Force and Despair



The only difference between a mob and a democracy are the rules which control the will of the majority in a democracy.  While elections may swing left or right, there would be no elections at all if it weren’t for the rules.

This respect for human social systems is a subset of respect for reality as a whole.  However, it is a special subset.  Gravity needs no enforcer; no one ever cheats gravity.  Relativity needs no enforcer; light never speeds.  Laws of human nature are special because their subjects sometimes think they can disobey the laws and avoid consequences.  In reality, consequences are merely delayed until an inevitable reckoning, and they accumulate in quantity and severity until they are finally dealt with.

It is in this regard that I believe those who strive to neutrally maintain a system are a special breed.  While they of course face universal human temptations toward greed and self-preservation, they are also motivated by an understanding of the immutable laws of the broader world.

I have made reference before to the challenge of attempting to be a neutral system-maintainer before.  No one ever roots for the referee.  Each side sees every penalty called as assistance or hindrance.  While sportsman value a level playing field, winner-take-all politics inculcates a distinct tendency to vindictiveness and a desire to take and hold every advantage possible.  

When a referee calls a penalty, he asserts that the rules have been broken, and the consequences come into effect.  If players or fans dislike a rule that causes a penalty, a deliberate change can be made to the league’s rules at an appropriate time.  The wisdom or fun of a particular rule is not debated between players and referees at every single penalty.  If it were, the rules could change many times throughout a single game, to the extent that there really isn’t a rule any more, and no one is really playing the same game.  

I suspect many neoreactionaries, libertarians, and others have arrived at their stances after a lot of time spent trying to simply get everyone to “play the game” correctly.  In democratic elections, opinions must compete against opinions.  The current masters of the state should not use its oppressive apparatus to outlaw opposing opinions.  Principles must be upheld and universally applied.  Reasonable people must be free to disagree, but policies should still be based on reason, and modified according to reason.  

But we face an opponent which acknowledges none of these tenets.  Leftism deliberately replaces reality with unlimited compassion as a worldview, as John C. Wright laid out recently.

There is no reasoning with leftism.

No individual argument can ever be won, because no solid frame of reference applies to them.  They are epistemologically detached from reality.  While a lot of my writing has consisted of cataloging and examining errors individually, the fact remains that the leftist worldview taken in total appears to be very resilient to any sort of reasoning.

This leaves us in an unsettling place.  To confront insanity, one must abandon attempts to reason and resort to force.  Dialogue ceases, and each side begins to simply regard the other as “the enemy.”  No “re-education camp” has ever been viewed as any sort of moral victory, regardless of what cause it advanced.  The moral high ground is lost by all parties to these types of conflicts.  To return to the example of a referee…imagine a referee who could only enforce a penalty on one team by joining the other team to forcefully push them back.  By their non-compliance with the rules, the penalized team forces the referees into a compromising position and creates chaos.  

There is a certain sense of despair that accompanies these realizations.  Adopting a “might-makes-right” mindset, even in the context of democracy’s bloodless battles (elections), places one’s own beliefs on the same level as one’s opponents; their legitimacy becomes derived from threat of force, rather than through comprehension, understanding, and buy-in.

This is undesirable, but is it inescapable?  It currently seems so to me.  Dissenting, optimistic ideas can be left in the comments section below though!




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