Tuesday, November 20, 2012

P Esquire A

One thing I can take away from recent nonsense.

Parents, talk to your kids about law school.  Because if you don't, someone else will.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Or Maybe Just Good Luck

This week I had to grapple with a couple local bureaucracies.  I should add that I'm in one of those states in which small-statism is shrinking the staff while herding people through the system more than ever.  In any case, I expected a nightmare.

It wasn't easy, and I don't want to ignore that the slight stability I've found in my life always makes acting calmly a bit easier, but I steeled myself to deal with the individuals I met as individuals.  On two interactions with unholy state institutions and in one with a local business I found myself treated in return as an individual.  I won't say I caused their kindness--I didn't--but I certainly didn't try to dissuade them.  I explained my situation.  I expected nothing.  I just did my best to get through.  And people helped me.

This is simply anecdotal, but it felt good to be cut a little slack.  There are plenty of people in this world who need to be cut a bit more than I do, but anyway, I emerged from a few transactions with impersonal powers with my faith in individuals affirmed.  If you see my former posts as bleak, it's because I intended them to be.  I remain confident of the flaws in mass society and the intrinsically mixed bag of human behavior.  But that mixed bag means that hope also never vanishes, and that compassion and collaboration is just an individual choice away.  This perhaps makes the dark darker, when you realize how much difference some individuals can make in cases of extreme injustice and brutality--autonomy means greater guilt falls on the wicked or their servants--but it is also cause for hope.  I believe in exceptions.  We all have need of them on occasion.

Friday, November 16, 2012

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eternal Recurrence

Man will always (I don't speak for women) seek power enough to express himself and this will always suffice to persecute, dominate, and manipulate others.

In this I am a conservative, for I do believe human nature is fixed.  What can go wrong, I assert, will go wrong.  One need only wait.  One need only watch families to see that persecution is cultivated young and no political, cultural, or belief system will ever remedy this completely.  And so in enough time you will have people with the charisma enough, and others with the affection/neediness/desperation enough to devote themselves to others.

This is bombastic and stupid, but it is correct--if you want to see demagoguery and control and ruthlessness, it is important to look at the pathologies of millions, but I say to you that very little is expressed there that is absent from a smaller scale.  Violence, orchestration, cruelty, internalized control...  All society's maladies are present in families.  We were not corrupted by the state.  We gave birth to it and replicate it every day.  We don't even need to play it out; it would die without our assistance and the truth is that it is maintained daily by us.

And so I advocate resistance and upheaval and destruction when we assert it is necessary.  Will these efforts go wrong?  Yes.  Inevitably.  But still we try.  Still we do our best.  Still we seek freedom for ourselves and freedom for others.  And this is a very subjective concept, I grant.  Freedom ain't rational and never will be.  You can't draw the line at control through overt violence or political systems.  Anyone who has seen individual violence knows that you can have the best system in the world and yet, in the moment, you can still be enslaved or corrupted or crushed or co-opted, finding yourself your own jailer.

This will never go away.

But nevertheless I believe in finding a way to liberate ourselves and help others liberate themselves.  I just don't know what form it needs to take, now or ever.

I am happy to fumble through this until my ideas get better.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Generally, I'd support a system where small communities--less than 50 thousand, maybe?--were able to pass laws that superseded larger jurisdictions.  Naturally, we might draw the line at murder, but I'd like to see this kind of shift take place everywhere.  It doesn't happen, but give us the option.

And if we want to assist those who move elsewhere, just fine.  The system can be voluntarized as much as we like.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Yeah, I know.  And you can hate me too.  I actually voted for the guy.  You want a defense?  I'd actually try if you're interested, but I don't need to waste time if you'll chalk it up to me being a betrayer of liberty.  Fact is that's exactly what I was yesterday.  I soothed the state.  But there--I've admitted it and now I'd like to move on to my main point, politician-style.

Reach out to the sad.  Find out why.

Talk to the ecstatic.  Find out why.

This is very simple.  But you see, election or no election, our first responsibility is to politically explore our fellows.  Actually talk--not on the Internet, or not only--but actually talk to the disgruntled co-worker who rolls her eyes at all the "I Voted" stickers.  She has her reasons, unless she actually is an idiot like the voterprop tells us to expect.  Apathy can be easy, but principled avoidance is another thing.  There's fucking wisdom there, even if you won't or can't share it.

In short, Obama won because a whole bunch of people said so.  We can debate the particulars, we can say this is good or this is bad.  But the fact is that from Bush to Obama to whoever the citizenry (or a portion of them) selects or ratifies of whatever, the most I want to see from us critics is a shrug, because the people are still the only hope for those who would limit or push back or reinvent or extinguish or kill the state.