Archive for November, 2009



I just spent an hour writing what might be the worst paper ever, but I like some of the ideas in it.


The definition of vice here is “Something that feels good but is actually more bad for you than it is good for you.” The government has a vested interest in defining vice more specifically, however. One of the government’s (purported) first purposes is to protect the governed for their own good, and what better way to do so than to remove those things which can be slipped into the “dangerously inappropriate” slot? If it can’t be shown to children or involve children or refer to children or be present within fifty feet of a child, any reasonable adult should (according to the government) think twice before seeing it themselves. (It should here be noted that when the government “protects” people it surpasses the boundaries of thinking adults’ common sense like one of those leases you see toddlers on in the mall. Also, the reasonable adults above are expected to be little more than sweet-idiot wards of the state, and not be interested in challenging their own perceptions.)
Once an idea has been defined as anti-system or non-system, whether by the government or by another entity with the permission-by-lack-of-interference of the government, its unacceptability begins to be perpetuated and socially magnified far beyond (first) actual problems individuals had with it. For those who see the system as “The Way” the mere existence of this idea is a threat to them, whether it has any *real* effect or not, it has an effect on the validity-by-ubiquity of the system that is their way of life.
People willing to speak their own ideas about society and community and culture are dangerous to the government because it is in the government’s best interest to maintain two things: one, reinforcing and encouraging the status quo of the governed; and two, reinforcing the necessity of their own existence by creating a perceived need to punish those who violate the status quo. The government thus simultaneously discourages dissidence (by creating rules for an orderly populace to follow) and encourages dissidence (by the expectation that there will always be someone who breaks the rules and provides a convenient scapegoat). The government needs people to be either for it or against it, and someone who is simply outside it — offering a totally different option for “society” or “civilization” or “power” threatens the precarious dance of maintaining power that the government is constantly engaged in.


I counted, and I said “the government does ‘x’ ” 21 times.