And why clinging to your "ideas" is the work of fools…
For the record, I found the latest episode of Down Days to be a naïve and boring. I didn’t see the whole thing through. The surf looked shit and I don’t care about whatever Israelis do for fun on the beach. Most of all, I don’t care what three professional surfers make of the Israel/Palestine question.
To me, the episode was a poor attempt at light-hearted, feel-good journalism/entertainment, with the underlying aim to sell shoes and that’s OK.
But what a storm it has elicited! I feel sorry for the Gudauskas brothers. Did they foresee the storm it would cause on BeachGrit?
A bitter war of words once again rages over that most long standing of international disputes. Shrill arguments and counter arguments fly freely. Accusations of anti-Semitism and ultra-Zionism ultimately follow, and then Godwin’s Law (Click here to read!) comes into play with mention of the Holocaust and the perpetrators of it.
The shit is complex: after two years of Middle Eastern politics, I walked away from it bored and well aware of the futility. I could talk, write, for hours discussing principles of conflict resolution, asymmetrical warfare and what not. However, at the heart of all of it is ideas, and it is ideas that you lap up and espouse as truths.
I say ideas because they are simply that… ideas.
I’m well-versed in ideas: I spent six years training in them. I make my living off them. Hobbes, Kant, Locke, Wittingstein and Chomsky, etc, I know them well. They’re ideas based upon observation and perceptions. Some are quite good at summarising situations, but they’re not truths.
None of them are truths.
We’re prone to ideas: they give us meaning. They help us understand our world. They are, however, limited. They’re easily deconstructed, laid bare and shown to be inadequate.
Human rights are my favourite. To have a right is for someone to have a corresponding duty. Human rights come from natural rights, which stem from natural justice and subsequently, natural law. Natural law works on the presumption of a higher being. In the case of natural rights, God guaranteed your rights. The problem exists that if there is no God, they’re void.
Human rights were meant to be a secular, universal solution to this with the state as having a duty to uphold your rights. The thing is, the state does what it wants and if decides to take away your rights, you’re fucked.
They’re not something that exists independently of a state just because you’re human. No one has a duty to you for that. You can cry all you like about your rights but they only exist at the state’s wish.
Yet, people still cling to ideas as if they were the very basis of their existence – and I guess that’s fair enough, though foolish.
Ideas are a foolproof way of getting yourself killed. And you may be one of these people, but I for one am not. I don’t believe in anything other than life, death, what is expedient and what is entertaining. And what is entertaining is your quaint and firm beliefs.
So please, clobber one another with your hifalutin ideals of human rights, justice, liberty and equality, I’ll giggle then pity you. And to the person who yells ‘Free Tibet’, or ‘Free Pussy Riot’, you’re fucking dreaming.