The Only Right Way to Be is the Wrong Way
I know, I know, I am not supposed to feel this way. Good people are not pessimistic. But I am not interested in being good, only in telling it like it really is.
As a member of the human race, I can only marvel at our amazing sanity - but also at our amazing insanity. We ought to take time out from the eternal rush we seem to be in to reflect on this. What the hell is going on?
I subscribe to the New York Review, which gets mailed to Miami, flown to Costa Rica, and then delivered to the nearest large town where I pick it up every week. Isolated as I am, I am probably better informed than most Americans, because I have time to read and write – the true marks, it seems to me, of a civilized person.
Now I have time to reflect on my past life, I can only marvel at how I messed it up. I did almost everything wrong – especially the basics. And now I am beginning to come out of the haze of my former so-called life, I think I can see some of the reasons why.
It wasn’t entirely my own fault, I had lots of help – starting from day one. And I am determined to elaborate on that.
The basic problem, it seems to me, is one of attitude – our attitude towards ourselves, and what we are trying to do. This attitude can be broadly classified as two types: positive or negative. We either like ourselves and want to do better – or we hate ourselves and want to do worse. This is complicated immensely by conscious behavior and unconscious behavior. Which makes it very easy for us to fool ourselves – something we excel at.
The positive attitude we are all familiar with, because it puts us in such a good light. But we have not given enough attention to the negative kind – which is just as as strong, and seems to be getting stronger.
It seems to me, we are reacting to a long period (several centuries) of development and are now determined to tear it down. As I just said, we are reacting to this – without thinking about it at all. Most of us are incapable of independent thought.
At this point, I want to refer to an article in the Review Getting Away with It - How Politics is Crushing the Economy, by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells. This is mostly about Obama and his economic advisers, which are described in shocking detail. But they could not resist referring to another book It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.
However awkward it may be for the traditional press and nonpartisan analysts to acknowledge, one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier—ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country’s most pressing challenges.
Earlier in the article they describe how this extremism appealed so much to the voters – who cannot act, but only react. They are going the wrong way, but that does not matter – they only want to destroy the way things are.
They should be considering what they are destroying, what they hate so much. I suspect this has a lot to do with their miserable childhoods, and the miserable adult-hoods that followed. Who wouldn’t want to destroy that?