08 April 2009

Someone must do our thinking for us

It never ceases to amaze me how accustomed some people are spewing platitudes, so accustomed as to be able to utter a self-contradictory assertion all the conviction of a claim such as that "All men are created equal."

Here's text of an exchange between Larry King and Penn Jillett, from 3 April 2009:

KING: Penn, do you want Obama to succeed?

JILLETTE: Well, the nice thing about hoping is that it doesn't work, so that you don't have to worry very much about what you're hoping. If what succeeding means is taking away -- giving too much of a safety net so that we can't live like Vegas, there's no reason to gamble if you can't lose, and I think it's really important that people have a chance to win and to fail, and I think too much of a safety net, it's just less fun to live.


KING: If his programs brought about health insurance that pleased all, taxes that pleased most, a better way of life for a lot of people, then that's the kind of success you would think you'd like.

JILLETTE: If you please everybody on anything you're doing something wrong. But luckily there's no chance of that. I just think that individuals are more important than a whole kind of groupthink and that individuals can do more than a top down kind of thinking. I don't think the government can solve all our problems or should try.

KING: We do have 300 million people. You can be individuals as much as you like, but somebody's gotta think for the masses.
We, the masses, can be individuals as much as we like, but somebody's going to think for us, the masses. No wonder these people look at us like we're Martians when we talk about the loss of individual freedom: they sincerely believe you can be as free as you want while someone else does your thinking for you. (They also sincerely believe they are smarter than those who disagree with them.)

We need a word, a Newspeak word for this self-contradictory concept, the individual who is free to be as individual as he wants to be while having someone do his thinking for him as a member of the masses.

Hmmm. How about individumass? Oh, better yet: freeslave. And the type of thinking we're talking about can be called topthink.

Maybe King is right: someone must think for the masses. I just wish he wouldn't lie to himself about being free to be as individual as he wants while someone else is doing the thinking for us.

Besides, if anyone should do the thinking for the masses it should be me, not Barak Obama Epiphanes.

I remember the good old days when only religionists and cultists could be accused of letting others do their thinking for them.

Actually, maybe His Beatitude's followers are cultists of a sort.

No. It couldn't be that.


About Me

James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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