Unmasked

Wee hours. I just thought I’d do some exploratory writing. The subconscious works in mysterious ways. I’ve been working on a puzzle for many months, trying to assemble the pieces, when the big picture is lost. I’m sure I will recognize it when it’s completed. What do Sartre, Ayn Rand, and Aeschylus all have in common? Is it the problem of human freedom? And I remember why I started reading Hugo four months ago. It was a gesture of fighting authority and asserting individual freedom. It was to vindicate Jean Valjean for stealing a loaf of bread. Ayn Rand resists collectivism while James Joyce embraces it. So who is right, the proponent of individual rights or the collectivist? Sartre makes me want to read the Oresteia of Aeschylus for its treatment of freedom and fate. All this reading is my response to the pandemic and the lockdown, which I chafed at from the beginning. I guess the question is why. Why is individual freedom important? If we give an inch of it, then society will take a mile. I think our fundamental liberty is at stake if this goes on much longer. And then what happens? Revolution? Who will organize such an effort? And who is the enemy? It seems to me like fighting a ghost, a mere phantom we call society, until something concrete takes shape. In the meantime, we can only hang on from day to day, asserting our rights in small ways. Eventually something has to give.

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