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The Reality of Contemporary Life
Yesterday, the FBI executed a search warrant and entered former President Trump’s home at Mar-A-Lago to seize documents.
The TV coverage has remarked, since the news broke, about how unprecedented such a measure is:
What surprises me, though, is how many moments like this we’ve lived through lately:
Unprecedented wealth accumulated by the ultra-rich
An “unprecedented perfect storm” of economic factors
The list can go on and on. There was the seemingly unprecedented act by Trump of siding with a foreign power instead of his own intelligence apparatus. The manner in which Trump publicly called for Russia to interfere with the election. The 2016 implication of violence toward his political opponent Hillary Clinton, which the Secret Service was obliged to respond to.
I’d like to suggest a term for this phenomenon: precedented unprecedentism.
We have no shortage of unprecedented events that are happening at an incredible pace. It’s hard for anyone but the very wealthy to feel buttressed against the unrelenting siege of change.
That sentiment was captured perfectly by @mattbooshell on TikTok:
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Yes, these developments are unprecedented. But also, it just feels the continuation of the same developments that we’ve been witness to for years.
So in that way, there’s precedence.
It’s tiring. One hopes, however, that some of these unprecedented changes will benefit more than just the powerful.
Thanks for reading!
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