I write books no one reads. I even have trouble reading them. I used to write conventional books with real publishers. But that ended in the 1990s. It was then that the Word "Unprecedented" branded itself on my brain. The author of this word, the one who sent it to me, was the late philosopher Jacques Derrida.

Derrida wrote that after Nietzsche, the holocaust, and WW2, the unprecedented was the only thing that could save the world from a dismal and tragic repetition of the past. I copied his statement as the preamble for my first self-published book, "Abba's Way." I am not trying to sell you anything.

This is a story.

The word popped up again today in the piece that I have embedded below. In it, Richard Haas suggests that the US has invented a third way for empires to decline -- by the abdication of leadership and responsibility.

AXIOS had the random prescience to note that this is an "unprecedented" happening. Because it was in reference to what Trump has been doing, I was forced to ask a serious question.

Can the unprecedented Deridda longed for and saw as a necessity be the decline of the United States of America? Can a nation which for good or ill has been a leader, now recede to secondary status? Is Trump's MAGA a call to retreat with tail tucked between legs?

If I follow this line of thought, I certainly do not conclude we are headed for some humiliating fate.

I am trying to read this sign as I meant it in my book, born on the main drag of Neitzsche's Sils Maria, my answer to Zarathustra. The answer then is the answer now. The unprecedented is the recovery of what is worth saving in Christianity and in the USA -- that is goodness. It is not creedal religion nor the military-industrial legacy of our exaggerated image of how hostile the rest of the world is.

The resolution of this thought-journey for me was the iteration I call triadic philosophy. This effort results in a world where people try to be decent with modest success and a clear recognition of fallibility. It gets rid of perfectionism. It overcomes binary and nominalistic thinking. It links Jesus and realism. It has no truck with neoliberalism.

It unites C. S. Peirce, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein.

Beyond the binary

I have written and self-published book after book since the 90s and all of them say much the same thing. They go unread. They have no celebrity and shun the very idea. They downplay leadership and characterizing. They bitterly identify cars as the villain of our current ecological and urban disaster. They seek to articulate a spirituality all might embrace -- at least the ethics part if nothing else.

That would be tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy.