I can’t remember where I saw this linked, but this piece on cosmic dualism from 2004 is well worth reading. Apparently the Manicheans have had a raw deal:
as orthodox dualists, they believed that the forces of Good and Evil were not engaged in some continuous and messianic struggle, but rather that their contrasting presence was the very basis of the spiritual order. For the Manicheans, this dualism constituted the structure of the spiritual world that framed each individual’s relationship with reality. Everyone, they believed, would benefit from identifying the presence of Evil within themselves and should endeavor a personal journey to allow Good to dominate.
The War On Terror, in particular, is more Zoroastrian than it’s Manichean (and it’s not very Zoroastrian).
But the real reason I’m posting is because of an informative comment left by a reader:
The term “Manichean” is also one applied to a person from Manchester, England. Indeed, when I first saw the title to Skinner’s piece, that I thought that was to whom he was referring and wondered why those from Manchester would really care about American political elections, other than most casually.
Well, up to a point.
Relatedly, after the Roses fell apart somebody painted “RENI LIVES” in big letters on the old railway bridge down the road – which was accurate and supportive but a bit odd, given that nobody had suggested he was dead. A friend of mine said that somebody should add the words “ROUND HERE”, which would have made it equally accurate and more informative.