Friday, July 15, 2011
When the "We" Makes an Insignificant "Me"
Ayn RandThe word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages. Anthem, Chapter 11
All humans live amongst others, but their attitude about life and what makes for meaning is what makes for the differences. Some see the "We" as an attitude of "Comaradie", "Team", "Care", which make for "society", "company", and "organization". But such thinking can enable, as much as enoble, when individuals are not taking their own responsibilty for and about their life. Instead, they compromise, or ignore their own values so that others might not be "left out". But, in doing so, they loose their own distinctiveness. And soceity suffers for it.
The other night we watched a movie about a woman that pursued a Pulitzer by publishing a story about another mother in her child's school, who was a CIA agent. In the process, she went to jail for not revealing her source and lost her marriage. Her lawyer suggested that she could "go free" if only she would hold the "traitor" accountable. One wondered during the film why she didn't take his advice, but understood she was standing on the principle of "free speech"! She didn't want to set a precedent against "free speech".
Where do the lines lie in "free speech" versus "national security"? These are questions that concern Contitutional Law.
Should she have gained her freedom and hold the informer accountable? Or should she have held to her ultimate value for her journalism career, of "free speech"?
If this character had been "the concerned citizen", or the "soceital moralist", then she would have had a "focus" on the "we". This is all well and good, but there were more important issues in her mind to uphold for the nation and for the media, in general. Freedom of the Press is of pivotal import to maintaina free society!! So, I applaud her courage, determination and conviction!!!