. I asked him what it was that he had read, and he said that he had read almost all of what seemed to be a letter, as far as form went, yes, that it seemed if it were a letter, thus, an essay of a kind, in political commentary. Someone asked him to read it, if it were not too long. He agreed, saying he would like to find out how it concludes.

He opened the notebook––I interrupted and asked him if there was anything else in it. He said no. He said he had looked through it several times, flipping toes if there were anything else. There were obvious;y pages torn out, quite a few.

Someone interjected, Read it. Yes, someone added, Go on.

He began by telling us that he was just going to read it as it was, without editing or ammendation, as often happens, he said, when someone––anyone––reads what someone else has written.

He began:

“My Dear Americans . . . why am I pretending to write a letter. I would not speak to this day’s Americanos. I do not have the energy, nor do I have the lines anymore to engage in shouting match after shouting match . . . but comparing us to the Bolsheviks or the Nazis or any Soviet version of Totalitarian after the Bolshevik terror, supplanted by one after another new and improved terror . . . yes, it is not an historical secret that the Bolsheviks and the Nazis were both the enemies of Truth, the enemies of wonder, the friends and allies of half-truth, of misinformation, of disinformation, of nihilism triumphant. The greatest attack on the foundation of western civilization in its history was the two pronged attack by the Bolshiviks and the Nazis in the first half of the twentieth century. If we were to couple this with the persistence of a Soviet propaganda machine determined to feed mis- and dis-information everywhere in the world for fifty years following the Second World War, then we could understand just how we have come to this age of relativism ad naseum, ad perpetuum.

“From the close of the Second World War the Soviet Union was committed to be more the anti-United States than ever a positively affirmative U.S.S.R. It ceased for decades to be a viable alternative to a decadent bourgeois capitalist west. That it had abandoned too long ago to pinpoint any commitment to a sane and rational proletarian state has come to us as accepted truth, but it is also a fact.

“A truth and a lie are relative, GeStaPo officers could say with impunity and without the risk of sounding contradictory. The Nazis had dogma, not Truth. Truth may have been what they said they were connected to, but they quickly slipped dogma in its place because Truth would have willed out, and the most dazzling triumph of will would have been–was–Truth’s victory over Nazis Dogma.

“Nazis Trials in Hitler’s Germany and Communist purges in the Soviet Union under Stalin have done much to instruct others in how to sidestep truth, facts, testimony–how to mock justice as something only akin to getting just desserts . . . when hegemony is the only desire and by any means necessary the steps to gaining it, the world we live in now is as close as any world could come to being that heir, totalitarian supreme. Where are we now in the cause of Liberaism, yes capital ‘L’ necessitated by the loss of courage in our politics. Over the last thirty years, the American Left has attacked Freedom of Speech as often of not more persistently and vehemently than its lesser intelligent counterparts on the Right. The heinous call to violence by members of extreme groups . . . voices from what we have labelled The Alt-Right, as if Kentucky Fried Chicken ceased being fried the moment we called it KFC . . . this Alt Right is fascist, This is not a debatable point; it is a truth I take to be self-evident . . . am I now on shaky ground? The alt-righters do not have to be KKK or Neo-Nazis to be aligned under umbrellas of fascist dogma and slogans.

“Yet, how could doubt not gain such density as to be a black hole in our midst in an America that can no longer tell the difference between what feels good and what is true, let alone the Truth? Now I do believe in Truth as a direction, as I have always maintained that the notion of Truth is not one of our greater social problems or errors. Misconceived, yes; misunderstood in its function intellectually and socially dialogically, yes. But as a compass heading . . . much the way objectivity can function for us intellectually.

“Have you ever talked to any average “Russian” from any of the former republics of the Soviet Empire and not recognized in his diction the inflections of Soviet propaganda and state sponsored received ideas. Is it accurate to assess the United States as simply the anti-Soviet Union in the way the latter was virtually nothing more than an Anti-America, being the most virulently anti-American state in the world, one that continues today in the guise of the Russian Democratic state, one that continues to sponsor fundamentalist terror everywhere in the world, particularly against American hegemony in one region or another. Are there any greater opponents to this America than you find among many of the refugees from the former republics of the Soviet Union; I’ve never heard as much anti-American rhetoric as I have from Soviet refugees. They are not the only—which is not to say here that there are a majority of these among any people from anywhere including who we call Russians, although most are not Russians and are only Russian speakers, and enough of them not first language Russian speakers. I recall something about defending a person’s right to say what I disagree with, with what I find heinous.

“I would like to say otherwise, but I cannot. What I say I do know is from me in me  . . . my words on the page . . . how do I now say that I know that there are contrary examples . . . but you do not need me to present contrary examples. The contrary examples stand as a received idea . . . or do they? This is not, though, a call for censorship, nor is it an appeal to xenophobia.

“Don’t my opinions stand as the current or the conventionally received ideas from most Americans? What do I know what most Americans think or say? I would have to get stats? But then the misuse of stats, the misapprehension of the significance of stats has become a way for Power to suppress thinking–systematically under educate first, then undermine literacy which undermines writing as well as reading, then set as the only valid way for arguments to be presented is by way of statistics, which in themselves are not even facts, facts and more facts. No, reason, even if the reason of un-reason, the reason of passionate responses will be the only way I approach my topic . . . neither the dogmas of empiricism, nor of the State or of the Status Quo aligned with Money and Power’s use of the dogmas of empiricism to undermine the People’s ability to argue in their defense by setting up a standard by which only elites can garner stats and facts . . . you see where this is going, no? But we have for so long now abandoned what it means to think . . .

“I saw smiles of glee on the faces of a handful of my students after 9/11, former members of the Communist Party I came to assume, former members glad that America recieved such a blow, even if they felt insecure in expressing this, or expressing their vulnerability. But the former enemy of the Soviet Union that these Soviet Jewish Refugees (it was at a Jewish Community House in NYC) had been raised in, formed in, some of them even former members of the Communist Party, a memebership they claimed they had to accept, something I had once been skeptical of, but then I was not there in the Soviet Union. I do not suspect that many are here for the reasons we would like to assume, those who are not in favor of mass deportations, something with which President Obama seems nearly. Communists and Criminals as well as the Good; 1in 3 was a Communist; 1 in 3 was a Criminal . . . or so I used to like to say after having been told by a favorite student of mine. I have been saying for a long time that there are likely a great number of my Pakistani and Arab muslim students who would gladly join in circumscribing by law a great number of rights from women

“Nonetheless, the post 9-11 America had met some of the received Soviet ideas on America, and most of us would rather be right than happy. Many of them certainly proved this that day, and I have not heard anything as vile or as anti-American as what I would hear out of the mouths of some of these refugees, biting as best they could the hand that was feeding them, or so my Americanism says. But then, what comes out of most of the extremes of the Right in America seem peculiarly Anti-American, although themselves adopting a rhetoric that assumes it is quintessentially American, yet in a way the nazis asserted themselves as quintessentially German.

“I do see too much friction in the day-to-day interactions from Chinese who must imagine themselves, I imagine, either superior in their own race suprematist framework, or simply more civilized, although I see too many from China in the laundry I frequent sorting their dirty clothes in the clean clothes baskets, something I see Pakistani women in love with doing as well. I’m not going to go into how I have confronted on a number of occasions, one price for Chinese and another for White and yet a third for non-white/non-Chinese. I have met no people more entrenched and endemic in their racism–it’s palatable in some Chinese business establishments where you can feel that it’s either Chinese only or Chinese first and better. I have seen no people more overt in their race suprematism when adolescent, and you have only to talk to non-Chinese teenagers from Brooklyn Tech or other special High Schools, and what they know Chinese say, and how they feel Chinese act, and what they here Chinese students thinking out loud. I provide no stats because this is not a question of all or most, nor is it even a relative associative mention of many, but simply significant enough in uncounted number to be obvious and felt and experienced by many who are other than Chinese.

“My pessimism for our future is not the nihilism that maintains itself as the center of our intellectual life. It is not similar in any way to our contemporary American anti-intellectual intellectualism, a kind of epistemological confusion on the part of Americans, but American liberals most pronouncedly in how effete they have become, how insipidly they try to protect liberal causes, civil rights, Human rights. It is all linked with the failures of pedagogy, or the pedagogies of failure rife in our schools . . .

“This, of course, is what allowed too many of us American liberals to believe Obama was the answer, when clearly he was not . . . I’ve already seen his responses to the banks and how he continues to help Wall Street more than curtailing it. Obama, if I were to use the language of his rapper friends, is the Banker’s B@#$%. And I know that you now think I have gone too far, that it is okay to enter diatribes against Russians, but certainly not liberal darling Obama. However, what offends me the most is what we in America call liberal or understand now to be liberalism; that is, how we use the word is misguided, misinformed, in articulate, unintelligent. The term lacks definition; it has not been adequately defined for some very long time  . . . and it is important. Just as heinously as any of us calling Obama anything but the moderate Republican he really is, and what any of us have called liberal policy, ideas, thinking . . . has been the people saying, why do we have to label things? Why use the labels Conservative or Liberal . . . as if Americans, in their decades long systematic under-education can handle the classless and party-less society they think they are imagining, in any way except just those ways in which the former two lessenings align with totalitarian structruing of society. Yes, as if any of these questions actually raises any issue other than the one I have been pointing to, systematic under-education.”

Written by jvr

August 6, 2019 at 10:57 am

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