Chaos, as Hesiod puts it, “was the first thing that came to be.” In a three-generation struggle, Zeus at last succeeded in imposing civilized order on the chaotic substrate of the cosmos. Chaos, for Hesiod, might be first, but order is last; and order is infinitely preferable to Chaos. In Hesiod’s story, after Zeus settles matters with the violent Titans (the Jotuns of Scandinavian myth), he must face one more challenge in the arousal of Typhon or Python, the Chaos-Monster. In Hesiod’s vision of things, Chaos always lies in wait to erupt on order and subvert it. Order is a struggle. Chaos is the lapse back into what is easiest and most primitive. So too in the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the Several States of America, order is a latter imposition on Chaos, but Chaos lurks in its lair, ready to squirm out again and mess up the just apportionment of the civilized dispensation. Thus, as the Drudge Report rehearses, “Agitators Plot Inauguration Chaos.” What else would they plot? After all, their motto is, “It is forbidden to forbid.” That is to say, order is forbidden; Chaos is mandated – and the Law is the enemy of the crowd. Drudge quotes a Daily Caller story as follows: “On the day of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration protesters are planning an anti-capitalist march, road blockades and disruptions to inauguration balls…
“The protests will likely include property destruction, a source with intimate knowledge of the protest plans told The Daily Caller Friday.” Naturally, as the same report details, “Organizers for #DisruptJ20 are planning to kick off the inauguration protests on Jan. 18 with a gay dance party outside of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Chevy Chase, MD home.”
The refutation of the Left’s historical inevitability signified by Donald Trump’s electoral victory (and, given the voting irregularities in California, his popular-vote victory) has resulted in the unraveling of the second reality in which America’s socialists have long comfortably dwelt, leaving them in a state of hysterical discomfiture. Not to mention persnicketyness, conniption-fits, and uncontrollable, foaming-at-the-mouth hydrophobia. At the upcoming presidential inauguration ceremony, the Left’s community organizers plan “disruptive” (and no doubt “transgressive”) demonstrations and panoplies. Leftists intend to implement their usual “community organizing” routines in opposition to the incoming administration’s first day and public celebrations.
Community organizing has a long history. In I See Satan Fall Like Lighting, the late René Girard recurs to the story, retailed by Philostratus in his Life of Apollonius of Tyana, of the “Beggar at Ephesus.” Philostratus, to identify him, was a Pagan snob who, in his disdain for Christianity, let himself be persuaded by Lady Julia, the reigning emperor’s wife, to write a biography of the Pagan Counter-Christ Apollonius of Tyana. Who was the Beggar at Ephesus? In Philostratus’ narrative, Ephesus is suffering from a plague, but Girard notes that in ancient prose “plague” often has other than a medical connotation. It seems to refer, in many instances, to social unrest, civic disintegration, and the triumph of violent resentment over the lawful order of the polis. In The Life, Apollonius, receiving the complaint of the Ephesians, bi-locates instantaneously to their city and begins to harangue them. He persuades them to accompany him to the city’s theater.
There, Apollonius points out an old beggar, well-known to the citizens and treated decently by them for many years. Apollonius tells the Ephesians that the beggar is not actually a human being; but rather he is a demon in disguise, who has sent the plague among them. If they would like to dispel the plague, they should all take up stones and hurl their missiles at the grizzled old man. The Ephesians are at first reluctant to heed this advice, but the community organizer continues to harangue them until one desperate soul throws the first stone. After that, it proves progressively easier for each next citizen to throw his stone, until finally the old beggar is covered in a mini-pyramid of stones. When the crowd pushes the stones away, they discover that the “beggar” was a hound-like demon. Feeling justified in their murder, and reconciled with one another, they depart happy and resolve to set up a statue of the “Averting God” in their civic arena.
Seeing its second reality disintegrate, the Left has fallen back on its one script: Community organizing. Gazing on anything not itself, the Left sees demons everywhere. According to the Daily Caller, protesters have “plans to ‘crash’ the pro-Trump ‘Deploraball’”; and the same source promised “that several of the balls on inauguration night will be disrupted as well.”
Meanwhile – lest the claim that the Left is reacting with sacrificial impetuosity to what it perceives as a crisis of demons – we read this: “Opera star Andrea Bocelli backed out of singing at Donald Trump’s inauguration after receiving death threats, The Mail on Sunday has learnt. The revelation came as another singer – Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday – last night pulled out of the President-elect’s festivities after being threatened and branded an Uncle ‘Tom.’ When blind tenor Bocelli announced he would not sing at this Friday’s celebration, it was widely reported it was because fans had said they would boycott his concerts and records.”