Just in case the Tea Party is tapping into this blog, the dinosaurs died out millions of years ago, and earth is more or less four billion years old. Now that that is out of the way....,
Tens of thousands of years ago, an early human sat down on the sand with a stick. While he sat there, he whimsically made a mark in the sand, the simplest of marks, and it was his "signature"; his statement that he was there, that he existed, and that he could change his world if he but made the effort. He drew a straight line in the sand. Other humans made hand-prints as a statement of their identity, but some drew straight lines, whether in the sand, or on stones, or on a tree. It was the earliest incarnation of two very important concepts which you use every single day without realizing it: first, it became the Letter "I", and second, it became the number "1".
The Letter "I" is the very first human statement of self: 'I am'. 'I exist'. 'I am here'. "I". They did not need to speak English for a straight line to mean, "this Mark represents Me". And numerically, there is only "1" of me. You never realized this, did you? You are directly linked to thousands of years of ancestral self-identification when you reference a straight line ("I") to mean You. Fun, eh? Ask a very little kid to draw a picture of him or herself, see what you get.
Every human, everywhere, every time, has this trait in common: We are born and our very own story starts - we live - and our story will end when we die. These are the parameters of "I". While we live, we may travel our respective paths for a time side by side with other humans travelling their parallel paths, we will take steps, or mis-steps, in common; those steps and those other people will be fun, profitable, painful... but in all cases, we humans are a huge bunch of "I"'s, living near to each other through the parameters of our respective times. But one thing is certain: we are not Others. I am not You. You are not me.
We are not like a colony of ants or bees. Although they too have a span of existence, insects do not enjoy the concept of "I". Without getting unduly scientific here, those creatures work in tribes or colonies or hives, each genetically pre-decreed to behave certain ways, to work and die according to internal structural obligations they cannot grasp or willingly alter.Their Queens of these robots are not evil, for they are genetically designed to be what they are too, and they are as unaware of the sacrifices made on their behalf as are those making the sacrifice; in fact, without any measure of choice in the equation, there is not even morality. They are like all the computers on the internet. doing what they are told to do by other forces, completely indifferent to the "goodness" or "badness" of their instructions.
Humans, however, are different. We enjoy choice, and have developed rules of choice, calling "good" choices "moral" and "bad" choices "immoral". The history of Government over the last few thousand years has been to attempt to manipulate "good" choices to mean those which serve the Government. Historically, Kings would want to be like the Queen of the Bees or the Ants; they would want soldier humans, and worker humans, because life would be good for the King. How many thousands of slaves died building the useless pyramids for the Pharaoh/God Kings? In recent centuries, socialism (like Hitler's 'National Socialism') and communism have endeavoured to train people (from birth even, because young minds can be bent more easily) to believe that they belong to something "larger", "more important" than themselves. That the State is what matters: the People are everything, the Individual nothing. Personal sacrifice for "the Greater Good". We have been told that there are even things called "collective rights". Have you heard this before? And the classic complaint when someone does not wish to be a cog in this amoral machinery, and goes against the Collective, is 'how can you be so selfish?'
Already many of you are scoffing at this statement; somehow, you actually believe you are not what you are. Odd.
It is our nature to be selfish. Selfishness is natural to us, like hunger, or breathing: embrace it as a Good thing, a Strength like Courage or Wisdom. We are not bees or ants. We cannot be made 'unselfish' like bees or ants without changing our nature. People will always, always, always, decide to do that which they believe is in their own best interpretation of their self-interest. I dare you to try spending a day, or even five seconds, not doing what you decide is best to do in the circumstances. You cannot hurt yourself just because I tell you to... but only because you want to (even if you do something you don't "want" to do, out of fear, you are still choosing the safer path). It's that simple. All choices, to obey or to resist, are your responsibility. That's what the rock group Rush was talking about in its song 'Freewill' when it sang "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." Every moment of your conscious existence is stuffed full of choices, which you are zipping through at the speed of thought, seeking out the safest, happiest way forward through life.
And any Government which fundamentally forgets this reality of Mankind; or represses it for their own purposes, by using force (law) to manipulate free choice (think of the drafting of young men, sending them off to fight a war which they don't support) is morally corrupt, as it is infringing on human nature itself. And anyone supporting such a Government ("the draft is good, it will save the nation") is also morally corrupt. Using force, rather than voluntary persuasion, is the sign of the intellectual weakness of a position. That's why Parliament is a place for the discussion of ideas: not force. That's why the State should be confined to keeping the Peace, removing force from citizens' intercourse with one another. As Germaine de Stael said, "Liberty is old; it is despotism that is modern".
Governments are powerful, and often people cringe in terror to avoid suffering at the hands of police - but that does not mean that a person's choice to avoid pain is a "free" choice". It is a choice literally made "under duress", and contrary to a person's free nature. However, even though it took 70 years, the mighty Russian Communist Empire finally crashed in on itself. Finally a generation of Russians replaced those enthusiastic bastards of the 1920's, who finally died off, and brought in change, to end the twisted experiment of Lenin's "anti-selfish State". Gorbachev is one of the champions of the 20th century - not only for ending the Cold War, but for what he did to get Russian people back on their moral track (even if the transition is not yet complete, it is begun).
So too is our Team Canada of 1972, which took hockey into the heart of Communist Russia and played the Greatest Hockey series ever... the only games that ever really mattered. There was no mere seasonal trophy at stake, but the survival of Communism itself. Those games showed the insulated and indoctrinated Russians that a land of relative Freedom created better players than their State-controlled system could. That Capitalism, (despite all their rhetoric), was not depraved, but better. We owe those Canadian hockey players more than most of us in the West give them credit - those games had almost nothing to do with playing hockey. If Team Canada had lost, the Berlin Wall likely would not have come down when it did. And millions of people would still be living in impoverished and hopeless conditions of poverty and oppression for the sake of an immoral and hopeless Utopia.
Those hockey players played as a bunch of individuals, using their own personal characteristics, on a team with a common purpose; they did not play as one colony, as did the Russians. Every family, every business, every free friendship, is made up of such players.... a bunch of individuals, acting in accordance with their own liberty on a team with a common purpose. Understanding that everyone is there because of their self-interest is actually more of a compliment, if you think about it, than if they were there by compulsion. They are with you because they like you, not because you made them be your friends. You should be grateful for their selfishness, and their self-interest: it's their selfishness which validates your value.
There will be an election on May 2. You will go into a booth, and you will secretly mark your ballot, not with your normal signature, but with an anonymous signature: an "x". Two simple crossed lines beside the name of the Candidate who speaks for you. Think about that human tens of thousands of years ago declaring his identity and importance to the world. Place your mark, and prove you are here. You too can change your world if you but make the effort.
And if it occurs to you to vote for the principle of your Liberty, the principle that you are NOT just a ant in a social machine controlled by other forces, then support your self-interest and fight against those Pharaoh wannabe's - vote Capitalist. Vote for Richard Barrett in Mississauga-South.
Joy, Integrity, Wisdom.
The Clear Voice of Reality