By Violet Lake
This is the line: |
It is a metaphor for the point of division, and boundary
between opposing forces - in this case the psychological forces
that challenge all of us. The resulting dichotomy manifests
itself in practically every decision we make, and can be described
in many ways:
Human | Animal
Civilization | Savagery
Diplomacy | Violence
Honesty | Deceit
Justice | Greed
Morality | Crime
Logic | Superstition
Love | Hatred
And of course:
Good | Evil
The effect of the dichotomy on the individual is expressed
in his or her attitude toward human nature:
Optimism | Pessimism
Locke | Hobbes
In practice, each attitude promotes the version of reality
that matches its expectations. Which one do you favor?
Most conservatives admit to a preference for pessimism.
Of course, a pessimistic attitude toward human nature doesn't
automatically transform a person into a hate-filled, superstitious,
greedy, deceitful, criminal, violent, evil, and savage animal.
But it does obscure the line - which invites the destruction
Some pessimist-conservatives argue that it's human nature
to be a hate-filled, savage animal. They also argue that the
only way to survive in a world of hate-filled, savage animals
is to behave like a hate-filled, savage animal. In effect,
they're arguing that in order to defend and promote the values
on the left-hand column, it is necessary to betray them.
It goes without saying that on rare occasions, civilized
people are indeed forced to "cross the line" and resort to
savagery. But an ideology that requires that the line be crossed
on a daily basis is merely a set of excuses for indulging
in the values on the right-hand column.
In a civilized society, such an ideology can't survive without
subterfuge; if the ideology becomes influential enough, the
subterfuge can obliterate the boundaries and destroy the meanings
that civilization depends on.
Without boundaries, and without meaning, the marvelous human
mind is reduced to the dysfunctional output of a sophisticated
animal brain. And there is no animal more dangerous - to itself
and to others - than a dysfunctional human being.
Sanity | Psychosis
Liberalism | Neoconservatism
As a function, neoconservatism promotes the psychosis that
is poisoning American society. Neoconservatives have already
crossed the line. Their challenge is to force the rest of
us to cross; it's the only way they can prove that it's human
nature to be a hate-filled, savage animal. Once that premise
becomes gospel - anything goes.
The only way to defeat neoconservatism is to compel it to
expose its malevolent nature. That can only be done by tenaciously
adhering to the values on the left-hand column. It must be
made clear that there is a world of difference between civilization
and savagery. The only way to win is by establishing an unassailable
example. My optimism toward human nature leads me to believe
that if the options are presented honestly, most people will
have no problem making the right choice.
Right | Wrong
Progress | Regress
Freedom | Servitude
Violet Lake is an artist and software designer, living somewhere
in Pennsylvania. Her e-mail address is VioletLake@gmail.com.