Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Art Of The Possible

File:Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg

- I'm trying to help people.
- And what am I doing trying to get you to stop? I'm trying to help you.
- Then leave me alone.
- My rules won't let me.
- You have your rules and I have mine.
- My rules are better.
- Everyone thinks that.
- My rules are better because I have rules for applying them.
- What rules?
- Look carefully for the right rule for the right time. Murder is wrong, killing in self defense not wrong. I  ask myself whether I'm in love with the idea of myself as a rule follower or do I love the world enough to see if applying the rule will really change it for the better.
- You think I love myself more than the world.
- Do you you consider whether you really are helping people?
- It's in god's hands.
- Actual results are out of our hands, not the decision itself. We have the ability to think things through and we ought to use it. At the time of the French Revolution and the war between Revolutionary France and England President Washington had to decide which side to support. Washington choose to support former enemy England over fellow democracy France. Do you know why?
- Why?
- Washington believed unique historical circumstances, specifically land available to all, made the United States viable. He didn't trust revolutionary France to stay revolutionary, or be stable enough to support the United States in dangerous times. Subsequent events seem to have proved him right.
- What's that got to do with anything?
- Helping people get democracy, freedom, equality, you'd think would be a good rule to follow for a nation that had just fought a war to help themselves to a good quantity of those good things, but Washington decided otherwise, for the same reason the country's founders considered and decided against trying to help American slaves to those good things. The time wasn't right. They couldn't succeed.
- They compromised. I don't believe in compromise.
- They didn't compromise. They didn't think that with sufficient will, discipline, hard work and attention they'd be able to succeed but unfortunately they didn't see themselves up to the job. They thought the job was impossible, Patient waiting was better than futile activity. Freedom from slavery had to wait for the idea of property becoming less important than the idea of human life, and that had to wait for the actual practice of freer human life. Further progress against the precedence of property depends on the same*. You know what they used to say about politics?
- What?
- It's the art of the possible.
* Freedom & Property
Property Is Silence