Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Seeds of Tyranny

The Left has always been correct in sniffing the inherent latent fascism of the right. The Right has always been correct in sniffing the inherent latent Sovietism in the left. Both detect tyranny, and both are right.

Libertarians or anarchists might nod their heads smugly, but it’s no coincidence that libertarians tend to be over-privileged and anarchists unusually aggressive. Both are ideally positioned to gain all once regulation disappears and jungle law reigns.

The instinctual human competitive drive ensures that societies always move toward tyranny - ie a steady state run by a Big Boss of one ilk or another. Every game - however well-balanced - is susceptible to a winner, whose first priority is to toss out the balances. Our saving grace is that this competitive drive knows no satisfaction (plus there’s always an upstart boss in the wings), so overreach inevitably undoes the steady tyrannical state. Democracy might, if we're lucky, occur in the ramp-up (libertarianism if we‘re not), and anarchy after the smash-down. But tyranny is both inevitable and fragile, and it will ever be thus.

An article in the current The Atlantic is making the rounds. It’s called “The Corruption of the Republican Party”, and the sub-header reads “The GOP is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.” That’s an incomplete observation. Everything carries the seeds of its own corruption! If you detect the rot only in the other side, you’re only seeing half the problem.

Whenever you spot ugliness or evil in The Other (which is easy), look, unflinchingly, for that same stuff within your own tribe, and within yourself (which is hard). Then forgive (which is hardest). That's the only sane strategy for this Earthly game. Every other reaction makes you the problem rather than the solution.

No comments:

Blog Archive