All Tigers Safely Caged
Here is a pretty damn interesting response/exchange between my friend/email correspondent Vance Weaver and myself. The man has a long life's worth of wisdom. You won't find him on the internet. This shit is EXCLUSIVE.
People have been making attempts to drop out, individually and collectively, since the first teen-age cave boy marched out into the big world to make his own way (only to become dinner for the first saber-toothed tiger he encountered). The loss of hunting skills and muscle of a few teen-aged boys may be bearable for a hunting tribe, but a single stubborn landholder cannot be allowed to deprive millions of city-dwellers of air-conditioning, any more than a single brownstone owner can be allowed to block Donald Trump's next hundred-story luxury tower, or a thousand peaceful Cathars who want to worship God in their own fashion can be permitted to threaten the authority of God's Church. Eminent domain, massacre, or death by lawyers can be used to set things right again. The collective has rights that transcend nostalgia. Saber-toothed tigers are a threat to everyone, and only community action can give the individual protection.
Under certain conditions, and with a large helping of social conscience and some Aristotelian "greater good" logic, a few exceptions may be permitted. But even when the recipients of such free passes are the most harmless kind (Socrates, Saint Jerome, Falun Gong, Muhammed Ali) they must still accept the risk of being outliers, and outliers are always fair game. When the affairs of the majority go awry it is important to have a pre-designated sacrificial victim on hand — a virgin or a dissenter — to make it rain, or to ensure that one's spear flies truly between the ribs of one's enemy. It always pays to have a reserve pool of outliers, ready to turn to when crisis strikes. (Peasants, Jews. Mexicans. Atheists.)
So, as an individual trying to find a safe path through the swamp of life (an "iron rice bowl" if you prefer) Keep your head down and hope you don't encounter any tigers may be a practical tactic. But if your horizon of responsibility has expanded to include your family, your tribe, your clan, or beyond that to your nation or even your planet, this will not suffice. Steps will have to be taken toward keeping al tigers safely caged, and for that cooperation will be required. There will have to be an accumulation of knowledge about tigers and their habits, and about ways of catching them and subduing them. Agreements on goals and timetables will have to be reached. If everyone has his head buried in his rice bowl — iron or not — this cannot happen. So permission cannot be granted to everyone who might want to drop out. Slaves will be needed to build tse pyramids. Impressed seamen will be needed to man the frigates. Cathars will have to be massacred to prevent their example from corrupting the orderly functioning of the monasteries.
Muhammed Ali must have his title taken away to show everyone that defying accepted doctrine has a price.Much as this may offend one's sense of fairness or compassion, I do not see how the world can function without enforcement of agreed-on rules limiting individual freedom. And someone has to figure out what those rules should be. And someone has to enforce them. And your friend in China will sooner or later get chewed up and spit out by those enforcers of those rules. The alternative is death by tiger.