Fixation for ideas is often harmful, for they come with a thrive for power. No person steps back when there is faith of rightness in their actions. We have seen this happen in revolutions, more often than not, they end up in dictatorships.

 

By Gustavo Osorio

There is a belief in our society which correlates intelligence with good behavior; and though it may seem as an innocent thought, there is no doubt that history has proven this uncertain. Whether it involves science, arts, literature or technology, no warranty is given that the person, underlying any creation, would actually seek the sake of humanity; or that in doing so, they would not harm anyone. Fixation for ideas is often harmful, for they come with a thrive for power. No person steps back when there is faith of rightness in their actions. We have seen this happen in revolutions, more often than not, they end up in dictatorships.

On the other hand, ideas by themselves are utopic lands, whether they are exposed in political discourses or essays, books or articles, news or podcasts, to lay bare a thought on any matter as a public demand has consequences. The peak of them all is that no utopia can be reach, there is no possible path that would lead to it. Eduardo Galeano once said that, in a conference in Cartagena de Indias, Fernando Aguirre was asked “What is Utopia for?” to which he responded: “Utopia is in the horizon, the more I walk towards it, the more it drives off from me, if I walk ten steps, Utopia will take twenty, then what is it for, you may ask, just to walk”. With this, it may become clear that ideas are metaphysic concepts to look up to, but once anyone tries to grasp them, they banish.

We have to be aware that not all utopic ideas strike for benefits. It is known that throughout history there has been a persecution against jewish people, for the Christian church believed that by eliminating them society would flourish, or else, and this is what Eco has shown in his book The Prague Cemetery, they would facade their wrong doings. To plan and execute anything like this required intelligence. The same happened with Joseph Goebbels, no ignorant could have ever accomplished his success on Nazi propaganda. Intelligence is in no way an indicator of holiness nor rectitude. However, this does not mean that good ideas cannot come from non-righteous people, for instance, Theodore Kaczynski: a brilliant mathematician and philosopher, yet a murderer well known in United States.

Most of the work Kaczynski did on mathematics is not recognized not only because it is difficult to understand, but also because he accomplished to be in the world’s sight with his bombs and dissertation about industrial revolution. Though being able to kill, he has also predicted much of the effects of technology in our society.

Reading the Manifesto could be a difficult task, albeit you probably do not need a degree to understand it, you will find that is very accurate, that Theodore really displayed an insight to our problems, and that most of his proposals on how to save us from the consequences of industrialism seem reasonable; but to agree with a person that sees no issues on blowing someone apart could be troublesome, depending on your perceptions of evil.

We are used to believe that this enquiries come to mind only when reading a book, take The Brothers Karamazov as an example, Dostoievski already brought up the question with his book, whether it is right or wrong to condemn someone for their actions when striking for a higher goal, and yet, we see that our society is not able to forgive a bomber that cares for the sake of our world, but buys products compulsively from companies that have been proven to create pollution and diseases more harmful than a single man’s actions, then, are we really certain of our perceptions of wrong and right?.

We know not why is it legal for a cigarette company to pollute our air and to weaken our health, to create around 480,000 deaths per year just in the United States, we know not why someone that killed 3 people is a greater threat to our society than a cigarette company, we know not what are our thoughts on industrialism, and we definitely do not know what determines who is the criminal.