Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
My collected thoughts flamed by hubris
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Reflections on the Revolution

At lunch the other day, a friend commented how he has been enjoying re-listening to Steppenwolf. He said, "Their music is applicable all over again." Many people have noticed the similarity (politically) between this decade and the 1960's. For me, I've been reading Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and feel that it too, is applicable all over again.

At one point in the book, it says:

To speak of certain government and establishment institutions as "the system" is to speak correctly, since these organizations are founded upon the same structural conceptual relationships as a motorcycle. They are sustained by structural relationships even when they have lost all other meaning and purpose. People arrive at a factory and perform a totally meaningless task from eight to five without question because the structure demands that it be that way. There's no villain, no "mean guy" who wants them to live meaningless lives, it's just that the structure, the system demands it and one is willing to take on the formidable task of changing the structure because it is meaningless.

But to tear down a factory or revolt against a government or avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic pattern of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There's so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.

This is why I said previously that the elections in 2004 wouldn't matter that much since the issues that are splitting the country wouldn't get resolved just by voting. There is more to it than that.

Not sure if you've had a chance to read Freakonomics yet, but in that book, the author makes a strong case of showing the correlation between legalized abortions and lower crime rates a couple of decades later. It is this statistic that seems to illustrate the current divide…

You see, it isn't about one side being moral and the other side not… both sides are moral, they are just ranking competing morals differently. Same with other issues, like the "sanctity of marriage" versus "equal rights", and "defense of America" versus "unprovoked war."

I suppose that understanding the real issues at hand is the first step to healing, however, the answers to resolve our impasse is still not apparent.

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