An Emergent Cosmopolis

Educational Projects: Foundations: Donald Trump I

It's becoming clear that any assessment of President Trumps foundational stance using the evidence provided by these two public speeches will be incomplete without an answer to the question of what he is actually doing as opposed to what he says he will do. At some future point, we may have to delve into the question of his public record for the first two years of his presidency, but for now I'd like to draw your attention to a little known document titled "National Security Strategy of the United States of America" dated December 2017, commissioned by President Trump. This document not only provides direct evidence of what he is doing but gives the rational for many of his actions in office.

This is the third testing of a research methodology for working out the foundational stance based on a detailed video chosen for the way in which the person presents who he really is, i.e., his core value. Note how evaluating the previous attempt has lead to an improvement of our technique.

June 12, 2019

First viewing of President Trump's address to CPAC

The attached notes covers:

  1. the initial reactions of the views, plus a few points by the team leader to keep in mind
  2. the place his speech has within the conference (prior and post conference activities)
  3. hints as to the underlying context, especially the enlargement of the Peterson's Non-Present Presence NPP

The interesting twist in this our third attempt to objectify a person's foundational stance is that we will be comparing two different presentations in order to see if there is any significant change from one context to another.

NOTE: We will resume this thread in September. In the meantime I'm working on The Project, an attempt to pull together over 14 years of work. RCB

July 3, 2019

General discussion + two short videos

  1. Lonergan's methodology as the third organum, with the first being the shift from plainchant to Western harmonic classical music and the second the development of a specialized heuristic structure for the study of the empirical world. The first brought us the great symphonies while the second the creation of wealth. What will the third bring? (Hint: the JesusLand Existential Crisis of 3013-15?)
  2. Two short videos, one by Victor Davis Hanson on the deleterious effects of three post-modern ideologies he names Multiculturalism, Utopian Pacifism, and Moral Equivalence, and the other by Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle on whether or not Christianity is the essential basis for freedom and prosperity.
  3. An article by Bruce Thornton titled "The Pandemic of False Knowledge." This is especially important for any cosmopolis work that attempts to reveal our own and society's blind spots.

State of the Union Address

February 5, 2019

President Trump's Full United Nations General Assembly Speech, 2019

Two Alternatives

September 17, 2019

Workshop resumes

The Problem: both Peterson and Prager were not well known by the group, so the investigations went quite well. The same cannot be said about Trump, a polarizing figure at the best of times. So the challenge is to set aside our mutual common sense media based opinions to tackle a more theoretical project in the realm of interiority. On top of this, our strategy for sneaking up to a foundational stance also needs to adopt to these new needs.


The connection is to extend the notion of a "Non-Present Presence" as an "X" to be known, using the lower blade of Prager/Peterson/Trump videos as the data source and a number of upper blade operations to anticipate what there is to be known. The details are laid out in the attached pdf file.

June 26, 2019

Second viewing of CPAC

The attached notes deal with business, not the Donald's speech. Business includes:

  1. A reminder that we are not a discussion group but a research team dedicated to actualizing Lonergan's notion of a cosmopolis.
  2. That in the case of both CPAC and SOTU we might have to investigate President's Trump's actions, in the belief that actions speak louder than words.
  3. The context for Prager's speech lay with the loss of the American founders belief in natural law; that of Peterson, the Utopian "non-present presence"; but what about President Trump's context? To liven the discussion, a framing by Richard Fernandez of PJ Media is offered as an example of one such context.

September 22, 2019

Preliminary Cut of the "X" to be Known

In the previous session we found a way to move from the Prager/Peterson studies into a broader range of foundational evaluation analysis. As laid out in the prior pdf, we have an upper blade of theory that allows us to anticipate what is to be known and a lower blade of data from the Prager/Peterson/Trump studies. The connecting point is the "Un-Present Presence" with which all three actors are engaged.


Here we lay out an initial cut of the key players forcing the fundamental institutional changes working themselves out in our times. These include:

  1. A dysfunctional and incompetent Western "elite"
  2. The "deplorables" who are forced to deal with a pretentious "credentialed" elite
  3. The resurfacing of a totalitarian Islamic "religion" grounded in a 7th century mentality
  4. The rise of yet another fascist "elite" known as the CCP.

What we are seeking are clues to the recurring schemes of operations that define at the theoretical level current institutional change that are set in the context of two radical historical changes:

  1. The Christ event with its shift to human dignity for even the lowly in society as well as the notion of the "suffering servant" as the true leaders of the world.
  2. The invention of a wealth-creating institutional framework that allows for and indeed demands the creation of wealth when for the vast span of human existence wealth could only be attained by taking it from others.

In both case a new question has emerged into public consciousness, one in which the ruling elite are judged in terms of their success or failure to enhance the human good. No longer are the elite allowed to do as they might, as their "divine" right.


There is the possibility of a third major tectonic shift, one involving the control of meaning at a time when there are only two ways to control language: force and/or the hard sciences. This is the approach we are trying to work out in our application of Lonergan's thoughts on method.

Conservative Political Action Conference

(CPAC) 2019

Or Both?

June 19, 2019

First viewing of President Trump's 2019 SOTU Address

Attached notes cover:

  1. The general context of SOTU Addresses
  2. The specific political context surrounding the 2019 Address
  3. Initial comments from the Cosmopolis Research Director