355 – The US Presidential elections: A preview from the past

Posted on January 27, 2016 by


Shigeru MIZUKI has published a three-volume manga: History of Japan Showa. It is a mix of both micro-history (his growing up in that period) and macro-history: Japan during the first part of Hirohito’s reign.

The following quote may apply to the forthcoming US Presidential election:


(One reads the balloons from right to left)

The third balloon is a powerful indictment of the current doctrine that in a joist of ideas “the best idea will win” – the muscular, the better. When people are no longer able to determine for themselves the rights and wrongs of the arguments, they’ll go for conviction – no matter how preposterous the claims. Conviction is strongest when unfettered by facts.[1] Facts call for caution, doubt, ambivalence, and inclusiveness. Listeners construe prudence as weakness.[2]

Siding with the loudest may be a good heuristic in absence of discriminating fact. There is safety in numbers, and “follow the leader” is a way out of aporia. Better, I reckon, that being caught up in doubt like Buridan’s ass – starving for sure.

Mother nature would agree:


PIC FROM DAISY GILARDINI/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Polar bear cub hitching a ride on mamas bum at Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada)

[1]           See: Harry G. FRANKFURT (2005): On bullshit. Princeton University Press, Princeton. Also: Cass R. SUNSTEIN (2009): Going to extremes. How like minds unite and divide. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

[2]           This observation reflects my experience on the hustings, trying to argue the benefits (and costs) of the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA) in Switzerland- or maybe I was just a lousy orator.

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