Monday, 7 January 2008

The Devil's Dilemna

A certain kind of person asks himself are other kinds of people people disingenuous, stupid or cowards. In attempting to explain the nature of their existential inner reality and avoid the apparently more damning negatives of cowardice and stupidity, he might begin a little idealistically with disingenuousness but in the light of direct experience he must soon give up on this and admit to a combination of stupidity and cowardice as the psychological basis or ambient background to such people's thought and worldview. He is probably eventually led to believe that stupidity and disingenuousness are the defence mechanisms of cowardice. But he then might ponder whether it is cowardice and disingenuousness that guard the citadel of a conscious stupidity, or intentional ignorance; cowardice and disingenuousness being the instruments of an inviolate Will to Ignorance. But then he realises that conscious stupidity is disingenuousness raised to a kind of absolute power, which in turn is probably cowardice after all.
He might even recall Dostoevsky's words:

Every decent man of our time is and must be a coward and a slave. That is his normal condition. I am deeply convinced of it. He's made that way and arranged for it. And not in the present time owing to some chance circumstances, but generally in all times a decent man must be a coward and a slave. That is the natural law of all decent people on earth. If one of them does happen to get a bit of pluck in something, let him not be eased or pleased with that: he's still quail before something else.
Notes from Underground.

And with that in mind, John Pilger's article on what he calls the murdochracy of modern Britain.


Neil Forsyth said...

On most days, I am, by turns, disingenuous, stupid and cowardly. I am also intentionally ignorant at times, when it suits me. And lazy, prurient and feeble. But I'm trying to be better. I want to be better.

This evening, I asked my three-year old if all his friends at playschool had had a nice Christmas (it was his first day back there). He said they did, except his friend Masoud, who doesn't celebrate Christmas.

I didn't know my three-year old knew the word 'celebrate'. It made my day to find out he did. So I am also a little less ignorant now.

Andrew said...

All it takes us is the will, Neil. As plants naturally are drawn to the light, it probably takes us more effort to wilfully stay in the shade.