Reading Gates of Vienna today, I found a reference in the comments to a Eject! Eject! Eject! post of May 2007:
I’ve written a dozen or so major essays since I hung my shingle over this little corner of cyberspace, and received wonderful e-mails about all of them. But two – the last two – have generated a very specific response: more passionate; desperate, even.He follows, in this post, to explain why societies make certain decisions, and how societies should function, for their maximum benefit.
The first was Tribes, which basically posited that there were people who relied on themselves and people who relied on the State. The second was Seeing the Unseen, which took a look at conspiracy theories and the mental illness required to believe in ‘chemtrails’ and the 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB pathology.
Those both generated reams and reams of heartfelt sentiment, and that sentiment was much the same time and time again.
I thought I was all alone, people said. And I see this sense of despair and resignation spreading all across the web; from individuals in comment sections, or in lonely posts on obscure blogs.
Now here’s what’s interesting: this response is the same, again and again, although the stimulus is different. It might be increasing public irrationality and paranoia, or falling educational standards, or unchecked illegal immigration, or activist judges. Maybe it’s tolerance of crime, or endless lawsuits, or general mean-spiritedness. Perhaps it’s rampant defeatism, cynicism, a lack of common decency, and the sense that courage and honor are dying qualities that time is passing by.
And maybe it’s the dawning realization that our elites in politics, academia and entertainment (which controls our mythology) are leading the charge not to salvation but to the cliffs that seem so obvious to so many common people.
Something seems to be failing, something essential, as if all the nails and glue that hold a house together were dissolving all at once. And many people – perhaps you are one of them – watch all this happening and feel powerless to stop it.
Well, you are not alone.
So many stimuli, and always the same response: has the world gone mad?
What do those stimuli have in common?