Considering that Freud associates the life instinct (Eros) with the aggregation of families and communities, and with the panoply of creative endeavours comprising culture, and its antithesis, the death instinct (Thanatos), with decomposition, diverse kinds of destruction, and with aggressiveness, the current predominance of the latter – Thanatos – in the world should be obvious, if not conspicuous.
FUD first brought about by a crisis in health, cascaded into loss of faith in government, in the people around us and sometimes in ourselves. Three years is too long a time for FUD to be considered a crisis, but when a crisis is not resolved, loss of hope is the outcome. Many people have lost work, friends, health and even their lives as a result.
Freedom of expression is the ultimate test of totalitarianism. Totalitarianism begins in the psyche of the extremists. Then it appears in the willingness to take away people’s freedoms. It appears in contradictions and untruths. But the opposition to free speech is what ultimately exposes totalitarianism beyond any doubt.
Love, kindness, honesty, respect, creativity and freedom are necessary for human flourishing. Sadly, many still embrace the mask as if it is the only truth that exists. If society is to change, all will need to see and peel away the polish. Then, we will have to work together to replace the emptiness it covers with a society rooted in genuine morality and positive human values.
Like any old school respiratory virus, this one made us feel lousy, albeit with a different constellation of symptoms. We handled it the same way as other viral illnesses: we drank extra water, took some home remedies, and tried to get some extra sleep. A few years ago, no one made a big deal about, or needed to categorize, being sick like this. People rode it out. No one cared what you had. Or didn’t have.
A disease that leaves 99.85 percent or more people perfectly alive as an “unprecedented threat” to humanity allegedly requiring palliative measures that just so happened to induce massive social fragmentation and one of the biggest upward flows of wealth in history. Sure no problem Papa, whatever you say.
We may eventually get out of the Covid panic. But as long as the soil is fertile; as long as we do not question, do not doubt, but blindly believe and obey, the sword of mass panic, and all the damage done by it, still hangs over our heads. We have to rid ourselves of this threat. What is at stake is freedom and democracy.
If young people have little hope for the future, feel isolated, disconnected and as if their very existence doesn’t matter, what hope do we have for the future as a society? And when kids are deemed to be inessential, their schooling and activities at the bottom of the list of our societal priorities, how else are they going to feel but inessential?
Someone who believes that hearing or reading opinions that do not precisely ratify their particular way of viewing self and other is tantamount to physical harm or extinction has a very, very tenuous sense of identity and/or self-possession. What they are, in effect, saying is that when it comes to this thing called “me” that there is no semblance of a solid and autonomous self within and that they are, rather, a mere sum of the informational inputs delivered to their device at any given moment.
While the inner world of the Truth Speaker might be our last refuge, even if we feel we have nothing else and are completely overpowered by fanatical totalitarians who deny us all other space and companionship, we need to think and act much bigger. We are not that small or downtrodden, nor as isolated. We can win, and we will.
A truly prosocial approach would not shut out all other goals and insist on one way forward. It would take into account the different priorities and viewpoints of various factions or individuals, approach them with respect, and ask how to best facilitate some sort of harmony among their needs. Instead of prescribing behavior onto others it would advocate for dialogue and open debate, and it would celebrate differences of opinion.