Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Advent thoughts on the child and the cynic

And now we are in to the last three weeks leading up Christmas. There is part child in me at this time of year and part cynic. I see all the hypocrisy of Christmas and yet the hope is still there. I like Christmas as a child within and yet my cynic cuts in as New Year approaches. The world has hope which is dashed over and over again. Like Gramsci I hold powerfully to the " pessimism of the intellect and the optimism of the will". Anyway perhaps it is the 'will' that belongs to the child and the intellect to the cynic. Perhaps I will never integrate the child and the cynic. Perhaps it is impossible. Perhaps it is not necessary.. contradiction and paradox is always necessary for progress and change. All reformers and revolutionaries must have an inner child for daring to believe that they can change or reform institutions or countries. To challenge anything is to become childlike or egotistic in the belief in the possibility of success. The cynic unfortunately knows what could happen and what has happened. Yet the child's role is to challenge . It is essential and never ever 'childish: . Too many reformers and revolutionaries have been slaughtered and sent on their own route to Calvary or the gulag or concentration camp.. Yet the cynic too is necessary. A knowledge of history and of other roads to reform are essential to understand and to prepare for what your opponents and enemies will throw at you. Without the child within the individual becomes a bitter old man or woman. Without the cynic the individual becomes a narcissist or puer aeternas. Yet without the contradiction of cynic and inner child within our psyche nothing is possible. It is the balance of ego and understanding that has defined Gandhi, Trotsky and Guevara.Each has reahed their own individual Calvary but changed the world. Stalin Trump and Thatcher were the cynic who damaged and will damage the hope that so many had. It will also come to those like Farage and Blair who gave simplistic answers to vast and complex questions about Brexit and Iraq. Without the contradiction of cynic and child we fail to understand both the hope and the shadow within . Without both we are all in danger of the inability to comprehend ourselves and the dangers we bring...

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