Monday, March 5, 2012

The Commonality of Nature and the State

Nature and the State have a significant, and often unappreciated commonality; neither may be negotiated with through reason or empathy. Both are reasonless and unfeeling; they act upon their own rules and neither tooth, claw or gun are amiable to negotiation.

Occam's razor would advise us not to multiply entities beyond necessity; that is to say in this case, when objects of our experience show common qualities, it is simpler and more elegant to assume that they are identical in category, than to presume to separate categories.

I would here suggest that both initiators-of-aggression (to include the State) and nature, functioning without regard to reason and empathy, should be placed in our ethical theory into the same category, and that this theoretical shift will permit a greater theoretical simplicity.

The advocates of the principle of non-initiation of aggression have long opposed force and violence as the ethically legitimate means for chosen human ends, with one exception: self-defense. As philosophers conscious of Occam's razor, we should take caution in our acceptance of exceptions; an exception is often an attempt to remedy an error in reasoning.

If however, the initiators-of-aggression and nature are both to be considered of the same ethical category, then the advocates of the non-initiation of aggression principle may at once put aside this dangling exception of self-defense as legitimate violence and may instead, permit themselves to condemn all violence, in its entirety.

For, as it is not violent to protect oneself from the storm of nature and in so keeping the same meaning, it is not violence to put sword or gun to the savage beast of nature which emerges from the bush and threatens both life and limb, similarly, it is not violence, strictly speaking, to defend oneself from the initiation of aggression. The initiator-of-aggression, for a time that they continue their aggression, are as unreasoning and unfeeling as a savage beast; the initiator-of-aggression, for the time that they would persist in their aggression, is as open to discussion and negotiation as is the storm. The initiators-of-aggression, to attack another, is for that moment in time, denying their own humanity, contradicting in action, their humanness; it is a self-denial of their reason and empathy and is a temporary transformation, hailing from an ancient past, into some biped beast of nature. She who possesses reason and empathy has only one course left available against such an unreasoning and unfeeling force; she must flee or defend herself; she must adopt a defense of the self, or else surrender her life to nature.

Our sincere hope, is that the initiators-of-aggression may soon reclaim their humanity, that they may soon regain their sanity and do so permanently; but until such time as this, we who wish to embrace reason (non-contradiction) and empathy (sociability), must defend ourselves against the savage maelstrom of nature, as we roar our barbaric YELP, that proclaims that yet we live, that yet we feel, that yet we reason.

1 comment:

  1. Modern States posses one trait that nature does not, the need for the consent of their subjects to remain in power. Gandhi exploited this weakness and empowered the masses of India to withdraw their consent with blatant acts of disobedience. Imagine if the US occupation of Iraq in 2003 would have been met with widespread and unbreakable non-violent protests and demonstrations. With C(ia)NN and FAUX News broadcasting 24/7 it would have been hard to mask the outright shame and embarrassment of having the Occupation army defied by the people of Iraq. The occupation would have ended whithin a few years from the serious blow to the image of the empire as the so-called harbinger of democracy and liberty. Unfortunately, as Falluja illustrates all too well, the people used violence to meet violence and the occupying State was able to crank up their Public Relation's arms (mainstream media) to justify the flattening of an entire city and the use of White Phosphorus on human beings. Mother nature knows no reason but we can use ours to build better structures to guard against her wrath and thus perserve our civilization. But the State does have its rhyme and reason. It can be be humiliated and brought down, so long as we don't mimic it's tactics.