Friday, November 18, 2005

Why I am not open-minded

As individualists, we argue against collectivist belief systems of all kinds - whether religious, political, or otherwise. We get a lot of True Believers, be they Christian, Islamic, liberal, conservative, Greenie, nazi, New Age, or just plain crackpots, telling us that we're intolerent and close-minded (of course, they all want us to listen only to them, not other equally valid belief systems).

Isn't it hypocrite for individualists like us to attack people on the basis of their belief system ? After all, everyone is different. And for someone like me who advocates strict "live and let live" limits to advocate the persecution of other belief systems ?

I am an individualist, but not because I think all positions are equally valid. I don't have any problem with different lifestyles or even value systems, even if I think they are immoral and disgusting. People have the right to hurt themselves and consenting friends as much as they want, in the name of any destructive ideal they want. But when they start abusing children, and coopting the democratic system to impose their value system, that's when I stand and speak up, and where you should also.

For example, I've already explained why I consider Christianity one of our cultural enemies on Goosing the Antithesis. It is a belief system whose basic premises are a principled attack on Western civilization and modern values. In some countries, like the United States, this indicts all other belief systems because they are all tools of the Christian establishment. In other countries, we have to look at them on a case-by-case basis. But in all cases, belief systems only stifle individualism and individual rights - that is the only constant.

And brainwashing of children into any belief system represents child abuse. With more benign belief systems, such abuse is likewise benign - telling a child that liberals are right is not likely to give any trauma. Raising a child in a Marxist environment, for example, and brainwashing a child into mental submission and hatred for other value systems, causes lifelong mental trauma and disrupts moral development.

In the mental model of these belief systems, other people are not individual on their own rights, but representatives of their value system, and they must hate "the bourgeois", "the capitalist", "the exploiter", or in other cases, "the unbeliever", "the world", "the other races", "the materialist" (in either sense), "the liberal" or "the conservative", and generally anyone who dares to disagree with, or just doesn't fit in, the dogma of a given belief system.

For all these reasons, we can only "live and let live" until these belief systems have no more power to attack our lives and those of innocent children.

You also get the argument, usually by patriots, that wanting to impose a value system on everyone is "common good" and "unity", and that wanting people to live separately and isolate themselves is "selfish" and "worldly".

Well, my position is, of course, that selfishness and worldliness are morally superior. But more importantly, they have it all in reverse (as usual). It is the raving activist or preacher who is "selfish" and prey to "worldly" desires (at least in the meaning they give those words) by trying to subvert the entire society, indeed the basis for our civilization itself, to his perverted notions of morality. And it's the individualist who is promoting the "common good" and "unity" (once again, using their meanings) by stopping social warfare. The idea that we can forcibly unite everyone under one flag is sheer lunacy and a refusal to acknowledge the fact that we all have different value systems, and always have.

1 comment:

Aaron Kinney said...

Excellent. Individualists, unite!