August 29, 2005

Individualism Was A Mistake.

Individualism represents a kind of freedom and excitement but also generates a very specific and intense strain of powerlessness. This powerlessness results from the fact that in order to change things people have to work together and, more often than not, individualism erodes the very sense of common human purpose that might make working together possible.

I don’t like to win. More of a problem than it at first seems. Easy enough to avoid conflict (most of the time.) Perhaps easy enough to just simply lose, if by some casual accident one unfortunately finds oneself in actual competition. But never to win: an altogether painful business.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a great deal about that utterly childish aspect of the human mind, the part that instantly demands: “I want this” or “I don’t want that,” which in a split second desires or just as quickly rejects. How before any information has been gathered, before any time has been taken to weigh the various pros and cons, before even the first glimpse of thought has had a chance to emerge, already such an intense impulse overtakes the body and already we know.

And yet there’s always a degree of hypocrisy and bad faith. Everyone and everything is just a little bit corrupt and that’s exactly the way we like it. To be completely consistent is both boring and impossible so let’s not pretend. Instead let’s rejoice in the openness and exhilaration of inconsistency, of doubt, of questioning, of changing ones mind when faced with new information or simply for the hell of it, of being undecided or even indecisive, of not knowing the truth and continuing to search without finding, always searching, and believing this search to be an honest and meaningful way of life. But I’ve fallen slightly off the point which is of course that I live and work as an aggressively isolated and alienated individualist while at the same time seem to be saying that it is the exact opposite condition which in fact would be most effective and liberating and right. The exact opposite. Proving even I can be exact now and again.

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