Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.

Arthur Silber is back, thank heavens, telling the truth to people who don't want to hear it. As is Chris Floyd.

There is always hope of America becoming better, there is always hope for
positive change. But that hope does not reside -- and has never resided -- in a
single politician, or party, or faction. It resides in every individual citizen:
in what they think and believe, in what they will accept and countenance, in
what they will not stand for, in what they will work for. Hope resides in the
amount of knowledge and truth and insight that we can all produce and
disseminate and act upon. And hope depends on our ability -- and our willingness
-- to confront reality as it is, to deal with our leaders and would-be leaders
as they are, not as we wish them to be. For how can you change anything if you
cannot see it clearly?
Why can't we see this clearly? Because we lie to ourselves. We say that we need someone to save us, we need a hero, a strong leader to tell us what to do, how to think. Why on earth would we want someone to make decisions for us? Because we don't know what to do. We don't know who to trust, to believe. We don't know what we want or how to get it. We don't know how we feel, or why we feel the things that do affect us, such as fear and anger. How can we be such strangers to ourselves?

We lie. We say our nation is the greatest in the world, the most kind and helpful. We say we are helpless without an authority to tell us what to do. We say our parents were all good and kind and selfless, our children better than average, our way of life the only way to live. Our god is real, and the one true god, while all the others are false. We lie. Over and over and over. And then we lie some more. We go to our graves buried in our lies.

Obviously, we do this so we can survive, feel good enough about ourselves to get out of bed in the morning, face the world of pain and grief and uncertainty. But everyone doesn't do this. Silber and Floyd don't. They accept the pain, accept the uncertainty, accept the truth. And because of this, they can look at the world with honest, seeing eyes, while the rest of the nation sees through a glass darkly.

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