If “tomorrow” is the first lie of the Devil, perhaps the second lie might be that our own contribution has no value; that we are powerless to make a difference in the world. It is very easy to believe that this is so, seeing clearly our frailties & weaknesses. But this is a lie, nevertheless.
- Thanks, Vicious Bob. I post this in response to the overwhelming negativity, bitterness and nihilism which have become the common sense of the liberal-leftist Internet in this day and age, this era of accelerating capitalist crisis, ecological collapse, the collapse of hopes that an imperialist war machine led by an intelligent black lawyer/academic would somehow be qualitatively different from one led by a borderline imbecile white fratboy, etc., etc...
But of course the ruling ideas of our epoch, like any other, are those of the ruling class. The ruling class want us to believe that "the war is over and the good guys lost" (L. Cohen), that their rule might be an obvious disaster but There Is No Alternative. But let's put it this way - okay, let's just assume for the sake of argument that we live at the beginning of a civilisational Dark Age like, I dunno, the European Middle Ages or the Chinese Warring States period. There's nothing that any individual can do about it, not even Noam Chomsky, John Lennon and Black Dynamite all put together. So what is your motivation for remaining alive?
Should we all load stones in our pockets and go down to the local river like Virginia Woolf? Or get drunk all the time, which is the slow-motion version of the same thing? Or give up and join the rat race to get our piece of the pie before it's too late? (Don't worry if that means selling our soul - it's not as if our soul was worth anything, and if the world is fucked whatever we do, we might as well be actively evil as long as it feels good, right?!?)
Credo quid absurdum. The only noble thing that it is still possible to do is to act as if what you did actually mattered. That is, act according to principle, as opposed to automatic ideas based on what you picked up from the TV or social chatter. Even if you're wrong, you make it possible for others to do so.