Monday, December 9, 2013


Of all the self-immolating aspects that a philosophy or religion or thought-framework can bring with it, today I wonder if righteousness is not the most suicidal.

And yet how could a man or woman come to this conclusion without first making an egregiously righteous error? Like chicken pox, once it's over, there is immunity. But before that time, everyone scratches and squirms and is consumed by righteous verve.

A close definition of "righteous" suggests:
-- morally good or correct, especially according to standards set by religion
-- righteous feelings are caused by a belief that you are right to feel angry, for example because of something bad or wrong
In a world of chaos and confusion and cruelty, righteousness has a keel-steadying allure. But once it is chiseled on some tablet, the crumbling begins. Of course your righteousness or mine does not suffer from this problem ... and that's part of the problem. We are beyond reproof. We are, after all, righteous. But the other guy is another kettle of fish.

Was it Karl Marx who suggested that capitalism would collapse of its own weight? Strange to think that the Republicans and other wealth-minded disciples might inveigh against a vile and threatening socialism at the same time they are overseeing and promoting a righteous wealth disparity whose outcome is likely to lead to their own collapse ... that they are, in some sense, the socialists they claim to abhor.

Not that socialism is likely to erase the squirm and itch.

Righteousness has a dictionary definition, but it can also carry with it a negative gene -- a germ whose down-side capacity leads to a lot of itching a scratching; an escape into a trap of its own devising.

My own sense is that it is OK to say "yes" and it is OK to say "no," but, to the extent possible, it is better to leave the itchy realm of righteousness out of things.

Just noodling.

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