The Curse of Activism

Activist, activism: These are two of the ugliest, falsest, and most sinister words in the English language.  As citizens of the Age of Activism, subject to the unremitting harassment of activists who refuse to leave society in peace, we need to understand the phenomenon they represent, as well as to recognize it.

According to my Webster’s Dictionary, the noun activism dates from 1915 and is defined as “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action (as a mass demonstration) in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.”  This definition strikes me as being as outdated as a protest by feminists marching in pedal-pushers.  The reason is that people cannot contrive to live their entire lives as one long and uninterrupted demonstration, while modern-day activists have no difficulty in consecrating themselves to activism as completely as a convent nun does to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  For nearly all activists (including many of those who claim to act in the name of religion), religion represents escapism in its most reprehensible form; activism, the radical embrace of reality.

They could not be more wrong, of course.  The solitary nun praying her rosary contemplates wholeness in the particularity of a wooden bead; the activist at his computer, networking unseen strangers in cyberspace on behalf of a cause that has been...

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