Bernie Sanders and Religion

Most people want security, personal and economic safety. They don’t want to struggle, they don’t want to suffer, they don’t want to have to risk their well-being. What most people want is certainty and order.

For this, people turn to religion. God(s) will give you security, will save you and take care of you, in the end. People flock to preachers and pastors and priests and pulpits, and the organization gives them order; it is right to do this, wrong to do that, and these things will make you happy; do not suffer, because the Higher Being, the Great Thing Above You, is going to take care of you – as long as you abide this order.

Most people inherently desire a Higher Power, a thing within which to give themselves – a thing within which to negate their will: my life is in God’s hands; this is comforting, it is an assurance that all will go well, that you will enjoy Order. If there is a Higher Power, a Benevolent Greater Will, then all one must do is accept that Order and they will be spared the suffering inherent of uncertainty. To have uncertainty is to need to exert your will, is to need to struggle so that you may create certainty. Struggle not, suffer not, this Higher Power will give you Order and Certainty. You in the pew have been saved.

And if another does not accept the order of this Higher Power? Well, then they must be converted, they must be taught to accept this Higher Power, because it is for their own good.

Most people wish for this, to be rid of the need to struggle; most people wish to be enclosed by the arms of a Greater Power that will protect, and save, and secure.

Thus, we have organized religion. And…

Those without televangelists and Ordained Hierarchy turn to bureaucrats and Almighty Government – the Higher Power will be had, life will remain in a top-down structure.

This is one of the reasons I refuse to vote for Bernie Sanders:

Because we are only humans with critically-limited intellect. No one knows what is “The Best” way to run a society; for all you know, Libertarianism works best, or Stalinism, or Corporatism, or Anarcho-Syndicalism. Because can’t be a Singular Order.

Rational arguments can be made for any Higher Power, any type of government, and all arguments have their rational adherents. But it becomes extremely difficult to make these arguments rationally on massive scales.

Because even if you use the Democracy Argument – Well, we’re a Democracy and Democracy means the majority wins – you are arguing for the oppression of a minority. Even if 70% of the population agrees with a policy, if there is a 5% minority which vehemently disagrees (larger than the LGBT population which was oppressed by DOMA), then you have a large population of people which is being oppressed.

It is just as absurd to force the order of Socialism, or Capitalism, or  Anarchy on a massive population, as it is to force the order of Catholicism, Judaism, or Scientology on a massive population.

It is absurd to force the Order of a Higher Power on a massive population (especially a population so diverse as America’s) because the universe contains Uncertainty, Disorder, Subjectivity: one person’s Heaven is another person’s Hell; because there is no singular Order, and there are myriad possibilities.

And we need to be free to pursue these subjective Higher Powers.

Let New York and New Jersey go for Democratic Socialism, let Nevada and New Mexico have Anarcho-Syndicalism; Ohio can have Corporatism, and Tennessee can go Libertarian, and West Virginia can go Tribal or something weird like that.

There are other arguments against a massive Higher Power, such as States As Laboratories, or that nothing good comes out of Massive Power over the Masses, and the argument that, out of three levels of government, only the Federal level is restricted by enumerated powers…

But, perhaps those arguments should have their own posts.

I’ll finish with a pictorial comparison:

…I don’t want your Higher Power.

Weekly Pig-Trough

I went on vacation, mental GreyHound to the inward Death Valley. I hadn’t intended on it, I have never intended on it, but all intentions piled and it keeps happening – peaks and troughs, strikes and gutters, ups and downs.

I spent the week feverish, sleepless, constant state of Go!

And by Thursday I couldn’t write: typed a couple of pages at night, then went idle-minded. So I drank wine and read a book. And then I had trouble writing on Friday night, so I finished the wine, waited for my wife to come home (after midnight) from work with a six-pack, stayed up to drink with wife. Hung-over on Saturday: lump of shit. Drank another wine bottle Saturday evening. Hung-over on Sunday: lump of shit.

I’ll concede I still got some work done this weekend.

I haven’t been depressed, I simply hit a wall. I spent all week working all day, home to toddler, get toddler in bed, write 2 hours, read, sleep. If wife’s not working that day, I come home from a 10 hour shift, write write write, shower, eat, say hello to wife, and if things are right the Hello goes on a few hours, and then it’s midnight and I have to be up at four.

Go go go, put everything out, and by the weekend there’s nothing left in me. So, what do I do? I consume, consume, consume, and don’t move a god damn muscle.

Will-power is a battery – if you’re going to exert it, you’re going to recharge it.

But I can’t keep doing this, and it’s been going on for a while now. I’m 27; I have a wife and a toddler: I can’t keep doing this shit.

I can’t hit the wall and turn to drunk indolence and junk food and TV. I don’t have the time, I don’t want that behavior to be a part of my life because it disgusts me, and is wildly hypocritical, and not the behavior I want my kid to grow around.

I’m going to fix this. I can change the pattern, damn all for if it’s been undulating for years, I’m going to go up, and not come down. The battery will recharge some way other.

All I need to do is to Push Through. I’m going to get to the rough edge towards the end of next week, but I’m going to Push Through. If I’m tired, I’ll sleep. Then I’ll write, and if writing isn’t going well take a god damn walk and leave the booze to be.

I’m going to want to crash, and crawl on the couch, or back in bed, but I’m going to Push Through.

It needs to happen.

Fuck relaxing.

Self Delusions

I used to tell myself as a teenager that I was tough and respected by my peers. It was a protracted youthful lie. Listen to Pantera and ACDC and Guns n’ Roses – yeah, I was tough, I like to drink and do drugs I’ve never had the opportunity to take.

I feared confrontation. I kept quiet. Kids in high school sold ecstasy and were getting drunk on weeknights. I played football and had a curfew. I wanted to be the kid who re-broke his hand punching a locker after an argument with his suspension-prone girlfriend. I’d never had a girlfriend and didn’t know there was a correct way to throw a punch. But Highway To Hell lyrics gave me substance.

I was a tough, bad-thread kid.

I didn’t ever stick up for myself because I feared what others would do in return. Let things go instead of creating tension.

What I wanted, what the self-illusion was, was that I wanted more than anything to be able to handle myself, to confidently deal with other people. I identified these traits with the aloof, hard-to-handle archetype. And I had to lie to myself about it, though at that age I wasn’t aware of it, but if I hadn’t maintained the lie I would’ve had to acknowledge that I was a coward who couldn’t ever muster to voice an opinion to his peers. I was more yellow than Holden Caufield.

Without the tough-guy illusion, I would’ve had to accept my own impotence, and that I was mostly helpless and exposed to the wills of my peers. I was a push-over.

Nobody can live with the idea they are useless (helpless, will-less) because this removes your purpose for living and for suffering: You can do nothing, what is your point for going on? In immaturity, I had to bolster myself – of course people would listen to you, of course they respect you, of course girls like you and yes, of course, nobody gonna mess me around!