The Deadliest Drug by Dewaine McBride : LUSENET : Zonkers : One Thread

The Deadliest Drug

by Dewaine McBride

For a growing number of people there is a primary imperative to have complete control over their environment. This desire for control, taken to fanatical extremes which are nevertheless too common, extends to all things, to control the actions and lives of other people through political power, and to control all of nature. The latter was manifested in a thoroughly amusing way last summer, when a man living in the middle of the Arizona desert attempted to sue the US Forest Service for damages because a wild animal killed his house pet.

This desire to have control, as consummately developed as only self-absorbed Northern Americans seem capable, can only lead to frustration and disappointment, at best. At its worst it leads to animosity and war, and the desire to force other peoples and cultures to conform to the convenience standards of the controllers. R. J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of the University of Hawaii, has published documentation of the murders that have been carried out through political power, by politicians, not through war, but upon their own subjects. In the years 1900 through 1987 alone, world governments had killed about 169,202,000 people.

For the individual, the frustrations and difficulties of life cannot be overcome by forcing other people into submission, but by accepting the tragedies and horrors of life while perfecting one's own resilience. This idea can be drawn from the writings of Albert Camus. His courage was inspiring. He found joy in the mere experience of seeing things as they are (and as truly absurd as they are) while finding his situation to be not necessarily harmed by the absurdity around him. Ludwig von Mises presents this general idea in a somewhat different way in his short work, Liberalism:

"Scarcely one person in a million succeeds in fulfilling his life's ambition. The upshot of one's labors, even if one is favored by fortune, remains far inferior to what the wistful daydreams of youth allowed one to hope for. Plans and desires are shattered on a thousand obstacles, and one's powers prove too weak to achieve the goals on which one has set one's heart. The failure of his hopes, the frustration of his schemes, his own inadequacy in the face of the tasks that he has set himself-these constitute every man's most deeply painful experience, They are, indeed, the common lot of man.

There are two ways in which man can react to this experience. One way is indicated by the practical wisdom of Goethe:

Dost thou fancy that I should hate life, Should flee to the wilderness, because not all my budding dreams have blossomed?

his Prometheus cries. And Faust recognizes at the "highest moment" that "the last word of wisdom" is:

No man deserves his freedom or his life Who does not daily win them anew.

Such a will and such a spirit cannot be vanquished by any earthly misfortune. He who accepts life for what it is and never allows himself to be overwhelmed by it does not need to seek refuge for his crushed self-confidence in the solace of a "saving lie." If the longed-for success is not forthcoming, if the vicissitudes of fate destroy in the twinkling of an eye what had to be painstakingly built up by years of hard work, then he simply multiplies his exertions. He can look disaster in the eye without despairing."

The alternative is to seek success through the political or criminal control of other people. The desire to have power over other people and things takes its deadliest form in the guise of political office. It is in hallways of political power that the affirmative ballots that were cast by a few are used with military force against the rest of the members of society and the world. Only those who seek to control others seek to wield this deadly power; those who forbid others from doing something, or command they do some other thing under force of law, are the ones who seek and attain it. Those who would let all people live their lives according to their own desires do not gain political office, and do not reach the ears of the politicians.

Marcus Aurelius said, "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." The ranks of the insane is fully embodied by the political majority of US citizens, and they send that insanity all over the world, manning gunships, bombers, and missiles, promising world peace if all nations will only bow down to the US flag and fiat.

Political office is the power to rape in a fancy suit, to be honored by the masses for it, and to jail dissenters who fail to see the majesty of theft, murder, and war. It is the manifestation of the addiction to control others, backed up with military force, fronted by a happy, customer-service-smiley-face enforcement agency. Political power creates enemies both foreign and domestic, and then trumpets its own congratulations for providing some defense against those who have been violated and who want revenge or justice. Political power is the death of social power and civilization, and the glorification of a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors. It is the perversion of self-control, taken to suicidal and murderous extremes. Political power is the deadliest drug.

January 26, 2002

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002

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