Monday, July 22, 2013

Creatures of Dust

One of my prevailing philosophies in life is that most people are idiots. While the phrase was acquired from the Dread Ilk over at Vox Day's blog, I think it just wasn't put into words so eloquently until I read it there. I'm sure many people have had such epiphanies in a similar manner.

Understand that no one is exempt from that fundamental law of human nature. We all behave idiotically in one form or another on a regular basis. The sad truth, there are many of us who do not even know it. Keep in mind that most people are probably well-meaning individuals. We only wish to help people to become something better.

Unfortunately, this is where the problem starts. Empowered by the righteousness of their cause, they will break as many eggs as it takes to create that perfect omelet. And by "eggs", I mean people and by "perfect omelet" I mean their vision of how things should be.

We all have a vision for what the world should be like. There is nothing wrong with that really. It's about dreaming of a better world, one where there is less misery, suffering, and death. One where things are ordered in a certain, where we have control over our lives and are able to reach our full potential. The differences usually differ in the methodology of how humanity gets there.

Remember though, that these are dreams and dreams are usually selfish or self-centered. Your desires, needs, and motives are the only desires, needs, and motives that are attached to them. In many cases, these dreams are irrational and fail to meet the standards or real people with real problems.

I remember reading a famous confrontation between Milton Friedman and Senator Ted Kennedy where Friedman stated to Kennedy that Socialism has not worked in it's long history of existence so why was he trying to push it on America now. Kennedy flatly responded that Socialism hasn't worked in the past because it hadn't had him to run it. I'm paraphrasing all this, but the point is that Kennedy had a dream, a desire for the American people which could not be supported by facts. It didn't matter, though, because it would work this time so long as he was there to guide people into it. Facts be damned.

This is not a slam against Socialism, though I personally have my own major issues with it with Friedman's own assertions being one of them. It is a slam against people who have a vision for humanity that only leads to destruction, death, or widespread poverty. Senator Kennedy may have been genuine in what he was saying and may truly have believed in the need for Socialism despite all evidence to the contrary to its failings. He was a politician though, so there is absolutely no way to be sure as politicians are not known for their convictions, save a few.

For other political philosophies we find the same things. In mainstream conservatism, we see a desire to impose morality through the government, whose leaders are voted on by the people. It would make more sense to have a monarchy then. In modern liberalism, we see a push for a more centralized, regulating government in the name of protecting us from corporations. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that the more regulated the industry, the more likely corporations are going to be involved in the legislation and regulations that are created. This causes less competition and more corporate cronyism, not less.

For the libertarian, it's all about less government. A fine process, but many libertarians can't even agree on how much less. Hell, some of them even want more government like the Libertarian party's support of gay marriage, which is the antithesis of limited government since the government shouldn't be in the business of marriage to begin with. Then you have the anarcho-capitalists who raise up economics as the final judge of all things related to human nature. Even justice is reduced to meaningless exchanges because in economics nothing is considered sacred. Human life is treated as nothing more than a number. And while I agree with restitution as a legitimate exercise in justice for theft or property damage, murder is something much more serious and requires a more serious response than simple compensation to the victim's family.

For the classical anarchist, authority is the problem and so any symbol of authority must be destroyed. Unfortunately, this neglects the real human need to have someone in authority in some fashion. And while our current regime is definitely abusing this natural human instinct, there is no point in trying to deny it. There will always be leaders and there will always be followers. It is the way things are. I'm not saying I like anymore than they do, but at some point you have to acknowledge this simple human need.

In these and many other cases, you find flaws, imperfections, or idiocy. Most people pigeonhole themselves into some political belief or non-belief in the hopes of achieving their dream for humanity. But not all of humanity is like-minded, even within the same race, culture, or society. To even attempt to change the natural behavior of mankind is a divine endeavor, one that a creature of dust should not strive to do.