James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, October 01, 2005

On Crooked Wisdom and Overcoming

I recently came across Blair Warren's Crooked Wisdom, which deals with human nature and communication more than with politics. I kept reading post after post, and was tempted to discuss several of them here. But this one's certainly is worth a mention:

For anyone looking for more “power” in the world, here are four foolproof steps to getting it:

Step 1 - Identify or manufacture discontent in others.
Step 2 - Demonstrate how the discontented are not responsible for their own discontent.
Step 3 - Explain that you know who is to blame. And finally…
Step 4 - Promise that you can not only help them solve their problem but also ensure the culprits get their comeuppance

Don’t believe me? Just study some of the most powerful people around and see if they don’t follow this formula. I don’t know how many of them are aware of this structure as they’re using it, but they’re using it just the same. And don’t think it’s just the “bad” guys doing so. These steps work phenomenally well for everything from environmental activists and “peacekeeping” groups to fundraisers and religious movements. They have worked throughout history. They are working today. And they will continue to work in the future. They are one of the surest ways to power - if you can live with yourself in the process.

Friends of liberty can not be really effective in this. The libertarian message of personal responsibility doesn't mesh with the message that individuals are not responsible for their own discontent. "It's not your responsiblity - taxes were too high!" "It's not your responsibility - the regulations are prohibitive!" See?

But if a soul can be crushed by the State, it could just as easily be crushed by something else; if the State doesn't impose the obstacle, something else will. Getting rid of the State will not get rid of peer pressure, religious guilt, manipulative spouses, dishonest bosses, or other problems in life. Some people overcome these obstacles to live a full, contented life. Others do not. And those who do not, will never really be "free" no matter how much taxes are cut or how many laws are repealed.

Freedom is about overcoming. Not overcoming the external forces, but overcoming the negative thoughts in our own minds. I will probably use this blog to explore this issue because it has captured my interest right now.

1 comment:

  1. i have been thinking muchly about the topic too. howdt.com is going to turn into a spectacle as i attempt to get people thinking by voting howdt the current county commissioner. i've started a new blog - Get howdt! I have been trying to think positive and control both frustration and anger - this guy that i know jeff helps. check out his site at (www.friendsofjeff.com).

    Jeff has MS and doesn't let it get him down. I have plenty of troubles, but i'm darned glad that multiple sclerosis is not one of my problems - which now seem minor.
    The quotes and the daily stories are positive - it's a decent outlook in a strange world.