Wednesday, November 08, 2006
ALIEN OBSERVATIONS, Part II
The following is my answer to very instructional comments offered by Troutsky and Ché Bob in a discussion of Ayn Rand which turned out to be more of a post than a comment:
"There are two ideals of our existence; one is the condition of the greatest simplicity, where our needs accord with each other, with our powers and everything we are related to, just through the organization of nature, without any action on our part. The other is a condition of the highest cultivation, where this accord would come about through infinitely diversified and strengthened needs and powers, through the organization we are able to give ourselves." Holderlin
If I am not mistaken the separate ideals described by Holderlin parted ways some 16,000 years ago when totalitarian agriculture caused artificially large, intensely dense populations to collect around the food locker/trough. The hunter-gatherer ideal of simplicity and natural organization in tribes was left behind as this self given organization invented a god who in turn gave man the earth to do with as they damned well pleased to excuse eradicating natural plant and animal life to make room for his own food and resource mining. As this condition of the highest cultivation grew its mythos of god given stewardship became the facts of its members’ existence evolving from religion through the totalitarianism of royalty and tyranny and on to the democracy and socialism of today. The only real result of these infinitely diversified and strengthened needs and powers is mankind’s ability to destroy more life from more remotely indifferent locations with no accord in sight.
In an issue of the NOLA Express, a New Orleans underground rag in the early ‘70s, I read a young girl’s idea of the best thing to do for the revolution was to be the best example you could be of living in the world as you want it to become, now. This is what I have always believed and enacted in my life guided by nature and the golden rule. “He who goes alone, can leave today.
As I see it, nature is here whether we are or not. Because we are here gives us no inherent ownership of where we are. The assumption that we do implies our superiority to everything not us and the right to exploit it for whatever pleases us. The culture known as western has wrapped its core beliefs around this arrogant lie and based all the facts of its life on it and its followers behave toward each other in the same fashion. The intricacies of, “… a condition of the highest cultivation, where this accord would come about through infinitely diversified and strengthened needs and powers, through the organization we are able to give ourselves.” have lead us into continual global abuse and warfare, yet this is the improvement on nature we’re still trying to make work against all evidence to the contrary.
This is the box outside of which I live to the extent that I have relearned “the condition of the greatest simplicity, where our needs accord with each other, with our powers and everything we are related to, just through the organization of nature, without any action on our part.” That Troutsky finds this leading to all the evils I find at the feet of that superior man made organization he champions is the crux of the conundrum.
The socialist principle of “from those according to their ability, to those according to their need” sounds like a man being asked for the metaphysically absurd performance of raising himself by his own boot straps to me. Wherein lies this fountain of ability from which to quench the ever needy? From whence the energy to sustain another as well? Where must the happiness and love arise to even attempt to impinge on the life of another in the name of responsibility for them? The state is not the place to look for any of this surplus no matter how much it requires. The individual self, gratefully responsible for the care and feeding of its own gift of life, is that very precious source. The particular individual self that I happen to find myself being is very cautious about thinking I know enough to help anyone else, much less imposing myself upon them for any reason. There is no state, be it a democracy or socialist state, moral enough to tell me I must inflict myself on anyone else for any reason. The golden rule is my only access to others and cannot be circumvented by any demand less real than pushing them from under a falling piano or waking them to a fraudulent state.
The flaws of both democracy and socialism are magnified by the overwhelming populations attempting to be represented by either. Now, a tribe is different than either state, in that it is made of a gathering of kindred folk with a common welfare to which all contribute as they can. One knows everyone in ones tribe, the golden rule is behaved out in the wide open and karma is instant. I know, I know … it’s just like the state, just smaller … not! There is no top, we are Barabas! There is no scorecard to rate tribe against tribe, because they all overlap to the degree of the curious sociability of tribal members.
This simpler, more natural utopia could actually benefit from the experience of having pursued the more artificial one by, for example, replacing the entire idea of justice with an understanding of the natural workings and benefits of the golden rule and karma, thereby precluding his hierarchy hell of Lord of the Flies Troutsky lays at Ayn Rand’s feet.
After my brief foray into the world of politics, I find it as relevant to my life as religion, Major League Sports or American Idol and just as debilitating to its addicts. I shall withdraw to my simpler world of natural organization and share my compassion, abilities, happiness and love with my tribe and anyone who thinks they’re part of it. No more political discussions about the inadmissible mistaken facts of western civilization or the emperor's new clothes — I'm tired of seeing his hairy ass anyway.