Certain groups consistently engender a visceral repulsion to me. Almost any interaction with governmental agencies can be counted as one of these groups. I know I’m not alone in this opinion when I remember the words of the late conservative journalist, Samuel Francis:
“Wherever overgrown power collides with disarmed individuals, the ‘Four I’s’ of anarcho-tyranny tend to occur.”
The “Four I’s” are: inertia, implacability, indifference and incompetence – evident in abundance within the Federal bureaucracy.
Anarcho-tyranny can be described as refusing to control the real criminals, you get anarchy – when you control only the innocent – you get tyranny. I have observed some groups that have all of these characteristics some of the time – some groups have some of these characteristics all of the time.
Groups are made up of individuals. But often, pure individuality is sublimated to accomplish the aims the group. For example, you have to align yourself with the purposes, policies, rules and regulations of the group to have any coordination and forward motion at all. There is nothing wrong with this except when the aims of a specific group are not in the best interests of the larger group of people in general.
In some circumstances, with governmental employees for example, the employees tend to adopt the attitude of the concepts of anarco-tyranny and apply them to others in their day-to-day interactions. Most governmental bureaucrats fall under this heading and invariably seem to infuriate, incense, irritate and inflame – their own version of the “Four I’s” above.
For example, when some odious clerk at the Department of Motor Vehicles arbitrarily uses their position of power unreasoningly, it is annoying though perhaps ultimately forgettable. Conversely, when used by someone in high position, who has the ability to cost you untold amounts of wasted time and money, not to mention years of your life because of their criminal negligence, – or worse, nefarious intent combined with a taste for cruelty – such oppressive domination becomes intolerable. For their devotion to materialism, self-importance and self-interest combined with avarice, greed and fear lead them to act in ways inconsistent with the greater good of the people.
Under the circumstances described, I could glibly suggest that you simply need to hope and pray that all will work out for the best. However commendable, prayer is not a workable business plan or agenda to put into action of what needs to be done.
Perhaps you should fight back as directed in the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” tradition. While that solution might provide an adrenalin rush and some momentary satisfaction, history has shown that raised fists, rakes and pitchforks – when matched against tanks and disciplined, well-armed troops – don’t go very far to further one’s cause. And despite the spotlight of public attention briefly focused on the injustice, such violent measures often have little lasting effect.
And, as to the subject of becoming hardened and cynical by the misadventures created by dealing with such people – this familiar phrase comes to mind, “Everyone should live in New York, but not long enough to make you hard; and in California, but not long enough to make you soft.”
My personal inclination leans toward trusting the basic goodness of people as the first assumption. I subscribe to this belief – to the exasperation of my wife who thinks I am far too disposed to see the glass half full instead of half empty.
Hardness and distrust is not really part of my native personality. I was raised in a part of the country where trusting people was inborn, a way of life; distrust only reluctantly coming after getting stung a few times too many.
When you are personally faced with circumstances of enforced injustice by governmental agencies with limitless power, it’s easy to feel you are living under “The Sword of Damocles” with the anxiety of injustice as your daily companion.
When laws intended to protect citizens go ignored and un-enforced – and the only those that serve to punish the innocent and entrench further power in the hands of those who are not to be trusted with it are enforced – a dangerous, lawless society is created, intentionally or unintentionally.
When the order of the day is to reward only the criminal and punish the ordinary, law-abiding citizens, this is not a sane action. Every civilization that has followed this path has gone by the boards as the flotsam and jetsam of history. Yet this is precisely the direction we are currently heading in this culture, at an ever-increasing velocity.
I have come to understand that bad conditions and circumstances don’t just happen. The criminality, degradation and decay of the culture are no accident. It is a planned and coordinated action with specific goals and targets by those “behind the curtain.” Understanding this fact as integral to beginning to handle it. The symptoms are all around us, with individuals, companies, banks and other major institutions going bankrupt every week, with other countries following close behind.
However, they underestimated the resourcefulness and persistence of the people and the ability shine the spotlight of truth into the dark alleys of criminality and degradation.
We will prevail if we can combine truth and persistence with an effective organizational structure a willingness to face and expose criminality and evil.
Each of us must begin to take responsibility for our own area of influence, whether that is for ourselves, our families, our groups, or the country and culture as a whole. Each of us has to start somewhere.
My advice then, is to follow a path I have found successful to begin to get things under control, using only what you’ve got at your disposal right now.
This strategy is simply to pour the coals on personal production, promotion while simultaneously creating a future worth moving into when the “emergency du jour” fades into the past.
In the main, this strategy has worked to keep me stable, in motion and moving forward with the result being that any covert or overt intrusion on my life ends up strengthening me in the end.
In the following four points are offered as counsel – counsel of not insignificant value, borne of increased awareness, certainty, and good judgment – as a result of bad experiences in the trenches of life.
1. My attitude and personal conviction is that one must become alert to the slightest hint of anything improper in self or others and be willing to face the situation directly.
2. I have found that dismissing, explaining, justifying or defending wrongnesses in self or others actually worsens the situation and creates nothing but unmitigated disaster in the end.
3. And finally, it is my considered opinion and experience; the price of freedom is never too great when the cost of indifference is so dear.
4. It is not condemnatory to make an error; only when an insistence of rightness – forceing a repetition of the error – does it then become censorious.
I hope that some of my remarks might find fertile ground and be put to use in handling the situation which affects us all.
daniel w. jacobs
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