How do we grind people down with Stupidity?
You find out who your real friends (and enemies) are by how they react to our applause.
- There are worldviews and ideologies I applaud.
- There are theologies I bow to.
- There are values I esteem.
- There are worldviews and ideologies I do not applaud.
- There are theologies I will not bow to.
- There are values I do not esteem.
What kind of friend are we in return according to their applause?
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.” — Thomas Merton
Let’s face it, we are judged by who and what we applaud.
I’ve migrated on a few things. But the truth is I applaud less and less these days. I find I am taking a seat much more often.
I sense the engineering behind media. It’s designed for us to react, to evoke a movement toward their worldview. Same with social media algorithms.
Much of it isn’t the truth because it certainly isn’t the whole story, that’s for sure, so it isn’t worth considering very much. We can end up being a pawn if we react too much to what is plopped down for us by an internet algorithm feed.
I’ve decided to stop applauding much, and to sit down and keep living my life with those in front of me. I have been doing for several decades now and this approach was enough to get me to Africa to serve people.
Sow where we go, where we are at!
However, it is difficult to not react to journalists, theologians, and politicians isn’t it? There is some truth in the axiom, “Ignore them to your peril.”
I find news and politics pulls me down into nihilistic narcissism.
The thing about applause is that once we start applauding something it’s hard to stop, or to keep it in it’s proper balance.
Have you changed your applause lately?
I’d like to hear your story.
Here us an incredible story about applause from Russia.
“Here is one vignette from those years as it actually occurred.
A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, ﬁve minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation,” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insuferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the ﬁrst to stop? The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit ﬁrst! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on —six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly—but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they tell where they stood. till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.
That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the ﬁnal document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:
“Don‘t ever be the ﬁrst to stop applauding?“
(And just what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to stop?)
Now that’s what Darwin’s natural selection is. And that’s also how to grind people down with stupidity.”
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Gulag Archipelago. Vol 1 pg 69-70
A message our progressive “democratic” socialists (communists) can’t seem to grasp is that all power has a top, and most of us won’t be in it. All political ideologies are totalitarian in some degree, even there’s.
So keep freedom big, and government control small. Never underestimate man’s broken nature to demand our applause, and to insist on it.
Resisting applause is a good thing.
Power systems like to preserve a hierarchy in which some people are higher and some are lower. The Gospel has no use for it.” – Richard Rohr