Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another Golden Oldie.

One of the (I suppose) advantages to having authored a blog for four years is that you get to revisit stuff you wrote a long time ago (in blog years.) The Everlasting Phelps recently posted on "bright lines" - the personal lines he draws for himself that signal when things have gone just too far. Excerpt:
I am almost physically ill with the dread I am feeling right now. I've said before that I have thought about armed revolution before. It is something that I think everyone who considers himself a patriot has to think about ahead of time. You might think about it and say "never", but you need to think about it.

I am reminded of the cannibal paradox. The paradox is that there are a lot of people in starvation scenarios who turn to cannibalism and starve anyways. They starve because the cannibalism taboo is so strong that they wait too long and are past the point of no return before they do what they need to survive. There is a point of no return when it comes to revolution.

I have in my mind several bright, shining lines that shall not be crossed without retribution. I keep those lines, like Joe's Jews in the Attic Test, in mind. I have them for two reasons. One, you should decide on your actions rationally and dispassionately when possible. Being worked up in the heat of the moment is not the time to make a decision like this. And the second is because the heat of the moment is just as likely to counsel you to not act, to wait a little longer, to not make that tough decision.

A commenter left this:
I had one of those “scary” moments while discussing the 2000 election with my dad. He pointed out to me how close we were to a coup via the supreme court. I scoffed until I thought about it a little more carefully. The Democratic party tried to get the supreme court to disenfranchise us, and almost succeeded.

I never thought about what it would take, but I did comment the other day that I was glad the disagreements and political lines right now are not as regional as they were 150 years ago.
Now, read my September, 2004 post While Evils are Sufferable (especially you, Markadelphia) and then read this Steven Levitt New York Times piece and the 500+ comments and reflect on just how easy it would be for "we the people" to pull everything down around us.

Societies exist because the members want them too. When that desire is lost, so is the society. That's what Arnold Toynbee meant when he said "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”

Yeah, Phelps, I feel a little ill myself.

UPDATE: The original JSKit/Echo comment thread is here.

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