The Pulse: New York

Prophecy 2: Fax Americana

Potest solum unum vox pop

There can be only one voice of the people

Quintus Curtius Rufus realized that History wasn't so much the attitude one took toward events, but the attitude one took toward that attitude. History, once glossed by the Reality of the Market and the Hand of Things, lost all its partiality. This was because the writing of true history was itself guided by Things, by the world as it was — not by what the government or liberal academics wanted it to be. If history ceased to be written in the interest of the Hand that guided It, all it amounted to was fake news.

If the emperor believed he was a god, and if he believed that his nation was above all other nations, then it befitted his subjects to acknowledge this new reality, instead of going on about the Olden Days, Augustinian bricks and marble, the fabled Republic, Paxes Romana or otherwise. Let them jabber about Romana or Britannica. At no other time in the history of mankind had one nation accumulated so much power or so many things. Even Xerxes Kardashian was green with envy.

Curtius just had to look around him to confirm that he was once again at the centre of the world. 

The "Tellus" panel of the Ara Pacis (Altar of Augustan Peace), 9 BC, in the Museum of the Ara Pacis, Rome

The "Tellus" panel of the Ara Pacis (Altar of Augustan Peace), 9 BC, in the Museum of the Ara Pacis, Rome

But somehow being the greatest power on earth wasn't enough.

The recent bout of anxiety began at 1:07 PM in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. Here, the Leader-in-Chief declared that the U.S. now recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The announcement set on fire the hair of several dozen Reformed Jews in the tri-state area. Of course Jerusalem would be the capital, eventually. Yet announcing this prematurely — without also announcing that East Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital, and without giving context to the ongoing negotiations — weakened America's position as a negotiator. More worryingly, it also made Jews look like the Americanized bullies the Palestinians accused them of being. 

Some of the older rabbis worried about the manner of the announcement, rather than the announcement itself. It was the way it was shouted out — without context, without learning. They were happy to have the blond and buxom likes of Ivanka in their ranks, but did they really want her schmuck of a father speaking for Israel? And although the rabbis all differed on how an American president should deal with enemies of the State, they all agreed that a turban looked better than that thing on his head.

When they looked up into the sky, the rabbis didn't hear the voice of God. They diddn't see a break in the clouds — not even a fissure through which some angel might trumpet better news. All they heard was the blast of right-wing evangelical Christian trumpets, and the all they saw was a gleaming steel building rising into the heavens. Trumpet Tower. This, they feared, was the only trumpeting place that mattered to the powers that be.

"To the trumpeting place" stone from the Jerusalem Archaeology Garden in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; Author: Yoav Dothan, Wikimedia Commons

"To the trumpeting place" stone from the Jerusalem Archaeology Garden in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; Author: Yoav Dothan, Wikimedia Commons

Yet Curtius didn't complain. The trains were running on time. The factories were operating full blast, and the stores were bursting with new items. America was the best of all possible worlds. History itself — the pounding of the great Demiurge upon the physical substance of the material world — was once again being guided by the Invisible Hand. This Hand had maintained its grasp since the days of Alexander and Augustus, Tiberius, and Gaius. Today, history was guided by a Destiny ever more Manifest. America, Primus Inter Gentes.

Curtius had little respect for historians who ignored these facts. Who ignored, for instance, that Jerusalem was "the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times" and that its recognition "is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality." He knew that fake historians would try to invent convoluted arguments against these facts. They would concoct spurious theories based on what they called archaeological evidence, evidence that they themselves admitted didn't exist. They would claim that since there's no evidence for the First Temple, and since all that's left of the Second Temple is a stone or two, therefore the Jewish claim on the city is hardly more convincing than that of the Palestinians. Some would even collaborate with the infidels and argue that the Hebrews were in fact Canaanites.

Other historians conceded that the trains were running on time, yet they went on to concoct all sorts of hyperbolic lies. One of these so-called historians wrote a bizarre piece in the liberal rag, The Frantic Atlantic. Curtius couldn't decide if it was a straight-forward parody of the present government, or if it was a parody of those who made it their object of parody. The piece was called "The Storm Troopers Return."

 ——-

Next: Prester John

The Pulse Contents