This is the incongruous dilemma of our current reality: we create laws and place restrictions on our fellow man because we believe others are immoral and that without these enforced restrictions society would descend into a hellish chaos. . .but the world is a hellish chaos due to the (largely unintended) repercussions of those very restrictions.
We tell ourselves and each other ‘There are monsters in the world and we must protect ourselves from them’. We say ‘Look at how people act when some freedom is given. Give an inch, they’ll steal a mile.’
But ‘some’ freedom is a half-hearted attempt at the full bodily autonomy that is the sacred birthright of all living, sentient beings. Not the freedom to do whatever we like without consequence, but the freedom to do as we like with ourselves and with those freely consenting to joint endeavours.
Because we develop within a world of limited freedom we become miserly assholes. When we obtain something that helps – to numb the pain, to protect against future lack – we fiercely desire to hold onto it. And we desire more – more finances particularly because in our current social structure wealth is all but equivalent to security, as it can be traded for most anything else.
So when someone else wants what we have (which of course anyone who perceives they’ve less than us naturally will) we brace against them. ‘No. Fuck you. This is mine. I fought for it. I need it.’ The idea of sliding back to a place from our past in which we had less is anxiety-inducing, yielding perhaps even rage.
But were we to grow within a system in which we believed we were free and safe to remain so, it follows that we would defend less fiercely. Without the learned trauma of subjugation, an egoistic altruism¹ naturally flourishes, because we are creatures of reason (at least in part) and the fact is solid that helping my fellow man just makes sense. Why? Because I would of course want him to help me in turn. No one wants to get fucked over. But the error we make en masse as a species is assuming most everyone else would take advantage of us, given the chance. Continue reading