Feb 18, 2007

Some things never change....

"Our culture engages historians, sociologists, psychiatrists and the media to . . . impose upon us a common view of reality. The reason for this imposing of socially-approved views is fear: As a culture we are afraid that unless we can force the majority of us to comply with particular givens, everything we have achieved and everything we believe we understand will unravel. The truth is that without the continual reinforcement of commonly held cultural views of ‘reality,’ most of our beliefs and some of our ways of living would unravel. . . . In fairness, we need to understand that there can never be a common view of reality because each of us is capable of seeing only so much and no more. . . . a commonly-held world view is not a possibility, not now and not ever. . . . We are stuck with the social illusions into which we are born. . . . From this evolution-of-illusion we get politics, religion, fads and all manner of cultural blindness. We pass our blindness down from one generation to another until it becomes so firmly entrenched in daily life that nobody asks whether this or that aspect of our social belief system might simply be wrong.

— Anderson Reed, from Shouting at the Wolf (p. 142-143, 148)

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