Don't you see?
by Milo Clark

Ludwig Wittgenstien, Bertrand Russell's protege and nemesis, asks a simple question: "How can I teach a blind person red?" If I pause to respond rather than rush to speculate, I understand that I have no way to teach someone who is blind from birth to recognize color much less possess the English word to describe one of the primary colors. Look (pun intended) at all the concepts I have already used which are visual in understanding. Only the sighted can read what I am writing. Only the sighted can participate at this level of discussion.

In parallel, Wittgenstein asks his readers to think about much of what is conditioned learning, taken with little question as actuality which most will name "reality." I can write about much of what I write about with an arrogant assumption that readers may see as I see even though I know few, if any, do.

I can ask why? A million whys? Why do corporations do what they do? Why do governments do what they do? Especially when I can see that what they are doing is not in what I believe to be the interests of people or planet? Why can't I teach red to corporations or governments? Why can't I teach red to all those who aren't seeing the wide swath of destruction being done in their names and with their tacit approval if not active votes?

Ludwig, where are you when we need you? Why am I doing what I do?

Published February 03, 1997
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