There are phrases that are able to not only mar, but to even stop events. To leave you lame, make you feel deflated. One of these is, “there is no alternative”.
How many times we have heard it and even said it ourselves. Frustrated and unable to look at a problem or opportunity from a different angle.
There is no alternative to austerity policies, market assessments, closing of ports, dictatorships, unemployment, suffering, or ignorance. It’s also the expression most often used to get people to vote for parties they’re unlikely to vote for, as well as the favourite saying of tyrants. Of those who need people to not believe that a different society is possible. And if there were an alternative, that would be dangerous.
In the 1980s it became the favourite slogan of Margaret Thatcher, the conservative prime minister who headed the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. This expression became so widespread that an acronym was coined for it: T.I.N.A.: there is no alternative.
And one can easily see why. If there are no alternatives, there is only one possible choice. Perhaps that being imposed on us, suggested, submitted. And so we do not even have to bother to counter it. Tied, as we are, to the present dictatorship, we are at risk of causing space for anything possible disappear.
Coming to my aid, freeing me from my tangled thoughts, was Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard, maintaining that man becomes what he is as a result of the choices he makes. Besides, foregoing the choice, in the real situation of existence is, in fact, a choice.
“Imagine a captain on his ship at the time of battle. Unless me is a mediocre captain, he will realise that, while he remains undecided, the ship continues at the same speed, and so he only has an instant in which whether he makes one choice or another does not matter. The same applies to man, if they forget to calculate this speed, in the end the time will come when he no longer has the freedom to choose, not because he has chosen, but because he did not do so. Which can also be expressed like this: because others chose for him, because he lost himself…”.
Believing he has no alternatives does not represent greatness in a man, but his permanent drama. And it’s not a question of trust either, Rather, exactly the opposite!