First off let me apologize for my prolonged absence, I have been sick as a dog for the past few weeks. But life appears to have gone on, congratulations to Neema and Jessica Romanowski-Vedadi
Now on to the thinky stuff.
Mental illness is a touchy subject for a lot of people. This is unfortunate, because practically every society on earth is riven with mental illness of some sort.
Some of this is biological and inevitable. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and various other illnesses that are the result of DNA or various traumas are well beyond any really effective treatment or cure that I know of. But what I want to talk of is mental illnesses that people inflict on themselves by belief in the unholy sacrament of justified violence on the part of various authorities.
This divides itself and divides itself into an infinitely vast fractal pattern of madness. The most common form of this madness is probably the cognitive dissonance of statism. But this is just the beginning, from this initial denial of basic reality the human psyche is intentionally shattered into thousands of other manias, no less dangerous than the root.
To study all of the various forms of utter madness and illogical behavior practiced by statists would probably require several volumes of books as big as the Encyclopedia Britannica. So I am going to have to limit myself here to a few specific examples.
Off in Scandinavia this results in incomprehensibly eccentric behaviors, psychotic actions while drunk, and really weird movies. In places like the American south it can take the form of raw seething hatred of everything that moves that is not property or a personal friend of those afflicted with hardcore rightwing statism.
But what I want to talk about is a problem that really gets my goat. It got said goat even back when I was a militant socialist. It is the desire among many liberals to go back and refight battles, or redo events that were won, lost or otherwise done with years and years ago. Or a complete unwillingness to forgive or forget crimes which happened long before they were ever born
To be fair many people do this, conservatives wish to go back to a past that never was. An America of the mind where Andy of Mayberry kept the Barney type cops, under control and all those undesirable ethnic types were nowhere to be seen or easily ignored. While all manner of exotic economic restrictions kept the economy in a straight jacket which sheltered the bucolic middle class.
All the while ignoring the inevitable consequences of ignoring reality. But while conservatives wish to go back to the past and stay there. Liberals wish to go back to the past like some mad time traveller and change certain things which will fix everything, or at least alleviate the problems we have now.
I don’t know where this desire to go back and repair or rethink the past comes from. Some of it is probably propaganda, Stalin gets a lot of blame for fucking up the Soviet Union and thus ruining the worlds greatest opportunity to bring about the dictatorship of the proletariat. Which would, in Marx’s mad philosophy. Bring about a truly communistic system where everyone would have all their needs satiated and blah, blah, blah.
Given the general psychosis of the Bolsheviks it’s unlikely that a more compassionate figure would have seized power in Russia. In my opinion had Trotsky grasped for the mantle after Lenin passed on he would have probably killed almost as many people as Stalin.
Side note, I hate Trotskyists, I hate them even more than Stalinists. I have met and even got to know a few and they are my least favorite variety of communist. Although perhaps that would change if I ever met a disciple of Pol Pot’s particularly bloodthirsty and moronic strain of communism. Stalinists in my experience are just cowardly wannabe serial killers. Like serial killers they have a brutally elegant view of the world, they are predators and they know it, and I like to hunt predators. While Maoist communists come across as hopelessly childish devotees of the chairman’s cult of personality. (Full disclosure, my father is a reformed Maoist. But I never was.)
Trotskyists are the most arrogant bastards I have ever seen. Totally self confident that they know absolutely everything there is to know in the world. Moreover, the current strain of Neoconservatism which has done so much damage to our nation and our planet as of late is directly derived from Trotskyist thought. Don’t believe me? Well you don’t have to with the glorious de-occulting of information brought about by whatever device you are reading this on you can go look it up for yourself. Go to startpage.com and type in the words,”Trotskyist origins of Neoconservatism,” or some variation of that, have fun!
Back to more mainline modern political liberalism. I can’t help but feel that the bulk of this problem is another nasty gift of academia. Children grow into adults under the tutelage of their teachers more than their parents in our modern society. Entirely too many teachers live off in their own little world disconnected from reality. A world of old books, history, academic journals and other people with a very similar mindset. They live in the past, some going all the way back to the faintly remembered golden age. A time talked about in various ancient texts, from the bible to the Greek intellectuals when life was just peachy.
But then, in the Greek texts, Saturn fell to Zeus. In the bible someone ate something they shouldn’t have and that state of grace fell into the state of grinding poverty and toiling misery which persists to this day. For all but the privileged elite who maintain the flickering light of memories of this time and live in a state of privilege at the price of everyone whom they steal resources from to retain this extravagance.
Wether this lost golden age actually existed or not I don’t know. I have seen some compelling evidence for it, but I am not yet convinced. But we certainly have entirely too many people in our society who believe it did and obsess over it. Also we certainly ain’t going back there. They hold the actions of people dead for millennia over all. Even their own personal achievements. I would be the first person to say that it is important to study history, if only so it doesn’t repeat. But you should have a knowledge of history as it really happened. Viewed with a critical eye, not a redone, highly edited, state approved version of history.
And don’t get lost, thinking and rethinking about things that happened long long ago. The ghosts of the past can teach valuable lessons to those in the here and now. But don’t become obsessed with them.