Word Nerd Wednesday: Panglossian

I had another word on tap for today. It was a strange one, but my mood has shifted from zaniness to something else. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s not zaniness.

In our house we’ve talked a lot about impending doom. Culturally, politically, and economically, our country cannot seem to make it to what I refer to as “peak absurdity”; namely, that moment when things cannot get any crazier and people begin to revolt against the madness and begin the work of bringing sanity back to our society.

It just isn’t happening, and more than that, no small percentage of Americans seem to be happily jumping on the train to Crazyville. We Americans, writ large I mean, seem to have a stunning lack of imagination, and combined with our historical ignorance, become panglossian.

Panglossian: marked by the view that all is for the best in this best of possible worlds : excessively optimistic. Merriam-Webster

For those unaware, the word panglossian is drawn from Dr. Pangloss, a character in Candide, the satirical book written by Voltaire, a French philosopher of the Enlightenment period.

Pangloss is Candide’s tutor, whose philosophical perspective, “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds”, never wavers despite all evidence to the contrary. Evil, mayhem, chaos and disease encroach further and further into his own country, society, and personal life. No matter; Pangloss insists that it is all ultimately for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

I often feel as if our country, or at least large swaths of it, are trapped in a maze of Panglossian delusion. Faith in the institutions which are so obviously corrupt persists; at least enough that we are all at risk of living in a totalitarian state.

Our churches have neglected all sense of commitment and conviction to hard truths. Our schools operate as little more than basic training camps for the revolution, and we persist in believing that things can only go up from here.


3 thoughts on “Word Nerd Wednesday: Panglossian

  1. elspeth says:

    I just ripped this from Garvey’s Ghost, because it is speaks to a bit of what I intimated here. I may make a full post of it at some point so that it gets more exposure, but for now:

    Computing Forever has been spot on in his analysis of the COVID scamdemic. For those not too bright, COVID Scamdemic is the set of government, ngo and private party “reactions” to the actual COVID virus epidemic. It is NOT a claim that the virus itself is a scam.

    Having put that out of the way the video below discusses the next steps that the various entities have in store for you.

    I wanted to actually quote the Telegraph article discussed in the piece but it is behind a pay wall (think on that for a minute). But in short, the idea that once “hard’ currency is replaced by digital currency controlled by government and government aligned “private” entities, your days of being a free citizen is over.

    One would have to be on Amish level off-grid ness to even survive and most of the members of the modern world simply will not volunteer to live that way. Hence, what is being discussed is more or less going to happen.

    Why am I so pessimistic? Because over the last 18 months I have discovered that, at least for America, a good deal of the public LIKES tyrannical government so long as they continue to get certain “gibs”. They also, like their Jim Crow predecessors like the smug feeling of superiority that comes with being able to designate some group of people “less than”.

    But most of all, the idea that rights and freedom come FROM government, a concept wholly rejected by the founders of the country and which made it unique among nations, is now held by a large and apparently growing majority of people.

    You think banks won’t cut you off for having the wrong opinion or stating something the government considers taboo? Well they are already doing this. They are only doing it to people that they have convinced the general public to believe “deserve it”. Why? Because the general public can’t see past their next meal and so will not be alarmed [enough] to put a check on both the bank AND the government until it’s too late.



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