Why To Go On

A crisis–even a catastrophe–does not necessarily mean the end. It can mean the end, but it doesn’t have to mean the end. For an individual, or a society, so long as you are still alive, and so long as you are able and willing to think, there’s hope that you will make a comeback.

Human history is one long history of comebacks. The tragedies of human history involve contexts where people suffered needlessly, for long periods of time, not because of honest ignorance but because of rotten evasions and the evils that accompanied these lapses in rational thinking. For example: The Dark Ages was a tragedy because the reason and enlightenment discovered and advanced by earlier civilizations gave way to the dictatorship and self-imposed stupidity that went on for centuries.

Our current crisis need not go on for centuries, nor even for years. It is possible that we will descend into dictatorship or worse in the coming years, as our government proceeds to fail us on levels never before seen in American history–indeed, all of human history since America was the biggest and the greatest human endeavor, to date. That legacy of human greatness may be spoiled by those mindless hacks running our government, but only the people can allow it to be destroyed.

Human beings possess free will, and there’s nothing inevitable about decline or disaster. The only inevitability is that stupid and wrong ideas–consistently practiced–will always lead to decline and disaster. That, in fact, is what is reaching its climax today, right before our very eyes, with stunning clarity. Reality is crashing down upon us, for all the reasons it must have–for reasons only a few of us dare (as of yet) name aloud. But people can correct and change wrong ideas. Even dictatorship can be reversed, by revolution, if dictatorship even comes.

Those of you who are depressed about “the end of America” must make this distinction. Just as good things are not guaranteed, bad things are not inevitable. It is true that disasters, once they occur, cannot be undone. What’s done is done. But the learning that comes with disaster is sometimes strong enough to carry an individual–or a society–decades or even centuries into the future. There never has to be an ending to the story of man. Good ideas are just as powerful as bad ones. And they matter more. In a society, or in an individual: The best time for rational ideas to take hold is when bad ideas have done their damage.

Sooner or later, there will be a comeback for human greatness, for liberty and for progress. At the time of America’s founding, liberty and individual rights were a viewpoint held only by a passionate minority. If you think about it, nothing has really changed. The passionate minority will, sooner or later, manage to convince the majority to come back to their side. Good always triumphs over evil … so long as good remains true to itself, and leaves evil completely on its own, to perish from  the consequences of its own stupidity.