When the Truth Is Not Enough

It’s a famous quotation.  Near the end of Doctor Zhivago, his 1957 masterpiece, Boris Pasternak has his hero say

Microscopic forms of cardiac hemorrhages have become very frequent in recent years.  They are not always fatal.  Some people get over them.  It’s a typical modern disease.  I think its causes are of a moral order.  The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant systematic duplicity.

Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune.  Our nervous system isn’t just a fiction, it’s a part of our physical body, and our soul exists in space and is inside us, like the teeth in our mouth.   It can’t be forever violated with impunity.

The folks who quote the passage (at least the ones I have found by means of google) omit the first sentence:

Microscopic forms of cardiac hemorrhages have become very frequent in recent years.

“It’s a typical modern disease,” the novelist says. “[I]ts causes are of a moral order.”

It’s not only Russians who were affected to this modern disease of a moral order.  For example, in his 1975 recollection of how he came to write his psychological study of twentieth-centory tyranny, the Austrian philosopher Manes Sperber recounted how walking home one night in Rome in the spring of 1936, he saw the full moon over the Pantheon and was suddenly ‘unmanned’ (übermannt) by a heart pain.  He stopped and waited until he could breathe again, knowing, he said, that this was the language of the body.  He decided he could no longer excuse the Communist Party for its constantly growing, constantly worsening inversion of reality.  He would write what he knew about the human anxiety for a powerful leader to solve the insoluble.

Do you think that you are not in a similar situation?  Tell me, has the constant warfare of the past 72 years (I count forward from the last formal declaration of war in 1941) protected our freedom?  Have you not noticed that we live in a Surveillance State?  To remind you, “a Senate hearing on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) reminded us last week, current U.S. laws, as the Obama administration has interpreted them, largely empower the Obama administration to assassinate, without any independent oversight, suspected terrorist leaders around the world.” [emphasis added]

That is, our democratic Republic is a lawless rogue state, internationally and domestically.  And we are to thank our lucky stars, to put it in colloquial terms, that we are citizens of such a “free” country.  On 21 February 2008 our local Daily Bugle, corporate shill that it is, carried an article by the Associated Press News Service, headlined, “Strokes Triple among middle-aged Women“:

Nearly two percent of women ages 35 to 54 reported suffering a stroke in the most recent federal health survey, from 1999 to 2004.  Only about half a percent did in the previous survey, from 1988 to 1994.

The percentage is small because most strokes occur in older people.  But the sudden spike in middle age and the reasons behind it are ominous, doctors said in research presented Wednesday at a medical conference.

We do have the opportunity to get together and discuss legal means of redress.  Success is not very likely, but it is possible.  Just this month, here in Portland, compulsory fluoridation lost: here is an interview with the architect of that unlikely victory.  Come to the weekly meeting of the Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party, talk with other people who are engaged in actively changing the world for the better.

You’ll feel better.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Friendship, Healthcare, Inequality, Marxism, Pacific Green Party, Spiritual life, U.S. Constitution, War. Bookmark the permalink.

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