Home > Philosophy, Politics > In Real Life They Never Call it the Dark Side

In Real Life They Never Call it the Dark Side

I remember a time when I was young that some churchgoers were concerned that we (the children) were becoming corrupted by Star Wars because we were actually worshiping the force.  I thought this was a pretty strange thing to worry about at the time but oddly enough the older I get the more I feel like everything you need to know about power and good and evil you can learn from those movies (don’t ask me what happened to George Lucas, I don’t get it either…).  And don’t worry you don’t even need to sit through the newer ones.  You pretty much just need to watch every scene with Yoda, when he was still just a well-made puppet.  So when I see things like this I can’t help but think of this.

“…beware of the dark side.  Anger, fear, aggression, the dark side of the force are they.  Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight but once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.  Consume you it will…..”

“Is the dark side stronger?”

“No, quicker, easier, more seductive.”

“But, how am I to know the good side from the bad?”

“You will know, when you are calm, at peace, passive.  A Jedi uses the force fo knowledge and defense, never attack.”

Why am I talking about Star Wars?  Because the existing political paradigm is being upset.  This is good because it is an illusion which distracts us from the important conflict, that between individualism and collectivism.  But it is very dangerous because the dark side’s allure is that it is quicker, easier, more seductive.  The dark side preys on the uninformed, the unthoughtful and the desperate.  It appears at your time of need and offers a solution.  It offers you the thing you want most.  When your house is being foreclosed it offers to satisfy your lust for possessions and your anger at the banks.

More importantly, this is why a jedi must be thoroughly trained prior to this moment, when his mind is clearLiterally this instant, as I was writing that, I heard an OWS guy on TV say “all I want is 50,000/year.”  All I want is freedom.   I want money too but I know that individual liberty and responsibility and the rule of law is the only way to be secure economically.  He doesn’t know that because he hasn’t thought it through, and he is unemployed, and he just wants $50,000.  It is too late for him to study economics, political science and moral philosophy.  He just wants $50,000.  And what’s worse he went on to say he is praying that the union lets him in (he is a welder).  And he complained that there was a bridge or something nearby that he could have been working on and asked “why aren’t we working on that?”  He doesn’t understand that all these problems are the result of collectivism.   The reason he can’t get work is that the union has special power to prevent him from working unless he begs them for permission.  But taking away this power from the union is not such an obvious way for him to get $50,000.  It’s not quick enough, easy enough, seductive enough.  A much simpler solution would be to get the government to take it from someone else and give it to him.  After all, he deserves it more than those greedy rich guys on Wall Street.

Libertarians want to end the Fed.  So do OWS folks.  Libertarians think the government is screwing us over.  So do the OWS folks.  Libertarians want radical change.  So do OWS folks.  These movements are not the same.  One is characterized by a desire to be free and have a government that will leave them alone except for the enforcement of property rights.  One is characterized by a hatred of the rich and Republicans, and Fox News etc. and a desire to use the power of government to suppress those voices and behaviors with which they don’t agree and take the property of those whom they hate for their own benefit.  One is focussed on knowledge and defense, one is focussed on attack.  Have you ever seen a tea party person call anyone greedy?  There is a reason why the other side has to do this, they have to make you hate them to give you moral authority to attack them.  We all must figure out which is which and who’s side we are on now while we are (relatively) calm and at peace.  That is the time to consider which is more important liberty or $50,000.  Because when the time comes to choose, the decision will not be presented to you in those terms.  And when they tell you “you can’t imagine the power,” they certainly won’t call it the dark side.

  1. October 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    haha. An interesting, and appropriate analogy. I think you already know which side I’m on. Oh btw, I was thinking that China’s real estate bubble is going to pop soon because they have had interest rates too low, for too long. Shortly after thinking this, I checked my mail and I had a Time Magazine. The front said, “The China Bubble.” Are you thinking the same thing?

  2. Free Radical
    October 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I don’t know that much about China so I wouldn’t want to go out on a limb but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

  3. W. Knowlton
    October 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    On the subject of the Fed, I am reading about different changes in bank regulation over the last century for my class. There were heavy competition regulations, and walls separating commercial banks from having business with corporations and investment banks. In 1999 these rules were lifted, because banks were finding ways around them anyway. Then within 10 years we have banks engaging in risky activity (sub-prime lending, etc) and the nonbank institutions weren’t regulated enough. These things supposedly have lead to the current crisis we’re in. So my question to you is, even if we had a gold standard, how much and what kind of regulation do you think banks should have?

    Also, I think I heard that in the collapse of one or more of the banks in 2008, customers lost a lot of money but the CEO’s still made off with considerable salaries. Are OWS people right to be upset about that? I don’t know if it actually happened that way, but in my class we are learning that it is good for banks to have high capital/asset ratios so their investors and owners will bear more cost if they go under.

  4. Free Radical
    November 4, 2011 at 12:04 am

    You don’t need “regulation” you just need the government to enforce contracts. They will end up writing the contracts that are most efficient. If the owners of a bank write a contract saying that if it goes under the CEO still gets a bunch of money and people willingly do business with that bank knowing this then it’s not the place of the government to step in and nullify the contract because they think it’s not fair. The supposed need for government regulation is pretty much always a result of a problem caused originally by some other government intervention. In the case of sub-prime mortgages it was because of the government implicitly guaranteeing those risky loans and subsidizing them through Fannie and Freddy. If banks had to bear the risk of these things themselves you wouldn’t have had all of these so-called abuses. Of course this pattern of boom and bust in the housing market is also caused by the Fed anyway so if you had free banking you probably wouldn’t see that sort of thing to begin with, at least not in a systematic way (obviously markets would still be subject to fluctuations but people would contract in ways so as to minimize the damage from them.

    OWS people have legitimate complaints but they are leveling them at the wrong people, it’s the government that allows (and usually causes) this stuff to happen. The government creates an environment where a few people get rich at the expense of the general public and they get mad at those people because they are the most obvious people to get mad at but they are just “useful idiots.” If you left your dinner in the refridgerator and your roommate took it out and put it in the yard where it was eaten by the neighbor’s dog would you come home and get mad at the neighbor’s dog?

  5. Free Radical
    November 4, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Also, It’s not really about whether or not they have a good reason to be mad, it’s about what they are doing about it. “Anger, fear, agression, the dark side of the force are they.”

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