Wednesday, December 22, 2004

...Plus C'est La Meme Chose...

From an old comment I made some time ago, with minor updates. Depressingly, things haven't changed much:

The meme that went round the weblog posts months and months ago was "outrage fatigue". It could just as easily have been context fatigue, or high-tech fatigue, or intellect fatigue, or authority fatigue. Some succumb to it sooner than others, some hang on longer, but the next thing you know, you're retreating into fantasyland, which takes different forms depending on your philosophical bent.

I come home some days so bereft of will and so tired of trying to make sense of all this senselessness that I head straight for the liquor cabinet. When you give up trying to make sense of things, you give up trying to make people accountable for their words and actions, and thus the Bushes of the world get their way.

Susan Neiman, in her book "Evil in Modern Thought", talks about how evil is a problem about the intelligibility of the world as a whole. She says,
"To call an action evil is to suggest that it cannot (be ordered into the rest of our experience)- and that it thereby threatens the trust in the world that we need to orient ourselves within it."
Trust in the world, just trust that it can make some logical sense, is absolutely required for people to behave rationally. As the world gets weirder and less comprehensible, people seek refuge in magical thinking, and leave the doing to others. The current problem is, how to rouse people from their apathetic despair, and move events toward a more humane course?

I don't know.

No comments: