10 March 2013

Hang Together for Freedom? Or Hang Separately?

One message I've wanted to get out there for some time is that all of us who want particular freedoms must understand that we must scratch each others' freedom-craving backs if we want to succeed in protecting that, or those, freedoms.

Yes, I'll put it another way: I support protection and restoration of freedoms that I don't personally care about. It's  because I understand that if I don't help you maintain your freedoms, why should you help me with mine?; if I want freedom but want to lay some authoritarian horse manure on you, how could I expect you to do any different with me?

Most people just want to be left alone by "society." That doesn't mean they're hermits; no, they just don't want someone in their business unless invited. This was the Jeffersonian message to the world, that a society that systematically refuses to intrude into private matters is a sustainable society, a working community, and a force to be reckoned with should anyone attack: specifically because they are not at odds with one another and will therefore stick together! That may seem counterintuitive, but that's the way it works.

Put another way: empathy breeds in a non-coercive environment. If empathy has been eroded in a community by capricious, controlling and insulting rules and laws, the community won't hang together unless something horrific occurs. They won't help one another unless it's life and death, and maybe not even then.

Let that digest for a minute. A key to societal success... to a community's or even country's ability to hang together... is to leave each other alone, not meddle in private affairs, NOT to try to standardize or legislate or regulate beyond a few key matters, to let people handle their own affairs as they see fit and still be held accountable for harm. This is societal sustainability.
"I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Thus spake Zara.... errrr.... Jefferson. I'd ... call that... pretty... anti-authoritarian.

The real spectrum in politics is Authoritarianism vs Liberalism. Governmental authoritarianism was once called conservatism and that's why Jefferson was a liberal, a leftist. Jefferson (and many other real liberals) gave liberalism a good name; today's name-only liberals have turned liberalism into the very same animal as the authoritarianism Jefferson hated.

A useful way to think of non-authoritarianism (and such) is the non-aggression principle: do what you want; just don't force or harm another--not by direct force or by proxies (thuggy entities such as intrusive forms of government or other criminal syndicates). The only place for force is in defense against an aggressor. A real aggressor. Not just someone whose lifestyle or aesthetics go against your sensibilities.
There are those who use this rule in reverse: they are the people who crave power to control others. Divide and conquer is as old as any principle of societies. They use this tool, and expand from there. They create a hero narrative: we're here to save you from yourselves and your neighbors.

But in reality, they pit neighbor against neighbor; the more chaos the better, because that means more power and control, which means even more material and ego gain for them.
It's hard for many of us to imagine that some people would have such a need, but it's for real. There are such twisted people. And they use our tastes and preferences to pit us against one another. There is no justification is one person trying to dictate personal lifestyle or other choices to another; that is sickness. But most of us have that twitch.

I'd like to outlaw (if I weren't morally opposed to such laws), the wearing of pants belted center-of-buttcheek. Yuck. But I'd never support such a law, because it's ... ridiculous. I can take my sensibilities to some other scene. I'm also opposed to recreational drug use. But I oppose those laws too. I can't fathom the gay lifestyle. Not mine to fathom or regulate.

I could go on, but the point is that when we are talked into dispensing with principles of freedom because of our preferences, we become tyrants who support worse tyrants who use these issues to keep us at each others' throats, so to speak, divided, conquered, unable to hang together to beat away their advance into total tyranny.

Here's an example of just such a maneuver: Look what SPLC is doing: they're tying freedom orientation to terrorism and racism! It doesn't follow, but SPLC has the president's ear, and the ear of MSNBC and others. Why, I'll never understand; SPLC is a disgustingly anti-freedom outfit.
So, back on message: I may not like your tastes or preferences or the freedom you request; but I will support your freedom, as long as you are not aggressing against someone. Let me expect the same of you. And let's work together to restore America and to sing to the world the praises of this philosophy.

Here's someone else's thoughts, perhaps better phrased...
For liberty to prevail, the left-right spectrum and the two-party grip the establishment has on the American people, dividing them against one another in furtherance of its own power at home and abroad, must be rejected. The McCain-Obama consensus on everything from presidential assassination programs to massive corporate welfare for Wall Street and the centralization of nearly everything in Washington, DC, has to be challenged, and it can only be effectively combated if people ditch party loyalty and embrace core principles. I don’t ever expect anything good to happen in the Senate, but about a dozen times or so in U.S. history, something truly good has happened there. Yesterday marked one such occasion, and not so much for what it means for the Brennan nomination, but rather what it exposes about American political discourse. The Obama war machine and its establishment liberal media, the old guard Republican warmongers and the neocon editorial writers all deserve each other. The truly freedom-oriented folks on the left and on the right should spend more time talking with one another rather than being divided against one another by fascist leaders on both sides. Perhaps with the drone issue, we are one step closer to a more sane political discourse, one that puts power and liberty in their rightful places, at opposite ends.

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