With November just around the corner in this election year of 2016, partisan political discourse is at its usual 4-year fever pitch. In antidote, I present the following collection of quotes from one of America’s great literary icons of the 19th century, Henry David Thoreau.
Thoreau is best known for Walden, his widely celebrated ode to nature and radical self-reliance. Tragically, few today are as familiar with his other works, which are no less superb, including his withering critique on the character of voting and obeisance to the State from the classic, On the Duty Of Civil Disobedience, that is said to have influenced Tolstoy and Gandhi.
As we are made to suffer yet again under a delusion that the future of the free world is staked on the outcome of another ham-handed dog and pony show, these words are worth bearing in mind, as well as taking to heart …
When something activates my interest in the social media sphere, I tend to drill down on it. In the form of Facebook posts and YouTube videos that entails reading through as many of the comments as possible, and not only the comments, but the comments to the comments, and the comments to those comments. I find it massively interesting to see what people of all walks and worldviews are actually thinking and saying on a topic, especially on a topic of controversy.
said FB post
I offer this recent Facebook thread as an example, not because I endorse its content, but because I read copiously through the comments to judge how people from all sides of the argument and everywhere in between are weighing in, and I think if you do the same, from a dispassionate detached point of view (as much as possible), you are likely to find it interesting too.
I am of a belief that mankind, in some sense, is suffering from a sort of epistemological crisis, if I may use that term.