“All political movements are like this — we are in the right, everyone else is in the wrong. The people on our own side who disagree with us are heretics, and they start becoming enemies. With it comes an absolute conviction of your own moral superiority. There’s oversimplification in everything, and a terror of flexibility.” — Doris Lessing, A Notorious Life
2 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”
I disagree. I think that when a government, or a side, makes laws, or threatens people, takes away their freedom and choices, there is only one side. Freedom is always the choice. Killing women in back alley abortions, keeping a certain class poverty stricken and uneducated, forcing senior citizens to go back to work at low paying jobs because the interest rates have dropped and they can no longer afford to live without working, allowing violence against women and children, who are raped by priests, their fathers, neighbors and pretty much anyone with a penis, promoting elitism, greed, lies, schools that train children to obey and never rattle the status quo…those are wrong, non life affirming and I will always be on the side that is against those things. I don’t care what that makes me, or what people call me, but DESTROYING the lives of people because it serves the rich and powerful…is wrong…that includes sending people to be hurt and to die in an illegal war for profit. It includes cameras watching innocent people, tracking/tracing our phone calls, our texts and the things I’m writing right now. So I’m not flexible on any of those things because they cause pain, suffering and death…death of spirit, joy, creativity and life. Fear is ugly and to be afraid of your government is truly horrific.
I’m confused. I find myself agreeing both with what Doris Lessing says and what you say, but I can’t see how you made the ‘leap’ from what she says to what you say. Ms Lessing seems to be making a general point about the narrowing effect that ‘belonging’ to any passionate movement (not necessarily government – not even, necessarily, political) tends to have on those who belong to it – the inevitable ‘group think’ culture. You, on the other hand, seem to be talking about the evil of government as opposed to the good of personal freedom.
But on your point, although some governments can and do engage in all the horrible things you list (and most governments, currently, in at least some of the horrible things you list) it seems to me that a world of no government – total individual freedom – would mean a rapid descent into chaos, misery and the exploitation of the strong by the weak. We are intelligent apes, and have come so far from our origins, but without our tribal rules and constraints some of us at least would revert to behaving as we were biologically programmed to do, using our intelligence to survive and gain power, not to be kind and keep peace.
Surely it is better at least to try for enlightened government, incorporating as much individual freedom as possible, rather than raging against governments per se?