Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here
In a long time.”
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”
– Stephen Crane, The Wayfarer
When times get tough people can unite and fight back against a common enemy, or they can be manipulated into fighting each other. Unfortunately, the latter has become increasingly popular amongst all sides in what has become an increasingly deranged, adolescent and counterproductive political environment.
Meanwhile, the people who are truly powerful, the oligarchs of industry and their bought and paid for political minions are the ones who really benefit. The primary purpose of this website from the very beginning has been to highlight how power actually functions in imperial America with the hope that people across the political spectrum could unite and push back against the unaccountable rent-seeking practices of a common enemy. It seems I was extraordinarily naive.
When a writer and thinker such as myself is forced to admit failure, it’s a very tough pill to swallow. Writing this blog is in many ways a thankless task. I’m essentially doing volunteer work day in and day out because I passionately believe in the ideas I put forth, and to see them have little to no effect on the public debate can be very depressing. Rather than seeing human beings unite to throw off the predatory shackles that bind them as I had hoped, I see people who should be coming together punching and yelling at each other in the streets — and that’s on a good day. On bad days, people are getting shot or run over, from Virginia to London. Watching all this madness unfold while the truly powerful sit back and grin, more secure in their positions as ever before thanks to rabble fighting each other, sometimes makes me want to just stop doing this writing thing. After all, what’s the point?
But I know better. I know that karma, or action, is not about the fruits of your work, but the action itself is everything. I discussed this concept at length in the post,Do Ends Justify the Means? Here’s an excerpt.
Unfortunately, many people don’t have any principles to begin with and simply live their lives in the pursuit of their own superficial, materialistic or egotistical goals. These are the types of people who most often employ “ends justify the means” thinking, which is exactly why those of us who do have principles must reject this way of thinking and pursue a more conscious manner of achieving our ends. If that means our ends aren’t achieved in our lifetime that’s something that must be accepted. The means we use will reverberate in the universe forever and will benefit the world whether we’re able to point to definitive results or not.
As much as I understand the above to be true, it doesn’t make staring at the world devolving around me any easier. However, it does provide me with the moral fortitude to stick to my principles even if nobody is listening or cares.
If any of what I’ve written so far speaks to you, let me share a few thoughts I wrote down the other night while lamenting the mounting degeneracy that seems to be multiplying in society at large.
What I see out there is ugly. Really ugly and it’s coming from all sides. There seems to be this perverse ascendent philosophy (if you can call it that) to act as depraved as your perceived enemy. I think that’s the worst possible response and can only lead to one thing. More depravity.
I don’t consider myself particularly enlightened, but I’ve come to a few realizations and perhaps the most important one of all is to always try to be better. Look for your better nature and try to follow it. While I certainly don’t always live up to what I want to be in my language or commentary, I understand that when you stay true to your better self you are much happier and content. It’s better for you, it’s better for your relationships and it’s better for the world.
Many people seem to be losing sight of the big picture while focusing on petty arguments and fame obsession.
Picking holes in other people is easy, working on yourself is much harder. But it’s so much more important.
I wrote this post for myself as much as I did for my readers. I hope it connected with some of you, and helps you stick to your better nature as things get uglier around us. The healthy response to others getting worse, is not to imitate them, but to try to be better.
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