Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Virtue Of Dissent

A link to a post.

     Here is a link to an article, "The Virtue Of Dissent:  A New Concept Of Moralism."  I found it at the website, Waking Times, where the authorship is simply credited to "Z, a contributing writer."

     I offer it as food for thought, not because I necessarily agree with all of its "presuppositions" (to use a popular term of discourse), but because I appreciate its tone, and its willingness to challenge the Current Paradigm at a pretty fundamental level.

     I suspect that as you read the entire post, you will, as I did, find various points at which you disagree with the author's philosophical stance.  We might therefore reject him (or her) at the outset.  But permit me to intrude for a moment upon your thinking . . .

     Is it not true that in the American political scene, we find ourselves being driven by partisan agendas, left, right, and "center," that are not at all congruent with the old "American ideals," or "dream," or, to put it more modernly, "values,"  that we once upon a time did (or still do) believe are true and good and beautiful?

     I might tread even farther, among my co-religious, and ask:  Is it not the case that in the religious scene we, or at least some of us, are swapping out love of God, and love of neighbor, and love of the creation -- and the desire for true unity with God, neighbor, and creation that that love implies -- and in their place following after pseudo-religious crusades, culture wars, love of State, institution-loyalty, faction-thinking, label-making, banner-waving, and every distraction that we find?

     Shall we take this swapped-in thing and pass it on, or pass it off, to our children as "true religion"?  Shall we be upset if our children, or our neighbors, refuse it, and walk away?  How badly do we want them to believe in a media-driven Tooth-Fairy view of the world -- that the world should be run for the sake of the Tooth-Fairies with the prettiest teeth -- or the teeth that are longest and sharpest?

     Or is this just me?


     But back to the main point -- the virtue of dissent.  The virtue.

     Given our "consensus reality" (to use another popular term) -- that heady, boring, mesmerizing blend of Hollywood entertainment, pop culture, tabloid morality, twitter dialog, fast food courts, media hype, marketing, i-pad games, talking heads, and corporate fictions -- our children need to know that some alternative -- which includes truth, goodness, and beauty -- exists.  (Or needs to exist: we may have to learn to evoke it from nothing more than memory, or even imagination.)

     And given that we live in a generation where "reality" is owned and dispensed by the establishment-media-complex and where political correctness is enforced by the courts, dissent is going to be more personally costly to those who practice it, and more desperately necessary for those, especially among the young, who need to hear it, and who need to see someone practice it.

     For all these reasons, I am glad to find the writer, "Z," who is willing to make a strong case and provoke some good questions.

      Beginning with significant quotes from George Bernard Shaw and Erich Fromm,  the author begins to address the necessities of existence, the sick society, health, environment, and human consciousness, invoking John Stuart Mill, Krishnamurti, Camus, Carl Sagan, and others along the way.

     Here is one important paragraph:

     ' Fixing our broken society – not simply assuaging symptoms – must be a priority for us all. But first it needs to be understood that there is a broken society. As it stands, the majority of people live comfortable, passively-unhealthy, inert lifestyles, with no intention of disturbing those comforts, being proactive about healthy change, or transforming their inertia into courageous intent. People prefer the ignorance of bliss over the pain of knowledge. And anybody who goes against the grain and rebels will be seen as attacking those cherished comforts and indulgent luxuries, no matter how unsustainable those luxuries may be, or how unhealthy those creature comforts are to the environment. “We have an organizational system that works wonderfully well for products” wrote Daniel Quinn. “But we don’t have a system that works wonderfully well for people.” '

     I think this article is well worth the time it takes to read it.  It may help us all to move toward a more virtuous and confident New Year.

*       *       *

     More information about "Z" can be found at the end of the article, as well as links to Z's own website.

     Your comments are, as always, most welcome.

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