Irrational Activism

In a sense, true ‘psychic income’ and true ‘peace of mind’ can be achieved when there is freedom and liberation from the so-called “rationality” and “objectivity” of the neoliberal and neoconservative order that got us to where we are at the moment, which one must note, in reality amounts to nothing other than despotism and stupidity in the bigger scheme of things. But such an achievement and condition cannot be rendered overnight. There are psychological and spiritual factors which bring about such an achievement and condition.

Nevertheless, the bridge between how things stand at the moment and what kind of a situation we want in the near or perhaps even distant future is the way in which attitudes and perceptions change in what is now a global public sphere as a result of increased communication, dialogue, and information-sharing prompted by globalization and technology. All of these social and technological changes and transformations precede yet another social phenomenon and transformation, namely, a generational change in both the global public sphere and international society.

Yet, one particular byproduct of these social changes and transformations which then complicates things is what the 20th century American historian Carroll Quigley called “Irrational Activism,” which arguably amounts to creating and causing a stir over the symptoms of economic, political, and social dysfunction rather than the causes. “Irrational Activism” is manifest in recent days in the neuroticism and hysteria of Jon Stewart, someone whom I actually admired and liked when I was younger, along with the likes of Robert Reich, Paul Begala, Peter Beinart, and many others for instance, who under the false, hollow, and superficial guise of morality and righteousness, end up losing their wits when confronted with the actual causes and explanations for economic, political, and social dysfunction.

“Irrational Activism” also means ignoring or overlooking the fact that while a number of Palestinians and Arabs who have lived on a certain piece of land for centuries or even millennia are insultingly told to “go back to Arabia” and are told “Death to Arabs” and so forth, no one has the brain or the logic to tell European settlers to go back to Europe. But just because the costs to such bias and injustice are hidden does not mean that the costs are non-existent.

But “Irrational Activism” also signals the gradual and slow breakdown of what was alluded to earlier, namely, the breakdown of the “rational” and “objective” order which in reality amounts to despotism and stupidity. Amidst this breakdown, the smartest thing to do would be to avoid the bait. Simply refuse to take the bait when it is put forth in order to avoid sinking along with the ship per se. In turn, what is required on the part of millennials and the “Gen-Z” is patience, self-restraint, and having the humility to lay low for a while, lest one sinks along with the ship.

Sinking with the ship also means falling for the black magic which blinds one to the despotic, irrational, and stupid state of the so-called “rational” and “objective” and “liberal” order. However, the allure of the fiascoes and stupidity is quite strong as a result of the black magic behind it all. Some of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people in our society such as Barack Obama and Ashraf Ghani – individuals which a few of us have assisted and have worked for and are acquainted with – ended up falling for the black magic. But if there was just one thing to which one can attribute the escape from the ultimate results and outcomes of the black magic such as “Havana Syndrome” and embarrassment and humiliation and so forth, it would simply be genuine and honest curiosity in learning about one’s existence and the universe, as well as love for truly rational and scientific inquiry and research, which in turn can overcome the effects and results of black magic and so forth.

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