The Clare Spark Blog

June 30, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:45 pm
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painting by Mark Henson

painting by Mark Henson

When Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama make the argument for drastic action to curtail “climate change” they will invariably deploy the term “connectedness” (implying 1. that “humanity” is “interdependent” and 2. that Mother Nature is imperiled and that all sensible creatures must take drastic measures to rescue Her: doctrines and recipes that may fit with “pantheism”).

This blog is about a disquieting dream I had last night in which the English language suddenly lost all meaning, being reduced to words that signified nothing. Perhaps it was triggered by the loss of facticity in the discourses of those “Greens” who swear by “settled science” (a contradiction in terms, as the heart of scientific method is ever “unsettled”, unlike, say, political ideologies/religions).

Or perhaps the dream had nothing to do with the latest shibboleths regarding “ecology”, but was triggered by the loss of focus and memory engendered by mass media, which never explores the connectedness of an event with history and context, but rather moves from one sensational event to another, with no overall analysis of what the series of experiences might have on various viewers or listeners. (See

But above all, Hillary Clinton’s notion of “connectedness” is a feeling that evokes the “village” mentality she seeks to evoke, that fantasy of small town or family mutual caring before the anomie of the (heartless) Mammon-worshipping cities made the scene. (

Or, have most words lost their meaning as “ignorant armies clash by night”?

Or, to protect my sanity, am I utterly disconnected from current events, feeling helpless to avert their threatening character?



  1. A very disquieting dream! For without meaningful words, civil discourse (grounded in transmissible historical knowledge) is impossible, and tyrants great and petty step forward to protect us from chaos they generated themselves. Most words have not lost their meaning, but the trend toward doublespeak is accelerating. Certainly the panderers who claim that science can be “settled” are cynically and corruptly dismantling part of what civilization has achieved with enormous effort. Those of us who feel “disconnected” are the ones who remember meaningful words, as in the American Constitution.

    Comment by Robert W Franson — July 1, 2016 @ 4:45 am | Reply

  2. Clare, my thinking on this theme is that we need to borrow one of Burke’s ideas, namely that the loss of organised religion with its disciplines of mind, has not resulted in increasing scepticism and rationalism but has unfettered the religious instinct in mankind with the result that this force is re-emerging in multiple ways. I think this can be seen when looking at the political “religions” of Nazism and Communism or the cult-like behaviour of those described as “cultural marxists” (yes, I know – see your other blogs) in academia and activism.
    So, the idea of “connectedness” seems to me to be an unconscious assertion of the animistic principle – the world is alive, organic and we are a part of it. It’s a form of unconscious neo-paganism taking root as a pseudo-political sentiment in society.
    My thoughts.

    Comment by wien1938 — June 30, 2016 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

    • I agree that we are part of the world, but that does not erase the distinctions I seek to preserve—such as developed and underdeveloped; modern and pre-modern. Burke was an apologist for aristocratic rule and the medieval order–the great chain of being, as Arthur Lovejoy described it.

      Comment by clarelspark — June 30, 2016 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

      • I don’t believe that Burke was an apologist for aristocratic rule but a defender of a different mode of understanding when compared with the modern thought coming out of France. Wearing my historian’s hat, those distinctions are difficult to maintain as concepts such as the rule of law emerge over a long period and are defined by a steady process of definition and defence against arbitrary rule.

        Comment by wien1938 — June 30, 2016 @ 8:58 pm

      • It is true about the rule of law. Burke, however, was a Whig until the French Revolution, when he became a stalwart Tory, and had a famous interchange with Tom Paine. It was Burke who lamented the passing of the age of “chivalry.”

        Comment by clarelspark — June 30, 2016 @ 9:57 pm

      • Ah. I can’t stand Thomas Paine. Tells a lot about me.

        Comment by wien1938 — July 2, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

      • You don’t have to like Burke just because you loathe Tom Paine.

        Comment by clarelspark — July 2, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

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