You Can Choose Whom
"No great man of
letters is absorbed by the stream in which he swims." - Chaim Potok
I know you love your country - so this
must be for all the other countries out there.
A natural basis of relationship is family and tribe ,
a tribe acting as an extended family. Normally these
relationships operate under known rules that are accepted
by the group's members.
As group size increases, rules are created to support
the dominance of the few. An early stage might be a city
state - we can use Rome as an example. Some families
will dominate - rules to support and perpetuate dominance
are put into effect.
When Rome first conquered local conquered
groups it offered survivors an opportunity to join
Rome under their rules. As growth continued oppression
increased with each new victory, the increasingly harsh
rules at the edges of empire enshrined the ruling class
Beyond a certain size groups will be inherently unequal.
Democracy changes the structure but does not change the
facts, the majority is now the ruling class making rules
to their benefit. Consider three lions and one sheep
voting on what is for dinner.
Governments originally sprang from
roving tribes that looted early agrarians.
These criminal bands eventually settled down and stole
in one convenient location - offering "protection" from
other thieves in exchange for support. A government would
then be the first form of organized crime, one reason
it fights all other organized crime that tries to muscle
into its territory.
Into this admittedly extreme position I will, with apologies
to the author, insert a quote by a brilliant man - who
I am reasonably sure did not expect to have this quote
applied in this manner.
"Look at the tyranny of party--at what is called
party allegiance, party loyalty--a snare invented by
designing men for selfish purposes--and which turns voters
into chattles, slaves, rabbits" - Mark Twain
I regard this as what it appears to be - a condemnation
of ignorantly and automatically supporting your vastly
extended political tribe in elections.
But since Samuel Langhorne Clemens is no longer here to
defend his thoughts, I will paraphrase it and put it to
my own uses.
Look at the tyranny of country--at what is
called patriotic allegiance, patriotic loyalty--a snare
invented by designing men for selfish purposes--and which
turns citizens into chattles, slaves, rabbits.
allegiance can be a virtue.
Supporting and defending yourself, your family, and your
friends when they are in the right is both natural and
to be applauded.
Commitment to a just cause is a hallmark of rational beings.
Connection with a local team or institution can enrich
your life. Cheering for a local team is a harmless identity
However -- following a faction or group of loosely defined
causes without reservation is grossly extended and ignorant
"The old parties are husks, with
no real soul within either, divided on artificial
lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each
a jumble of incongruous elements ... " - Theodore
Roving criminals still exist, and will settle into any
group that folks follow blindly. From a position of authority
they will then abuse power and seek to perpetuate their
The good news is that society is changing - technology
is empowering thoughtful individuals to reclaim their
It may not happen soon enough for you, unless you take
control of your own life.
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