The Future of Dissidence: Is There One?
As we age we all go through various stages of development and maturity. Some take longer to find their way than others while many dawdle in their youth eternally. Holding on to what one believes can be a hindrance to growth that we all should experience naturally, beliefs in ones country or in the righteousness of ones family or religious tendencies, for instance. But what kind of intellectual stagnation takes place when we cling to our beliefs, however well intentioned. Furthermore, what kind of legacy do we endow to those we leave behind? It can be the most ignorant kind of negligence to stay true to ones beliefs regardless of proofs to the contrary, for example, when one is shown proof that a horrible action has been carried out under the pretexts of willing fabrications. People have the strange tendency to fabricate further justifications in their own mind that allow the lie to be perpetuated further, and so on indefinitely. As this happens the whole mass of humanity tied to this belief begins to create its own justifications and a sort of mass delusion is brought to life, with myriad dimensions that may further be exploited by the originator of the initial untruth. Confused? Me too!
Once one establishes a higher level of experience he achieves a more rational and intelligent level of understanding the world around him, with a capacity for reason that questions established truths. Once the fire and angst of youth has passed him by the evidence of his previous misgivings about the world take root in the rich soil of maturity. The conundrum becomes ones acquired knowledge of injustice with lack of virility and the will to unseat the unjust. One exception comes to mind, that of Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT. This one man has been a single force for justice and equality since the age of ten years old when he wrote on the Spanish Civil War. His words have sliced through the rhetoric of power like a mad chain-saw running on jet fuel for seventy years. The lack of contemporaries of this man is a sad commentary on the level of dissidence in America today. The “radicals” and “leftists” of today leave a great deal to be desired once you have absorbed the volumes given forth by Noam Chomsky. I fear for the future of the revolutionary momentum that has been accelerated by the recent NSA revelations and other such “scandals” in the US today. Had the same misdeeds of the government come out in the seemingly more active sixties there is a chance that Washington would now be under siege. However, with todays atomized society and “virtual” activism (that gives the false sense of being adversarial in 140 character screeds) there is hardly a whimper in the real, palpable world where drones and full body scans are commonplace. Has blabbering on the internet replaced the visceral disgust with government displayed by the likes of the Weathermen? Where are the lunch counter sit-ins with Howard Zinn or the Freedom Riders? Where are the people who actually go to jails and prisons for their beliefs and their attitudes against an oppressive, murderous government? Has everyone become to comfortable with their portion of the spoils of war and their handheld, mind-numbing propaganda machines? These are all questions that need to be answered soon before the momentum of this last gasp of freedom is gone forever. War is Peace is sounding ever more rational to too many people today.