Give Me A Minute – I’m An Apathete

An “apathete” is someone who is actively apathetic and doesn’t care about what’s going on around him. He assumes, hopes, and prays, that no matter how bad things get, nothing will actually change. Life will go on as usual with no interruptions. After all, we don’t want anything to get in the way of how we live. We’re Americans. Things will work out. Somehow, someone will fix it.

We prefer living in our little boxes with no outside interference. Even though the USA is coming apart at the seams, we just expect things to be okay in the end. Well, even though I’m an apathete, (a word I made up, by the way) I’m beginning to think that things maybe aren’t gonna get better. Let me make a generalization. An unsubstantiated generalization. Are you ready? I’m convinced that very few of our “long-term,” influential governmental officials, on either side of the aisle, give a rip about the American people, and will lie to them without conscience, whenever it suits them. They seek money, more power, and to be re-elected. And they, all of them, will say anything to achieve those goals.

And it’s not just those in office today. Many who are no longer “serving” (I use that term very loosely) are still involved in attempting to influence elections, legislation, cabinet members, and policy. I can name, and so can you, three former presidents and their spouses who are still neck-deep in politics, each with his own agenda.

I listen to what our government officials say, and much of it’s nothing but lies. And the media propagates these untruths and pretty soon we believe them. It’s so much easier to believe what we hear than it is to think about and analyze what’s said. We believe it all. We’re apathetes. 

Nothing they say bothers us. Why? How can we be a society of puppets, so apathetic and lazy that we just accept the trash they feed us? They are killing our country, our former glory, our history, and us. But don’t worry, it’ll all be okay.

We are approaching the brink; already a universal spiritual demise is upon us; a physical one is about to flare up and engulf us and our children, while we continue to smile sheepishly and babble: “But what can we do to stop it? We haven’t the strength.”

We have so hopelessly ceded our humanity that for the modest handouts of today we are ready to surrender up all principles, our souls, all the labors of our ancestors, all the prospects of our descendants—anything to avoid disrupting our meager existence. We have lost our strength, our pride, our passion. We do not even fear a common nuclear death, do not fear a third world war (perhaps we’ll hide away in some crevice), but fear only to take a civic stance!

And thus, overcoming our temerity, let each man choose: Will he remain a witting servant of the lies (needless to say, not due to natural predisposition, but in order to provide a living for the family, to rear the children in the spirit of lies!), or has the time come for him to stand straight as an honest man, worthy of the respect of his children and contemporaries?

And from that day onward he:

· Will not write, sign, nor publish in any way, a single line distorting, so far as he can see, the truth;

· Will not utter such a line in private or in public conversation, nor read it from a crib sheet, nor speak it in the role of educator, canvasser, teacher, actor;

· Will not in painting, sculpture, photograph, technology, or music depict, support, or broadcast a single false thought, a single distortion of the truth as he discerns it;

· Will not cite in writing or in speech a single “guiding” quote for gratification, insurance, for his success at work, unless he fully shares the cited thought and believes that it fits the context precisely;

· Will not be forced to a demonstration or a rally if it runs counter to his desire and his will; will not take up and raise a banner or slogan in which he does not fully believe;

· Will not raise a hand in vote for a proposal which he does not sincerely support; will not vote openly or in secret ballot for a candidate whom he deems dubious or unworthy;

· Will not be impelled to a meeting where a forced and distorted discussion is expected to take place;

· Will at once walk out from a session, meeting, lecture, play, or film as soon as he hears the speaker utter a lie, ideological drivel, or shameless propaganda;

· Will not subscribe to, nor buy in retail, a newspaper or journal that distorts or hides the underlying facts.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – “Live Not by Lies”

February 12, 1974

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