The Sleep Of Reason Breeds Monsters, and It Can Do That In The United States of America



(Francisco Goya ~1799)

This image is one of Francisco Goya’s most well known and important. It has been debated if its meaning lies in the personal for Goya or on commentary on society. We can never be sure of what the artist intended.

It is possible, however, to see how when people abandon reason and analysis, that horror follows. Fascism arose in the 20th Century as people in Germany, Austria, and Italy primarily abandoned reason to follow the emotional cults of personality that would lead to the worst evil the world has ever known.

In the United States, which has a terrible history of bigotry, nationalism, and violence, driven by right wing forces that abandon reason and, using tactics of Hitler, such as blaming others through scapegoating and pull people to their worst impulses and the use of the big lie, in which an untruth is repeated loudly and often, we must recognize that such evil is here.

The United States, on January 6th, experienced an attack that was directly against the sovereignty of the country, against freedom, and against democracy. This was the worst attack against the foundation of our nation since the Civil War. This was not a riot gone terribly wrong; this was a planned insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government of our nation, and those responsible should be held to account for their actions. The insurrectionists responded to a President who used Hitlerian tactics of the big lie about the “stolen election”, which was fair and secure and not stolen, and scapegoating members of Congress as the enemy rather than members of a different political party. These actions were real, and they were horrific and abominable.

Americans, of any party, who believe in democracy must repudiate such beliefs. If as some suggest, we simply move past this insurrection, then we are agreeing once more, to abandon responsibility, analysis, and reason. The consequences of such ignoring of the enormity of what happened can be devastating to our nation and our democracy.

White power groups are an extension of the evil that Hitler manifested. Let there be no mistake about it. They represent bigotry and evil and dictatorship. And they are a direct threat to our freedom and democracy.

We must not fall into a national sleep of reason. We must stay awake, otherwise, the fate of this nation, of the United States of America, for which so many fought and died in many wars, will be at risk.

25 thoughts on “The Sleep Of Reason Breeds Monsters, and It Can Do That In The United States of America

  1. Although I am English/Welsh, I agree with you whole-heartedly. Being a curious, while lay-person, I often wonder about the minds of certain people. Do they only use a portion of their brains? If so, they should try using the rest – they just might…see the light!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a would-have-been artist who left fine art for the art of writing, I would say that most artists create work meant to inspire conversation and debate…..

    Isn’t it interesting that when fascism comes to call, debate is the first thing denied, and the language of Art among the first things suppressed.

    There are many of us in this country unwilling to tolerate the insanity of what was toyed with on January 6th. The mistake is to assume that because we wait to dissect and understand what just happened such a pause is in any way an acquiescence or endorsement of those actions. It doesn’t take the second amendment to stand up: It takes honor and principle. And just because we honor the right to dissent, does not mean we will not demand justice in this country FOR this country. The fat lady has not yet sung. But she stands on Ellis Island.

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  3. Here in rural Americana, which has, to my mind, been brewing towards this point for many, many years (long ago, I did a website for a local candidate who was very supported by Independents and Democrats but was a life long Republican and running against the ‘party’s choice’ – the new and young Tea Party members ‘took over his campaign’ and their rhetoric was scary to me, simply because I’m an amateur history buff – – fast forward through the years during my time spent in gardening, learning herbs, and all, JUST because a series of events, medical, illness, and working 2+ jobs just to pay the bills/financial made me yearn for a life that could be sustained more affordably – that included more ‘peace’ simply through knowing I had learned more skills, I have often come across those who, in one way or another, plan for anarchy – and some of their rhetoric greatly concerns me too – because, I guess, for me, in trying to understand their perspective, and what happened to place them there, I rarely hear about personal deep struggles, such as being homeless, or being hungry, or needing medical care and not receiving it – it is usually from folks that are, overall, better off and have never experienced loss of many of the ‘systems and structures’ that make their daily lives possible – and so, I question their reasons for it – other than they believe they will have what they have and easily defend it against those who ‘were stupid and unworthy’ to receive anything – when the have nots, in pure survival mode, rebel and believe they are smarter than the other ‘pockets’ of warlords in the making – – I, for one, worry about the directions of many of our systems, etc, for long range terms, sustainability, etc., but I personally, am not a fan of anarchy in any way shape or form – simply because – it becomes a regression to a more brutal, ugly time, full of rampant disease when basic systems of energy, water, waste management and food disappear etc, as those who seek to break down any system within a horde, rarely have a full plan to replace the full system – – I am keeping a journal, as always, writing about it, observing it, talking about it with others (when it seems ‘safe’ to do so, and actually have a conversation – which is increasingly becoming harder with factions on both the left and the right – and well – I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to see how it all plays out – or not – but – I came across a John Green quote the other day that says, “As long as we don’t die, this is gonna be one hell of a story” – The other thing I like to remind those in favor of ‘fighting against/tearing down’ the ‘system’ is this: Farmers who fought for years for American Independence in the Revolutionary War, often, going without pay – and suffering through harsh conditions just to survive ‘camp’ conditions, returned home and realized their farm under foreclosure, or in dire need of shoring up, making productive again and found themselves deprived of their main cash influx – -due to the needs of the new government they had fought for and helped to put into power – – the Whiskey Rebellion – So the whole basis of arguments, angst, etc. continue to confound me, as they are often based on emotional/personal reasons, instead of overall, ‘greatest good for all’ considerations and only span the history of their own lifetime – It’s very frustrating to me, for folks to ‘dismiss’ any example given, waving it away as ‘ancient history and doesn’t apply here’ – – how much things we create changes but how little and slow humans evolve over time – is my current, “bah-humbug’ feeling on it –

    Liked by 1 person

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