by Jesse Walker Hill, Dept. Chairman
What I hear Descartes saying in his famous adage “I think, therefore I am,” is the ability to doubt his existence proves essence to his existence. The way he explained this was if you had a basket of apples and you knew one of the apples in the basket had gone bad. How would you find the bad apple? He would empty the basket and examine each apple to find the bad apple. I take from this is that if I accept that all of my ideas are for the most part true but could still harbor falsehoods. I need to constantly put on trial the most precious parts of my self-formed practice on life. This means that like every other being he could not prove even the most obvious things.
Descartes imagined an invisible demon who for whatever reason decided to pull pranks on you. How could you prove such a demon didn’t exist? Or how could you prove that demon did exist? This puts me in a similar state as Schrodinger's cat. A superposition of being able to equally prove and disprove the notion that the world is a simulation. This superposition applies to more than just simulation theory.
Too often any existential question is reduced as either being a yes or no. I act with haste as if I have nothing to lose. I think that in my haste to form coherency in this world I see black and white while ignoring the obvious shade of grey I was zoomed in on. I take tremendous pride in not being able to answer with yes or no but the spectacular superposition of doubt. I can only doubt that a God exists and I can only doubt one doesn’t.
The only thing that is certain in this life is that I exist as a being capable of doubt. As a human being I know I have to doubt everything and have a rationale behind each doubt. This leads me to some interesting thought experiments. For example, once I started doubting that the wars the United States wages are against people who seek my body harm I start to look for other reasons Uncle Sam would seek destruction on some unknown land that might as well be on another planet.
If the wars aren’t against terror who could the UAV’s be bombing? Who could this massive machine that raised and nurtured me have such disdain for? This doubt fueled the passion for knowledge the search for truth had begun.
One of my first big epiphanies came when I discovered the democratic and highly regarded Kennedy administration had employed his Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan a false flag attack in which CIA agents would take over a commercial airline and hold it hostage eventually surrendering as Cuban in order to justify to the mass of Americans a full-scale war with Cuba. The facts are that a government-waged Operation Northwoods would have destroyed American ships to send us into global conflict. Suddenly, everything seemed one sided to me. All of the thoughts that I claimed as my own were formed out of an institution that promised me truth and reality when in fact the government had consciously omitted key details that are key to forming a rational mind.
My homeland had described things like freedom and independence in terms that are foreign when compared to the literal definition. Freedom like the freedom to live anywhere within reason that suits me? I can’t go to see Canada without a passport. I can’t move my life a thousand miles in any direction without a “democratic” official turning me around. The United States glorifies individual independence as much as collective freedom. But in reality, I am completely dependent on this exact environment.
Personally, I cannot grow enough food to sustain myself outside of this society. This dehumanization could not have happened without my complacency and lack of doubt. As Sartre said, “Men are condemned to be free because once thrown into the world he is responsible for everything he does.”. I just hope that one day all my brothers and sisters who toil decide to doubt the complacency order I was seemingly born into.
I dream of the day when the living take back power from the ideas of men long dead. I hope that together we can learn to question more things and with any luck find some unsteady truth.
Jesse Walker Hill
Jesse Walker Hill is the Chairman of the Department of Revolution. Dedicated to minarchist politics and social democracy, he reports from Jackson County, Missouri.
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