El Coyote Gordo (supergee) wrote,
El Coyote Gordo

The dream

Like Martin Luther King, I had a dream; in fact, it's the same dream. (He was happy to share.) We dreamed of a world where institutional racism had been conquered, where no one was treated worse because of the color of the skin.

It's a good dream; it means social justice and a decrease in needless suffering. I must admit, however, that I also dreamed it for selfish reasons. It would mean that I could make my decisions without the weight of racism, without having to be careful to lean towards helping the oppressed whenever possible. Like the judge who had taken equal bribes from both sides, I could decide the case on its merits.

Unlike many who dreamed the dream, I know that it hasn't come true, and I am convinced that the idea that it has is a mixture of smugness and wishful thinking. But I also wonder about those on the other side.

Years ago, Jerry Pournelle edited a series of anthologies called There Will Be War. The title suggests weary resignation and perennial inevitability, but I felt that the spirit of the books would have been better expressed if they had appended the words, "Thank God." I wonder how many people think, "There will be collectivist politics, thank God."

ETA: Rewritten to incorporate a useful correction supplied by james_nicoll
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