"The first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds." ~ Isaiah Berlin
Must Love Liberty
Exclusive to STR
January 3, 2007
I'm delighted to report that I received an excellent response to 'Must Love Pasta,' the singles ad for my anarchist son. In fact, I got more reader responses to it than many of my previous columns. I know what you're thinking: Damn, I should have thought to write that ad--I could have written it! Well, the early bird still gets the worm, my friend. Sometimes it pays to be a head-job; it costs me a lot of sleep, but my little mind, which never stops, generates lots of ideas. (Admittedly, they're not all good ones.)
Don't email me asking if I'll construct an ad for you just yet. While it's always pleasant to hear from readers, the response to MLP wasn't exactly that for which I'd been hoping. Almost all of them were from male readers, all basically saying the same thing. You're probably wondering if they were gay. They weren't. It turns out that they're all looking for the same woman!
This prompted a line of inquiry: where are all the female anarchists, or at least, anarchist sympathizers? I'm pretty sure they can read, use a computer and are not all already spoken for. We can't hope to change anything without first examining it. I can't say for sure, but here I offer you my answer to the question. To maximize your reading enjoyment, hum with me now, Peter, Paul and Mary style:
'Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing''
A great many Americans are of the Christian persuasion, which doesn't necessarily preclude the love of liberty, but it doesn't help. (I admit that I pick on Christians a lot; it's nothing personal. If they didn't try to throw their weight around so much, they wouldn't find themselves such a target.)
If we were completely honest here, we must admit, and I'm pretty sure that Christians themselves would also admit, essentially, that they are not notoriously open-minded about faith or spirituality as say, Hindus are. Even though race, color, nor creed were no stumbling blocks for Jesus, believers today actually consider open-mindedness a transgression as an article of their faith. For instance, it would be fine with me if my mate believed on the Lord Jesus as his personal savior. It would, in all likelihood, not be fine with such a theoretical mate if I did not believe.
I'm afraid it gets worse. Not only are non-believers wrong, 'deceived' as they say, true believers have basically declared a jihad against freedom in general because they are afraid. In other words, all people should only be able to do what believers think they should be able to do; the milk of human kindness, civil rights and mutual consent be damned. Basic laws of physics (every force creates its own counterforce), the law of unintended consequences and reality are also to be damned. As Christians just about have the conservative market cornered, I'm afraid we lose about half the females to intolerance. I can offer no solution beyond this insider information. Keep humming though:
'Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?'
Luckily I'm a two-time loser ' a recovering Christian and a recovering liberal. As such, I see what I believe to be the flip side of the problem. True liberals (not political whores) are compassionate, sensitive people.
A lot of women are liberals. A woman's brain is hardwired with an enormous corpus callosum, compared to a man's. It's the part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres. It provides the ability to multi-task (something most men are not nearly as good at as the average woman.) The larger corpus callosum also allows women to more easily practice 'groupthink,' which can be very useful.
For instance, my husband gets out of bed in the morning for work, gets dressed, touches all the bases in his routine and is out the door. A woman has a plan before her head hits the pillow, which answers the question, 'How can we all get where we need to go tomorrow, and what do we need to bring with us?' The corpus callosum allows women to notice things outside the immediate, such as dirty socks on the floor, the empty dog bowl or the trash that needs to go out, all on the way to answer the phone.
Liberals are 'feeling' people; they feel feelings, they are interested in feelings, they talk about feelings and they worry about the feelings of other people. This might sound funny to someone who isn't a 'feeler,' but I'm not joking. Some people are wired this way. They are often creative and make good writers and artists. If I weren't one of these feeling people, I wouldn't get it at all, so I don't blame you for finding this humorous. All you non-feelers, you'll have to trust me on this. It's not something we do to avoid real work. Feeling is real work, vital work to people, women, like us.
Ayn Rand's 'virtue of selfishness' is completely lost on these women because it's not 'nice.' It's not that they're stupid. They've been indoctrinated into emotional dependency, culturally and by years of government schooling: a lifetime of being taught not to think, to be nice, even if it means nailing yourself, and everyone else to a cross.
For instance, I have a dear liberal friend who, over the years, has been involved in various employment situations and life experiences. It's as if she has two opposing and absolutely separate thought streams in her mind. Each time she personally encounters a bureaucracy, whether it is the Head Start, Immigration, government schools or any kind of welfare program, she readily admits it is an utter failure. However, she usually votes a straight Democrat ticket. In fact, I have no doubt that voting for Hillary for president would be a personal highlight for her.
What am I to do? I understand her desire for compassion and enjoy her company, so every time an injustice comes up in conversation (something which happens more and more lately), I seize the opportunity. I simply ask her if this is what she wants to pay for with her tax dollars. It's a start.
Most liberals do not take the time to examine the handout philosophy very much, because a long, hard look will reveal the glitch in the basic premise of their pipedreams called democracy, equality and fairness. These are based on the initiation of force, and therefore, invalid, useless, immoral and unsustainable in the long run. It would be terrifying for a feeler to see that the operating system they've relied on for a lifetime is really not nice at all, but violent and very, very dangerous. They would feel bad, something to avoid at all cost. They must keep promoting their 'compassionate' government because that's how they've been doing it! It would hurt too much to face the truth and to stop. (When we discuss this insanity, my husband says he'd pull his hair if he had any left.)
Here's a good example of what I mean by the virtue of selfishness. My kids learned early on that most home school group activities are so micromanaged by well meaning adults that they are simply not fun. Recently, an 'unorganized' softball field became available to us once a week for a couple hours. One mom said she was only securing the field for the children at the request of her son; that the games would not be run by adults. Sis was leery, but with pickup games around here going the way of the U.S. currency, she decided to give it a try.
A lot of kids turned out for it. All the moms sat down while the kids poured onto the field and eagerly began organizing themselves. I could see the children were hashing out a game plan that would be fun and workable. You could feel the vitality.
Teams were chosen based on spreading out the known talent. As always, someone had to be picked last. At this point one mom, probably the one whose kid was last, jumped into the fray to control it. She couldn't bear the moment. She thought it meant something about her kid, and therefore her. She decided that she would be the decider. She picked teams of pairs.
How could she not see that she had to pick some pair last too? That she was initiating force to achieve a social goal? Fairness is about honesty and mutual cooperation, not some third party's idea of equality mixed with initiating force. The last pair she chose wasn't the one containing her kid. Being picked last either means something or it doesn't. The kids gave it no meaning, the decider gave it tremendous meaning.
Being picked last means nothing, aside from the fact that there are always kids who are older, stronger or better at some particular sport. How could she not see how she was telling the children quite openly that she did not trust them, when she wasn't being trustworthy herself? The activity quickly died out for lack of attendance. They lost my girl to that game and we lose roughly the other half of the female population to this type of insanity.
I'm not saying men or women are right or wrong. We're wired in certain ways. We all have natural egoic challenges to being loving and free. A woman is not necessarily more loving because she minds other people's business, and a man is not necessarily more free because he chooses to live unconsciously. (I'm not talking about my husband here, really honey!)
I work mainly from home. My home schooled kids, my husband and I have a pretty good time together. The highlight of a typical day is one of us coming home with a good story. Our humor tends to be inbred, though, in that there are a lot of things we just can't talk to most people about, or at least not for very long. Many people in our culture are sadly lacking a sense of humor. Religion is for sure out of the question as a topic for discussion. It's the third rail of pleasant conversation--touch it and everyone's sense of happiness goes right out the window.
Along the same vein, naturally, is politics. This is a subject with tremendous potential for fun. The words and actions of politicians vacillate between the utterly absurd/ridiculous on one hand and the utterly horrifying on the other. Even the horrifying, though, does not necessarily preclude opportunity for fun.
Years ago, a friend told me, during a dark time of my life, to make sure that I always find something to laugh about, no matter how dark that humor has to get. That friend had survived the suicide of her teenage son, so when she gave me advice about life, I listened. Anyone who can pick herself up and dust herself off after that kind of unimaginable suffering knows something. Nothing nearly as horrifying as that had ever happened to me, so I figured I had no excuse when it comes to enjoying life, and I must insist on doing so no matter what.
Since then I have been honing my ability to laugh in the face of life and its rawness. It's a truly useful skill. You can laugh or you can cry. Sometimes you have no choice but to cry, but sometimes you do get to choose. Like Ferris Bueller says, 'Life's short. You have to get out and enjoy it once in a while.'
In my social intercourse with other people in the world, which is pretty limited at times due to my own choosing, this happiness philosophy is just about useless. The War for Terror emanating from the Washington Whore Party has proclaimed victory, despite the ongoing tragedy in Iraq . I hate to admit it, but they're right. They've won, because the goal was never to make Iraq a free place or to hack at the root of terror, it was to bring it on home, give it a solid foundation, decorate it, hang curtains in the windows and an 'open for business' sign. Terror is big business, not just for defense contractors. A fearful populace is easy to manipulate and fleece. It makes sleight of hand easier for politicians to accomplish their evil designs. It closes the deal, as they say.
Admittedly, not everyone falls squarely under the banner of liberal or conservative--they are merely useful terms for exploration and discussion. Both groups are fear-based. They are afraid of other people's freedom, and this carries over into their politics, which is dangerous for the rest of us.
The fear mongers have destroyed liberty, much of life and they're closing in on happiness fast. The fear factor is big business, and it's the single cause of the shortage of anarchist females.
'Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing? Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago? Where have all the young girls gone? Gone for husbands everyone. Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?'
*'Where Have All The Flowers Gone' Lyrics by Pete Seeger