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December 3, 2019 / Congau

Pet Issues

Activists know what is most important in the world: their particular issue. If something is worth fighting for out of all the injustice on this planet, it must be something that stands out as deserving our attention more than anything. I sometimes wonder why a person has chosen his calling since to me the fate of stray dogs or the right to carry a shotgun doesn’t seem all that essential, but who am I to say. If it matters to you, you might as well devote your life to it.

But although it is psychologically understandable, it’s still rather curious how that issue not only takes precedence over everything else but becomes the foundation of all other beliefs and doctrines. What should have been merely one out of many conclusions based on an overall ideology, gets turned around and comes out on top. The conclusion becomes the premise.

Originally you may have arrived at your standpoint from a general world view, but now it has staled and become a truism without explanation. It may also be the case that your pet issue has been with you since childhood and like sweet candy you enjoy it just because you do. Or sometimes there wasn’t even an original affection, but the force of habit has made it seem true beyond doubt.

Many people care about the struggle of their own group just because they have been born into it, not bothering or wishing to consider how it may be opposed to the grievances of other groups.

If the human animal were as rational as it prides itself to be, it would consider every issue from the viewpoint of a general idea and work its way towards conclusions that might even go against its personal interests. That, however, would be too much to ask from a man of emotions. Still, in sober moments we might try to seek a more neutral answer to the question “what is really most important in the world?”

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