A while back, in one of my overindulgent red state laments, I expressed my amicable envy for the life of a friend “living the dream” in silicon valley. In the course of this conversation, he mentioned to me that he was having trouble meeting someone who had mate potential; specifically who aligned with him to a comfortable degree (like not 100% matchy-matchy, but enough to complement each other) ideologically and intellectually. This was confusing to me. I had always assumed he was in an oasis of free love with radical, innovative thoughts springing up everywhere; a critical thinking hot zone, if you will. He explained to me that lefty ideas were simply the convention there and that people accepted them without question. It made total sense. Why didn’t I think of that? What I had assumed previously was ridiculous, and worse, this salient idea that I so blindly adopted might have been informed by some ugly class or race notions.
We have this tendency to seek an authority and, once we embrace an authority, we wait for simple instructions and lessons like empty vessels, because it’s easy and natural, and because all societies are generally built on some kind of trusting pedagogy. So I’m clearly not an expert in unpacking your own dogma, but my going theory right now is that we should ask ourselves and each other lots of questions, but most especially, we must question authority, as corny and played out as that expression is. All of our heroes falter and all of them have been culturally programmed like we have. Hopefully that will get us somewhere.