Why I Hate Talking Politics, Part III

A recent post inspired the following response from me, and I thought it was worth re-posting here, since it offers a small glimpse into the source of my politics:

Everyone who thinks there should be limits to liberty always makes the same basic assumption: that people are assholes, and will happily let each other die in the streets. This, in my opinion, is the purest high-grade horseshit. Unfortunately, I have never seen anyone change their mind on this subject; people seem to either think that humans are capable of holding themselves and each other to a level of adult responsibility without some daddy figure forcing them to; or they believe that humans are animals who would happily eat each other’s young if they knew they could get away with it. And in my experience, never the twain shall meet.

And this is yet another reason that I find most political discussions to be a waste of time.

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  1. The point though….

    Something to note, however, is that regardless of the nature of humans, any power structure set to monitor those beings will still be made up of humans. This seems obvious, but apparently isn’t. If people are truly corrupt, how will truly corrupt people stop the corruption. If people aren’t corrupt, then we don’t need the overseers anyway. It’s a moot point.

  2. But I’ve had the experience growing up to show the complete opposite. That people would eat each other’s young if they knew they could get away with it, that they would let each other die in the streets.

    I’m glad you didn’t have to experience the shit I did to see the world the way I do. You are a light in the darkness, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to see people, as a whole, the way you do.

    I mean, I keep meeting exceptions to my ingrained rule these days.

  3. oh really….

    “Everyone who thinks there should be limits to liberty always makes the same basic assumption: that people are assholes, and will happily let each other die in the streets. This, in my opinion, is the purest high-grade horseshit.”

    [[[Not sure who said the above quote Avdi, but in my opinion they or at least that view of theirs, is an idealistic moron.

    Sure, he can disbelieve such. But ask the parents of the woman who was beaten on a NYC bridge because of a fender-bender. Beaten while a crowd watched. Beaten until she lept off the bridge and died. As everyone watched. And no one raised a finger for her defense.

    If this was the only case; I’d write it off. But it’s not…there have been several such events. And the frequency is increasing. Yes, we’ve lost our moral fiber…and have replaced it with “self-seeking”. So much so that we will not even render assistance to someone in need.

    1. Re: oh really….

      That was me that made that quote.

      A few incidents does not a trend make. Particularly a few incidents in shithole cities which have a way of turning people into assholes. Nor does the prevalence of that kind of animal behavior in other cultures which have never even posessed the beginnings of an ethic of freedom and personal responsibility.

      Incidents like the one you quoted make headlines because of their abnormality. The millions of neighborly acts that go on day in and day out in this country go unreported. The 99.9% of transactions in which people choose *not* to skim “their share” off the top, something unheard of in much of the world. The thousands of returned wallets. The thousands of shootings prevented because someone pulled a gun on the assailant. The hundreds of thousands fed at soup kitchens. The fights prevented because someone decides to step up and say “I think you should go now”.

      I’m sorry, but you’ll have to do better than that to make me lose my faith in humanity, and especially in western civilization.

      1. Re: oh really….

        See…I am for laws that protect life and liberty…

        I believe, that punishments should be strictly enforced. I believe said man should hang (or equivalent). So I believe in a necessity of law.

        I still believe in general we are to “self” focused. But I will put forth that I am biased. I live in a city, in urban area. Where so many people in my generation see nothing wrong with stealing, swindling, etc. as long as they can get away with it.

        I forget that most northeastern cities are post-western civilization and have degraded to liberal barbarianism. And as such, I forget that most of america, from midwest to the south, from northeast to rural…will actually give a hand. And in most of America if a group of people see a man beating a woman of no relation on a public street, they will move to beat the crap out of the man.

        It’s just hard to maintian hope in humanity in the area I live….

      2. Re: oh really….

        Also, the reason I felt not having the laws is silly…is because of those cases. Where I am they are much higher.

        And so I don’t want laws that prevent…simply laws that punish.

        I don’t think I should be refused to drink cause some people drive drunk. But I think anyone who drives drunk should be punished. I don’t believe in banning guns. But I do believe in punishing those who use firearms in violent acts. If that makes sense.

        1. Re: oh really….

          But I think anyone who drives drunk should be punished. I don’t believe in banning guns. But I do believe in punishing those who use firearms in violent acts.

          There’s a subtle double standard there: you believe in punishing the firearm owner after he commits act of violence, but the drunk driver before.

          I realize that this one’s a tough call, since a drunk driver is likely to hurt someone, unlike a gun owner. But I think that focusing on the alcohol is misleading. The important thing is to get dangerous drivers off the road – regardless of the cause of their behaviour.

          1. Re: oh really….

            You’re right…

            I’ll clarify…

            If a gun older enters a place waving his gun around ranting and raving. I say arrest and punish him as well.

            There is an active threat of danger…

      3. Re: oh really….

        Seeing that it was my post that inspired this quote.. I’ll pipe in for $.04 worth…

        I could just as much turn this around… About how only extreme acts on either side get reported..
        how the millions of petty acts done by neighbors to each other never get reported..
        of the thousands+ acts of theft each day.. (I wonder how many muggings do occur each day…)
        or the millions of acts of sexual abuse that DON’T get reported…
        of the billions of acts of cruelty by parents towards their children–their own flesh and blood–that are written off as “discipline” when they go way beyond discipline..

        Neither of us has any definite numbers on this… so this is futile to argue on these points..

        Basically, each of us only has our experiences to guide us.. and mine have been negative…

        the only thing that I would argue is that from my tally of friends’ experiences, the negative outweigh the positive by a large margin.. and this does fit in with other kinds of biological data that we have on animals…

        Thus.. while I will never be able to prove my experiences as more valid than yours.. I feel fairly confident in them for myself…

  4. This morning on the radio I heard of an armored truck that dropped a bag of money on the highway. Many people picked up money and most of it was actually returned. A cop on the scene apprantly commented that actually people usualy do return lost items in similar situations.

  5. Basically, out of all this I see 2 things: 1. Avdi, you generally believe that people are good. 2. Jason, you generally believe that people are evil.

    I think I believe a little bit of both.

    Yes, people will watch and do nothing instead of stepping in and doing the moral thing. I do think that if left to themselves, the trend is towards evil rather than good. However, there are still good people in this world! I haven’t lost my hope in humanity. There are still people out there who care, who want the best for others. And remember, for every ugly, horrible thing that happens, there is one somewhere that’s beautiful.

    And so, let me twist it and apply this to politics: Although George W. Bush is horrible, and he is leading America into a horrible situation (not just the war, but his other policies as well), I still believe that there are some decent American people out there who truly care about the welfare of everyone else. I was listening to a broadcast on National Public Radio of the senate committee hearing the case of an American-born Arab who was held in prison without trial or lawyer, indefinitely, on grounds that he was a “terrorist”. One judge, a Mr. Scullia (sp?), was saying that the Geneva convention (human rights) don’t apply in the war on terror or in Guantanamo Bay, and that they shouldn’t apply, either. He was literally in favor of completely obliterating the rights of anybody who is deemed a “terrorist” by the US government (regardless of actual guilt). And he is a horrible, horrible person for saying that. (BTW George Dubya has declared that he will appoint more people like Mr. Scullia.) But you know what? There were two senators, one of them a woman whose name I don’t know, who spoke out very eloquently against it. And that woman is a wonderful person for doing so. Wherever there is injustice, however powerful, there will ALWAYS be someone opposing it, because someone will always care enough about humanity to stand up.

    So that’s what I believe.

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