Tuesday, September 14, 2010

QUOTE: from Erich Fromm's "The Heart of Man"

"The tendency of pretending that any war is a defensive one shows two things. First of all is that the majority of people, at least in most civilized countries, cannot be made to kill and to die unless they are first convinced that they are doing so in order to defend their lives and freedom; second, it shows that it is not difficult to persuade millions of people that they are in danger of being attacked, and hence, that they are called upon to defend themselves. Such persuasion depends most of all on a lack of independent thinking and feeling, and on the emotional dependence of the vast majority of people on their political [and religious] leaders."

The emphasis above is mine, as is the bracket (based on an early part of the paragraph). This was written in 1964, but isn't only relevant to those who lived through the fear-mongering propaganda of the Third Reich. I quote it now, here, because--perhaps due to being a critic with such strong opinions--I believe so strongly in the importance of independent work. I am tired of hearing people regurgitate what they hear, believing it to be what they feel, simply because they--one assumes--too lazy to wrestle with what might inconvenience them. I've got this on my mind after seeing Matt Freeman's Brandywine Distillery Fire, because what I saw refracted in that "New Naturalism" was a look at today's unthinking, unfeeling America. And man, now I've got to be really carefully that I don't fall into that trap, as I so rarely see or read straight-up "facts."

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