8 comments on “We’ve Got Plenty of Critical Thinkers, We Need New Ideas.

  1. You alluded to the main problem of today’s ‘thinking American’, so I’ll say it outright:
    It’s not that Americans are too stupid (though many are), it’s laziness. Americans tend to rally around the easiest way to float through life, doing as little on their own as they possibly can. I look around and see Orwell’s Outer Party everywhere. (It seems Hate Week is upon us.)
    We all know what is wrong in our country. We all know where our system went wrong. We all know what it was designed to do; and who it was designed for. We know.
    We do not know, as a people, what exactly to do about it. As you stated, we continue screaming old, dead slogans and hope it does some good. It won’t; it never has.
    Even the “direct action” voices are misguided. They got to protests, hold signs, chant, get tear gassed, beaten, arrested. Everything they protest against gets rammed through anyway. I have heard people call for death to those in power. The system no longer relies on any one person, or even a group of persons. If all of those people with political and financial power were taken out today, they would be replaced by nightfall; business as usual in the morning. I have even been among the voices calling for armed revolution (from the days of W until recently). But to what end? Even if we do rise up and stop the machine; what comes next? I confess, I haven’t thought that all the way through myself.
    The machine is foul, seemingly unstoppable, and set on a collision course with our culture. It needs to be stopped; that much is certain. And we already know the reasons why. But how? And more importantly, what do we do afterwards?

    • Right on! It needs to be stopped. We can figure out what comes after, afterwards, but we have to wipe out the brainwashing that got us here in the first place, first.

      • But how? Even the liberals are brainwashed into thinking at they are “making a difference” when it’s glaringly obvious that the ‘other side’ views our opinion much the same way as a snake views the squeaks of the mouse it is consuming.
        Today’s “progressive Democrat” and yesterday’s “conservative Republican” are one and the same. Both think what the media tells them to think. Neither realize that FOX, MSNBC, CNN, and even PBS are only recycling old news, dead ideas, and rotten culture.

      • It’s definitely a challenge. The brainwashing runs deep. We need to reprogram ourselves and our peers. Then we need a variety of new approaches to living on planet Earth. We need to talk to each other, instead of consuming media, and focus more on direct survival. In many ways, the homeless are ahead of the curve, and we can learn a lot from their experience.

  2. This is an exceptional post.We should consider the ideas that influence our interpretation of data as often as possible.

  3. You wrote what I have been thinking since I took a step back after the election and asked myself: What did I really expect? And then an even scarier one: What if Gore had won? How would things be different?
    The election made my physically ill. Yes, I know it was psychological but it had its physical expression as well (stomach flu).
    Friends and children of friends writing about anger and how things couldn’t be allowed to actually happen this way and planning marches and more things which I remember from the 60s and some of that worked then but for those who kept their eyes open, how much really changed? What bothered me even more was the post-college generation that feel they are being denied basic rights because their candidate (and programs) didn’t win. Political activity not as a right and duty as a citizen but as a form of self-indulgence: “I feel therefore others must feel with me” “I oppose so my opposition must have an effect on the situation”. Reality be damned, of course.
    John, you so nailed it in every way.

    My first big step is to detach from most forms of expressing political ideas. Even if I didn’t have better things to do with my time, I can stay informed without actually feeling involved. The second step was to re-register to vote and decline to state a political affiliation. What that means to me personally is that I won’t get all those mailers clogging my mailbox. Or the phone calls. What else it means is that there is one less voter registered Democratic. What I’m saying is I decline to be identified as an active participant in this part of the political process. Whatever you’re selling, you can’t count on me buying it. I choose to not believe you when you say you care about me and millions like me. I choose to ignore your claim to represent me. Just go away and leave me alone.

    The Duc de la Rochefoucauld (a contemporary of Richelieu) was not always accepted at the French court and so retired to his country estates and reflected on the state of the court, the nation and people in general. His Maxims and Moral Reflections are a pithy guide to human social activity and what motivates it. Reading them won’t change the world or give you a useful guide on how to accomplish things but it will help deal with what you might expect from some people and what you should always/never expect from others. And in reading them you will see yourself as well but to be recognized by such a man is not an insult but an acceptance. A better psychologist than most psychologists and as worthy a guide as Machiavelli’s The Prince.

    This is a one time post but I know I’ll be back to revisit what you’ve written (and read other comments). I don’t think it’s going to lose its value, quite the opposite. And thank you.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for that great, thoughtful comment. You are absolutely right. We need to rethink everything, politically, if we hope to learn from our mistakes.

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