To say that current events are ‘messy’ today would be the height of understatement. Everyday the headlines blare at us some new set of contradictory data points convincing us of some lie that serves someone’s purpose.
No matter how hard we try to keep up with things, cutting out the extraneous to find the nuggets of signal from the jungle of noise is more than a full-time job.
Sometimes, however, it’s best to take a few steps back, fall back on first principles and remind ourselves who the players are, what they want and then ask the big question of each of them… are they succeeding?
But to even ask that question we have to ask ourselves honestly the following question:
“What will they be willing to do to survive under present circumstances?”
This is the most uncomfortable question you can ever ask anyone. What would you do to survive? To protect your family? Your position? Your conception of yourself?
Everyone’s morality has limits. Everyone. Everyone has a shadow, a dark side, a place where they retreat to their Hobbesian self and see the world purely in terms of ‘a war of all against all.’ Anyone who refuses to admit this to themselves is someone you should run screaming from.
Those that always claim the moral high ground, who are always “the goodies!” are those without limits on their behavior. As the great H.L. Mencken proclaimed nearly 70 years ago:
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.
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