Back to Alice’s Wonderland

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

A concept many are not familiar with but should be is “deconstruction” – deconstruction is defined as “a theory used in the study of literature or philosophy which says that a piece of writing does not have just one meaning and that the meaning depends on the reader.” Deconstruction rests on the theory that all statements are built upon arbitrary concepts and must be broken apart to display inherent bias before they can be truly “understood”.

Notice that similarity between deconstructionism and the Marxist-Leninist concept of reality – that reality is only what the individual PERCEIVES it to be.

The philosophy of deconstructionism places the power to decide meaning in the hands of the hearer or reader and not in the hands of the speaker or writer. If everything is arbitrary and to be clarified by anyone other than the person from which an idea or statement originates, any meaning can be assigned to it based on the bias of the person hearing or reading it.

Through deconstructionism, any statement can be interpreted as racist, bigoted, sexist or homophobic as long as the meaning of the underlying language can be defined as arbitrary, it basically provides a mechanism for a person to filter the language through their own biases to reach a predetermined endpoint. For example, if one assumes that all Republicans are racists, any statement a Republican makes can be defined as a racist statement because the person defining it as such “knows what the Republican really means” and deconstructionism allows them to assign that meaning to those words.

Here’s a simple example: how a typical “throw away” phrase – “Man, I had a hard day” could be deconstructed:

  • “Man” – clearly exclusionary, demeaning and sexist because it assumes a cis gendered perspective and the audience is made up of multiple genders. Clearly illegitimate because “man” is a social construct designed to disparage anyone not identifying as “male”.
  • “I” – inherently selfish and implies that you are somehow uniquely exposed to difficulties when many are worse of than you. It is an elitist and individualist position and denies the struggle of the proletariat.
  • “had” – implies that the past is significant, when we know the past is only the individual’s perception of events and therefore irrelevant to the collective.
  • “hard” – misogynist terminology implying difficulty but having roots in the celebration of the phallus of the male which becomes “hard” and implies only males can experience “hard” – again, a statement designed to express reality from a male perspective and deny the role of the female.
  • “day” – an arbitrary unit of time based purely on the perception of light and dark and the arbitrary values assigned to light as good and dark as dangerous or evil. This is clearly demeaning to people of color and therefore a racist construct.

Absurd?

Of course – but these are the lengths idiots are now going in order to define the world and their opposition as illegitimate. There are many examples of such worlds – Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is one that comes to mind. I’ve written about this before:

Lewis Carroll created a surreal world where fantastic, supernatural things were possible – things that escaped the bounds of reason. I was thinking about this yesterday when I thought about how the political elite is upset that we are too ignorant to understand their brilliance in working on a “problem” that 96% of Americans do not believe is a problem – that being not enough restrictions on guns.

It strikes me that Washington has devolved into a world a lot like the surreal world of Alice. This a world where once down the rabbit hole, normally sensible people undergo metamorphosis into some variant of the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of the Mad Hatter or the March Hare, creating realities as they go to suit what they want them to be instead of what they are. They sure don’t manage their own affairs the way they try to manage the affairs of the public. I say that they are sensible people – because even the most “progressive” do-gooders of this D.C. tea party are well educated and well-to-do and don’t manage their own affairs the way they try to manage the affairs of the public. If they did, they would be penniless and in hock up to their eyeballs just like our country is. They even carefully exempt themselves from the rules and laws they vest upon the rest of us to protect their own from the ravages of their policies.

And all the while, Obama sits in a tree, taking it all in like the Cheshire Cat – and remaining invisible during the chaos, appearing only to brandish a toothy smile or to angrily pass judgement on the actions of others who disagree with him. At least Alice had the good sense to declare the Hatter’s party to be the stupidest tea party ever and leave. Obama’s re-election proved that the American public is somewhat duller than our young heroine.

Carroll created a world at the end of the rabbit hole as a world of irrationality, absurdity, relativism and complete fantasy as a child’s diversion from the reality of the mid-1800’s. His work is filled with things that were recognized then as nonsensical impossibilities – but reading Carroll today sounds like reading the Democrat Party platform or watching a “gun safety” debate on MSNBC:

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that.

“My name is Alice, but — “
“It’s a stupid name enough!” Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. “What does it mean?”
“Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully.
“Of course it must,” Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: “my name means the shape I am — and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.”
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.“
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

The sum total of our political discourse has reached the same level of lunacy as the conversation around the table at the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter.

Aye, there’s the rub – for as the Hatter was unable to answer a question of his own origination, neither are our politicians able to bring their own riddle to completion.

I’m beginning to think that our political class would feel right at home in Alice’s world below the ground.

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One thought on “Back to Alice’s Wonderland

  1. Ahhh Lewis Carroll ….prescient about so many things….and on so many levels.

    The young who follow Socialism remind me of his Oysters in “The Walrus and the Carpenter” led ultimately to their economic, spiritual and often times physical death.

    http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/walrus.html

    ———————————————–

    “O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
    The Walrus did beseech.
    “A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
    Along the briny beach:
    We cannot do with more than four,
    To give a hand to each.”

    …………………………………..

    The Walrus and the Carpenter
    Walked on a mile or so,
    And then they rested on a rock
    Conveniently low:
    And all the little Oysters stood
    And waited in a row.

    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–
    And why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings.”

    …………………………………….

    “It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
    “To play them such a trick,
    After we’ve brought them out so far,
    And made them trot so quick!”
    The Carpenter said nothing but
    “The butter’s spread too thick!”

    “I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
    “I deeply sympathize.”
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
    Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
    Before his streaming eyes.

    “O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
    “You’ve had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?’
    But answer came there none–
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They’d eaten every one.”

    As the Youth spend their time “Talking of many things….why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings”………..Socialism robs them of their future and their rights……. The Socialist Oligarchs “Eating every one”

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