2.6.06

Notes on the Inaugural

Ladies and Gentlemen, on the day of my inauguration, you have gathered here as I offer a few words of personal conviction. It is in the course of detailing these convictions that I decided to first describe the man who represents best the clarity of this greatest of issues that faces the people today. I begin my contemplation upon the history and life of one Harry S. Truman, former executive of the United States of America. Mr. Truman was, by all accounts a man of humility, honor and moral character exceeding that of nearly his entire generation. While understanding this, we are forced to reckon with the knowledge that he also authorized the mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Asians in the course of nine or ten words, and later bounded heartily into a mistake on the Korean Peninsula, the entire effect of which has yet to be quantified.

I offer that there is only one way to square the seeming opposites, a recognition of their symmetry. One was the moral righteousness of a single man, dedicated to the principles of his creator, while the other was the philosophically pure execution of the duties required as head of state. Indeed, there is no greater morality available to such an executive as to drop those horrific bombs in order to save thousands of one's countrymen. It is precisely in this dichotomy that the true violence and immorality of the state, a violence and immorality inherent in its existence, becomes so clearly presented.

As a further examination of this line of thought, I offer the repeated chant of those morally opposed to our current misadventure on the Euphrates, "No More War for Oil". The repetition of such idea belies both its accurate analysis and utter hypocrisy. For it is decidedly a war for Oil, a battle over the natural resources of an entire region and an attempt to stabilize said region for the benefit of both the corporations and the citizenry at large. The hypocrisy smiles its dirty grin as they who would change the masthead but retain the seal so joyfully point out this truth in an attempt to remove the facade of ideology proffered by the ruling coalition and unwittingly convict themselves of the same war crimes. For it is not in a man's private morality that he would kill his neighbor for one gallon of petroleum, but collectively he will join in and enjoy the results of a slaughter that offers the millions that lie beneath his fallen brother's feet. In fact, as the executor of the people's will, the morality of the state demands a War for Oil as the most necessary, to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the people, to continue their march toward the beloved watchwords of liberty, equality and the brotherhood of man. If the people, in their individual morality will not accept the truth of their situation, they have elected over five hundred men and women to concoct the necessary fairy-tale and fall on the sword of the popular vote when the fragile believability shatters. If this is their hypocrisy, it the hypocrisy of the garbageman and an act which has few equals in the annals of government.

It is this hypocrisy, calling for the aid of those that thou would call an enemy, that strikes deeply into the heart of out society. Change is not in the form of a political solution, we have seen that only too many times. Those who worship the state are only too happy to neglect previously chasmatic differences to defend their monolith and those without the courage to recognize the order of things bequeath a benign neglect unto the suffering children of the third world.

Why do they defend their institutions? My congenial colleague, Congressman Kevin Kennon of Kentucky will offer the greatness of the collective effort, noting historical mass movements of people and governments as they worked to achieve the good of all. Other colleagues of a differing persuasion will point to the defense offered by a benevolent government. Both are short-sighted and recursive arguments which I will tackle in turn.

First, let us examine the claim that the government's true quality lies in its ability to provide for the common welfare. It is oft mentioned simultaneously that ours is a society that was built and requires such communal efforts, providing and required to provide for a common good that stems from the previous attempt to end all our suffering. Again, it is in the dichotomy that the truth becomes so plain. The continued efforts of society that require that the efforts of society continue, a prophecy of large centralized industry that must beg for handouts to continue an initial socialistic investment, the metropolis, whose citizenry inspire her sooted skies and crime filled streets, works double time to inspire investment and growth, and soon it becomes clear that society's ills emanate from the decision to form and carry on with a society in the first place. It is precisely because we have believed in the conjoined pocketbook and the collective effort that both become the requirement rather than the exemption, the social animal divorced from his talent by his willful weakness and sloth.

The arguments of defense are only too easy to dissect here. The necessity of military might on the scale provided by a government assumes a strength only created by another government. The doomsday hypotheses of warlords roaming the streets with patchwork arsenals neglects the true significance of this idea, that it resides in no capital and requires no signature for approval, but that it is a truly societal shift away from the ideology of control and subjugation just as our ancestors shed the trappings of feudalism and mercantile economics.

But worse, both suffer from the same moral failing of comprise in the face of wrongdoing. Those championing the efforts of man will note the technology to extend life and the fascinating cultural benefits allowed by a mechanized modernism, yet they will sputter and obfuscate when faced with the World Economy as the origin of those benefits, offering only hypotheses of rising tides while their ships climb mountains. The militants will describe self-defense as the primordial human right, the oldest moral line. I do not dispute their description, only their worship of a shoddy antique. In the course of our acceptance of this moral right of men, we have made it the most amorphous of terms, a justification that lies in the heart of every great evil of our time. Safety and Security are also are the moral dictates of a government. It is their necessary equivocation in the face of the mob that they resemble so clearly the lapses of the worst of men.

With this, I come to you with no concrete plans, no new form of government or economy to discuss and debate as oligarchs of public opinion, I come with a simple plaintive plea for change. Let us drop the burden, né millstone of government altogether, leave behind the well-fed failure and join this campaign against ourselves and our greed as we, for the first time in our lives, stand on our own legs free from the bicephalus of society with her twin oppressions of internal comfort and external control.

I will be called a radical by even the most ardent ideologue here, roundly criticized as flinging arrows from the very edges of possible thought and probably past the line of decency, but my colleagues make a mistake when they repeat the errors of the past. I would remind them that a simple examination of the history of their ideas will reveal that democracy, the republic, and capitalism were once the realm of lunatics, those brave fools who held firm the outskirts launching those arrows as swift as they could tumble from their tongues. Those who oppose this idea make the same mistake that their for-bearers with the dead and dying ideologies of paganism, of monarchy and absolutism, and the newly buried totalitarianism of the 20th Century, kicking and screaming and delaying the newer better alternative until it was weakened by compromise and doomed from the start.

I also recognize the hardship my ideas and proposal will inevitably cause and for this I am not sorry. Men greater than I have observed that morality only counts when it hurts and the greatest have demonstrated that it counts most when the pain becomes unbearable. Regardless of our own dissatisfaction with the supposed short, nasty and brutish, it is the only righteous path, and one we must pursue with the fervor of those on a moral precipice.

God Bless America, and Good Riddance.

6 comments:

Anna Nym said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anna Nym said...

My last comment was removed for revision. Expect a new, better version in the next 48 hrs.

TheGrza said...

The force of my stunning rebuttal must have been felt through the unconscious underground...

Anna Nym said...

Perhaps...

A. Henry Rearden said...

"I offer that there is only one way to square the seeming opposites, a recognition of their symmetry." My first criticism is pretty abstract, and it consists of a question: is this what you really want? It seems a harmless question, but I feel obligated to provide you with some feedback, having just been invited to join you fine folks in this cyberstoa of yours, so you may observe as I pay my dues. The length of this is its first clue that it is of some import, and worthy of consideration, so; here it is: do you really want the ideostructural figure that makes the motif of this declaration to be so . . . Marxist? Whether this represents the result of a conscious choice or an indication of an unconscious influence, your writing here is underpinned throughout by the one-two-three thesis, antithesis, synthesis move popularized by the infamous -- and I hesitate to use the following term -- theorist. What is wrong with it, you say? It lacks integrity. It is true that opposing ideas are related by their opposites, that no matter how "different" two things appear, contrasting them emphasizes similarity through the shared relational medium ("syndiffeonesis" is, I believe, the fifteen-dollar term coined by Chris Mike Langan, another and-I-hesitate-to-use-the-term-theorist), but, like any basic metaphysical truth, it loses pertinence and dignity as it walks upwards through abstraction, profundity though it may appear to gain. You don't have to compromise -- you don't even have to compromise in order to make your writing palatable -- and you certainly needn't bow to the synthesis of opposites (read: compromise) as being the necessary sacred seal on any ideological package, the necessary solution to conflicts of interest.

What is more, it is my firm belief that you are speaking from a disadvantaged perspective concerning human nature -- and let me be clear about this: when I say "human nature," I do not mean the undesirable things that people end up doing no matter what they are told is right, I mean the Aristotelian essence, the what-it-is-to-be of human beings. "Human nature," in the other sense, is a term that is used by people who purvey or adopt a morality through which actions that are taken in preservation of human nature (in the sense I mean it) are damned. The disadvantage of which I speak is: you are capable of setting your own standards and living by them. Now, where your own life is concerned, this is hardly a disadvantage at all -- it does, in fact, represent a tremendous mental achievement on your part, and it is only through this ability that you are able to live as a man. But this ability of yours blinds you to the cause of others' inability in this capacity -- you cannot honestly believe it. You say "morality only counts when it hurts," because you have first accepted morality as prescriptive, and second you cannot concieve of how, without prescription, men will abandon integrity of thought, perspective, and action, such integrity being viscerally experienced by you as -- in my sense of the term -- human nature. The error here is that morality is what they tell you it is. Really, it is what is your conception of human nature -- this ability to live by the mind, that which is consistent with the nature of human life, that which fulfills the demands of the presence of human life -- the corollary "natural rights" of Liberty and Property.

And this is why, THEGZRA, even though I know you speak with the best of intentions, a government is absolutely essential to the maintainence of a free society. Freedom presupposes reason -- only a thinking thing can be free, it makes no sense to talk of computers or trees or any unthinking thing as being free. Yet, reason ends at the point of a gun -- which is exactly where political power begins. A man's life is his by right, in reason, but that reason will not arm you against the unreasoning. The unreasoning cannot be reasoned with. But a man should not be born having to fight for his very life, now, should he, when that life should be his by right?

TheGrza said...

The good man from St. Paul has made some points regarding my speech of a few days ago and I feel the time is now right to respond. Sooner or later, with these great minds at work, we'll hammer this thing out once and for all.

First, if the linguistic or rhetorical arguments made suppose an affinity with a certain bearded Statist, or so it was said, this was entirely accidental. A line or two may have mimicked the old Red, but to reiterate, these morals come from the same source only to diverge at the behest of Government, the morality of man plucked from individualism and swallowed by the mob. There was no synthesis between the two opposites; it was the impossibility of their synthesis that did serve to reveal that in choosing to become one with the state, the citizen does more than purchase the chains to his own slavery, he binds them with his soul and pollutes his morality with the putrescence of the collective.

That said, let us move to the larger issues here. My perspective on human nature, a perspective I had previously hesitated to declare, has been found unfit. I believe in nothing of the sort. Those who cite human nature inevitably refer to actions deeply opposed to said nature, forgetting their reference. Nature is a desperate beast, and one lacking a government or organizing structure. It is organic, varied, and most importantly the result of individualism. The deep faults of government, of modern capitalism and of society in general are the faults of hegemony and homogeny, the same ideas so abhorred by a Darwinian system.

Disregarding nature, my opinion on man is that he is an intensely moral being, fed on love and charity, bound by hell, retribution or guilt. If he violates the terms of humanity by rejecting these tenets, it is not degradation of an Aristotelian anything, a so-called-so-and-so if ever there was, it is a more modern concept, the failure to achieve the Enlightenment ideal set before him because of his own depravity and weakness. It is man's quixotic stumbles toward perfection that informs my opinion of the "essence" of man, and my firm belief that all men, sir, you do me too great an honor to think I could live by my morality, my firm belief that all men fail in this endeavor. It is not in man's mode to succeed at this task, only to throw himself again and again into the wall of his defeat until he is dead of exertion and pure of heart.

It is this death, the purification ritual of existential annihilation, that has taught me time and time again that there are no rights to Life, Liberty or Property. You speak of reasoned rights and protection against the unreasonable with no basis in reality, of being granted that which nearly all consider most precious simply by virtue of attaining it. All these concepts and the rights to them require a government that grants ownership and protection, and would in turn require a social contribution on your part. Life, liberty and property may be a right in the logic of Descartes, but holding onto your existence, your beliefs and your possessions are only your interest, not your responsibility to the society which granted them unto you. No your responsibility in complete subservience, the voluntary renunciation of these rights in favor of the fear that they proffer. These words and the empty ideas behind them, the supposed pillars of decency, morality and government, have prevented none of the travesties they invoke as their antecedent or antithesis. Nay, were they not present at Wiemar? Were they not the touchstones of the winter of 1917? What was the Oppenheimer Prometheus to provide for all?

And what does that annulling barrel speak to when the government turns it back toward you?

That unthinking being, described innocently as a tree or a computer, that sir, is the mob, the morass, the multitudes, and government incarnate. The people, when so demonstrably unable to recognize their culpability, have no more a mind than a moderate shrub and that which retards them to such a degree, mentally and morally, is the true enemy. When you succumb to the fears of uprising, or as Ms. Hyland pointed out, the oxymoronic fear of the overlord you don't know, you brick the walls of your prison, protective though they may be.