Fearless Dream

reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Ten Years of Blogging

It’s been ten years since I published my first post here, and in retrospect, I’m very glad I followed that impulse to start writing and publishing. Whether or not this project has been of value to others (I certainly hope it has, to at least a few), it has definitely been of great value to me — as a place to methodically sort out my thinking, respond to things that have troubled my ever-restless mind, and assemble a vision for something better to work toward. However infrequent my writing and posting has been, the cumulative result is a record of my thinking that I’m glad to have, and the process of producing it has helped me to better understand myself and get my bearings, in ways that continue to profoundly shape my life.

I set this blog up in part to express my gratitude for a culture that I love dearly, and am grateful to have been a part of — one that I feel we should be celebrating, even as others labor earnestly to weaken it and tear it down. It has been important to me to counteract the misguided “counter-culture” of bitter, vindictive social criticism that has as its aim to subvert, undermine, and dismantle the culture of liberty I have loved dearly all my life. Moreover, it is important to me to help correct the misconceptions that needlessly place people in the service of such destructive ideas and attitudes, to their and our detriment. I have endeavored to do some measure of that here.

I have also attempted to warn others about the threats we face — from within and without. I don’t know whether I have succeeded in changing any minds. The lure of wishful thinking and self-deceptive platitudes seems to be far stronger than I’d imagined. I now expect there are many people who I’ll simply never be able to reach. Nonetheless, I stubbornly persist.

If there is one resounding conclusion that I have reached and keep coming back to lately, it’s that we’re a Frontier culture in desperate need of a way out — of a new place to escape to. It’s become my mission to find that way out, and chart a practical means by which we can achieve it. This, above all else, is the project I expect to devote much of my energy to for the foreseeable future.

My profound thanks to those who’ve stopped by to read now and then, and thus have joined me for some part of this journey. I appreciate your company, and hope you’ll be with me on the roads yet to come. Amid reasons for despair, I find hope that we shall go on.

The Price of Uncontested Absurdities

This, which I ran across on Twitter the other day, is a profound insight, that has more than earned a permalinked spot on my Quotes page. I have witnessed its demonstration in no uncertain terms, watching absurd nonsense that we failed to reject clearly enough, and perhaps laughed off with the assumption that it would simply go away, instead become set in stone as a foregone cultural assumption. The assertion that someone else’s hurt feelings or fragile sensibilities should trump your right to speak freely and honestly. The notion of a “right” to “free” healthcare, of a “fair share” of what another has labored to earn. The exactly inverted idea that capitalism enslaves but the state somehow liberates. “Progressive” used as a casual synonym for actual, desirable progress. All of it nonsense that must be stridently fought, and all of it now what you and I are naturally assumed to believe.

This is an apt reminder of the price we will pay in the future for ignoring such absurdities now, for not taking them seriously enough to mount a decisive counter-offensive:

The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by precedent, by implication, by erosion, by default, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other — until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.

— Ayn Rand

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