The Grand Design

A shadow play, this whole goddamn American hustle. Big men in their smoke-filled rooms, puppeteers with blood-diamond rings, jerking the strings of a nation built on the backs of the tired and yearning. They spin dreams of El Dorados across the briny expanse, luring the huddled masses with snake-oil promises and the glint of illusory opportunity.

These hopefuls, calloused hands clutching dreams like worn passports, arrive with eyes wide and pockets empty. They’re fed into the meat grinder of industry, their labor a lubricant for the gears that churn out profit for the unseen masters. But just as the discontent starts to simmer, a dark magic trick is performed. The puppeteers, with a smirk as practiced as a vaudeville routine, unleash the spectres of xenophobia – the “Other” as a convenient scapegoat.

Suddenly, the anger boils over, but not towards the unseen hands that orchestrated the whole damn ballet. No, the fury is directed at the very victims of the scheme, the immigrants painted as job stealers and culture vultures. A beautiful misdirection, a shell game worthy of a three-card monte champion.

Meanwhile, down in the labyrinthine corridors of power, laws are drafted and passed with the efficiency of a pickpocket. Laws that tighten the elite’s grip, disguised in legalese so dense it could choke a condor. The masses, distracted by the flickering phantoms of immigration and the cacophony of hate-mongering, barely bat an eyelash.

The supposed champions of the downtrodden, the bleeding hearts with their anthems of equality, are blind to the grand design. Pawns in another game, chasing after a symbolic carrot while the real feast is devoured by the ones in the shadows. The right, frothing at the mouth about some mythical erosion of their “whiteness,” become unwitting attack dogs for the very system that exploits them.

And so the cycle perpetuates, a self-sustaining machine of manipulation and deflection. The puppeteers, masters of the grand illusion, keep the strings taut, ensuring the real power dynamic remains shrouded in a fog of manufactured outrage. The American tapestry, woven with threads of contradiction and continuity, unfurls like a never-ending carnival sideshow, a mesmerizing spectacle that obscures the gears and levers that truly make it tick.


Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, was a man marinated in vice. Wine, a crimson serpent, coiled around his mornings, slithered through lunch, and tightened its grip at dinner. Beer, a frothy trollop yeasty serpent, slithered down his gullet between courses, leaving a trail of burps that could curdle milk. And cigarettes, glowing embers of damnation, were his constant companions, wisping their tendrils of addiction into his lungs. Tobacco, a fiery succubus, latched onto his lips, whispering sweet oblivion in puffs of acrid smoke.

And when the sun dipped below the horizon, Bismarck wouldn’t be caught dead (well, not yet) with a mug of chamomile tea. Sleep? A mere drunken stupor, a surrender to the green fumes of absinthe that clouded his dreams. No, sleep arrived on a flood tide of schnapps, a potent oblivion that painted the world a blurry shade of Prussian ambition.

At the Berlin Conference, where they carved Africa like a rotten melon, Bismarck wasn’t just a player, he was a force of nature fueled by fermented grapes and barley. Pickled herrings, those translucent messengers of the deep, found their way into his maw with a two-handed frenzy. Bismarck wasn’t a statesman, he was a fiend at a banquet. Pickled herrings, those translucent messengers of decay, found their way into his maw with a speed that defied cutlery. Two hands, like meat hooks, wrestled the oily fish, a grotesque ballet fueled by schnapps and avarice. The room reeked of power, sweat, and pickled fish, a fitting olfactory accompaniment to the dismemberment of a continent.

Was he drunk? Who the hell cared. Drunk or sober, Bismarck was a shark in a feeding frenzy, and Africa, dripping and glistening, was the blood in the water. One imagines the negotiations, a grand guignol of ink-stained maps and diplomatic double-entendres, punctuated by the belch of a man pickled himself, both literally and figuratively. The ink on the treaties might as well have been blood, Bismarck’s own fiery spirit staining the parchment. A whirlwind of diplomacy and debauchery, the Iron Chancellor left a trail of fumes and fumes alone in his wake.

One could argue Bismarck’s boozy brilliance was a double-edged sword, a Molotov cocktail of realpolitik served lukewarm. Sure, he unified Germany under a Prussian fist, but was it a foundation built on sand, mortared with hangover sweat?

It was the first domino in Germany’s tragic waltzing with oblivion. Imagine the map of Africa being carved up not by a steely-eyed statesman, but by a bleary-eyed baron with a tremor in his hand. Did the borders of the Congo sprawl outwards because Bismarck saw double after a particularly potent schnapps?

Perhaps. And perhaps those shaky lines, drawn in a haze of hops and hangover, laid the groundwork for future conflicts. Resources, resentment, a festering sense of injustice – a potent cocktail, even without the booze.

Then consider the domino effect. Bismarck’s legacy, built on unsteady legs, crumbles. The power vacuum sucks in a new breed of leader, hungry and paranoid. Enter Hitler, a teetotaler fueled by a different kind of intoxication – a twisted ideology that had him high as a🪁 (kite) on delusions of grandeur.

So yes, there’s a delicious irony, wouldn’t you say? Bismarck, the boozer, might have unwittingly paved the way for a dry drunk who’d plunge the world into a firestorm. The Iron Chancellor, brought low not by iron, but by cirrhosis. A cautionary tale, indeed, for leaders who confuse a full flagon with a full head.

Perhaps, if Bismarck had swapped the schnapps for seltzer, things might have been different. But that’s just another line in the mad scribble of history, a “what if” lost in the haze of his perpetual inebriation.One could argue Bismarck’s boozy statecraft was a recipe for Deutschland’s descent into the inferno. Imagine, the fate of entire nations decided by a man reeking of stale beer and pickled brine! His proclamations, no doubt, slurred pronouncements delivered through a haze of nicotine and schnapps.

It’s a heady cocktail of speculation, for sure. But with Bismarck swigging wine at breakfast and Hitler frothing at the podium, one can’t help but wonder if Germany just couldn’t find the right balance. Perhaps the answer wasn’t rock bottom or uptight abstinence, but a healthy dose of moderation. A nation, like a man, needs a clear head to navigate the treacherous waters of history.

All Writing Is Re-writing

The idea that all writing is rewriting is a popular adage in the world of literature, and it certainly holds true for historians. As they piece together the events of the past and create narratives that make sense of it all, historians are in effect re-writing the past in a way that helps us better understand the present. But what does this really mean, and how does it impact our understanding of history?

First, let’s consider what it means to rewrite something. In the context of writing, rewriting is the process of revising and editing a draft until it is polished and ready for publication. This involves making changes, adding or removing material, and generally improving the overall quality of the work. When historians write about the past, they are essentially doing the same thing. They are taking raw data in the form of primary sources like documents, artifacts, and testimonies, and crafting a story that we can understand.

But why do historians need to rewrite the past in the first place? One reason is that the raw data of history can be incomplete or inconsistent. For example, different sources might offer different perspectives on the same event, and historians must weigh these perspectives against each other to create a coherent narrative. Additionally, some sources might be biased or unreliable, requiring historians to sift through the evidence to determine what is fact and what is fiction. Through the process of rewriting, historians can create a more accurate and comprehensive picture of the past.

Historians have the task of reconstructing the past and interpreting it in a way that makes sense in the present. However, this process is not as straightforward as it may seem. The past is not a fixed and objective reality but rather a complex and multidimensional field of virtualities, potentials, and possibilities. In other words, the past is a Deleuzian multiplicity that can be re-written from various perspectives, depending on the conceptual tools and discursive strategies that the historian employs.

From a Deleuzian perspective, the past is not a linear sequence of events but a rhizomatic network of connections and becomings. The Deleuzian rhizome is a non-hierarchical and non-linear mode of thinking that emphasizes the creative potential of difference and multiplicity. It is a way of thinking that challenges the traditional binary oppositions and dualities that have dominated Western thought for centuries, such as subject/object, mind/body, nature/culture, and so on.

All historians re-write the past from a Deleuzian perspective, they adopt a rhizomatic mode of thinking that emphasizes the diversity of perspectives, the complexity of interactions, and the contingency of events. By imposing a course in events, they recognize that there is no single objective truth or interpretation of the past but rather a plurality of subjective and situated perspectives that are shaped by historical, cultural, and ideological factors.

Some have argued that historical events and processes are not determined by fixed and universal laws but rather by contingent and context-specific logics. We identify four logics of historical explanation: eventful, conjunctural, structural, and cultural. Each logic highlights a different aspect of the past and requires a different conceptual framework and methodology.

For instance, the eventful logic focuses on the contingency of individual actions and the unpredictability of outcomes. The conjunctural logic emphasizes the interdependence of various factors and the emergence of new configurations. The structural logic highlights the patterns of power and inequality that shape social relations. The cultural logic emphasizes the meanings, symbols, and values that inform human behavior.

Moreover, historians are not simply passive observers of the past, but active participants in shaping our understanding of it. They make choices about what stories to tell and how to tell them, and these choices have real-world consequences. For example, a historian who writes a biography of a famous historical figure might influence how that figure is remembered and celebrated in popular culture. This can shape our understanding of the past and our cultural identity in the present.

In conclusion, the idea that all writing is rewriting holds true for historians as well. Through the process of re-writing the past, historians create a narrative that helps us make sense of the world we live in today. While this process is necessarily subjective and influenced by the needs of the present, it plays a critical role in helping us understand our own history and identity.