Monday, October 05, 2015

The Problem is People

The problem with violence is people... always, and nothing but.

No substance, no object, no tool, no law, no government, no society, no state... just people, always and nothing but.

People are violent, and they cannot be controlled by the laws against violence we already have, nor by any new laws, nor by the state and it's agents, nor by other people directly.

The only control any person has, is over their own choices and actions. If people chose to act in ways that harm others, then there is very little anyone else can do, except to attempt to use force against those people, in order to stop them.

Laws do not keep one safe, nor do they control the actions of others. They simply codify the rules by which force may be used to attempt to prevent their violation, the means and manner of force which may be used to attempt to prevent such violations, and the means and manner of force which may be used to punish such violations when they occur.

LAW IS FORCE. If any control is exerted by this, it is through nothing but fear of said force, by those who would otherwise violate the law.

As should obvious to all... though many attempt to ignore and deny it... fear of this force, has but little restraining influence on those who would do violence against others.

Control over anything but ones own choices, is an illusion. Safety is an illusion. Both illusions are incredibly dangerous. There is no such thing as control, or safety... Only probabilities and degrees of risk, and mitigation of that risk. Acting as if it were otherwise guarantees only that the risks are greater, and the damage greater when that risk becomes reality.

This set of objective factors and principles, presents a truly, incredibly, difficult; intellectual, emotional, and moral understanding. It violates all of our closely held precepts of what society should be, how people should behave... simply the way things SHOULD be... and accepting it can be nearly impossible.

Some accept this, and decide that they have a moral responsibility to take what actions they can when confronted with it. Thus they prepare to use force personally and directly against others if necessary, and bear the consequences if they do so.

Some accept this, but also believe, or decide, that they cannot personally and directly use force against others, or have the means to do so, even in defense of themselves or others. They must then accept that when confronted by such violent acts, that either someone else must intervene, or violence will be done to them or others.

Some accept this, but believe morally or ideologically, that whether they would be capable of doing so or not; using force directly and personally against others, or having the means to do so, even in defense of themselves or others; presents an unacceptable risk or threat to themselves, to others, or to society as a whole. Thus they delegate such use of force to society as a whole, or to the state, and must accept that if the state fails to prevent it, violence may be done to them or others.

Many people simply cannot accept these things at all... or at best, only parts of them, or in limited ways. This creates extremely strong cognitive, emotional, and moral dissonance in them. Things simply SHOULD NOT BE this way. They CAN NOT BE this way. They feel out of control, unsafe, and threatened.

Many people cannot bear... or believe they cannot, or cannot even consider... the responsibility and moral weight, of personally using force directly against another, even in defense of themselves or others. Nor can they bear the understanding, that this moral weight falls not just equally upon them, but in fact greater upon them, when others do so on their behalf; whether as individuals, or as agents of the state.

In defense of their own sense of self, they create a false moral separation, and false sense of control and superiority, in order to partially resolve the emotional and moral dissonance of this state. They then partially resolve the cognitive dissonance, by rationalizing the false notion that they are too moral, too compassionate, too civilized... and therefore they are morally uncompromised, and superior... for being unable to, or refusing to, use force personally and directly against others.

Perhaps worse, they may also (or instead) rationalize the false notion that individuals (sometimes all individuals, sometimes all others but not themselves, sometimes just a subset of others they disfavor, sometimes all others except agents of the state) are morally and actually incapable of preventing, attempting to prevent, or having the means to prevent; such acts of violence against themselves or others (either entirely, or without engendering unacceptable risk or actual harm, to others, or to society). They falsely believe this then absolves them of the moral weight of the use of force against others, and the violence which might otherwise have been prevented.

Yet, they also cannot accept this utter lack of control over the actions of others. This presents an existential threat to their person and their psyche, which they cannot resolve within their intellectual, emotional, and moral framework. They feel out of control, unsafe, and threatened, with no means of resolving these problems.

Thus, in a state of profound cognitive, emotional, and moral dissonance, they will attempt ANYTHING they can justify in the slightest, no matter how poor the justification, no matter how little evidence or reason, to reassure themselves. They will seize on any rationalization, any symbol or totem or fetishes that they can cling to. Any way, in which they can at least partially resolve this dissonance, in order to regain and maintain the illusions of control and moral superiority.

In so doing, they have no problem with compelling others to use force on their behalf, and to enforce the symbols which maintain that illusion of control, on all people; falsely believing that such action absolves them of both the moral responsibility for the use of force against others, and the violence done to others that might otherwise have been prevented.

It doesnt matter if what they are doing is useless, or even harmful. Even that which harms others, and violates the rights of others, is inconsequential to them, so long as they can restore and maintain their illusion of control, to resolve their cognitive, emotional, and moral dissonance, and to dismiss the existential threat.

They will justify and rationalize it in any and every possible way. Compassion, justice, morality, safety, "civilization"... but in reality, it is simply their desire to restore their comfortable illusion of control and safety, without having to take moral responsibility for the use of force against others.

Any person, principle, argument, or fact, that threatens this set of illusions and rationalizations... or breaks it...  must be destroyed or dismissed. or the painful dissonance and existential threat will return. They will feel out of control, and unsafe, and this cannot be tolerated.