Man Is Not Always Blind

manblindThese words (which I picked up from Abraham Joshua Heschel) are true, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Humanity may be blind – willingly blind – for sickening lengths of time, but mankind is not always blind.

Our present government/corporate culture – the loud, flashing, vapid cloud of distraction and fear that surrounds us – not only promotes blindness toward anything outside of itself, but requires this blindness for its very continuance; this is true.

Still, man is not always blind.

Back Then

I will begin making my point with an old example:

Would you expect thousands of peasants, in deepest medieval France, to walk for scores or even hundreds of miles, through early 12th century mud and wilderness, and to sleep outdoors, just to hear a philosopher teach? A man who was rejected by Church and secular authorities, and who was mutilated beside?

Regardless of how implausible that may sound, it happened. The teacher’s name was Peter Abelard, this is how he described these events:

Forthwith I sought out a lonely spot known to me of old in the region of Troyes [in north-central France], and there, on a bit of land which had been given to me… I built with reeds and stalks my first oratory.

No sooner had students learned of my retreat than they began to flock there from all sides, leaving their towns and castles to dwell in the wilderness. In place of their spacious houses, they built themselves huts; instead of dainty fare, they lived on the herbs of the field and coarse bread; their soft beds they exchanged for heaps of straw and rushes, and their tables were piles of turf.

This happened. These people grew tired of being blind. Then they did something about it.

And Now

And even in our age, which beats out the 1950s as an age of abject conformity, thousands of good people are breaking away from it.

There are people who can see and feel and think independently – or, even more horrifying to the overlords of the age – people who can and do act on their heretical beliefs. These people don’t show up on TV, of course, and seldom on radio, but they exist all the same.

New branches of civilization are sprouting, and the people of these branches care about seeing. Voluntaryists, Bitcoiners, homeschoolers, cryptoanarchists, hackers, makers, religious non-conformists… Such people are sick of being blind; are sick of living a hypnotized, acquiescent life of chasing symbols and illusions, while being systematically reaped by a corrupt system.

The extent to which such people have broken out of the Western Autopilot Life is greater – far greater – than any I’ve seen over my lifetime. Furthermore, the very number of them is greater than any I’ve ever seen.

And not only that, but to a larger extent than most of us realize, this is flowing into the low spots of mainstream culture. During my youth, politicians were held to be important men; wise and virtuous men. And that is simply no longer true. I don’t think there is any place left in the West where the phrase, “Politicians are liars and thieves” would fail to garner general agreement at a bus stop. That is a big, serious change.

For all of our lifetimes, we’ve been living through a perfect storm of authority. Authority has benefited from a group of temporary conditions and has gone, in stock market terms, through the roof. But this will not last forever, and it is thinning as we speak.

Authority has become brittle and fragile. It remains in place, but the people who still believe in it are those who are least-informed, least-awake and least-alive. The more informed the individual, the more likely it is that they hold authority to be stupid and abusive.

I haven’t space to go through this in length here, but those so inclined can find it in issue #40 of my subscription newsletter.

What Fuller Knew

Among the people who I’m sorry to have missed in his lifetime was Buckminster Fuller. So, I’d like to conclude by quoting a few passages from Fuller’s last book, Cosmography, published nine years after his death:

The dark ages still reign over all humanity, and the depth and persistence of this domination are only now becoming clear.

I find it very interesting that Fuller says that the depth and persistence of life’s domination on Earth is “only now becoming clear.” And he is entirely correct – it is only now becoming clear to us. Why that should be is a question I will not touch today, but the statement is both true and important. Domination is abuse, and its vileness is only now becoming clear to us… but it IS becoming clear to us.

Man is not forever blind.

This Dark Ages prison has no steel bars, chains, or locks. Instead, it is locked by misorientation and built of misinformation… We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.

And that’s really what all our efforts are about: Changing our minds and seeing the vile conditioning that has been imposed upon us; cutting life free of its constraints and letting it flourish, unhindered. Once we do that – and ignore the medieval thugs who seek to keep us chained to their chariots – our dark ages will end.

Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.

It’s hard to add much to this passage, aside from a hearty “amen” and “we’re not nearly as far from it as we may think.”

Press forward and savor every bit of progress you see.

Darkness will not reign forever.

Man is not always blind.

Paul Rosenberg

6 thoughts on “Man Is Not Always Blind”

  1. There is some contradiction in your post.
    Pierre Abelard and his followers, in the 12th century, may not have been blind, but the remainder of the population was, and still is.
    In other words, there has been little or no progress, as far as blindness is concerned, in almost a thousand years!
    Why should that change?
    The fact is that there have always been a few awakened (people are not blind, but either asleep, or rather hypnotized, or awake) persons.
    Their number vary but always remain low.
    Now is not so different.
    There may seem to be more awakened persons nowadays, but that is because our means of communication have improved, therefore enabling like minded people to hear from each other.
    Without the internet, I wouldn’t know of Paul Rosenberg and yet he would still exist.
    But the fact is that the number of readers (followers) of wise bloggers remains far far below that of readers of dumb tweeters such as Kim K. or Barrack O.

    1. Paul,
      I have to agree with Bruno insofar as the level of the public’s level of comprehending interest in liberty. Optimism is good, even necessary, though fooling oneself about progress is dangerous. The United States, the “land of the free”, supposedly the beacon for mankind, to which it was closer a hundred years ago, is rapidly trending in the direction of tyranny. The weaponization of government against its own people (lemonade stands to Obamacare), and the lack of caring by those same people, as long as they get their shiny goodies, does not bode well.
      If I am missing some basic element I would be thrilled to know of it.
      I have regular discussions with Randian Objectivists, Rothbard Anarchocaptialists and even Misian free market types about how to bring about change with all governments being rapacious. There is never an answer other than to educate the public. Good luck with that.
      As an aside, part of the problem for “our side” is that the Randians, Rothbardians and Miseans are tearing each others eyes out over very minor differences when we all agree on more than 95% of both the problem and the solution.
      I do not think that people are incapable of learning, but I do think they are simply not interested in learning that their life could be better. It is “good enough” for them and the 2016 presidential candidates are all promising to keep the gravy train flowing. Hence, the people are done “thinking”.

      1. Gentlemen,
        I understand your positions, having shared them myself at various times. The reason I think differently now is that I’ve come to understand the long view better… I think. 🙂
        Bruno: The fact that we can know more of our fellow-travelers makes a very large difference by itself. One little-known part of the Milgram experiment was that once one person was seen disobeying, two thirds would immeditely disobey as well.
        Thomas: I quite agree on “Land of the free” and “shiny goodies,” but the massive bubble in compliance that underlies this will not expand forever. It may not be next month or next year, but it WILL change. Where is Nero? Where is Charlesmagne? Where is Napoleon? etc., etc.
        And no, I am not expecting it to take centuries.
        Oh, and on Randians, Rothbardians, etc. tearing each other’s eyes out: They are showing themselves as unworthy for the next step. IMO you should run away from people who persist in such fighting. They are seeking dominance, which is the path to perma-slavery.
        Yes, there is a LONG way to go, but I am convinced that we are picking up speed.
        Best, Paul

        1. Governments are incompetent, but not stupid…or rather, they have smart people working for them.
          And they know precisely what’s going on on the net…and if things were to go too far, they would pull the plug, and most probably arrest those whose writings would be called unpatriotic, or whatever.
          As long as the thinkers number in the thousands, which is probably the approximate number, governments have nothing to fear.
          And I am afraid there are not so many concerned persons.
          For example, I look at the number of readers of major “non-mainstream” websites, such as Zerohedge, which generally have less than 100,000 followers…worldwide!
          Then, there is my extended family circle and friends, of which not one is aware of the global situation, and shows any interest in becoming aware.
          For example, most of them (French) still see the US as it was decades ago…you know the great country of country music, Disneyland and Hollywood…
          As they all say when I ask: “I have no time for this!”.
          And all of them are upper middle class, not dumb hillbillies coming out of the woods.
          And when I communicate by email with some like-minded “virtual” friends, they all say the same: they are frustrated because they have no one to talk to…at best people ignore them, at worst they say they have lost their mind…

  2. Respectfully ,Paul, may I suggest the title should be RENAMED to “After the Dark, comes the LIGHT”…otherwise GREAT article
    I have been and will continue to pass on the link

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