APOCALYPSE AT TRUMP TOWER
Jewish and Christian prophets were not fortune tellers who just predicted the future. These ethical visionaries would use the events of their age to teach the larger ethical principles that set human destinies toward life or death.
The word “apocalypse” originally meant to take the lid off a container in order to reveal what is inside. The fatal fire in Trump Tower is just such an “apocalyptic” moment.
It is an old, old story. A billionaire owner, it only happens to be Donald Trump, successfully lobbied against installing sprinklers in his high-rise apartments. Within the mindset of capitalism untethered from human obligations, it made sense to protect the billionaire’s profits by letting him work around safety regulations. And because the unscrupulous rich have convinced Americans that lawsuits are often frivolous and need to be capped, it is sometimes “cheaper” for owners to pay off lawsuits from someone dying than it is to prevent such deaths in the first place.
The price of human misery doesn’t show up on the ledger.
After the tragedy, the billionaire owner showed more concern over the reputation of his building than the human who burned to death under his watch. If the prophets were to speak to us today, I suspect they would tell us to take the “lid” off this event. I think they would say this one event tells us everything we need to know about our future under a form of predatory capitalism. Even our most agonizing and preventable deaths may be just a cost of doing business for someone who has surrendered heart and mind to this completely artificial system of values.