I had wanted to write the following:

it is their own inimitous ardency, rather than peace, that transfixes them.

Yet I discover that “inimitous” is not considered to be a word.  I find that somewhat unfortunate, but I’m not sure that I should trust myself to invent it – not because I have anything against inventing words, but because I doubt it would be understood as I meant it, and, though I was enjoying myself at the time I came up with it, and was not placing some idea of broad communication ahead of whatever I wanted to communicate, I was not writing in a mode, or thinking of myself as writing in a mode, the poetic mode, in which enjoyment or self-enjoyment was to be taken as a primary and adequate end in itself. I was trying to make a point and share a thought that I already had reason to suspect might not be welcomed.

What did I mean or did I think I meant by “inimitous ardency”?  Clearly I was in part feeling my way to an idea of “enmity,” but also perhaps just feeling “enmitous.” A clause I had just struck from the text emphasized that the ardency to which I was referring relied on the isolation or construction of enemies or enemy images, but I was also thinking of a recent unpleasant series of exchanges with a young anarcho-pacifist on Twitter, and was coloring the recollection with moments of unpleasantness in relation to discussion with my good pacifist-universalist friend Mr. Miller.

I may yet put “enmitous” or the full clause back in the “thought,” but only after I’ve had a chance to consider how the irony of pointing to someone else’s putative “enmity”-ness works – that is how it looks to be expressing what may be taken as enmity towards others for their supposedly showing unconscious or unacknowledged enmity while pretending to be in some way above enmity or at least above crude forms of enmity.

Yet “inimitous” also looks like and might work as a deprecatory (too obscure to qualify as fully derisive) variation on “inimitable.”  Inimitous ardency might be the ardency of someone who thinks him-/herself inimitable, is trying to “stand out” as unique, but is really just offering up more of the same-old – like the pacifist who is really just engaging in public masturbation, no different in some important and self-undermining, hypocritical way from non-pacifists, but perhaps also like the blogger who thinks he’s thinking something interestingly novel…

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

4 comments on “inimitously

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  1. I like Frog’s responses here. Seriously, why not stick with the poetic connection? Maybe the word is a poem in itself?

  2. And along those lines (poetry), I want it known here that my intention is to push you into visionary philosophy. If you read Wilber, and step into the present with Hegelian hutzpah, and let a whole Blake-Milton thing happen with your poetry in a modern context, the world benefits. Understanding Schmitt is beneath you in other words. You can push world consciousness into new places.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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