Idle Musings of the Hypothetical Citizen
He had one treasured moment. He had lived in a community filled with the half-mad and politicized souls who had willed themselves to believe that freedom was not a reality. "Freedom is a fabrication," they would say to him. "Freedom is an excuse to rip people off..." For a brief moment he believed them. Then he saw the consequences and thought long and hard on the nature of freedom.
No, freedom was the most real of substances. Freedom was utterly real; it was reality itself.
And when he moved from the blighted community, the fact he took that sense with him made him praise the community and its clownish destruction's.
"You," he thought, "are a perfect example of what can happen to a free and happy people. You are nothing less than a warning from the spirits of freedom!"
And he came to a startling conclusion. It didn't matter how many mechanisms were in place to ensure freedom if the people, themselves, acted like they were prisoners. That the final freedom or the next one was the effort to free the mind and spirit to engage the potentials of human ability at the highest levels possible.
There was, however, a more disturbing element that he discovered, not simply in his own time but for all time: The Rule by the Confidence Men and Women who had convinced the people that they were rotten and needed the services of the conman. What else had Martin Luther attacked but that very fact in Rome? And what was the lesson of the pious Soviet Union who proscribed behavior to the people while indulging in every vice? And it had come to his own wonderful country. The con men ruled. And they convinced the people they were worthless to sell them books, dope, cigarettes, sex, and an array of items so that the conman could live out his most bizarre fantasies of personal indulgence. And sometimes they were rolled out as heroes! Or, experts commenting on the future of the nation.
And what about the millions of good and anonymous souls who lived far more moral, upright lives than the priests and experts?
The most dangerous fact for a democracy was that the people would get sick of the abuses by the conmen and conwomen and turn their wrath on liberal, democratic values. At that moment, a new and terrible era would descend on the people.
Dialog of the Surgeon:
"The general cast of it is a sham; a ludicrous thing. It's a grotesque monument to the worst development in human life. Almost all of the people are mediocre, reprobate, deranged, fools, slaves, bastards of one kind or another. It's ruled by a thug mentality fashioned out of the dreams of the Mafia. "Democracy" and "freedom" are simply phrases in the mouths of criminals. There won't be any further progress until there's a wide, profound reappraisal of things. The life lived today? It is lived in bankruptcy. It's living off the savings of the past that is being all used up and won't sustain the future. What you have is a ridiculous predictability! And that's what happens when life is organized in large groups that develop slow and predictable through time. Sometimes, I grant you, the effort produces intelligence but it's always an intelligence dependent on many strings and so manipulated to serve the worst nature. What's the use?"
"Sometimes, I admit, in quiet moments I question what the thresholds are, past which you make a complete break with the assumptions that underlies and propels the thing. Perhaps it is when one conceives of the future, believes that such a thing will exist, and that it's the responsibility of intelligence and imagination to help issue into being the best future."
"And sir, I am not a cynic. But my initial experience of the nation is one of unmitigated vulgarity, stupid naivete, the achievement of mediocrity that makes all of history laugh. All those ghosts who dreamed of immortality are going to achieve it over the mediocrity this nation produces. Not that she doesn't aspire for the great. She simply doesn't know how to struggle and suffer for it so she becomes a soft, old maiden with fire in her eyes, irritatated at every sound or movement around her."
"I have noticed this one problem. I will tell you this one last thing and then will return to my duties: in a society dominated by mass communication, experience will be formed in a mind at a fairly young age. And so the poor mind is condemned to empty itself through its whole life of these formations. The process of emptying creates the illusion of power and control in relation to which a mind will create its meanings. But if these meanings are an illusion? What then? Then one finally goes about thinking life is illusion and this creates a very unhealthy atmosphere."
"At least I know this: Between meaninglessness and the pressure to act, there is metaphor."
"No sir, something's not working particularly well. Maybe a step back, a long gaze at just exactly what is up ahead, a look at all the profound mistakes, all the lingering hypnotism's and superstitions of nature that are the direct result of this type of society.
"The only terrible thing about mass communications is that a guy is forced to answer it! It acts like an imperative. It must have relation. It demands this relation. It introduces a thousand personalities, a thousand events, sounds, sights, information that otherwise a guy wouldn't be in relation to and all this does is create stupidity."
"Now hear me out one last time before I go and save lives: Genius here is always confused. Its prime motive for surviving is to reach a lucid state never gained by being in a nation of power and magnitude. A nation with the gross inability to believe in its own spirit. I don't like the amalgam of smell, sight, and language forced like a sick child on me.. That it is a sick child raises hope that it will grow out of its sickness but many things will have to change.
Here, my friend, everything is thrown back on the ingenuity of the inexperienced."
The hypothetical citizen left the small room where the mysterious surgeon had held court. He was dressed in a white uniform with a blue name tag. As he looked at him, the citizen thought, "that man is perfectly proportioned. Not a hair is misplaced. Even his fingernails are the exact same length across both hands. And he obviously thinks in his off-hours. Why did he meet me now? What was the purpose of this chance encounter? After all, I am here to talk with the sick, not be spoken too as if I am sick myself!"
© 2003 David Eide. All rights reserved.
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