Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Truth Doesn't Require a Majority View- The Sunday Collage

Today, there will be the usual meandering field trip and then I shall return you like a good bus driver- back to the starting point.

Several years ago, I started this blog primarily because I love to write. The subject matter came via avalanche in the fall of 2008 as Hank Paulson acting in concert with the rest of our government, stole the U.S. Treasury out from underneath us. I watched in real time thinking all the while, that I must be dreaming. Most of the country sat idly by. I was in awe. All I had to do was come up with a name for the blog. Something that would describe a rogue government that did whatever it wanted to do over the objections of it's citizens. At that time, I thought that it was important to help other people understand just how bad our government had become. I thought there would be strength in numbers and that people might care. All we needed was some sort of rallying point- some way to get on the same page. What I found instead was that people are often apathetic, judgmental, and driven by their own beliefs whether or not those beliefs have any actual basis in fact. People weren't about to accept the fact that some Treasury official just committed the greatest grand theft of all time with the help of Congress and two Presidents. Were they going to believe those folks with their lengthy  credentials- or some retired and anonymous guy, writing on the internet? It makes me laugh to think about it, then and now.

My friends and readers often ask...or state in some way the following things...

Why does it matter? Why do you write about crooked governments, rigged markets, lies and obstructions? Your writing is negative and mean spirited. You aren't going to make any progress- so why bother?

How often have I heard that? A lot. Twice last week as a matter of fact.

The interesting thing is that people don't ask me what I write about as though they actually care about the content of the blog. What they are really doing very often- is making a statement about their own beliefs...and that's ok. I'd like to think that communication still works.

People often criticize my writing while pretending that they are optimists who have a firm hold on some higher, wiser ground. They don't write about the things I write about because somehow- they realized long ago that this was all futile. They have overcome those obstacles that the rest of us are still pushing uphill. I get that a lot. I bet a lot of other bloggers do too.

I have been blessed. I have dissected that rationale because I have heard it before. It is easier for people to believe that our government is benevolent and in turn, people ignore all of the bad things that our government does. Somehow all of that "unknowing" gets them off the responsibility hook. They are not forced to feel shame or a duty to act. Thus they cannot be blamed for those bombs getting dropped on Pakistani children or those American citizens left to die at Benghazi. So people close the dialogue box. They don't want to know the truth because knowing may cause outrage or shame. Perhaps some embarrassing scandal. It becomes easier and easier to ignore the immoral conduct of your country. Getting involved causes conflict. You are forced to take a stand. You might even be wrong or suffer ridicule. It is all risk, no reward. So we behave like cowards. That is easier. 

I understand that. 

In fact, I offer up as proof your honor, exhibit A- a comment I clipped from ZeroHedge yesterday. Try to poke holes in this. I dare you.

Sat, 01/19/2013 - 11:28 | 3168805new RaymondKHessel
RaymondKHessel's picture
Twenty-one of 22 incumbent senators were re-elected, and 353 of 373 incumbent members of the House were re-elected. The American people have re-elected 94 percent of the incumbents who were running for re-election to an institution that has an approval rating of about 9 percent. This indicates, as an electorate, we are a nation of idiots. We're now stuck with the useless, dysfunctional government that we deserve.

Raymond Hessel is right. Ray has captured in 5 sentences an inescapable truth, a truth which I simply cannot dismiss. We are a nation of idiots, clearly we are. We deserve this. So who are those idiots? Doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, students, and every status quo citizen from every walk of life. My friendly critics and detractors. There were only 1 million votes from the libertarians. We were less than 1% of the vote.

So the majority of Americans are caught in this two party trap and clearly they don't care. The critics of my blog and others, don't seem to care either. As I scroll my memory banks, the critics are those people who keep voting for the same old parties hoping for a different result. Often, they are simply angry that they keep getting conned. They cling to those old, tired, worn out, and broken beliefs. The way things used to be before the world went and changed again.

So who exactly is it- that is supposed to care? If not you, who?

Raymond Hessel has captured the truth. It is inescapable. The dis-approval rate for Congress is 91% yet  we voted for 94% of the people that we allegedly disapprove of. That truth is inescapable. It is staring at us. We are a nation of idiots. A great majority of idiots. We re-elect people that if any one of us were in charge of them, we'd terminate their employment.

For everything you know in life, there was a time when you did not know it. 

In 2007, I received a number of emotional gifts. One of those gifts, the operative one here, is the gift of consciousness and the realization that human ego is the greatest barrier to all human and emotional interaction and positive evolution. In fact, without eliminating our existing ego and attaining a new level of conscious thought, our society will not survive. It can't. We will die an apathetic and deserving death. It has already begun.

Please bear with me. 

Arthur Schopenhauer was a philosopher genius and a crazy looking dude. Among his observations was that truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, then violently opposed, and ultimately accepted as self evident. 

But that isn't my favorite quote of Arthur's. He also said this, "Compassion is the basis for all morality." In fact, the more compassion society has for one another, the better off it is. As a society, are we gaining compassion or losing compassion? I think that answer is also self evident.

Some people would say that those are my... "opinions."

Now I'd like to get back to Raymond Hessel's ZeroHedge comment. I think Hessel's comment easily passes through both stages of Schopenhauer's truth and lands squarely on "self evident."

So all that's left for us is just simple acceptance. I have to accept the fact that our society is entitled to re-elect as many morons as they would like and that they can continue to do this for just as long as they would like to. Being duped and wrong apparently sits well enough with those folks. Heaven forbid we actually try something new- something that might actually work. Instead the bitter clingers cling.

The apathy of people is also self evident. And while apathy is not necessarily my truth- I have to get ok with the herd's overwhelming numbers or they will trample me to death. The oppression of the majority. It's not that they are right- it's just that their numbers are far greater. Fighting the good fight never matters- if the herd tramples and kills you. Sometimes, you must live to fight another day.

If I never wrote another thing for this blog- this piece would be a good place to leave it. The bus is just a moment away from it's departure point.

I want to leave you with one last insight. Arthur Schopenhauer's book, "The World As Will and Representation" is not exactly a title that actually begs you...or whispers to you..."come read me." In fact, I have not read it. In defining "will" as Schopenhauer uses it, is our incessant human wanting- our desire for more- which causes most if not all of our suffering. Odd that some 150 years later, Eckhardt Tolle would make the very same observation in a "New Earth." A book that I have read, 3 or 4 times for comprehension's sake.

These guys might be on to something. For them, the truth might be self evident. Even if nobody else agrees. I mean after all, when did the truth require a majority opinion to be self evident?

Schopenhauer used the word "will" as a human's most familiar designation for the concept that can also be signified by other words such as "desire," "striving," "wanting," "effort," and "urging." Schopenhauer's philosophy holds that all nature, including man, is the expression of an insatiable will to life. It is through the will that mankind finds all their suffering. Desire for more is what causes this suffering. 

Desire less.


Anonymous said...

I think this is the best piece you have ever written. You should walk off into the sunset because, the majority of people will never "get it". I'm in my mid 50's and realized in my late 40's that mass consumerism and always wanting to keep up with those that had more created a misarable existance. Notice that I used "existance" not life. The way to peace and contentment is to embrace life, not things. Changing peoples behavior is futile. The only thing you can truly change is yourself.

Anonymous said...

I think you would agree, Brian, that no conservative/libertarian blogger has been more resistant to giving up on the hope that through persistence, we could lead America back to the ideals of our founders' ideals; the most important of which were expressed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Accepting that I have been wrong is maybe the hardest thing I have ever done. But, I am now where you and others have been for long time. I finally accepted that the American experiment was doomed to fail from the beginning. I finally had to accept what should have been obvious. The world is an insane place run by a few insane people who have all the power. It has alwways been so. It is clear to me now that the human race is made up of players and payers. The players are few in number but they have wealth and superior armaments, which they are more than willing to use if necessary to maintain their positions of power. On the few occaisions in history where the players have been overthrown, they are soon replaced by a new st of players.
The people on this planet who can claim to be sane are those that know they have unalienable rights granted by God that are being and will always abused by the players. The players need productive payers and they, so far, tollerate the unproductive payers. So, the smartest or best prpared of the productive players can carvr out a very good life for themselves and their families. The problem is that the players, who think they are so much smarter than the payers, often out smart themselves and make it impossible for the productive payers to produce. Smart payers, therefore, need to keep an eye on what the players are doing and try to anticipate when these player errors will manifest and prepare as best they can to mitigate the impacts. This could including moving to another country where productive payers have more opportunities.

So, my friend, tomorrow "Conservatives on Fire" will become "Asylum Watch". I may lose most of my readers, but I am going to write about what they variuos players, in the US and elsewhere, are doing and what I think the implications might be. This should be fun!

Brian said...

Excellent Jim. I gave up in 2006 when a man far smarter than I am pointed out what a ridiculous premise it was that there was a shred of difference between these two parties. Both parties he claimed- existed simply to shred and fleece the minions. Or payers. That is what they really do. He convinced me.

I like change so I am going to like "Asylum Watch" Thank you for being such a great guy and supporting me all these years. There are a lot of folks who still disagree, bitter clingers, and they will ride this train right off the cliff. They are still winning.

Brian said...

Thank you. I can tell from what you have written that you get it. Why did it take us so long? Or are we feeling blessed that we got it at all? I usually opt for the latter...

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...

"Democracy carries with it the seeds of its own destruction." (Socrates, Athenian philosopher)

SB said...

Being a regular reader of both this blog and Conservatives on Fire I've learned a little earlier in my life (29) the futility of reason. However, futility is not enough to dissuade me. Jim makes good points about the players and their armaments however the point assumes that he values his life more than the fight. Merely eeking out a place where a smart payer can be comfortable with his family isn't enough. Call me naive, but knowing that it's futile just makes me want to change tactics. Don't give up on us yet.