Idle Musings of the Hypothetical Citizen
As he aged the citizen was less interested in criticism. "Give me one good meaning over all this critique." He did know this. A good and prudent citizen, to fully understand freedom, had to separate his imagination and his intelligence from power. And then let power gain whatever loyalty it could muster from the people. And the people to stay away from were those who had fused their imagination and intelligence with power. He saw that this had occurred to many in his generation. It was the drugs. It was the powerful emotions generated too young, before the mind had the ability to deal with it. So, an utter fright that had chased so many into the authoritative Right. Dead to imagination, dead to intellect, and, ultimately, dead to freedom itself.
He hoped that a new generation would come along, fresh and not yet destroyed by the powerful world. A new generation would come along full of spirit, imagination, and intelligence and make vast contributions to the culture, the meaning of a liberal, democratic culture.
The hypothetical citizen knew that the success of a liberal, democratic culture depended on the educational system. "Is it not true that they either have too much education or not enough?" The ones with too much become arrogant and rather insane wanting to trample everything under foot but their own over-heated brains. He had run into many of these lamentable creatures, especially in college towns, where a few of them had run illegal operations from the back of stores. Many had taken to the sport of blogging and created blatantly nihilistic columns based on their hatred of everything but thoughts cruising up and down their brains. They were, in the end, the dangerous ones.
Those without the necessary educational resources came to lament the fact. The good ones got some more and the stubborn ones surrendered themselves to one form of superstition or another.
"But, what can we do?"
No greater disappointment existed than the realization that the ideals he thought were so strong were simply the playthings of ideologues. The discovery that the political universe, which seemed so dense and significant, was only a field of lies; a field for the spleen of empty, angry human beings no more concerned about the truth than their putative enemies who, he finally realized, were the same people.
He spent time celebrating the banishment of the collective fantasy. Liberation! The sickly vision of the collectives withered away under the assault of people wanting freedom and dignity.
Listen, he thought, to the collective types howl as the people drag them off to their punishment!
Freedom and dignity were as necessary to survival as food and water. And that which tortured the person away from his potential was a thief.
Beware, he thought, of the person who wants freedom and dignity for all but who, himself, lacks it.
What eroded these qualities more than anything was pessimism and demoralization. Outfit yourselves with the weapons that fight pessimism and demoralization!
© 2005 David Eide. All rights reserved.
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