Just a quick thought on the upcoming Saturn Pluto conjunction. Usually associated with deprivation and economic hardship, and major wars, it also carries a sense of repression of freedom. I wonder whether, casting its shadow before the exact aspect in 2019, is may also be connected to the present slide towards intolerance and denunciation out in twitter land and indeed on university campuses. What is puzzling amongst today’s young is their reversion to a kind of puritanism away from a liberal past. As Matt Ridley points out in today’s Times, it is similar to the shift from louche Regency into Victorian strait-laced morality; or before that the coming of Oliver Cromwell, which was a joyless and mercifully brief excursion away from decadent monarchy.
The myth that history means progress doesn’t take account of the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. Who’d have thought all we fought for in terms of liberation would be stamped on by the young, desperate to protect their delicate sensitivities? Mildly erotic classical paintings are being hastily removed to the basement out of sight; To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn have been banned in the US since they make students uncomfortable. Protected spaces are undermining free speech and denying the young the opportunity to learn about – life. And the new can’t-upset-anyone movement is, in the UK, allowing Sharia Law to spread and effectively preventing many Muslim women from enjoying the same freedom that others have.
What this whole twitter rage-feste which attempts to destroy any alternative viewpoint suggests to me is fascism, or Stalinism which comes to much the same thing.
London analyst Christopher Bollas writes of the fascist state of mind that it “entertains no doubt or uncertainty”. Distortion of the views of opponents to render them less intelligible and credible is the first move. They have to be discredited because no separation of view is possible from the accepted one. Denigration, character assassination and caricaturing are their weapons. French analyst Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel echoes the same thought when talking of group delusions: “He who does not think as the group does is excluded, harassed, killed or declared insane.”
If all of the above is a side effect of Saturn Pluto, it means we are in for another two years of it, which is a real bore. Roll on Aquarius.