Friday, January 29, 2010

Wobbly Times number 42

“There is nothing in the world, I would venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.’” –Viktor Frankl –“Man’s Search for Meaning”

“Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being that invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema on his lips.” Frankl


For me, freedom is the meaning of life. Freedom is a process of becoming as one discovers the parts of necessity which have become redunant in history's flow. It is true that nobody can take your attitude away. Still, it's good to eliminate the fascists and other reactionary dominator/bullies from imposing their versions of necessity on you. Frankl's thinking is muddled by an ignorance of class society and the politics which issue from its gut. It was fascists who invented the gas chambers.

I think we can maintain our personal, internal dignity best by valuing humanity's freedom over bowing to and forgiving those who would take our freedom away e.g. those who consider us 'sub-human' or those who work systems of producer exploitiation for the continued accumulation of their own wealth and power over 'the other'. In saying this, I'm not saying that I want to murder our dominators; more, that I want to eliminate the systems where one person has power OVER another.

Authority is a two-sided coin. On one side, the authority of the teacher who wishes to pass her knowledge of Spanish to her student and her student's acceptance of the his teacher's authority. On the other side, there is the authority of those who would bully, cajole and otherwise dominate in order to gain power OVER others. In other words, authority has to come from us, if we are to remain free. If we're muddled on that issue, the sadists will come out of the woodwork and have a field day at our expense.

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