Cynicism is one of the most wonderful gifts that we can be given. Our world is all too often a great carnival of fools, and too often are we ourselves dancers in the dance of idiocy. We are shocked and surprised when the wool is pulled away from our eyes and we see a small part of the whole in the clearer light of truth. That the world has been stitched-up should be taken for granted, but we prefer to remain wilfully blind to the truth that others benefit from our indifference and ignorance. Cynics are those rare people who sit aside from the merriment of the clowns, suspecting that all is not well with the world, and that hidden from plain sight there are people loading the dice to enrich themselves and impoverish others. Newspapers present to us a view or an opinion of reality that is often not the whole truth, and when it is the whole truth serves only to obscure what is really going on. News and the media are the instruments that keep the dance in motion, and keep everyone but those in the know completely in the dark. The gift of the cynic is to see this as it really is.

Gramsci’s answer to the fear of our descent into morbid pessimism – the inability to rediscover hope – is captured in his dictum: ‘Pessimism of the Intellect and Optimism of the Will.’ Our continuation in ignorance, wilful or otherwise, has never served us well, and it will never serve us well. All of us are kept in the illusion of freedom created by the real powers behind the scenes. We are not truly free, and nor ever shall we be until we see the world as it really is – corrupt and a cause of enslavement and injustice. This pessimism is far from terminal. It is a pessimism that finds its nourishment in the idea of natural justice – that there exists an ideal of justice and truth for which we must strive. It is this desire for natural justice that is the Optimism of the Will. None of the powers behind the scenes are omnipotent or omniscient. Superstition will not serve us well either in this struggle to lift the veil. Behind the curtain of the construct of reality in which we live are just people – people like ourselves, and they are every bit as weak. All that gives them power over us is our ignorance of them and what they are doing.

Jason Michael
Blog Author

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