Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Price of Madness

Depth analysis takes a commitment of moral and
intellectual energy, and most of us are more
comfortable inquiring into such superficial
matters as missing teenagers, spousal murders, or
sexual predators.
In the language of “chaos” theory, America – if
not all of Western civilization – is in a state
of turbulence of such intensity that efforts to
restore order by recourse to traditional systems
and policies will be to no avail. On the
contrary, it is our insistence upon established
practices that has led us to our plight; and only
a fundamental, creative change in our thinking
and behavior can extricate us from the
destructive consequences of our prior
assumptions. Just as the western segment of the
Roman empire was no longer able to sustain
itself, so, too, the western franchise of Western
civilization is finished, no more capable of
rehabilitation than would have been the case with
Jeffrey Dahmer. Like a caterpillar, the hope
remains that America may be able to metamorphose
into something more beautiful; to transcend its
limited capabilities.
In an age in which a collective mindset is
expected to drown out the voice of the
individual, philosophic principles have been
replaced by public opinion polls. I don’t know
how often my opinions on some matter have been
met by the response “most people don’t agree with
you.” In our Panglossian world, “principles” have
become little more than politically-correct
slogans; mantras to be splashed across a T-shirt
or the bumper of a car.
And, so, the upcoming elections will provide us
with what prior elections offered: new-and-
improved candidates with new-and-improved
messages. But, like the selling of detergents or
corn flakes, the new product will consist of
nothing more than a repackaging of the old,
replete with new commercials. What remains of the
voting public will be urged – by media parrots
and others – to participate in the collective
hallucination of voting. Those who refuse to join
in this electoral debauchery will be condemned
for “allowing terrorism to succeed,” or for
disrespecting “the sacrifices of the young men
and women who died on the battlefield” to protect
the “freedom” of Americans to participate in the
meaningless ritual of voting.

Can you think of anything to add?

I can't.

Full essay.