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Cognitive Dissonance



I'm in a Japanese restauraunt and am about to enjoy a dinner of three servings of sushi. I often wish I had grown up on this kind of diet and known the wisdom of Asian culture as a child. I often imagine I would be a completely different - and better - person than the one I've become in the American culture and belief system in which I grew up.


The problem with this kind of wistful. subjunctive-mood thinking is that it is an ineffective kind of wishfulness. It is a wssteful, bitter-tasting kind of meditative vanity that cannot make any person better, and it surely cannot make one happy.


Perhaps it is the same thing I do when I play a massively-multiplayer game on the Internet. Perhaps it is the same thing people do when they buy lottery tickets or contemplate plastic surgery. It is surely the same thing people are doing when they obsess over figures of royalty or track the private lives of celebrities.


It is vanity.


I do regret that my father fought these fascinating people sixty years ago. I do regret that their influence has taken this long to begin to permeate American thought and life practice. However in a rare moment of appreciation I must admit that I cherish the sense of individualism which growing up in America has inured in me. I could not be the instantly recognizable individual I am to so many people if I had been born or raised anywhere else.


America's ability to occasionally create truly, highly individualistic persons through the various experiences we know here does not excuse the horrific crmes committed by our culture against others and to which the American people continue to ignore or dismiss, or remain oblivious.


Still, for myself I must confess that I could not exist without America. I could only have been created here, as the person I am right now.


Another anarchist told me a short time ago that she still feels 'like an American', although I have come into the attitude that America is some kind of disease. I hold that it is an anti-human virus that destroys autonomous thought and eventually all life via capitalism and authoritarianism and all their associated weapons and ills.


Where do I really stand with America? Would I destroy it if I could? I would destroy the system, surely, and I certainly would like to replace the culture with something more supportive of true freedom of choice and principles of egalitarianism. The question I find worth asking is: if I could end class warfare forever and save the human race by annihilating the American People, would I do it, had I the power?


Had I the power, I would be in a terrible quandary. Besides Americans, there are many innocent people here, for example Mexicans, who are simply trying to make a living. There are Native American tribes, who are precious to me and who surely do not deserve the just punishments that America may have earned. There is still a significant number of Americans, although in a minority, who are still struggling for Left thought in this country, trying to help Americans learn to think for themselves and thereby enable them to defang the system and its masters.


I would not have the right to annihilate America. Even God has not seen fit to do that, although He/She yet may. I would not do that. For all the evil the American People have allowed, enabled, even done, they continue to live on an earth under the same rain that falls upon the rest of the world. What's the point of being an anarchist who believes in God - a rare creature am I - if I tried to usurp the only merciful and righteous authority in all of the continuum?


I will do my best to create some serious cognitive dissonance, but I would not annihilate the American People. They will either do it to themselves, another superpower will rise up, or God may have aliens ready, just beyond our atmosphere or underneath our feet ala Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds' waiting to do that. Now, that takes me off the hook and sounds like a lot of fun and mayhem.


That's it. I'm holding out for War of the Worlds. I'm going to paint targets for avenging UFO's who have issued the Human Race a failing grade.


Or, more realistically, I'm going to find the most effective way to create cognitive dissonance in the entire nation at once, thereby making Americans stop empowering a government that will eventually destroy them right along with everything and everyone else on the Earth.

------
The Alienist
jhfurnish@yahoo.com


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