Re: Olde Busyneſs by L. Neil Smith
I really enjoyed reading "Olde Busyneſs" in last weeks TLE. And it made me think of a few things.
Back when I was fully immersed in Christianity (and believed it) I was always told "we" were being persecuted and oppressed. I didn't personally see it or feel it, but I was assured it was happening.
But, after I came out of the atheist closet, I discovered what persecution and oppression really were. Mild forms, obviously, but they were real.
I had people who were living completely messed up personal lives (of drunkenness and promiscuity- so, yeah, fun people that I loved being around when they weren't lecturing me) lecturing me about how I was going to Hell for not believing in their god. I was ostracized (which is their right) from social circles, and (in this locality, anyway) am left in the cold without any social opportunities whatsoever, because I don't believe in the 3 Big Deals here: god, sports, or government.
I know it would be hard to convince someone to hire me due to my inability to fit in. And, if I remember correctly, I would be prevented from running for office if such an odd desire ever came over me again. I have learned to keep my lack of belief to myself to avoid consequences. This is all minor in the grand scheme of things, but is still orders of magnitude more than the persecution and oppression I experienced as a Believer. And it's still worth it.
It's not to say I want people to stop exercising their religion. They can even pull it out of their pants and whip it around... as long as they don't soil my life, liberty, or property with anything that comes out of it. Such as "laws" based on their religion, imposed on people who aren't part of their religion. That makes me cranky, and telling people they have no right to act that way isn't persecuting or oppressing them in any way. It is pointing out their aggression and property violations.
In the real world, right now, Christianity violates me much more than Islam ever has. It is the local justification for prohibition, anti-sex "laws", "Blue Laws", and probably more that I can't think of at the moment. And it is the primary religion of those around me who support the troops, the Blue Line Gang, all the counterfeit "laws" I mentioned. But this is because it is the main religion here, other than statism. I have no doubt whatsoever that Islam would be at least as bad- if not worse- if it gained a majority here in my region. And if that happens, the Christians have only themselves to blame for setting up and continuing to support a system which can, and will, be used against them as soon as someone else is in the majority.
Next we address the old bugaboo of "immigration". I understand people worried that "they" are going to overwhelm society and change the culture. Some cultures are simply better than others. If a culture embraces aggression and property violation it isn't worth keeping. Which means that, for the most part, the clash is a clash between sick, twisted cultures trying to fight to the death to show their nasty culture is the Greatest. If you actually built a culture around Rightful Liberty, there wouldn't even be a problem. America may have once been about Rightful Liberty, but it isn't about that now.
A free society, which actually recognizes and respects private property rights, will never have an "immigration problem". Either a person is where they have a right to be- through ownership or an agreement with the owner- or they are trespassing. Trespassers may be shot—especially if they pose a credible threat to person or property.
And, if you don't send troops around the globe to make people's homes explode, their jobs vanish, their food burn, and their regions become war-torn hellholes, you probably won't create unsustainable numbers of refugees fleeing and seeking a new place to live.
And if you don't offer stolen goods in the name of "welfare"- to anyone—there is no incentive to move somewhere new if you're not willing to work to support yourself and improve your condition.
Property violators are only a problem where self defense and defense of property (really a false distinction) has been regulated to the point it is dangerous, "legally", to defend yourself with an effective weapon. "Immigration" can only be a problem in a socialist warfare/welfare "Utopia".
Borderists are busy complaining about the shadow the leaves cast rather that digging out the roots.
Such a culture hasn't kept enough value to be saved. And that's terribly sad because the problem is so obvious and so incredibly easy to fix. Well, easy except for inertia, indoctrination, and cowardice.
"The bad guy gets to draw first". Yes. That doesn't mean you stay within range when you realize he's a bad guy. It doesn't mean you comply when he orders you to show up anywhere unarmed. It doesn't mean you have to censor yourself when people don't want to be told that he is the bad guy. I know of a lot of people who think letting him draw first is suicidal- but if you draw first you have already killed off the good guy by making him vanish in an instant. You have become what you supposedly opposed- by your action of initiating force you have become the bad guy. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. no matter who is around or where you are. But remember: life doesn't come with guarantees.