I WAS JUST THINKING…that radicals never seem to be laughing. They always are so “deadly” serious. And yet, based upon their crazy beliefs and actions, they seem to be precisely the people that should laugh at themselves.
For example, did you watch AntiFa recently attack peaceful marchers in California dedicated to a “Rally Against Hate,” almost beating one of them to death? Well, that’ll show the peaceful marchers not to “Rally Against Hate.” Next time I bet the marchers will play it safe and “Rally For Hate.” Equally weird, there was an image of an AntiFa goon beating peaceful protesters with a shield that read “No Hate.” Can you imagine what he would have done if he hated the protester? Is that nuts, or what?
For those new to AntiFa, it is a radical leftist, neo-communist, group dedicated to the Bolshevik principles of continuous violent revolution, anarchy and destruction of the government. Kind of a “Drain the swamp–throw the bums out” voter only a little rougher. Bolsheviks were the ruling communist party that arose from the ashes of the bloody 1917 Russian revolution.The revolution was driven by the philosophy of Marx–Karl, not Groucho.
And what about the bizarre images of the fighting between the warring groups? Every time I saw a protest battle, there were maybe only 18 people fighting and 976 journalists surrounding them, right there in the middle of the scrum, clicking cameras or pointing their iPhones at the melee to get a selfie. And the police? Where in the world were the police? Shouldn’t there be 976 police in the thick of the scrum with journalists standing on the sidelines, rather than vice-versa? And the press? Thanks to over 5,000 media outlets on television, radio, social and print media and intergalactic space news stations, we get to see the scrum of 18 loonies played over and over and over until, finally, we want to shout out from the rooftop “Attack the journalists. Attack the journalists. Hit that jerk from CNN.”
If you were an alien watching it all from Mars, you’d think it were all a bad Three Stooges rehearsal. But, then again, if you’re an alien from Mars, what do you know about our beloved Stooges?
Radical leftist groups hate right-wing fascist groups and vice-versa. Fascist groups advocate a strong, central, authoritarian state–a kind of hyper-nationalism, hyper-authoritarian, hyper-anti-communism. The two groups are opposites. And yet they are exactly the same in that they both practice violent intolerance against differing opinions.
Which, naturally, brings us to the philosopher and inventor of the modern popcorn machine, Karl Popper and his “paradox of intolerance”. It goes kind of like this: a society should be tolerant of others except when others become intolerant, and then society must become intolerant. So we should be intolerant of intolerance so as to promote tolerance. Got that? Quiz on Thursday.
Unfortunately, there’s a small problem when group A becomes intolerant of group B who is intolerant of group A. Who get to be the Grand Pooh-bah of intolerance? Who gets to stand up on the high moral pedestal of “my intolerance trumps your intolerance” and throw thunderbolts down upon the morally inferior?
The obvious answer, of course, is the left. The looney left is always right. Well, good. Glad we got that straightened out.
Just kidding. Trying to not take my own philosophy too seriously. Trying to be like Marx–Groucho, not Karl–who famously rejected an offer to be a member of the Riviera Golf Club in Los Angeles many years back. He replied by saying he refused to belong to any organization who’d admit people like him.
Isn’t that a refreshing, heartening idea? Not that Groucho stuck it to those hoity-toity country clubbers, but that we can laugh at ourselves.
The concept of not taking oneself too seriously is premised upon the assumption that life on earth is inherently variable, contingent and complex: 7.5 billion souls, lots of languages, lots of different experiences, lots of religions, lots of no religions, lots of different political theories, lots of bad situations.
One obvious conclusion to this reality is the kind found in the writings of Kurt Vonnegut: be kind, gentle and forgiving of each other. And share friendship, love and some laughs. Maybe even some popcorn popped in a Karl Popper popper. We’re all in the same lifeboat. And Vonnegut, who was a WW II prisoner, present in Dresden during its fire-bombing, knows something about the high cost of someone imposing their utopian pipe dream upon the world.
It’s never good when someone comes up with the “absolute correct answer” to how we all should conduct our behavior. Immediately flee to the nearest exit from utopian ideas. Except when that absolutely correct answer is that there is no absolutely correct answer, at least not just “one size fits all”, so let’s design a society that promotes tolerant free will and self-determination.
Which is what our Founding Fathers did in promoting political freedom (democracy) and economic freedom (capitalism). Too bad they all had to be old white men.
Our system is moderate which has promoted moderate, fair-minded citizens–mostly. It is based upon freedom, and freedom repels radical, utopian ideologies like a duck sheds water. We know tyranny is bad. Our system was designed in reaction to the oppression the early colonies experienced under King George–King George William Frederick III, not King George Clooney.
I am a big fan of our system of government that recognizes life’s inherent imperfection. It is a view consistent with the Biblical story explaining how we came to be in this harsh, cruel place, somewhere on the “east side of the Garden of Eden.”
Sometimes, viewing the ever-unfolding human story on television from the low, but comfortable, perch of my couch, I get a little disheartened. And I think that perhaps God moved us a little too far East.
But then I read one of God’s great gifts to help us muddle through, the sayings of Marx–Groucho, not Karl-laugh and feel better.