Some Thoughts On Apathy
Apathy seems to be a common human condition, but apathy should amaze us. Why would anyone be apathetic? How does an apathetic person survive a hostile world? Even if the world is too big for us, isn’t there something we can control? Don’t most people actually strive to control the things they think they can control and ignore (or are apathetic towards) what seems beyond their power?
Then why the appearance of apathy? Well, let’s speculate.
- How well do we understand each other? Well? Not well? Is it possible we just assume that people are apathetic? Don’t we just condemn another person as apathetic if that person does not think what we think is important?
- Do we understand what we can control? Do we know how to control the things we try to control? Don’t we bumble and muddle through at best? Could it be that we mistake apathy for the bliss of ignorance?
Consider Things we know that aren’t so (washingtontimes.com) by Clifford D. May.
It’s been observed — and variously attributed to Mark Twain, Will Rogers and Ronald Reagan, among others — that what gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know, but what we know that isn’t so.
For example, we know that modernity, like gravity, exerts a pull that nations and their rulers, sooner or later, find irresistible. As John Kerry said to Vladimir Putin after the Russian president invaded Ukraine five years ago: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion.” Mr. Putin’s non-verbal reply: And why not?
Also widely believed: That the arc of history bends toward justice — or at least in some meaningful direction. Such historical determinism is supported by no evidence whatsoever as far as I’m aware. (continued here)
Where is May headed with this? I think this paragraph addresses his theme.
Americans and Europeans, on both the left and the right, are inclined to believe in homo economicus, a fictional creature who rationally prioritizes the optimization of economic benefits. Even when our adversaries and enemies make clear that what motivates them is ideology and/or theology, we tell ourselves they don’t really mean it.
It seems too many Americans have become ego centric, pleasure seeking, materialists. We look at the world pragmatically and put a price tag on everything. We act as if money solves all problems, even though our hearts tell us that it doesn’t. Why? It is what we have been taught to do.
Because our schools are run by the state governments and increasingly the Federal government, they have increasingly focused upon homo economicus ideological indoctrination. It is puzzling, however, that our Ivy League universities seem to be even more highly infected with this problem. Supposedly, these are private institutions, but they have wandered from their Christian roots. Consider how a student, Aaron Haviland, described his experiences at Yale Law School in I Thought I Could Be A Christian And Constitutionalist At Yale Law School. I Was Wrong (thefederalist.com). He offered this synopsis of his article.
You would think that the number one law school in the country should be a cut above the rest. But it’s actually an environment of intense hostility towards Christians and constitutionalists.
Haviland understands it is a privilege to Yale. Still, he hardly considers attending Yale an unmixed blessing.
Just how far have we allowed the homo economicus indoctrination of our young people to proceed? In Weaponizing children for political gain (washingtontimes.com) Monica Crowley says we have reached a new milestone.
Children are relatively new pawns in the left’s long game. For decades, kids have been sent into literal and metaphorical battle by dangerous regimes and movements, such as the Nazis, the Iranians, the Imperial Japanese, the communists and Islamic terror groups like al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas and the PLO. In America, however, children have been largely considered off-limits for political activism, even as political combatants often invoked “the children” to argue future stakes.
But kids are now pushed front and center, armed with scripted talking points and coached by adults to agitate for “change.” Their targets cannot forcefully defend themselves, because the activists are, after all, mere children (which is, of course, the tactical point). (continued here)
So what has this post resolved? Not much. Added confusion, if anything. So we need to think more about this.
To Be Posted
- Part 2: The Ivory Tower of Indoctrination. Since we still do not have a centralized education system ideological indoctrination of the young is politically difficult and costly. Nevertheless, homo economicus indoctrination seems to have achieved great success among our most educated. Why? What is the point of homo economicus indoctrination? Who is responsible for it?
- Part 3: The Power Of An Idea. The American Revolution illustrates the success of the power of a shared idea. What does homo economicus indoctrination have to do with apathy?
- Part 4: Providing Incentives For Our Leaders. Supposedly, we live in a constitutional republic? Is that sort of government designed to provide incentives for We the People to do the right thing or incentives for our leaders to do the right thing?