Thursday, April 29, 2010


"It is quite extraordinary how people can live with delusions big enough to transform illusions into reality, reality into illusions." Anwar Sadat. Recently, Arizona passed a law meant to affect illegal immigrants in a big way. But the NY Times, in an article printed today, April 29th, quotes some "illegals" that the impact will be small. Why it, despite failure after failure, that we Americans think that "getting tough" actually works?? Why can we not give up our "deadly paradigms?" Well, for at least a couple of reasons. One, these paradigms make it possible for us not to have to think too much. Just think how complicated our lives would become if we actually saw that that which we take to be "reality" is merely an illusion? You know, like the "reality" that lies behind the war on drugs. Second, these paradigms lead to what seem like simple solutions to our "problems." That is, these paradigms are "economical," in that they lead to "solutions" that policy makers and politicians and academics can endorse without having to persuade people of their worthiness. The "solutions" come cloaked not only in the authority of "government," but they come cloaked in the authority of "thoughtfulness" and "reasonableness." You know, like the Vietnam War or the current war in Afghanistan!!!

As I asked a class once, when talking about presidents' decisions to take what were almost universally described as "the moderate course of action:" Why is it that by taking these moderate actions, we end up going to extremes? Gee, could it be that what we take to be "moderate" is one of those illusions that transform or try to transform themselves into reality?

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