Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Now I'm better

Thanks to Wally for the shout-out. He's been on folks' mind of late — notice that Uncle Warren gave him a shout-out for recommending the fun B-movie Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD with its immortal exchange:

"Thank God, I thought you were dead!"

"I was — but now I'm better."

These past 2-3 years I have made "refuse to be afraid" my personal coda, my rallying cry, along with its corollaries: Free yourself. Dream. From time to time, however, I neglect to take my own advice. My Sunday night post was my little way of declaring, I thought I was dead, but now I'm better.

As someone with more money and influence than I once said, in our present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem — government is the problem. The struggle in this world does not really boil down to liberal versus conservative, Democrat versus Republican, capitalist versus socialist — it's about the state versus the individual, or if you will, any collective versus the individual.

I would expand the definition beyond simply "the state" to "any collective" because joining any group — or viewing other human beings in terms of groups — tends to suppress the power of the individual. The whole purpose of the state, or the corporation, or any larger organization, eventually becomes to collectivize thought and behavior, which relieves members of the responsibility to think or act for themselves. The whole purpose of lumping people into groups is to relieve one's self of the responsibility to see individuals for themselves.

It's much easier to believe "That's just the way white people act" or "Those damn liberals, they're all like that" or "Women!" — but you miss so much by adopting prejudices (pre-judgments). Even if every person in a particular category has thought and acted a certain way, the next individual who qualifies for that category could be completely different and wildly better (or worse) than you've ever experienced from other members of that group. Draw no preconceived conclusions and you'll catch a lot more of the wide variety that individuals can contribute to your life — even the occasional government employee, fer cryin out loud.

I'm not sure at one what point a partnership, or an alliance of friends, or any small group of people cooperating becomes a collective. I suppose even a couple could qualify if one partner allows herself/himself to follow the other's lead mindlessly. The larger the organization, though, the more likely the individual will become less important and eventually lost. That's why Big Government, Big Business, Big Anything is anti-human.

The key to freedom is accepting my own autonomy as an individual, and respecting the autonomy of other individuals, with all of what that means — whatever that means.

Update: Edited to fix the "I'm not sure at one point" hiccup.

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Anonymous Junker said...

As well, our organization template is Robert's Rules of Order. That is seldom a helpful template in developing the humans in the organization.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did I miss the Nick Fury movie? Although I have to admit I liked him better with his Howlin' Commandos than as the agent of SHIELD.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the rest of the post sums up the way I feel better than I could ever express.

7:04 PM  

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