Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lucidity; or losing the light

… you must have noticed that our old Europe at last philosophizes in the right way. We no longer say as in simple times: ‘This is my opinion. What are your objections?’ We have become lucid. For the dialogue we have substituted the communique. ‘This is the truth,’ we say. ‘You can discuss it as much as you want; we aren’t interested. But in a few years there’ll be the police to show you I’m right.’
Albert Camus. The Fall, p. 35

Ah, our Blunketts and our Straws, fulfilling prophesies. Firstly, they refuse to discuss - really discuss - matters of liberty (or anything, come to that), preferring instead to lecture and hector and assure us that, well-intentioned fools that we be, we are simply wrong.

And then they establish the instruments of power - the police, the agencies, the never-ceasing surveillance - to ensure that in years to come, when we have not learned our lesson, we will be forced to do so.

Camus, remember, understood evil. He lived through it. He fought it. He never surrendered to it in the name of fear.

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