Friday, May 31, 2013

The Real Confidence

Remember the real confidence of people who could provide for themselves? Your great grandmother, maybe, if she knew that she could shoot a deer that got into her garden, cut off the good parts, dry and salt the meat, and knit clothes afterward? Or maybe just Grandpa, who knew that he could handle clubbing a couple guys who'd tried to break into his shed?

Or the desperately poor, who know that they can withstand near-starvation and exposure, and still keep their minds? Or the super-wealthy, who know that, in any given situation, they can exploit stupid masses' sensibilities, manage complex social networks, and thrive?

That real confidence, of knowing that you could survive in an entirely different world, cut off from all the circuses and trinkets. They've got that. That's why they're so seemingly brazen.

Some of the soldiers and cops, who know that they can take orders, take punishment, get treated like dirt, fight and struggle, and survive. Farmers who know they can actually grow, recycle, and protect, by hand.

So few of them left, with real confidence. Most people now are in-betweens, stuck in a terrifying limbo world where the things they know how to do are disconnected from reality. Their skill sets are utterly dependent on the World As It Is; on society maintaining a certain kind of worldwide network that allows them to survive, barely, in a razor-thin niche. They look with fear upon the few people still alive who remember the Old World--and the few warriors and dark lords still among us--wondering at, and fearing, that animalistic nature; that eerie confidence.

7 comments:

  1. You know you can always come to the Shire and stay with us. We know how to survive here.

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    1. We leave not because we don't love it, but because we do. Someone has to carry this. <3

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  2. Well, what do you suggest? The IQ threshold needed to realize how the system breeds dependency, deskilling, and degradation is fairly low. I did not need to be told that I am utterly dependent on the world as-it-is and that I would be not just pathetically helpless, but would have no chance of actually surviving any prolonged disruption of my routines, as doomed as they are?

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    1. (I still trust myself enough to kill a stranger to feed my family if it comes to that - or alternatively, to be killed while trying to preach solidarity to a hungry crowd (the difference between the two can be a pure accident), but in no way this could possibly signify hopeful and forward looking state of mind. Clearly the nutrition-less breakfast in front of me grown by an illegal starving immigrant will continue to exercise the larger pull - while it is still available, that is)

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    2. The cheapest thing to sell a mark is something the mark already owns. Elites do not create; by their very nature, they cannot. They try to stifle progress, and when progress happens anyway, they suddenly buy it out and sell it back to people in slow increments.

      In this case, we're looking at "ability to survive." The narrow veneer of civilization we've been told we can survive in is a lie--we could handle what our predecessors did. The reason Grandma's so contemptuous of the new fitness megaplex is because she knows that real hard work is clearing fields, not using the elliptical trainer.

      The fear is real, but it's fear of an illusion. Many of us would die. Many things wouldn't be as fun. But, that's how we got here. Many things would be much better. Much about life would be deeper.

      We don't need to go to the opposite extreme of ruining everything just to make the point that we don't need it. I'd like us to keep all of the toys, but to lose the illusion that we couldn't do without them.

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  3. You can avoid being overly dependent on technology in small ways. Personally, I refuse to put a GPS device in my car because I value my ability to navigate based on maps and landmarks.

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  4. Look, grandma actually *had* access to field she could clear and scratch sustenance off. Today, she can have the self-reliance of being shot with dignity for attempting to get some food from Giant Farm Plot # 5.

    I'd be perfectly happy to take my chances with a machette and little else - where do I sigh up? Ask the indegenious people of the Amazon how well they are doing lately, with the mines and farms encroaching on their self-reliance ever so tightly.

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