John Hood on Violence

From the chairman of the John Locke Foundation:

Former Congressman Barney Frank once offered a definition of the term that many progressives, populists and others who form the modern Democratic coalition appreciate and quote: “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” Pioneering sociologist Max Weber offered a strikingly different definition that, with some refinements and explanations, has been embraced by many of the conservatives and libertarians who constitute the modern Republican coalition: a government is “a human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence within a given territory.”

Of all the political factions, I am most offended by Libertarians.  They are the selfish children of politics.  Their leadership wear suits and ties, but Libertarians in the wild are much different.  We have the hippy down the street who refuses to police his yard, or the lady who spends every dime she makes foolishly, rather than sacrifice to pay for health insurance.  Indeed, these freeloaders consider any abridgment of their freedom as violence.

I happen to like roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.  Because I have a BCBSNC policy, the thousands of dollars worth of drugs for my diabetes are essentially free.  I find the world works quite well, if you follow the rules.

I’m still able to fly my freak flag and attempt to raise consciousness without being a misanthrope, which brings me to the best thing I read yesterday:

“The deepest emotion I have is my malice against the well-constituted as compared with the ill-constituted…Dwarfs, morons, idiots, imbeciles, hunchbacks, degenerates, perverts, paranoiacs, neurasthenics, every type of individual upon whom the world looked down, I loved…admired…and imitated.” – John Cowper Powys

I don’t even have malice against the well-constituted, so long as they pay their taxes and don’t legislate religion.

“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…” – M.L. King, Letter from Birmingham Jail

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer the people who sell and serve my food to be dressed nicely and in good health.  They’re nice enough, though I am at a loss as to why.  Libertarians and Christofascists engage in the fascist practice of blaming the victim to justify their  privileged entitlement.

“Soul-level intolerance makes it necessary to decide whom one can include in the human community that will be reasonably friendly to the ego and its defenses, and who must be left outside the palisade to feed the beasts.”

I blew up a John Locke Foundation confab in Greensboro in 200 6.  My soul-level intolerance for them was damn near violent.  To my knowledge, they’ve not been back.  And I maintain the repository of evidence and mockery which stopped the local Tea Party cold in 2014, for which I was sued.  In my defense, Karl Popper said we must tolerate everything save intolerance.

At this moment, in our western civilization, as capitalism in its dying throes intensifies the suffering for all but the few at the top, something seems to be asked of our understanding of love that’s never before been asked, and you will not hear it asked today on any mainstream media, Hollywood movie, or by your friends on Facebook. Not only is “love” now understood to include the full diversity that exists on the earth, in terms of different races and cultures and species, in terms of minority groups in our own society, but it is also to include the diversity of individuals. This involves a little understood requirement that, as an individual, each one must take up the responsibility handed to her/him in the form of individual freedom, and must seek the full expression of his/her essential difference; otherwise there is no difference and no tolerance for difference, let alone love. This challenge to love across difference is formulated in the New Testament as “Love thine enemy.” For that which feels truly different – in oneself – threatens the ego structure that cannot tolerate other centers, other realities, other gods. It cannot tolerate difference in one’s own children, thus resulting in that issue common to psychotherapists’ offices, the pain of not having been seen by one’s parents. Modern parents fail to see their child in his/her otherness because the ego’s need for self-preservation demands there should be “no other gods before me.”

Somebody just stumbled on tribalism, for which I’ve never had any use and paid the price.  It bothers Libertarians and Christofascists that somewhere a gay couple is getting married or a woman on welfare is having a baby, as thought their ox was getting gored.  Strange that people who desperately want to be left alone seek to govern us.

The central faith of anarchism, that individuals can cooperate and govern themselves, without need of top-down authority, rests upon an assumption that society consists of individuals. But as we are horrified to see, this is less and less the case; as the “first world” world advances, the human individual is increasingly erased; be all you can be an empty slogan to sell us a brand and join with the rest in forgetting all about the tedious, painful, lifelong quest of becoming human, a task not only arduous but completely without guarantee of success. Even artists, the “crazies” socially positioned to be our shamans, shirk the task in order to obtain the grant or the teaching position.

I submit becoming human requires caring for the least of us.  When I refer to John Hood  as a fascist, my defense lies in his description of becoming human as violence.  In that, he is truly a selfish child.

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