Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You're not righteous -- get over yourself

Most of my postings are about sex, relationships, love, etc.  This post isn't.

This post is about power and righteousness.

I have a friend of a friend who I enjoy having the odd protracted Big Ideas talk with.  But, the thing with Big Idea people is they tend to betray themselves when they get into the continuum of power and righteousness.

Let's be clear about something right upfront: power is power.  Nothing more.  It's not good.  It's not evil.  It's just power.

The friend in question is that lovely breed of young, modern libertarian who makes me wanna barf.  You see, for the millenial generation, being an unrepentant Ron Paul anti-government type is the equivalent of being a naked LSD-tripping whackadoodle commie from the 1960s. Mind you, that's a completely forgivable sin, so long as you don't turn the mirror on yourself.

Like all millenials, he's trying to get ahead in his trade while acting like getting ahead isn't goal.  He's a graphic designer and as OK at it as any human being can be in such a limited pointless trade.  It's a masturbatory trade.  Worse, it's masturbation done to entertain others.

And like all millenials, he's a relentless online self-promoter.  In short, within his own efforts, he's an arch-capitalist seeking attention, adulation, and power.

Nothing wrong with that, either.

My problem is I don't understand why people can't just get over themselves and be who they are.  If you want to get ahead and seek your own little slice of power, fuck it, OK, go for it.  But, realize you're not Gandhi.  Hell, Gandhi was a piece of shit if you ever go read his bio.  Worse, Gandhi was a lawyer.  Nuff said, amirite?

The thing is, you have to appreciate that complaining about those who have power -- which is all young libertarians ever do -- while you are seeking your own laurels, is dumb.  Worse, it's whining.  And it's envy.  Barf.  Terrible qualities.  Least of all in a human who wants others to admire him.

Power is just a thing.  It exists.  It's not a problem.  It's not a solution.  It just is.  It's a component of life for any social animal.

The only thing power can get you is more power.  Power will not get you justice.  It will not get you righteous.  It will not even get you vengeance.  Power can only acquire more power.  That's it.

And, again, there's nothing wrong with that.  Anyone who doesn't have power will tell you how much that sucks.  Anyone who has lost power will tell you how nice it was.

But, don't confuse power with anything else.

You have power.  You exert however much of it you have on the folks around you.  They have power.  They exert it.  Nothing fancy.  Not even all that sexy -- unless you happen at that exact moment to be using it to get some sexy time with someone.

People like to assert power and then claim their own righteousness.  Might makes right, amirite?  Sure.  People like to strip others of power and declare them evil.  People like to envy the power others have and whine about how crappy those folks are that have power.  But, how righteous, evil, or crappy is anyone who has power?  Well . . . not any more righteous, evil, or crappy than they were without it.

Power does not make you good or bad.  It only allows you to project yourself out into the world more aggressively.  Nothing less.  Nothing more.

The next time you look on your own works, remember what your power is.  The next time you tear down someone else's works, remember what their power is.  And more important, remember what it isn't.

No comments:

Post a Comment