Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cynicism, Apathy, Solipsism and Fear Mongering

I tend to get upset when I see or hear bullshit. I don't like seeing perfectly able bodied people with good minds devolve into inactivity. The following is a rant aimed at conspiracy theorists and disappointed idealists.

Attempts to normalize apathy based on specific events is very troubling to me. Playing on peoples fears, whether those fears are justified or not, end up exacerbating those fears and spreading the apathy and the cynicism. There's an overriding delusion which surfaces wherein the apathy, cynicism/paranoia, solipsism and fear mongering is seen as some higher and more useful form of skepticism. They are totally anti-structure at the core and promote fanciful delusions and believe they are "unplugged from the system". It's the Matrix and they have become detached and the rest of us are sheep. Every structure is inherently evil and will  always be that way despite change and they are not willing to change it. Instead they call for a new system whereby the utopia they want to exist will magically cure all ailments and we all will hold hands and sing kumbaya. The yearning for the utopia prevents any meaningful action toward solving the real problems people face. There is some kind of virtue in being anti-establishment, and anti-government/structure and proposing ill-thought out solutions. This Black suburban(every Black surburban is full of government agents who are coming to kill you or at least detain you) phenomena wherein the paranoia is couched in the self centered delusion that someone is "out to get you" feeds stagnation and the fear-mongering. In order to normalize their outcast mentality, they create a tent large enough so they can convince others to accept their paranoia.

They do not vote and they believe it to be a useless exercise or they throw away their vote on a candidate consumed by his own personality and end up receiving a person who is staunchly against what the voter actually wants. Then they complain about the system being broken when they do not participate or participate in such a way that their interests are stymied. There's this love affair with "principle" instead of promoting a solid and good solution. They fail to understand that any kind of change for the better takes time and a concerted effort. Change takes time and some of them accept "change over time" in biological evolution but reject it in other places. Rather than roll up their sleeves and do some work which may benefit a lot of people in the long run, they cling to the desire of immediate benefits and if that desire is not met, they sit on their hands. When they do not get what they want when they demand it, they call for the destruction of other things/policies. They over-represent actual events within government activity and the justice system to make other unsubstantiated claims which can halt the movement of others. They believe the government is comprised of 4-5 people who sit in a dark room with flashlights up to their chin and those people control everything. The weather, plate tectonics, the economy, etc. Those 4-5 people do not eat nor do they sleep because they are always plotting and always looking for ways to "divide us". Every system is automatically corrupt from its inception, no change for the better ever occurs, and the only way to get to the promised land is to pitch anarchy/revolution Society is always at the brink of THE impending doom which will fix everything but do not expect those pushing the fear mongering to be anywhere in sight if anything goes down. They will be in their bomb shelter with the door locked, making a Youtube video to document how they survived, told everyone that it would happen, and will be ready to lead the survivors into a brave new world.

Sounds like fictional characters, right? I wish that were the case but I run into that type of thinking all of the time. It's not just among college grads in their mid-20's who still believe the world to be black/white in terms of coming up with solutions. There are older adults who believe and promote the preceding thoughts.
Some are taken in to those positions due to charismatic personalities. Others are attracted to the vanity of the message without looking at it's implications and how it affects the people in which the message or legislation applies. They cling to unrealistic notions of freedom(i.e. doing whatever they want no matter how it affects others) and that any kind of regulation, law or structure is an abomination. 

When has pushing cynicism ever helped women gain access to safe and affordable health care? When has being completely apathetic about the political process ever brought about substantive change for many people? When has hyping up actual events provided any evidence for unwarranted paranoid claims? 

It's one thing to be skeptical but don't confuse apathy with being skeptical. A lot of it is simply an excuse to be lazy and indifferent which helps no one, including the person pushing it. It is not a pathway to knowledge, skeptical inquiry, and solid/good solutions but it is a damn good road map to inactivity, disappointed idealism, ignorance, and bad solutions. 

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