by Georgevine Moss
Reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for the first time in 2012 is a little bit surreal. Like having just read the scene where the government presents to the public the new sound weapon that can destroy anything from a distance and then, putting the book down and going online and stumbling upon an article about the LARD sound cannon. But we aren't going to talk about the book in this post. We'll talk about today.
Because today, we live in interesting times...
It's easy to look at past events and analyze the reasons, causes and outcomes from the knowledgeable position of the future. And it is easy to judge. It's even easier to find fault with people's actions. To wonder how it all happened when it is so clear to you now that how they acted back then was the wrong thing to do. Was it lack of critical thinking? Lack of education? Shellfish blindness? Divine interference? What?
It's interesting studying the past and seeking answers to these questions. Actually LIVING during such a period of time that, at some point in the future, someone else will be asking those questions and passing judgment on YOUR actions is mind-blowing.
Seeing history unfolding before your eyes every time you wake up in the morning can also be confusing. Here you are, having opinions based on whatever knowledge and critical thinking you happen to possess and then...then an overwhelming amount of people, people from every background and position imaginable, offer matching opinions so different from yours that at some point you can't help it but sit down and stop and start questioning everything you know and believe in.
Who is right and who is wrong? What is the best answer to the questions that are all of a sudden thrown at you with the same force of a wronged man's demand for justice? This is no history test where someone will grade you with a pass or fail and life will move on as it is. There will be consequences, each one felt to the bone. What can you do to help yourself?
Knowledge helps. In the era of the Internet, access to knowledge is easier than in the past. But still one has to be careful. Are the sources trustworthy? Objective? Real? Blocked in your country?
The road to self-education is muddy. It eats up time, energy and spirit. And even if you manage to get to the end of the road you have to use whatever critical power you have to reach to an answer and then have the courage to trust in it and act based on it, even when everyone else around you disagrees with it.
It will be easy for those people in the future to ask the right questions and offer good answers. But we are here today. What are the questions we should be asking and what is the best answer?