Elsewhere in cyberspace someone wrote,
"You can't legislate morality ass clown."
Said the blind man to his deaf daughter in reference to some rather childish, yet revealing comments made by former senator Rick Santorum about what the Republican party was, and was not. To that I responded as follows.
They (religious extremists) think they can and this renders them equally dangerous to those at the other end of the supposed spectrum. Do not fool yourselves into thinking that such people would not have your necks under their boots were they given the opportunity.
Extremists of any flavor, whether religious or otherwise pose essentially equal threats to freedom and if liberty is to survive (and at this point that is in some very grim doubt) the day will almost certainly come where they will have to be "handled", and that can mean anything from simply managing them with some political clarity to open warfare.
Here again we see the perils that beset human freedom at every turn. Some people seem driven to the will to dominate others, though not always in manners that are obvious to the casual observer. A huge proportion of us, most likely a vast majority in fact, are terrified of actual freedom. They want all the benefits with none of the associated costs. In other words, they want something for nothing and in a universe that as yet provides no discernible free lunches this poses a very serious problem for everyone. Some very few of us want actual freedom. The rest want pretty slavery where the Master magically pulls those free lunches out of thin air and beneficently dispenses them to one and all. No worries there at all, right? Nothing could possibly go wrong there, right?
The bottom line for living freely is stark and perhaps unpleasant: in order to become and remain free one must be willing most literally to butcher his fellows who would trespass upon that freedom. There is no way around this. Law in itself is nothing. Principle left fallow is nothing. Talking nicely to empty headed animals avails one nothing. Talking harshly to them gains them practically nothing. It is naught but the sword that keeps the barbarians polite. Make no mistake about the fact that at the end of the day your "nice" neighbors who crave their particular visions of pretty slavery are not your friends. They are potentially as bitter an enemy as any you might imagine, for they would offer your children up for immediate and unceremonious slaughter if they thought it would get them what they want, which is that vision of paradise at no cost to them. They don't give a damn who pays, so long as it is not them. They are thieves every bit as much as the man who dons a mask and sticks a gun in your ribs for the sake of taking your wallet, only far less honest than the mugger, for at least he does his own work.
Bear always in mind the enormous raw psychological power of well crafted visions of pretty slavery. They are so viscerally appealing - so right in their appearances even to otherwise intelligent and careful adults - that it becomes easy to fall for the bait. Just as with the old vampire movies like Salem's Lot where those somehow saved from the ultimate fate say once bitten they no longer wanted to get away, but to remain in the monster's clutches, so it is with the right visions of pretty slavery. People get swept away with the visions of golden "freedom" and strong happy children and social order, never asking "at what cost, this?" That is the mistake - of wanting something so much that habits of good reason fall by the wayside.
The song of the Siren is nearly irresistible.
No matter how appealing a story line may appear to you, always ask yourself what the costs will be. This is most especially true for the vision of actual freedom because how can you want something you do not fully understand? What is the manna? Whence does it come? Who provides it? How shall they be compensated? For whom shall it be provided? Who shall compensate? How much shall be the bill? And so forth. Do not forget that nothing is free, not even our freedom. A paradox for the ages, perhaps.
When one has well in his grasp the principles of proper human relations the answers become easy to find. When difficulties arise in one's mind it is ALWAYS due to the desire for pretty slavery - for getting something for nothing - for avoiding the costs one does not want to pay. There are no exceptions to this. Proper human relations, which is the manifestation of proper human freedom, gives rise to some unpleasant truths. Some people will not "make it". Some children will die. Others will be stricken with disease, or go hungry and without homes. Some will be forced to live without a large flat-panel television; oh the humanity!
These are some of the costs associated with actual, proper human freedom. While there is no "government" to save you from your unfortunate circumstances or poorly considered choices, there is also none to step upon your rights. The pretty slaver wants the former without the possibility of the latter.
The pretty slaver wants that which can never be realized. The pretty slaver expects magical and saint-like perfection to govern his world by hands no more adept and free of sin and vice than his own. It is a wish so violently disconnected from even the the most remote threads of reality as to defy one's credulity. How can anyone accept such barking insanity in the least measure? Yet, the vast majority of people in these United States and indeed the world have been trained to subscribe to this rank dementia with clamoring that flies well past the feverish. A goodly proportion of those people would unhesitatingly see you sacrificed upon the altar of their golden vision in order to have that for which they shamelessly fiend. Your desires, your rights, your very life is as nothing to such people. They are no different from all the fools in Germany who stood tall and raised their arms in the NAZI salute for Hitler. They are no different from those who meekly stood by as Mao and Stalin ran roughshod over their fellows, thankful in their quaking cowardice to have been passed over... this time.
These people, your neighbors, those wantonly ignorant and mindlessly greedy poltroons who are willing to accept any political idiocy so long as it affects someone else, would turn on you in an instant if they sensed profit in it or if you threatened their status as free lunchers. So long as they are not inconvenienced they are content to tolerate no-knock raids upon the man next door, always rationalizing that it is none of their business. With few exceptions this has been the increasingly overarching human proclivity since ancient times, having grown exponentially over the past century. Back when, at least, there were apparently far more willing to come to the defense of the rights of their neighbors as written history appears to indicate. Today, however, that characteristic of the race of men is all but extinct, Joe Average now drawing the shades when a ruckus breaks out as he draws a sigh of relief that is it not his house to which armed men in black have arrived and caved in the door, shot the dog, wrecked the house and stomped wordlessly away after realizing they came to the wrong address. Relief that it is not him being dragged away in handcuffs, having been beaten senseless and bloody for having had the temerity to question their actions, the children on their way to "the system", and the wife left to live under a bridge with the house under an order of civil forfeiture.
This is the reality of our nation today, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The whole truth is so ugly, so frightening, and so impossibly nauseating that most people simply cannot - WILL NOT - consider it. It is simpler to shut it out - drown it out with the next big game on TV, remote in one hand, beer or pecker in the other and the will to tell oneself that all is well.
It is this reality against which we enter the breech. Never let this truth escape your thoughts, no matter how oppressive it may seem, for it is an essential element of that bare thread by which we hope for salvation from abject material slavery at the hands of the good intentions of our fellows. Facing this truth requires courage. Real deal, no bullshit courage as if we were going to war. Without it, we are lost. Do not forget this.
As always, until next time please accept my best wishes.