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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Activist Is A Concern Troll

troll
Image found at The Policy Lass
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Insanity is... thinking honestly. Willful ignorance is a survival mechanism.
- Petro
It's my blog, and I'll think if I want to.
- Petro
(A "think" piece - move on if you must.)

I want to start with a "foolish consistency" that I have adopted, in order to stave off insanity. I am a very concerned individual. Because of this, one could reasonably argue that I am an ass. Indeed, I often do, albeit privately, in my own head (there's no cause in arming the enemy.) Therefore, I mitigate this by holding myself at a higher standard than I would hold another.

I do this to battle the demon of piety. I can be, and have been, accused of this. Let it be known that I fight against it, and this position of mine is how I do it.

One of the mistakes, as I see it, of having lofty standards is the impulse to have everyone else "get in line." We look around, see the failings of human nature, and alternately exhort and despair, proselytize and fall.

This is the clerical version of "everybody's doin' it." Our dualistic minds see either perfection or failure. Some become asses of perfection, others, pirates of the libertine dream.

"Serious" thinkers try to balance the two, fostering incrementalism, an acceptance of "flawed nature" and future salvation.

Not being a big fan of the future (in the Krishnamurtian sense that the future is merely a modification of the past, nothing ever happens in the "future," things only ever happen now. And now. And now. And now, ever over,) I keep my asshat on, so to speak, and embrace perfection in myself. I say that I embrace perfection, not that I am perfection. I really would be an ass if I felt this way.

Not being a big fan of the future, I embrace failure in others. I say that I embrace failure, not that others are failures (see "ass.")

To square the circle, I embrace both these conditions in myself and in others, of course. But I hold myself to the higher standard, because I am my own house and I can get away with that. It is the business of other households to consider these questions. To do otherwise is to doom my own actualization, as piety is perhaps the biggest failure of all.

The Activist Is A Concern Troll
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
- a disputed quote of Edmond Burke
The above quote is very popular these days - I imagine that it would be when things go as badly as they are going today.

I imagine I understand why this quote is disputed.

Whatever does one do when things go badly, when the train is clearly jumping the rails, when our collective behavior is clearly as odious as it could be?

Why, we exhort, we proselytize, we bloody well take action, goddammit - I will not be the "good German" here, I will take a stand, I will move things along! (Apologies to actual Germans.)

In short, I shall drink the demon rum of piety.

My liberal, revolutionary friends' heads rightly explode here, as I would take the air out their efforts to exact just change in society.

Ah, fixing the "other." Is the log truly yet out of mine eye?

It is in ignorance of this contemplation that results in yet more rounds of injustice. As the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so does the expectation of good behavior from others result in the hellish incarceration rate in our prisons, and our despicable treatment of these charges.

I leave it to you to look around and see more examples of this. I know you can.

I have spoken here before, in this forum, of the nature of true revolution. How important it is.

I Nakedly Embrace The Double Standard

It is the expectation of good in myself, and to celebrate imperfection in others. Constantly and consistently.


I close with some rare wisdom, courtesy of a Lost Generation artist:
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead...

- John Lennon

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