Being Human

I saw this over at Facebook:

How about:

“Being human means reckoning with a history rich in heroic achievement and moral progress, while at the same time fraught with violence and injustice. Ignoring that reality in favor of mythology is not only wrong but also dangerous, but mythology has a place. The noble chapters of human history have just as much to teach us, if not more, than the shameful ones, and the two are almost always intertwined.”

The injustice and violence and all the bad stuff is the normal baseline. It’s the 90% of the iceberg below the surface. The achievements and heroism are the 10% sticking up in the sun. We don’t talk about the bad stuff much because it’s so damned common. The good stuff is, by definition, extraordinary.

It’s like asking “Why are so many people poor?” because poor is the normal condition. The question that should be asked is “How do we get more people rich?”

As to mythology, I like Terry Pratchett’s take on it. Human beings need to believe in things that are not true. How else can they become?

My point is HUMANITY does sucky things. Americans are not exempt, but we’re treated as though we are supposed to be and failed and should be ashamed of that failure. What we’ve actually done on the side of good is extraordinary. What we’ve done on the side of evil is at worst, ordinary.

7 thoughts on “Being Human

  1. Yes… but Gramscian critical theory specifically focuses on, and emphasizes that negative, to undermine the institutions of the society, and the society itself… and American academics, and media, are thoroughly indoctrinated in critical theory.

  2. Evil is ordinary, mundane and banal.

    What is exceptional about the American mythos is that some of us have actually lived up to it, and even more of us have come close to it in our striving.

    And there are some people who simply just can’t *stand* that.

  3. Leftists are fond of blaming America in particular, and western civilization in general, for slavery.

    What they are careful to ignore is that every single branch of humanity has both slaves and slavers in its ancestry, that the African slave trade can be documented all the way back to the Phoenicians, and that white Europeans were the first people in the history of the world to try to make slavery unacceptable everywhere. They didn’t succeed, but they made a good effort, and came closer than anyone else would have.

    They are careful to ignore the fact that there are places right now, today, where slavery is not only still a thing, but is considered an old and venerated tradition. And that every single place that this is still true fall into one of three categories: The black majority nations of Africa, the Muslim majority nations of Asia, and communist countries everywhere they have ever appeared.

    The above is just an example of something leftists try to do with any subject on which they have an opinion. They go on forever about the bad aspects, and act as if that’s all that ever happened. The good is often ignored, where it isn’t denied completely. And those they tout as “oppressed victims” were nearly always as bad, if not worse.

    As for Pratchett’s take… as much as I have always liked Terry Pratchett, I think Uncle Hub said it even better in Second Hand Lions:

  4. Ken Burns’ opinions are about as believable and relevant as that wig.
    Point and laugh, people. Point and laugh.
    Save knocking the silly thing off their head for if and when they persist in their evil idiocy.

  5. It’s important to know of the bad that America has done in the past. We don’t want to repeat it, after all — and in many of those cases, it’s a very clear illustration why we are supposed to have Constitutional protections, and what happens when we don’t live up to our ideals.

    I cannot help but notice two things that enemies of American Constitutionalism constantly do, however, that rub me the wrong way.

    First, they dwell on American imperfection, as if it’s a fault of the fundamental systems of freedom and individualism, rather than a result of the Human Condition — or worse — they ignore the many times these imperfections are the result of departing from the Constitution and from Individualism.

    Second, they paper over and sometimes even completely ignore the far darker, and far more serious crimes against humanity that other Countries have committed — particularly Marxist ones — while proclaiming the wonder and joy these countries “brought” into the world — which wonder and joy are significantly smaller compared to what America has brought into being.

    And all this, so that enemies of Individualism and American Constitutionalism could throw out the Constitution and create a Socialist Paradise — a “Paradise” that would, ultimately, make America’s past sins (as horrible as they may be) look like a picnic in the park, because that has exactly what has been delivered in every other Country that has rejected Individualism in favor of creating a Socialist “Paradise”.

    In a very odd way, I consider myself a “Communist”, but only in the sense that I realize that Marx’s original goal of “State-free cooperation” is the very Capitalism that Marx wanted to see overthrown. He, and all his followers since then, are too blind by their lust for power to recognize that America is the very Communism they sought. Marx and his followers inexplicably think that complete control over all people by a “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” is a necessary step for establishing their “State-free cooperation”, never minding that Dictatorships, once established, don’t ever want to give up power.

Leave a Reply to Chris Byrne Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *