“The first principle is to not fool yourself. And you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman
A higher perspective is an elusive thing. It’s difficult to get ahold of from within the box of the status quo. Especially a status quo operating from a lower perspective seeking to build walls that further box it in.
The existing state of affairs prevents a higher perspective by shutting down progressive, forward thinking with outdated, parochial reasoning. It uses the concept of safety and security to distract you from notions of freedom and liberty.
Here’s the thing: there are too many whiny snowflakes crying about safety and security, and not enough courageous trailblazers willing to stretch their comfort zones at the risk of safety and security. That’s a problem. It leads to stagnation at best and regression at worst.
Freedom and liberty is what really matters, despite how dangerous or risky it might be. Having courage should be more important than remaining comfortable. The world is too small to limit freedom of movement to one place. Life is too short to suffer inside the box of outdated law and order, no matter how safe or comfortable that codependent box is.
If it’s true, as Aldous Huxley surmised, that “men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach,” then it behooves us, based on five thousand years of historical experience, not to entrust the management of our lives to rulers, masters, kings, priests, politicians, generals, or policemen. Authority should always be questioned. Especially a violent authority. And especially-especially a violent authority seeking to put up walls.
Unfortunately, we’ve all been conned. We’ve all been hoodwinked and bamboozled into thinking that being an obedient statist is the best way to live. It’s not. As Daniel Dennett said, “There’s no polite way to suggest to someone that they have devoted their life to a folly.”
So here it is down and dirty: Statism is soft slavery disguised as freedom, which creates blind patriotism, divisive nationalism, and irrational xenophobia as a side effect. Let’s break it down.
“History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” ~Mark Twain
What’s the difference between hard slavery and soft slavery? Hard slavery is overt, it’s apparent and self-evident. Nothing is hidden. It’s clear who the slave is. It’s clear who the master is.
Soft slavery, on the other hand, is covert. It is neither apparent nor self-evident. Everything is hidden behind comfort, apathy, security, convenience, indifference, and the illusion of freedom. It’s not clear who the slave is. It’s not clear who the master is. And the power dynamic is obscured by an unhealthy hierarchy that leads to public confusion within a chain of obedience that’s based on fear and violence.
Statists, living in a world ruled by nation states and deceived by the illusion of freedom, are more akin to the house slave from the times of hard slavery than to free human beings. The house slave of today is the typical state citizen just going through the motions, unaware of their own slavery. So caught up are they in the “rules” and the “laws” of the land that they cannot see how desperate their situation really is. To the extent that they can see, cognitive dissonance kicks in to squash the uncomfortable feeling to keep their comforting worldview intact.
We must not be afraid of getting uncomfortable, even at the expense of comfort and security. Hell, even house slaves had “comfort” and “security.” We must always question the “master of the house,” lest we be labeled as a soft slave. Beatings be damned! As Edward Abbey said, “Since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” This applies especially to the master (the powers that be) of the house (the nation state). And especially-especially if they use violence to enforce their laws.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ~Audrey Lorde
Migration and the free movement of people has always been a defining factor of the human condition. It’s a process of trial and error, sure, but ultimately, historically, it has led to progressive evolution. Using a big-picture perspective, what astronauts call the Overview Effect, we see how silly and irrational the idea of borders, boundaries, and disputed territories really are.