Claiming your own reality

Pat Condell, Henri-Frederic Amiel, and Albert Camus

I’ve been mentally away, for what seems like way too long, by health considerations. And temporarily knocked into a gutter of personal angst – by my glaring inability to single-handedly challenge and change, the many social ills of our day. And juxtaposed against an awareness that I probably need to type a little faster, if I hope to contribute anything at all.

I think there are a great many of us who, from time to time, feel like we could apologize to the Universe itself – as Pat Condell so succinctly put it – for the inherent stupidity of mankind.

French Algerian, Albert Camus, claimed the only important philosophical question remaining to be resolved, was that of suicide. Considering the mid-east situation, I would offer – as a corollary – a look at the question: Should we have to kill people, in order to change their minds?

The mid-term elections left a lot of us sick at heart. And wondering at the liberal, democratic, lack of gratitude and resolve – at having so dishonorably stood our president up, at the poles. Especially since Barack Obama – in addition to out performing all reasonable expectations – has evinced a particularly clear-eyed view, of how to work around the dysfunctional nature of our society.

And it’s that dysfunctional relationship – between political parties and private interests of all type – that is the lie that’s too big to be true. And defines the social schisms of our day.

Like a dysfunctional family – whose overbearing and abusive parents, would deny the children their own reality – authoritarian ideologues, grounded in wealth and religious conservatism, are determined to deny the realities of liberal, scientific, humanistic, atheistic, and ‘alternative’ lifestyles, that are the cornerstones of self-determination and ‘reality,’ for a large number of Americans today.

Granted, we have seen some notable progress lately, in extending the rights of the LGBTQ members of our society. Most notably, the recent Same Sex Marriage victories at court. But we’ve also seen renewed attacks on women’s rights to self-determination, in healthcare and abortion. Not to mention the never-ending attacks on Obama’s health care Law. (That – in spite of the demonstrable success of the program.) Corporate ownership of America has not backed down on any of this.

They are openly committed to an insufferably long-term fight, with a cohesive and tenacious resolve, dedicated to reversing any such social progress – and undoing as many social programs – as they possibly can.

And not particularly through populist votes at the polls. But, rather, through bureaucracy – and every back-handed means at their disposal. What they view as their due – having thus far prevailed in a simple act of Social Darwinism. It leaves them without compunction, for violating what many of us would consider the normal morals of ethics.

They have bought and paid for their place, at the seat of government. And are accorded due deference, in getting their laws passed – that bear down upon the rest of us.

So we ignore the sights, smells, and other evidence – of liberal thought and self-determination being assaulted and put down, by conservative wealth and authoritarian ideologies in this country – at our own peril.

I am reminded of the words of Henri-Frederic Amiel. That “Pure truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd; it must be communicated by contagion.”

It has been gratifying, to see growth, from the mere seeds of ideas, that have taken root, over the last few decades. Dispersed by the protracted efforts of so many writers and activists. Ideas that have otherwise fallen on some pretty hard ground.

I am truly gladdened – and brought closer to any idea concerning ‘what life is all about’ – when I see the level of intelligence, and spirit of mind, brought to bear by the upcoming generations. Fired by visions of the future, and a deep understanding of what is at stake – and what must be done – in order to claim and defend our own realities – while advancing a more humane and healthy society.  In this world, in which we live.

I’m also buoyed by remembering that “So long as a person is capable of self-renewal they are a living being.” And “Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers.” (- Henri-Frederic Amiel, 1821 – 1881)


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