Monday, August 5, 2019

The Cycle Of Desire

     "In this life no one can fulfill his longing, nor can any creature satisfy man’s desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God." – St. Thomas Aquinas

     I have a hot flash for you, Gentle Reader. It’s in several parts, so please bear with me as I assemble and elucidate it.

     Part One: Man possesses free will. He is individually motivated, and decides on his course of action as an individual.

     Part Two: Desires are individual and arbitrary. That applies even to what we imagine to be “needs.” Not everyone sees them or prioritizes them the same way.

     Part Three: While we possess acute perceptions and the faculty of reason, no power on Earth is capable of compelling us to use them. When it is possible for an individual to absolve or exculpate himself for some misfortune, he is likely to do so regardless of the facts. It is in the nature of things that he will then look for another agency to blame for his unhappiness.

     Part Four: The numbers matter. As Mankind expands, the sub-percentages of Mankind that:

  1. Choose to do evil; or:
  2. Are insane and do evil out of their insanity;

     ...will increase in proportion.

     Part Five: Those most ardent for power over others are those most likely to get it – and they’re exactly the sort of people who must be prevented from obtaining it. History speaks to this truth with an eloquence and a force that cannot be gainsaid without eliminating all knowledge of history.

     These are well established characteristics of Homo sapiens terrestrialis and the reality it occupies. No scheme, regardless of its overt aim, that contradicts them can possibly work to general betterment. Neither is it possible to eliminate adversity, tragedy, or atrocity from our experiences without eliminating Mankind itself...and let it be said clearly and concisely that I oppose that particular route to Utopia.

     (See also this collection of essays.)

     Wait here while I fetch more coffee.

     “My lord?” Fountain murmured from his right side.
     “Yes, dear?”
     “Is Miss Rachel a special person?”
     Sokoloff smiled. “Yes, she is. Very special. She’s a great scientist who’s done wonderful things. She’s helped a lot of people.”
     “What is a scientist?”
     He chose his words carefully. “A person who works to add to what we know.”
     “Why would anyone want to hurt such a person?”
     “Fountain, there are people who want to hurt anyone we could name. There are people who simply want to hurt someone, it doesn’t matter who. We don’t always know the reasons. Sometimes they don’t either.”

     [From The Wise and the Mad]

     Larry Sokoloff speaks an unimpeachable truth in the above: There are people who simply want to hurt other people. Some have reasons...or think they do. Others are aware that their real desire is to destroy, to wound, and to kill. Two such persons committed a pair of mass murders just yesterday, in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.

     Those were not unprecedented events. Neither were they likely to be the last events of their kind. Once under way, there was only one way to halt them: by the countervailing use of extreme violence against their perpetrators. However, no one in the zones of impact was equipped to do so.

     What do the Five Postulates of the previous section tell you about what occurred and what power-seekers have said in the aftermath? Do they hint at a means of anticipating and completely preventing such atrocities, or do they suggest that the effort would be futile? If the latter, do they suggest a policy by which such events might be more effectively limited than they were in yesterday’s slaughters? What course would a well-intentioned Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch adopt, assuming he is not prevented from doing so by external forces, to ready himself for such a possibility?

     Yes, these are questions we’ve faced and answered before. But just now the power-seekers of the Left are thick on the ground and more vociferous than usual. Campaign season, don’t y’know. So it’s time to reassert the answers with additional force.

     Remember the prevalence of agendaism:

     The overarching principle of agendaism is that with the right tactics, the right publicity, and the right "slant," an event can be made to serve any agenda whatsoever, as long as the tactics are properly fitted to the event.

     There are numerous agendaists in public life today. Broadly speaking, any politically active person, whether he's a public official or a private citizen, who is indissolubly attached to his agenda, such that neither reason nor evidence could possibly sway him from it, is an agendaist. Some, of course, are more effective than others, but the defining characteristic is that unbreakable attachment to a set of unchanging political goals.

     Why would anyone be so fixated on a specific set of goals, even in the teeth of contrary reasoning and evidence? Unclear. Perhaps the only answer available is Aristotelian: action to advance those goals is what makes him happy, or what he thinks will make him happy. Always remember The Algorithm:

  1. Select a technique that you think will get you what you think you want.
  2. Will this technique require you to lose body parts, go to jail, or burn in Hell?
    • If so, return to step 1.
    • If not, proceed to step 3.
  3. Do a little of it.
  4. Are you at your goal, approaching it, or receding from it?
    • If at your goal, stop.
    • If approaching, return to step 3.
    • If receding, return to step 1.

     ...and bear in mind that "what you think you want" is not covered by the above; it's beyond all rational investigation.

     Gun control is an important item on many agendaists' agendas. Never mind that criminals are the least likely persons on Earth to comply with a gun ban or gun registration law. Never mind that removing weapons from the hands of the peaceable and law-abiding cannot possibly bring about a reduction in violent crimes or crimes against property. Never mind that disarming a man renders him helpless before an armed predator. A gun-control agendaist seeks to disarm us peones because he thinks it will make him happy to have done so. You cannot persuade him otherwise.

     Agendaists are like that.

     It was true when I first wrote it. It remains true today.

     The title of this piece might have puzzled you up to now. Long time Gentle Readers are aware of my quirkiness with titles. Nevertheless, this one has a sharp focus.

     There are people who simply want to hurt other people. The rest of us – the men of good will – must be prepared to act against them wherever they might turn up. There are people who want to deprive us of the means by which we might do that. We must oppose those people and their gropings for power over us by any and all means necessary. For the latter group is in league with the former: perhaps not consciously but in ultimate effect, owing to the results of The Algorithm as they have run it.

     We desire peace, safety, and public civility. They desire chaos, suffering, and bloodshed...or are willing to tolerate it as long as it will serve their purposes. Each of us decides, acts, and evaluates according to The Algorithm. Note that the mass murderers only appear where we have been forced to go defenseless. By now we should have learned the lesson.

     As for the power-seekers who have allied themselves de facto with those who seek to harm others, there is no imaginable rebuff, however severe, that they do not deserve. Force them to confront our displeasure: publicly, baldly, and in the strongest possible terms. Tell them that the blood of the victims of El Paso and Dayton is on their hands. Forbid them to pontificate or self-exculpate. Weigh in upon them that they possess armed guards, whereas the rest of us aren’t even permitted to defend ourselves.

     The stakes are at their maximum.


Pascal said...
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Pascal said...

"And how we burned in the [gulags] later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?"

Solzhenitsyn's report needs repeating because so few have ever seen it and most of the rest have forgotten it at times like this.