The omnipotence of evil has never resulted in anything but fruitless efforts. Our thoughts always escape from whoever tries to smother them.
I call this new painting, 10″ by 20″ on panel, Freed Thought.
Like many people, I am concerned with what is happening in this country and around the world as ideas such as nationalism and authoritarianism take hold in more and more places. That is a scary thought when you consider the horrors that took place in the first part of the last century–world wars, civil wars and genocide– as a result of these ideologies.
Perhaps we are just far enough removed from that time that we allow ourselves to conveniently forget that bit of history. Or think that it doesn’t apply here and begin to believe that this time will be different, somehow treating us to a much more pleasant result.
I think a lot of people fall into that second category, the It Can’t Happen Here camp. That is easy to understand and easy to swallow, not requiring much work or thought.
Keep your head down, don’t make waves or ask too many questions, and it will all be fine.
Unfortunately, that is the fodder for those with evil intent. To those who seek control, who want to rule over— not govern–people, this unquestioning attitude is as enabling as the ardor of their most loyal adherents. They are the most easily managed and most easily convinced because they don’t want to stand out alone, away from the others in any way.
Those with evil intent then try to keep this easily led herd away from those who disbelieve, who choose to remember history and see the ghosts of the past in the actions of the present. Those who would stop them from achieving their goals– both publicly stated and those whispered in the darkness. This is done by controlling the message, creating false realities and fostering doubt in one’s own observations and beliefs. Destroy trust in all institutions and all information except for that coming from the singular ruling voice.
Oh, it can happen here.
But I take some solace in the words above from Hugo and from history itself. Every movement, however powerful and far reaching, that is based on the darker angels of greed, deception, and exclusion eventually fails. An empire based on falsehood is unsustainable and will eventually succumb to truth. Truth and thought can never be fully controlled. They will always find a way to break free.
The downside in all of these cases is that many, many people are ultimately hurt along the way. And I worry that this is the direction in which we are headed.
That is why it is so important to come clear of the other trees that shade your views. Stand freely and ask the questions that need to be asked and answered. Remember that every evasion from a question is a step away from the truth. The truth has nothing to hide, doesn’t need to be concealed or evaded.
A thought based in truth will always stand tall and will not be obscured.
So, for god’s sake, ask the questions and demand the answers. But most of all, use the power of thought and think.