“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.” ~Stanley Milgram
Being a responsible and compassionate human being should go beyond status quo staples and the illusion of authority. It should trump cultural platitudes and institutional mores. It should supersede societal norms and unhealthy laws. Lest we falter as a species, stagnant and devolved, it must triumph over the attempted bureaucracy of the human condition.
It is for this matter that difficult voluntarism has always been the solution to easy soft slavery. Deep empathy has forever been the cure to shallow psychopathy.
Being a responsible human being requires one to take on the difficult endeavor of empathy, compassion and tolerance despite the easier route of indifference, apathy and intolerance. Sure, it’s easier to turn a blind eye to injustice and it’s difficult to fight for justice, but it’s healthier for humanity as a whole, and more moral for the individual, to take upon the difficult yet responsible task of fighting for healthy justice.
Compassion Versus Intolerance:
“The habits you created to survive will no longer serve you when it’s time to thrive. Get out of survival mode. New habits, new life.” ~Ebonee Davis
Being compassionate toward others is the foundation of voluntarism. But it’s also the most difficult part. It takes work to be compassionate. It’s difficult to be courageously soft with others in a world that conditions you to be invulnerable and hard toward others.
It’s easier to just remain hard and intolerant, cowardly and contained, law-abiding and culturally conditioned. It’s easier to just bury your head in the sand while some so-called authority attempts to dictate to you whose sand it is. It’s easier to unquestioningly follow outdated, immoral and unjust laws that don’t work for healthy human beings than it is to question and attempt to update those laws to work in accordance with universal laws like the Golden Rule and the Non-aggression Principle.
When it comes down to it, having compassion for others is having compassion for ourselves. We are social creatures after all. We need each other. But it goes deeper than that: we need each other in order to be each other. Remember: self-as-world and world-as-self. We’re all connected.
If the immediate culture is unhealthy and based upon outdated, immoral and unjust laws then it is paramount that free, healthy and compassionate individuals seek to change those laws by shining their courageous light through civil disobedience and non-violent rebellion despite any and all so-called authorities. Change for the better despite fixed systems has always come from individuals rising-up and rebelling against outdated reasoning. For, as Tom Morello said, “the system cannot be fixed by the system.”
Consent Versus Rape:
“When freedom is outlawed only outlaws will be free.” ~ Anonymous
If compassion is the foundation of voluntarism then consent is its backbone. Without consent there is only rape. Lest we allow rape, consent is paramount. Voluntary consent is allowing free individuals to live free lives based upon the Non-aggression Principle while being unobstructed by laws that are not in accordance with Universal Laws.
It’s simple: The difference between robbery and a good trade is consent. The difference between murder and assisted death is consent. The difference between rape and a healthy sexual encounter is consent. The difference between oppression and freedom is consent. The difference between coercion and voluntarism is consent. Consent is everything.
If I don’t want to trade my dollar for your twinkie and you steal my dollar anyway, that’s robbery because I did not consent. If I don’t want to have sex with you but you have sex with me when I’m unconscious, that’s rape because I did not consent. If I feel that your arbitrary law is immoral and you force me to follow it anyway, that’s oppression because I did not consent. If I don’t want to give up my money to your arbitrary tax system but you force me to do so anyway that’s coercion because I did not give my consent.
In order to be a healthy, responsible, moral, and just human being, you must allow others to be free to give their consent. Otherwise, you are on the slippery slope into tyranny. If you believe that people should be forced into doing things against their will through threat of violence then you are not a healthy, responsible, moral and just human being. It really is that simple.
As such, statists tend to be those who believe that people should be forced into doing things against their will through threat of violence. This not only violates consent, it also violates the Non-aggression principle, the Golden Rule and the Universal Laws that govern healthy survival. Therefore, statists and the statism they prop up as the be-all-end-all to human governance, are indirectly, and perhaps inadvertently, unhealthy, irresponsible, immoral, and unjust human beings.
Self-Defense Versus Violence:
“Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are.” ~Niels Bohr
When it comes to self-defense, the majority of us have been tricked –either by political propaganda or by Kung Fu movies– into thinking that it means having an overreaching offense. It doesn’t. It’s not like it’s Opposite Day. Self-defense means self-defense. As soon as your so-called self-defense begins to overreach and hinder other people’s freedoms, it is no longer self-defense. It then becomes offensive offense.
This applies to police and militaries just as much as it applies to individuals. As soon as your so-called defense-minded policing/military forces it’s arbitrary laws onto another individual, village, county, state, or nation, it is no longer defense-minded. It then becomes offense-minded and offensive to the freedom of others.
An individual, a military, or a police force that has become offense-minded and which pushes its arbitrary laws upon others who have not given their consent is no longer peaceful and moral but violent and immoral as per the Non-aggression Principle, the Golden Rule, and the Universal Laws of healthy survival. Such an individual, military, or police force has thus become intolerant rather than compassionate and holds violence in a higher regard than individual consent. Therefore, such and individual, military, or police force is unhealthy, irresponsible immoral, and unjust.
Again, it really is that simple. And no amount of grappling and losing to your cognitive dissonance is going to get you off the hook. The hook is very real, and only you can decide to regard it as such, do the right thing and make some healthy changes; or just turn a blind eye, bury your head in the sand, and continue to be an unhealthy, intolerant, immoral, apathetic human being who disregards the consent of others by giving into a violent system that violates the Non-aggression Principle, the Golden Rule, and the Universal Laws of healthy survival. The choice is yours.
In the end, hard and difficult voluntarism versus soft and easy slavery is freedom versus tyranny. On the surface, it seems like it’s easy to choose sides. But, as you’ve no doubt found, you’ll have to recondition your cultural conditioning, un-wash the political brainwash, and untangle the knot of statist indoctrination that has you all tied-up and confused about the difference between healthy and unhealthy, tolerance and apathy, consent and violence, freedom and tyranny, and good and evil.
Only then can you be sound enough of mind to make a responsible choice regarding the future of humanity. Only then can you discover the guts and the wherewithal it will require to take a leap of courage outside of your all-too-comfortable, all-too-secure, all-too-safe, all-too-fattening statist comfort zone.
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (Hard Voluntarism (Empathy) vs. Soft Slavery (Psychopathy)) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.