Is Free-thinking being extinguished?
In his latest article on Truthdig, “How To Think”, Chris Hedges discusses the idea of “turning a blind eye” and how free-thinking is losing the battle with global corporatization and nationalism. A couple of bites from the article,
Human societies see what they want to see. They create national myths of identity out of a composite of historical events and fantasy. They ignore unpleasant facts that intrude on self-glorification. They trust naively in the notion of linear progress and in assured national dominance. This is what nationalism is about—lies. And if a culture loses its ability for thought and expression, if it effectively silences dissident voices, if it retreats into what Sigmund Freud called “screen memories,” those reassuring mixtures of fact and fiction, it dies. It surrenders its internal mechanism for puncturing self-delusion. It makes war on beauty and truth. It abolishes the sacred. It turns education into vocational training. It leaves us blind. And this is what has occurred. We are lost at sea in a great tempest. We do not know where we are. We do not know where we are going. And we do not know what is about to happen to us.
And about corporate capitalism…
And here is the dilemma we face as a civilization. We march collectively toward self-annihilation. Corporate capitalism, if left unchecked, will kill us. Yet we refuse, because we cannot think and no longer listen to those who do think, to see what is about to happen to us. We have created entertaining mechanisms to obscure and silence the harsh truths, from climate change to the collapse of globalization to our enslavement to corporate power, that will mean our self-destruction. If we can do nothing else we must, even as individuals, nurture the private dialogue and the solitude that make thought possible.
Are we becoming so numb to what is happening in the world that we cannot even think for ourselves anymore? Are we so caught up in the “busy-ness” of our day that we can’t actually “think” about what is going on in the world around us? I think that most people have no clue at all about what Hedges and all of the bloggers on here write about. People are tuned in to their Ipods, Iphones, Desperate Housewives, or hiding behind a banner of religion that has suppressed free thought for eons. We are indoctrinated with the idea of conformity. Be a good student…be a good worker…just don’t think. I think that we all need to read more and we all need to think more. Again, as I’ve said before, we need to stop being lulled into this trance of conformity and actually wake up. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. Hedges concluded with this…
It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.