The problem of “good enough.”

UPDATE: Welcome to the readers from Clarissa’s Blog. I recommend you also read this entry.
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The problem starts when parents want to just be “good enough” parents. When we let abuse happen because it’s “normal” and because “they’re doing what they can.”

The problem continues when we accept and try to perpetuate a “good enough” schooling system- that is just good enough to kill children’s minds.

The problem is compounded by a society that is “good enough” to give us the freedom to complain but not the freedom to change things, and an economic system that is “good enough” to inflict suffering and servitude on a worldwide scale, and keep society stratified to a point where the top 1% own 42% to 47% of the total wealth, and a third of the total net worth.

The problem is not idealism and “pie in the sky” philosophies. We need to demand the pie in the sky. We have let evil perpetuate itself for centuries because it’s “good enough” for us, because “it’s not as bad as it could be.” We in the Western world have stopped having ideals. We are wet noodles. There is no courage left because the carrots of capitalism and the sticks of the police state have turned us all into donkeys, the sophisticated indoctrination of schooling and the media have erased all alternatives from people’s minds, and everyone has something to lose.

The “good enough” is the bitter enemy of the “good.” Pragmatism is the enemy of ethics. Gradualism is the enemy of positive change. Job-ism is the enemy of personal responsibility. Dogma is the enemy of critical thinking. Tolerance of evil is the enemy of a healthy system or society.

Idealism is the only mindset which produces change. Without the determination to achieve a higher goal, and the courage to affirm that goal in the face of what exists, no one has ever achieved anything of value. The wet noodle mindset of “good enough” has never produced any value for anyone except exploiters and rulers. The willful acceptance and tolerance of evil generates more evil, and has never generated anything but more evil.

I don’t give a shit about people who push the envelope. I want people who bring a new way of thinking into being and think up new ways of being. I want people who burn the envelope, eat the ashes, and shit insights. The only useful people in this world are people who have hopes, people who have dreams, and people who have visions.

People who say this or that is “good enough” are implicitly perpetuating the evils within the systems they praise. We must demand perfection. We must demand utopia. By aiming high, we can hope to achieve some level of success. By aiming for “the next reform” or “the next law,” we can only hope to achieve more co-optation of our aims by those in power. And by refusing to aim, we can’t hope to achieve anything at all.

And this is only when “good enough” affects only ourselves. When it starts affecting other people, you have no right to make that determination for anyone else. When children are suffering because of abuse and neglect, you don’t get to determine what “good enough” is for those children. When people in the Second and Third World are suffering because of neo-liberalism or Western wars, you don’t get to determine what “good enough” is for those people. When we torture people by putting them in jail because we disapprove of the means they have used to try to escape their suffering or their hardships, you have lost the right to call “good enough.”

Enough is enough! When other people are harmed because of your “good enough,” you don’t get to say it any more, and we need to call you on it! No, it’s not good enough, not nearly good enough! It’s absolute shit!

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4 thoughts on “The problem of “good enough.”

  1. myrthryn January 10 2013 at 20:54 Reply

    I’ll second that with an ” Absolutely! “

  2. dimasok January 31 2013 at 0:20 Reply

    Another excellent post. We need to demand a utopia and not merely an incremental improvement which always turns out to be a disappointment anyway. Idealism is the way to go and those who are chastised for being idealist when they turn into “adults” and told to suck it up should remove these absurd shackles and tell their oppressors to shut the fuck up and and take their “good enough” crap and shove it in their ignorant asses!

  3. [...] mauvaise presse, il est fort probable que vous ayez raison. Mais c’est surtout cet extrait de cet excellent billet de François Tremblay qui a été la goutte qui a fait déborder le [...]

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