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Our Gordian Knot, Part III

Updated: Sep 21, 2023


Sometimes it feels as though we’re living in a tangled maze-like machine with a thousand moving parts. If we focus on any given issue, any particular moving part, we lose lose sight of the big picture. Sometimes we deliberately ignore the big picture. Sometimes we just can’t see it. And, yet, other times the big picture might seem so daunting and scary we put our heads in the sand, like the ostriches in the photo here.


But it’s critical we step back and assess this machine in its entirety. What is its fuel?? What does it feed on? In a word, dysfunctional relationships — and especially the declining ability of people to relate to one another as human beings equally deserving of human dignity. We can see this in the hype that directs us to view ourselves as members of select identity groups or only as a part of an activist community. Only certain lives matter in this scenario. We’re all being pigeon-holed based on what we look like or where we come from. We’re being driven apart. Polarized. Atomized. This sort of polarization is pure poison for happy and healthy human relationships.


And that’s the big picture we all need to step back and see.


What causes people to paint themselves into such corners? I think people get sucked into this trap for a variety of reasons, but the trap cannot be laid without two essential ingredients: ignorance and enforced silencing. Cultivated ignorance and enforced silencing is the fuel of dysfunctional relationships that feed this machine.


Ignorance

Ignorance disables a person’s ability to think deeply and independently about an issue, and even about themselves and their own motives. Family breakdown is a huge contributor to ignorance because it separates children emotionally and often physically from their first teachers about the world around them — their parents. Sadly, our public schools and universities have been cultivating ignorance for decades. This happens not only through dumbed down curricula, but also through enforcement of conformity through a regime of political correctness.


Enforced Silencing Kneecaps Relationships


Let’s never forget that when you cut off communication, you cut off the potential for human relationships. While practical ignorance undermines the ability to think clearly and discern manipulations, political correctness cultivates the fear of being ridiculed and isolated for speaking logically about anything. PC cultivates ignorance by preventing people from hearing anyone share insights on a non-PC view. It encourages them to smear the “other” and prevents them from seeing such people as human. School curricula also rely more and more on the raw emotion of students in “thinking” about things. (You have Bill Ayers to thank for th at.) Popular culture is steeped in blindness to reason. And, in the end, an ignorant person is a dependent person and great fodder for mass mobilization and a culture of grievance, spite, and anger.


I think if we could bring this picture into focus, people would be better equipped to slice through the overall problem and see the humanity in others.

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