No one who has read the more serious posts I written for this blog should be surprised when I admit that I felt a small thrill of satisfaction when I learned the reason why Joseph Stack crashed his plane into a building holding offices of the I.R.S. I mean, what wannabe “freedom fighting hero” hasn’t dreamed of striking a blow against the biggest bully on the block? And, from what was reported about the contents of the man’s website, it seems that there are many similarities between us there as well. In fact, once I had a fair understanding of what was actually going on here, I was immediately taken back to the whole George Sodini incident (see There, But For The Grace Of … What?) where I also found similarities to my own life.
But just as with George Sodini, the comparisons between myself and Joseph Stack quickly break down upon closer scrutiny. Sure, we both feel that we were lied to as children when we were taught what the American political / economic system was all about. Sure, we both feel that the system treats individuals as little more than food for ambitions of those who have interests other than our own at heart. And sure, we both believe that something must be done about it. But there are some very clear differences as well.
First of all, Mr. Stack defined the Capitalist credo as “From each according to his gullibility, and to each according to his greed.” Since I believe that a TRUE Capitalist regards the product of one’s labors as being equivalent in value to the portion of the producers life required to produce it, he would NEVER disrespect that product by buying or selling it for less than it is actually worth. Regardless of the system that a person is born into, accepting a lesser standard of life is equivalent to agreeing to live as a slave!
Secondly, Mr. Stack’s actions indicate that he believed that the way to achieve the changes he desired is through acts of violence. But what has his violence actually accomplished? On the one hand, he has made it oh so much easier for those who make statements about the failures of our system to be written of as possibly dangerous lunatics who should be forever viewed with suspicious eyes. And on the other hand, he has actually added to the taxpayer’s burden the cost of rebuilding that which he destroyed. Violence truly is “the last resort of the incompetent.”
The fact is that no political / economic system can succeed without the active support and participation of those involved in it, and the truth is that, as our system has moved further and further away from the ideals upon which it was based, the support and participation it receives from its citizens has receded right along with it. The resultant disconnect between the people and those we look to for leadership has lead directly to the social and economic chaos that we see all around us. So, for those wishing for our corrupt system to fail, very little action is actually necessary to bring it about – because a system without a means of support will eventually collapse under it’s own weight!
I started this blog with the hope that I could somehow be a voice of reason helping to prevent the chaos, of which Mr. Stack’s act is but one small example, from evolving into an outright civil war. But the bottom line is that we, as a people, have to choose to save ourselves from doom by making the effort to understand just what kind of society is required for thinking beings to prosper. Until we accept that it is our responsiblity, as individuals, to actually behave as the free and noble people we proclaim ourselves to be, we are indeed doomed to continue down this road towards ruin.
You can climb a mountain
You can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire
But you’ll never be free
You can shake me up
Or I can break you down
We can make each other happy (4X)
(Repeat entire 3 times more)
You can jump into the fire (4X)
I want ice water.