To Activists


I received this rather odd letter the other day. I initially found it peculiar that I would receive a letter addressed to activists, but on further reflection, it occurred to me that the term ‘activist’ might be understood in a broader context. Maybe all philosophers are activists; in fact, maybe everyone is an activist, and the act of living is an act of activism, for better or worse, for herd morality or master morality. Intrigued by the idea, I read on and ultimately decided it would be worth sharing with a larger audience.

An Open Letter to the New Activist

(or a Fragment of the Activist’s Conscience)

(or a Kick in the Ass by your Shadow)

(or the Philosophy of Banging Knives and Forks)

(or the Philosophy of Bleating)

Dear Fuckhead Asshole Activist,

Your activism is annoying the shit out of me. You ceaselessly bang your knife and fork, but it isn’t going to change anything, at least not until you truly understand what it means to bang your knife and fork. Your activism is nothing but wasted energy. In fact, it negates energy. Your energy is dead, and you killed it.

How long have humans been becoming on the planet? No, seriously, how long? Of course it depends on who you talk to, and I won’t pull out any fossils to prove anything, because it doesn’t matter if one believes something and another something else. I think it is pretty obvious by now that is going to be the persistent state of affairs. That is my whole point, so quit making shit up. The world is as it actually is, so quit paying attention to only the part that you want to be true.

Anyway, we all believe different things about different things, and that is part of the tragic beauty of the world in which we live. Why do you deny the tragic beauty of the world? It is completely and totally irrelevant what you believe, as long as you finally feel everything and try to believe something and let me try to believe something, even if it is tragic. Why fight over the answers? Answer the question however you feel called to answer, but please, please quit bleating and ask the right question for a change.

Regardless of how long you believe we have been on this planet, surely, it has been long enough for us to learn something other than how to exploit and kill each other, fight over religion, destroy the environment, and build bigger, faster, better TVs and do whatever that bigger, faster, better TV tells us to do.

Don’t you think?

So where is the snag? wtf, over?

The snag is you chicken-shit activists who don’t really know how to bang your knives and forks. Or even why you are doing it, other than to make noise and justify your own existence. You are too afraid of true justification to find out what really happened and what is now really going on.  You just re-bleat what you have heard someone else bleat. A blind man with a cane can see that. Why can’t you? Quit bleating.

But I think the snag also lies somewhere in the obvious existence of universals and particulars. It isn’t the universals fighting and killing amongst themselves; it is the particulars that seem to have a beef with one another. Kind of stupid when you stop to really think about it, isn’t it? It isn’t one religion taking issue with the idea of seeking God, ultimate meaning, or a cultural expression of moral values. All religions are fine with that. Even I am fine with that, for fuck’s sake; in fact I challenge you to do it, to truly do it. Become better than you, that is what you have to do, and I’m telling you how to do it. No, it isn’t one party taking issue with the idea of finding an effective means of protecting liberty and governing our nation. It is the particular expressions of these things having a beef with the other particular expressions of the universal.

You wimpy-ass activists are just another particular fighting against the other particulars, unable to really do anything different than that which you are supposedly activisming against. Don’t you see it, your thoughts and actions are predicated on the very same values you supposedly are activisming against. You perpetuate the problem, no, you are the fucking problem, and you can’t fix a broken tool with a broken tool, dumb-ass.

Get on the level between the universal and particular. It would be cliché to say that “we are all brothers and sisters and we all want the same thing,” wouldn’t it? Giving the world a Coke (anyone remember that?) isn’t going to help. That much, at least, has become apparent. All the do-gooders and all their good deeds done aren’t even a drop in the bucket. All the asshole activists and their activisms are not a drop in the toilet bowl.

Come on, you’re smarter than this.

Activism without a solid personal foundation is useless, and doomed to fizzle-outness. I think the evidence will support this. Wait! I hear the wimpy-ass activists of the ages say. Just look at what we have done – racial issues, gender issues, hunger and poverty, war, religious tolerance; in all these areas and many more besides, our activism has made a difference. We aren’t wimpy-ass. The human condition is better for more people than ever before.

I tip my hat to you. Props-ola. But, is it really better than ever, or is that just the illusory bullshit of morals on false premises? And even if it is better than ever, is it as good as it could be? I don’t think so. In spite of the many improvements to the human condition we have made, fizzle-outness will be the new and only inevitable result of activism for the sake of activism. The issues we face today are different than ever before. Consider the environment. Which version of the iPhone are we on? Could you have even imagined the iPhone just ten years ago? Besides, you can’t rest on your laurels and point to your past achievements, that won’t fix the problems of today; and the wolf is just outside the door, waiting to welcome the sheep to slaughter; to lead us into fundamentalism, tyranny, and self-destruction.

The new activist has to be a personal activist, and right the wrongs of his or her own life; and I am not talking about superficial changes like giving up driving a hummer… I’m talking about deep and fundamental changes of psyche and soul. Get out the hammer and get out of the problem, for fuck’s sake.

Until we can figure out how to integrate the universal with the particular in a meaningful way (no singing of Kumbaya, please), we are going to continue to face our collective shadow – no, we are going to continue to be dominated by our shadow. Activist and non-activist alike. The trouble is, we can’t just go out and do it, any more than most of us can go down to the airport and fly a 747.

The integration of the universal and the particular has to happen on a deep and personal psychological level, not like those English psychologists. How can we expect to do it on a collective level if no one even knows how to do it in their own head? Quit bleating. It really isn’t very complex – ha! Get it? You have to deal with your complexes, your shadow. You have to overcome your self and become your Self. You have to integrate your personal shadow into your conscious awareness. Only then can you overcome anything .You have to learn how to overcome your personal shadow before you can even engage the collective shadow; your own pluralism before that of the world. You must become super before the world will be super. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

So let’s get started. Quit being a wimpy-ass activist just because something sucks. Quit being a chicken-shit and go find out why you suck instead. Go find out how to integrate your own universals and particulars, invite me into the conversation, and please, until you do, quit banging your knife and fork, it’s fucking annoying.


F-W. N.

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