I was thinking about whether or not irrationality could lead to rationality in a society, and I began to come up with several examples where this may be the case. The best one is Gandhi’s mass civil disobedience movement that eventually lead to the end of British rule in India. Mandela and South African reversal of apartheid is an even more interesting example, considering that part of the reason Mandela was held for so long in prison was because he refused to dismiss the possibility of having to use force. One also hopes that the “Arab Spring” uprisings might similarly yield successful, rational, democratic governments. And, of course, there was the part in Rousseau where he points out how certain irrational practices might be extremely helpful, if not necessary for the creation of a society.
And then I thought about what we do as musicians: isn’t the point of performance to inspire very powerful, passionate emotions that will ultimately lead to a more enlightened, rational understanding of our world and ourselves?