Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tough Topics #38: The Greater Good

Recognize tyranny by its marks: where the one is called less than the many; less than the goal; less than the cause: there is tyranny. Rarely is it imposed from above. Rarely does it run afoul of the consent of the governed. Usually, it is demanded by the governed. The weak and gullible seek shelter within tyranny's seeming strength, believing that if only they give into it, if they identify with the "us" all greater goods are felt to serve, if they condemn whatever "them" is demonized as the enemy, the adversary, the problem, their loyalty will be repaid. They'll become part of some protected "us." They embrace that there exist greater goods, which can on behalf of Us void any one of us.

Giving into this seduction protects no one, serves the good of none, endangers all. You place an inhuman expediency, guided and determined by whoever happens to hold the pen or have access to the button, above us all. Be sure of it: they will take that job on. And when it suits expediency - the moment any one of you becomes sufficiently inconvenient - the inhuman Us will crush you out. You have given it permission to.

If you believe a greater good can be more important than the unspecified individual - the indefinite you - you give your blessing. You've allowed that an individual is of less consideration than a greater good. If an individual is less than, any individual can be. It's no crime for an institution to exercise that discretion against you, once you've given it that power. You set your own one life's worth as less than a greater good as determined by others. You bless an institution with the power to set what that good should be, and it is theirs to say who shall be called less than.

More to the point, if enough of those around you give that blessing, if we let that happen, we too will be governed by that consent. A greater good than any of us will do whatever it sees fit to any one of us.

No institution sees a greater good than its own. You, the individual, will be less than the greater good. By your own will or by common consent, you, your life, your right, will be subject to a peremptory void, potentially a permanent one. Of course no one would make that decision lightly. They'd glance at the greater good first, make sure it's still bigger than individuals. It'll be a very hard call to be sure, but don't worry. You won't be the one making it.

There's one thing you can say for sure about the greater good: you are not it.

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