Wednesday, December 06, 2006


A lake without shorelines is a swamp. A man without manners and morals is feral. A society without normal rules of acceptable behaviour, without civil, commercial, and criminal laws, without penalties for infractions, is a snakepit.

Conflating liberal interpretation of the acceptable with personal freedom, with personal liberty and the right of personal pursuit of happiness is to confuse privacy with anarchy. Where everything goes, everything goes. A permissive society is not a liberty-providing society: it is a crime zone.

Since reading some years ago a book by Neil Postman on child education I frequently have a dream in which Oprah is interviewing mothers about their wayward kids. Says one mother, defensively and aggressively: "I didn't raise my kid to be no orthodontist." She speaks just after another lady says: "I didn't raise my kid to be no gang-banger."

If this weren't my dream I'd think I was making it up to put down a point, that a mother must indeed actively raise her child from an early age to be specifically an orthodontist; that such a career choice for a six year old is not natural but is part of a pre-planned life for ones child; and that no one can convincingly claim that a child just drifted haphazardly into orthodontia as a career. Yes, I conclude that the lying bitch in my dream is trying to fool me while I'm asleep. The mother who claims she didn't raise her kid to be no gang-banger is more honest. Likely she did not raise her kid to be feral. Very likely she didn't raise her kid to be anything at all, hence by default he is a gang-banger.

It's my understanding from limited contact with kids and from reading Jacques Barzun, the House of Intellect, that they are wild animals who need to be trained to civility. The greater the training the greater the civility, as a general rule. I have a relative whose parents compromised and now have a son who is an accountant for the mafia. Point proven.

Additionally, having studied Human childhood as deeply as I have in reading Daniel Mannix, Those About to Die, Roman beat masters had to train lions to attack and kill Christians in the arenas. Even wild lions were not naturally inclined to attack helpless people. Even with a great deal of training lions were often reluctant to do so, much to the dismay of the beast masters who were then publicly executed for failure to entertain the crowds. If lions won't attack people without training and encouragement, then it seems that people, even the worst, won't do so without training in ferality. People must learn to act on their innate evil to some extent. There is a natural fear that prevents even the bravest from attacking others until the force of experience shows how easy it is. People have to learn that they can get away with being assholes in public.

"On November 9, 1965, at 5:15 p.m., the biggest electricity failure in U.S history caused a thirteen-hour blackout in the Northeast. Eight hundred thousand people were trapped in New York City subways and elevators for over twelve hours.... Only three deaths were directly related to the power outage...."
Michael Largo, Final Exits. New York: Harper; 2006. p. 54.

1965, a year of terrible racism, sexism, and homophobia. What didn't happen? Is it that niggers, girls, and faggots knew there places in society and stayed out of sight so rednecks didn't attack them on sight in the dark? Fast forward into the "Sixties."

"Another blackout occurred in July 1977, lasting 26 hours, darkening primarily New York City. Tens of thousands poured primarily from the ghettos and went on what Time magazine called an "orgy of looting." Arsonists set 1,837 fires and hurtled bottles and rocks at attending firefighters, injuring eighty and an additional 435 police while attempting to restore order. Two people died from looting and fires...." ibid.

I make the point here that in twelve years people learned they had permission from a liberal society that they had a claim to legitimately attack society to express themselves as oppressed minorities or some damned thing. Is that freedom? Is that liberty?

Fast forward again to France in flames, to yoots burning and looting with impunity. What advantage do they have over their parents who worked for a living in squalid conditions like the parents of immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan whose kids moved uptown? What has permission to be an asshole done for those who burn and loot?

I've written earlier that there is a sentence I call "murder by socialism." Training kids in "feral orthopraxy" is to condemn them to death certainly, if not by their own misadventures, then by the sure reaction of a fed-up populace that will turn out on the darkened streets with torches and pitch-forks yelling, "There's one, let's get him," and he might well be me.

Maybe rational law is a cheat foisted upon the idiot masses by a vast rightwing conspiracy of fundamentalist Christian Republicans with a hidden agenda of socially constructed narratives to trick the masses into obedience while the super rich corporate types rape Mother Nature. I have some serious doubts about that. I could be wrong. But I think I'm right that even the hoodwinked masses have a boiling point at which they might well find themselves pouring next time there's a blackout into the ghettos to themselves burn and loot. The middle classes do not yet feel they have permission to do so, but I think such a time is coming when they will find the courage or the hatred to spring on the helpless and rip and tear like beasts enraged and practiced in killing. The rule of law might well upset some with its restrictions on personal freedoms, but it beats the devil out of mob rule. If, step by step, the middle classes find they have permission to attack the helpless, then the time will come when the mass goes crazy in an orgy of murder. We weren't raised that way but life has a way of teaching us lessons we should not have to learn, that we have permission to contain madness and restore order to our own lives, regardless of the norm of feral orthopraxy.

I foresee a time when middle aged orthodontists say aloud to the average poor bastard shuffling along the sidewalk: "You want your teeth straightened? Well, I'll straighten them for you, you asshole!"

The swamp of today might easily form itself tomorrow into a tornado of reactionary violence. When people give themselves permission to fight against the craziness of liberalism, then there will be a storm of fascism that I do not wish to experience. When we lose the light of Reason then we will see clearly the last flashes of liberalism in the West. Ours will be a new dark age, all of our own making.


ScottSA said...

You should probably enter this on Watcher of Weasels.

truepeers said...

I see them every week at the gym: the middle-aged orthodontists are pumping iron. What for?

dag said...

Like the old expression about canaries in a bird cage, I listen to people whisper about orthodontists in the gym. Yes, such an obvious sign is scarey.

dag said...

Lack of air! "Canaries in a coal mine...."

It's probably fear that makes me type so badly.