Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Not a Cynic

In both my personal life and on this shiny new blog, I complain a lot. I bitch about problems in both everyday life and on the national and global scales. I occasionally snark about it, I love the Colbert Report and Daily Show, who snark about it, and I don't go down very often to protects like #Occupy and such, although I follow the events around them longer than the media does. But I am not a cynic. A cynic looks out, expecting such disappointment and instead of rationalizing it, they just feel smug that they expected it. They get some measure of satisfaction that they, alone in this world, realize how shitty the world is. This is a bit funny, considering most of America at this point is at least cynical about our democracy. We all know our elected officials don't care about what we want unless we threaten revolution. They only cater to their main financial backers, and most political arguments are from this or that ideological point that we know won't ever make it to legislation, even while the politicians plaster said points on like badges.

But I am not a cynic. I see the general, inherent problems with a capitalistic democracy, or with most other systems. I see the same politicians, their same lies, the same general chaos world wide that the cynics see, I do expect it, but I don't feel superior by pointing it out. I point it out because it makes me angry. I don't feel smug, I feel rage. I hate how things are, from the poorest country with its small time warlords to our bloated military industrial complex and corporate interests running the country into oblivion. I am trying to speak out against it, and trying to discuss, or get involved in discussions, on what to do. Revolution must be planned. Revolution must be an evolution towards something better. There is a place between Lenin's revolution bloodbath and cynicism. Cynicism is another form of not caring. It is no better than the rationalizing masses the cynics love to feel better than. Cynics know that we are lied to, they know something is wrong, but they, like the "masses" rationalize and shy away from actual analysis. They enjoy the wrongness, and sit back and don't talk about it, or do anything about it.

A lovely quote from one of my favorite bloggers over at Freethoughtblogs, Crommunist, is:
We have been told that the shitty options we have are the only options, without any real explanation of         why that is. Communist or capitalist. Progressive liberal or reactionary conservative. Democracy or  n       fascism. These are definitely among the list of socioeconomic models, but they aren’t the sum total of things that we can do. And expressing the tired cynicism that accompanies any and all of the above options doesn’t move us anywhere, because they all accept the premise that we don’t have any alternatives.
Cynics rationalize just as hard as everyone else, they just get to feel smarter about it. Skeptics are often called cynics for pointing out what is wrong, but they are as far different as possible. Skeptics analyze and explore not just what but why are things wrong. Cynics notice a generalized wrongness and stop there.

So ya, I am not a cynic. I think of myself as a skeptic. While I don't have a concrete solution to fix the insanely complex and widespread issues we as a species have, I am open to exploring what we can do. I spend a lot of energy trying to figure out why things are fucked. I hope to convert cynics to skepticism, even if they don't immediately become full on atheists, rationalists and progressives.

Logic Priest

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