A stirring in sanity

I don’t have hope for people.  Only a limited portion of the population can break out of the official narrative.  This is partially due to intelligence but that is merely a prerequisite.  There are many many smart people who nod there heads and get warm fuzzies every time the NY times prints an article.  There are many more who might disagree with a point or even a whole article.  But if you suggest something wild like democracy is not the best political system ever invented but a terrible one.  They hit a wall.  Many if not most will hit a wall way before that.

I once suggested that the reason the rain forest was being destroyed was because it was mostly owned by the government, you know insert tragedy of the commons and incentive argument here (Note that the with the right incentive structure government might handle this task).  Anyways the listener then assumed that I was against government and for some reason I would get along with a friend of hers who was into the zeitgeist movement.  Note this person was not aware of what the zeitgeist movement was nor that her friend was a member just aware of his anti-government sentiments.  This is quite the leap of logic.  I can only assume that to her, like many, if you create to strong a criticism of government you must be against it so as a whole.

Recently I had the opportunity to hear a number of people discuss the Obamacare.  What was interesting to me was that if you had put all their personal epiphanies together you might have had a somewhat skeptical and critical person.  Yet most assumed that even if there are draw backs that there has to be something good about the law.  One even suggested that the reason the website failed that it the project was sabotaged by republicans.  They couldn’t accept that lawmakers could be this inept/apathetic to the plight of the American people.  Some reassured themselves that we live in an democracy.  But one astutely noted that they didn’t think that there “really was a choice.”  Whilst complaining about premiums going up many accepted their fate like good serfs.   One went as far as to ask a very dangerous question: “If Republicans elected will Obama Care be repealed?” Quickly followed by groveling social signaling ”  But I’m a democrat.”  (As a side note even if the republicans controlled all three branches of government I don’t think they would repeal Obamacare)  One even noted that “insurance companies and hospitals control the prices now.”  That they assumed that this wasn’t the point of the law to begin with belies their ignorance.

To get people to think outside of modernity requires you first disassemble their narrative.  Which is difficult thing to do.  Many will react with anger when you start taking off the first piece, others will stop listening and walk away, and still others will cringe in pain and shut down unable to process your words.  A friend of mine asked me why medicare was passed in the first place.  He said it had something to do with the rising cost of healthcare.  I said that was the excuse but that cost had risen dramatically because of it.  He said naively why don’t you suggest that to congress.

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I attempted to explain as nicely as possible that congress didn’t care if the costs were rising and that too many voters would benefit from the system in place.  He didn’t really get it.  This was a stark reminder of the failure of attempting to appeal to the demos.  Sure maybe if I could get a friend alone for a few hours I could convince him of some particular piece of heresy.  But you only get so many chances.  Part of growing up in politics is realizing not only that you cannot change peoples minds but you don’t have to.  Any political movement which is going to succeed will succeed with violence, money or influence.  Of course money and influence must be backed by violence to succeed.   I had realized that a long time ago, but this even was a good reminder.  Where as before I might have irked me how clueless people are, I was happily able to get a good laugh at their antics.  Part of staying sane in a progressive utopia is having a sense of humor and realizing that you like most people are powerless.  Your movement, idea, change will happen or not happen regardless of your input.  Democracy fools us into thinking we have power, that the masses can have power, the only power they can have is the power they are allowed to have, and its only manifestation is either civil war or the mob.  Democracy is just a way for mobs to compete without much violence.  The results are hardly saner.  Though thankfully the effect any given election on the leviathan which is the state is minimal.

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