The other day I wrote about the absolute cataract of essays and articles these days proclaiming the death of something — something, anything, everything: capitalism, liberalism, Trumpism, tradition, conservatism, the novel, poetry, movies … the list goes on and on.
Today I’m wondering how much this habit of mind arises from an economic system built around planned obsolescence and unrepairable devices. If we are deeply habituated to throwing away a bought object when it is no longer performing excellently, then why not do the same with ideas? Hey, this thing I believe in no longer commands universal assent. Let’s flush it.
And for that matter why not take the same approach to people? If you’re in Canada and having suicidal thoughts, then you just might have a counselor suggest medically-assisted suicide. You’re hardly worth repairing, are you? Let’s just ease you into death and get you off our books.
This must be what the Fixx meant when they sang, “One thing leads to another.” Naturally, I’m all in favor of blogs being platforms for thought experiments and extemporaneous rambling, but still, I think this one could stand to be reeled in a bit before it starts to resemble the conspiracy meme. I’m pretty sure clichés, hyperbole, and rhetorical laziness in general predate the “economic system,” and I don’t think the increased availability of euthanasia is primarily due to financial considerations. Sometimes, things just have a superficial resemblance without all being causally connected. That’s boring, though. Maybe I’ll change the title of this post to “Apophenia and the Death of Judicious Thought.”