Friday, 23 December 2016

Making Reproaches


Many will have noticed the phenomenon whereby some people make negative comments about other people but these reproaches also happen to be true of themselves who are verbalising them, e.g. someone saying of another they cannot deal with being challenged or being disagreed with when in fact this is also their problem. 

I do not think this is due only to hypocrisy but to the fact that it is harder to see oneself objectively than it is other people, perhaps because others are external and farther away from us and that, as philosopher Heidegger knew well, the most arduous task for human beings (whom he refers to with his German concept of Dasein) is to see and understand what is closest to them.

And what is closer to human beings than their own soul?

In addition making comments about others that apply just as equally to oneself could be symptomatic of the now overused but still relevant insight that
"it takes one to know one."
This can result in the accusation of projection, i.e. that in criticising another we are merely projecting our own insecurities or value systems onto this other without understanding where they are coming from or the difference in wavelength that may or may not pertain. 

In that respect it could also be said that
"it takes one not to know one." 

Anti-Conformity as Hypocrisy?


Almost by definition, airing anti-conformist views will meet with immediate and impatient hostility since, society working as it does, most feel they have to conform to survive and will not take kindly to those who pour scorn on mainstream social values and their barely concealed prejudice not to say mind control. 

For example, anyone who starts questioning the hold money has on people's lives will meet with predictable objections such as 
  • well you use money to survive
  • well what are you doing about it?
  • well what better alternative do you suggest?
  • well it's easy to criticise but you haven't thought of anything better
  • well stop being a hypocrite then and go live without money, see how that suits you
In a sense these objections are fair and anyone who pedals anti-conformist positions will have to think of answers to them, of ways to expand the conversation as well as of ways to disarm or diffuse the reactive hostility. 

Other examples include such sacred cows as the importance of voting, the need to earn a living through employment and having a 'real' job, the necessity of having a government, a military force and liberty-destroying 'security' measures, the need for public and coercive schooling, the good that comes from taxation, the view that some wars are necessary, the assumption that nuclear weapons are the be it and end all of national security and so on and so forth ad nauseam

I have written before in a couple of my writings The Dangerous Quest for Consistency and Society as Shit Fest - My Anti-Conformity that it is practically impossible, in human terms, to be completely free of the charge of hypocrisy when challenging the human condition because it is very hard by definition to be free of large scale conditions that are extraneous to one's own personal will and preferences due to the role other sentient beings play in maintaining and manifesting those large scale conditions. 

For example, I am the first to admit that I am complicit in the system that I criticise, that I use money (largely because money is a religion almost everyone buys into), that I consume from unethical corporations, that I use technologies sold to me by the capitalist system even though I often take issue with the entity of monetary currency as well as the profit motive, that I eat meat while deploring factory farming and so on. 

Yet societal change can and does only occur when a proverbial critical mass decides to act differently to how it usually acts, whether through boycott, through public pressure, through protest, through shaming, through non compliance, through striking, through creating grassroots alternatives or even through force. 

I myself as an individual cannot bring social change about but at the very least I can expand my awareness and act - to a degree that is still possible and allowed - in a way that is concordant with my own thoughts and emotions on certain issues. 

Moreover I do not feel that just because you live under certain predetermined conditions extraneous to your own preferred manifestations should you be barred from speaking against them. 

In other words, while it can signal an incongruity between thought, emotion and action, if one disagrees with some mainstream aspects of the human condition there is no good reason to identify with, relate to or embrace them heart and soul if doing so goes against one's better nature. 

It is indeed perfectly possible to comply to an extent with what one perceives to be an immoral system whilst not giving oneself completelythoughtlessly and uncritically over to it. 

In addition speaking against something is 'doing' something. The 'less talk, more action' cliché is nonsense because talk, especially of a dissident and a thoughtful nature, is action and not always without risk depending under which political system you live.
"To discover who rules over you find out whom or what you are not allowed to criticise." 
To communicate a discourse that is the fruit of introspective labour as well as independent research is doing something. Nietzsche went so far as to say in his posthumous material 
"thoughts are actions" 
and esteemed philosopher Hannah Arendt was also of the opinion that speech is a form of action. 

In addition I have observed that the many who take the easy view that there are no better or, at the least, practicable alternatives to what we have now not only betray a woeful lack of imagination due to collective mind control influence (mind control entailing nothing less than the destruction of the imagination) but also a severe ignorance as to the numerous solutions that people have put forward and have employed to better the human condition.

The alternative and dissident website corbettreport.com has a virtually exhaustive list on practical solutions that can be put to use to fight and side-step the established immoral system, ranging from guerrilla gardening, complementary currencies, boycotting and buycotting to a peer-to-peer economy, agoristic economic practices as well as, in the case of Mark Passio's work, various methods to increase one's level of consciousness. 

Par exemple, Mark Boyle, known for his book Moneyless Man, took it upon himself, given his distaste for money (born of environmental concern), to live without any money for several years, showing to the whole world in the process that this can be possible with the requisite will power and imagination and that one need not always be a hypocrite in taking issue with the monetary system.
"If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it." 
Large scale change is possible if enough work towards it but what is possible is not always easy especially when it comes to deeply-entrenched facets of the human condition

As for small scale, personal change this can readily be achieved through personal will-power and discipline and it could be argued that authentic, large scale change can only truly occur through a certain number of people changing their comportment as individuals first, inspiring and inviting others by their example to do the same - without the need for coercion or manipulation.