By Edward Curtin
When Bobby, Jr. was young, his father handed him a book and said with urgency, “I want you to read this.” It was Albert Camus’s The Plague. He read it and it has informed his life ever since. Just as in 1968, we live in plague times, and the plague is US, it runs through all our institutions and, as in Camus’s books, the rats are running wild, devouring truth and the values that can redeem us. As he has written in his beautiful and important book, American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family, Camus’s analysis of Sisyphus and the ancient Greeks has taught him an important lesson:
It is neither our position nor our circumstances that define us, according to the Stoics, but our response to those circumstance; when destiny crushes us, small heroic gestures of courage and service can bring us peace and fulfillment. In applying our shoulder to the stone, we give order to a chaotic universe. Of the many wonderful things my father left me, this philosophical truth was perhaps the most useful. In many ways, it has defined my life, and has allowed me to find serenity and purpose even in the most trying and tragic circumstances. (p.287)
Despite its brilliance, American Values (see this) was completely ignored by the mainstream press. Why? Because it revolves around “Chapter 9, Senator Robert F. Kennedy” and the long war between the Kennedys and the CIA that resulted in the deaths of JFK and RFK.