Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Best election day thoughts seen so far.

Butler Shaffer, "Can Liberty be Advanced Through Violence?"
We have conditioned our minds to think of ourselves in conflict-laden ways, be they nationalistic, religious, racial, gender, or other forms of separation. Our political masters have trained us to think of one another in "we/they," "us" against "them" categories, divisions that are – like the scapegoats upon whom we play out our conflicts – changeable to suit the political needs of the moment. The fear of unseen "communists" that helped fuel the Cold War, has morphed into the concealed "terrorists," with each serving the same purpose: to expand the power and plundering of the state. Only by our individual ending of such divisive thinking and discovering the inner sense of non-contradictory wholeness that respects the inviolability of our neighbors’ lives and interests, can we become free ... We will not become free when the state goes away. Rather, the state will go away once we are free.
And, to close:
Albert Einstein got to the essence of the problem when he declared that "force always attracts men of low morality." I understand how being frustrated by others as we pursue interests we are entitled to pursue can generate intense feelings of anger. But it is not out of reactive rage or desperation that we can discover our individual freedom and the resultant liberty we can share with our neighbors. It is such divisiveness that keeps us enslaved to the state. We need to discover what we share with one another, namely, a respect for our individuality that can arise only from the integration of our rational and emotional energies into a focused intelligence. If mankind is to avoid the fate of being the first species to intentionally make itself extinct, we must transform our own minds, and abandon our ageless and contradictory efforts to force others to be free!
Until a fight comes to my door, I will engage myself in ways to avoid it. And the best idea I've yet seen in that regard is to withdraw consent, whenever and however possible.

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