What we have here is essentially a whole lot of conflicting truths or truths which either intersect or are tangential and often are mutually exclusive, which doesn’t make them any less the truth for a’ that.
The analogy I can think of is a road grid, with main highways crisscrossed, over, under, by roads of varying size and length, some only tracks which serve for a certain distance. Those are the temporary truths in the analogy.
For example, from readers at my place: “If more people understood Matthew 5, there would be no more wars…” There most certainly wouldn’t be but “most people are swayed by the ‘Fire and Brimstone messages’…” is also true, just as the “speak softly and carry a big stick” is true.
Just as “do not seek revenge, vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” is true and “there is power in forgiveness for by so doing, you bring down coals of fire down on the aggressor’s head” is true.
Just as trying to legislate Christian values into existence is fraught because a] the government has an agenda which is determined by [i] the hidden power they’re in thrall to [ii] their bog standard incompetence in their work practices ………………..
And so on and so on and so on.
People wade into arguments with a gruff “fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage – get off your butts, you lazy bums” and a Tory silverspoon like Osborne is fixated on an entirely fictional deficit created by the global socialists using the debt model, a deficit which he is convinced he has to reduce at precisely the time of greatest penury because it is “fiscally responsible”, such penury brought on by the socialized policies of 1997 to 2010 which began the destruction of jobs, a process finished off by the very people who say they are fiscally responsible.
Everyone has a truth or eight on his side but like those roads on the grid, they only go so far. People wade into arguments with set ideas and those are based on maybe four or five truths they know to hold true under certain conditions and for a certain duration, maybe forever and universal or maybe for a limited set of circumstances.
And those truths are very real and very true at that time and in that contextand accounts for the zeal with which people espouse them.
But the standard grievous error is:
1. to refuse to recognize there are apparently conflicting other truths;
2. to therefore take the point of view that all truths are relative.
C. Ingram recently wrote:
What is right and what is wrong is an invention of our minds.
I may be reading the wrong thing into what he says but if he means that truth can be tampered with and altered to suit the circumstances at the time, as malleable as playdough, then that is a grievous error. Every one of those roads on that grid carries traffic more or less efficiently and is always there in the form it’s in, een if it frays at the edges and needs constant repair, every one of the four or five truths people swear by is not a figment of their imagination but is a snippet which in itself is extrinsically and fundamentally correct – a physical or metaphysical law, even if it’s an old wive’s tale.
The sole criterion of a truth is how far it applies, so let’s take one – “everything government touches goes wrong and costs a ruinous amount”. That one’s pretty well universal. A limited truth is that “we must balance a budget”, true only when the country is operating at least half-efficiently, which ours palpably is not, due to a range of designed in failures, unforeseen cascading failures or failures due to sheer incompetence and bureaucratic stagnation, e.g. Soviet Russia’s supply lines.
“Government should be limited to taking care of defence, protection and support of the vulnerable and providing diplomatic services.” In a completely skewed society like ours, that is no longer true for the duration. It’s true as a general principle but not in this context. Similarly, throwing millions out of work and simultaneously cutting benefits whilst the tickbox and faux bit-of-paper mentality is rampant and High Street shops are boarding up their windows is lunacy.
Right policy – wrong time.
But above all is another truth – that the troubles are entirely avoidable and have been brought on by the tried and tested method of wicked people who’ve had centuries of practice at taking limited truths, redefining and twisting them, cynically mixing elements of truth and falsehood in with everyone’s zeal for a better society, with a view to keeping the human being subservient and just fed, watered and sheltered enough to fight wars.
In the words of that quote again:
It takes, in reality, only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
The wolves are most certainly among us and a vast amount of their time and energy is spent ensuring that people never recognize them as wolves. Another truth is the expression “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Go to your local council and if you could get to the records, find out who’s the Common Purpose graduate – there’s your wolf. Go toWestminster and find out who’s the Bollinger Boy – there’s your wolf. Go to Washington and find out who’s the skull and bones boy – there’s your wolf.
All your economic models come to nowt when they refuse to take into account that there are sentient forces driving the enslavement and Malthusian perishing of humankind, that greed and self-interest is a base instinct which drives people into their arms, that the person above you is incompetent and limited in his ideas and that any interfering, correcting schemes whatever by governments at any level are 1] adulterated and contain the malice of the powers behind them 2] will end in tears, at enormous human and financial cost and 3] government is not your friend when the people in charge are the ones currently in charge.
Now those are truths. They didn’t come out of my mind or yours – they are universal.
There’s also a thing called common sense, which should be perhaps termed uncommon sense. Every utopian has a great idea which might work if humans weren’t prey to their base instincts but every utopian fails to provide the roadmap on how to actually get from where we are now to where he wants us to be. Following Matthew 5-7 would certainly solve the problem in one but how to actually get there – the devil’s in those details.
This is the underlying reason socialist schemes such as today’s social policy legislation will, by definition, fail and cause much heartache and mayhem in the trying. It’s all well and fine saying “a man can dream” but when a dream becomes a social policy administered by the incompetent of limited brain and involves discrimination against and dispossession of people in the community, then it shifts from being commendable to destructive and despicable.
Turning the other cheek is fine, it conserves your gunpowder, it applies to individuals dealing with other individuals but it does not work with bully-boys, e.g. governments/crims. Nor do revolutions ever work, in that they invariably produce a new boss who’s been factored in and is as bad as the old.
Now those are truths too – not my truths or your truths but just truths.
I can see turning the other cheek working in one sense – like long grass in the wind, it can be rooted in firm earth but sway this way and that above. Another analogy was a table tennis champion match I saw with an aggressive player versus an ultra-defensive player who returned every blow using the kinetic energy of his opponent, one of the principles of judo. That table tennis aggressor eventually ran out of points and of steam. Fabians understand the principle well.
In a similar vein, Bill Sticker wrote:
I also understand how thinly spread the powers of Law and Order are, and try not to make their job more difficult. Because whilst the uniform confronting you may not be your friend, the person within it may be persuaded that you mean no real harm. Politeness pays. Officials are like everyone else, with a few notable exceptions, human. Often a friendly non-confrontational approach will pay off where everything else fails. It is possible to out-nice them, but don’t take the piss.
And understanding your enemy also helps:
The law and the state are not very flexible institutions, and have a long track record of reacting in a heavy handed and inefficient manner. It’s all they really know … One of the key things to remember is that the organs of the UK’s top down state don’t work very well on evenings or weekends, which is a point worth considering.
Read people like Inspector Gadget for example to understand how thinly the much vaunted blue line is spread, where all those highly trained Police Officers spend their time, and under what restrictions they work. Add to this the additional snippet that Council employees and other such state functionaries are actively discouraged from using any form of initiative, and you begin to see the cracks through which Freemen may slink unobserved with a sly grin on their faces.
A friend of mine says to use the mechanisms of state against them. Flood the court or other government body with paperwork they have to waste days sorting out, jam up the gears, whilst remaining entirely within the law, as it is defined in that particular month. The downside of that is the cost inevitably passed on to the taxpayer.
All of which is well and good in a society at peace but ours isn’t – it’s in that prewar period [they’ll sort out who the actual enemy is just before the event] and so many are now prepping for the aftermath. Did you see how many guns and how much ammunition was actually bought recently in the U.S. as a result of Obama’s latest inanity?
The universal truth I’d like to finish with is that whilst a group of oligarchs, backed by powers which never poke their heads above the parapet are still in power, whilst every petty council official acts like a tin god and has power over you, then it will never change. Like a bully in a classroom, you can have countless talks with him, punish him, bring his parents in, separate him for some time and waste your energy on so many other time-consuming responses but the simple fact is – the situation is never going to change because the bully is hardwired.
Expelling him visits the problem on another school. Incarcerating him swells the jails. Execution is effective and serves as a warning for other bullies. What to do with the bully? This is the analogy for what to do with the government.