Essays From The Master

Archive for November, 2009

The simple cost

The cost of safety

As the USA reels from another pair of senseless attacks I was asked whether or not we as a people, indeed any person anywhere, are safe. As with much in life; the answer to that question about safety is simple and yet due to circumstance not so. If any group or individual would be safe they must not allow any threat to exist. This begs the question, what is a threat? A threat is anything that hinders or prevents an individual or group from performing what constitutes life for them. Others not aligned with said individual or group doing other things is not a threat save if one impedes the other. As an example the author likes music that many do not and indeed try to ban, that many try to ban it is no threat only when I become unable to listen to the music do those who ban it become a threat to my way of life. Now that we have defined threat and given an example we must decide on the level of threat, the force needed to deal with it and a course of action.

Keeping with our example obviously the banning of music is no cause for violence. To deal with this threat our weapons will be the law, logic and objective facts if indeed the music were banned. If a group or individual does not protect does not defend its rights it loses them. The threat must be met at the level it is as an over reaction only aids those who pose said threat. Likewise if the issues are dealt with logically and with foresight in public ways the very system that would take one’s rights must defend them. The ACLU has made a career based on abuse of this principle of citizenship which boils down to this, “those who are silent in the face of evil have no right to speak when that same evil falls on them.” Using the same example of the music issue those who like or make said music must be prepared to prove their opponents wrong in the most polite way possible not because the enemy deserves it but because those in the right are cheapened otherwise, “to sling mud right or wrong one must first get dirty.”

Those whose views are cast in doubt by these attacks must be vocal in condemning it and showing the error of those who are responsible because to do otherwise is to place one’s beliefs in jeopardy. To not make those who twist any system of belief outcast is to affirm that twisting thus making negative stereotypes not fiction but rather a truth. When people in any neighborhood allow the existence of broken windows and a single known drug dealer they invite and condone the crime that always results from such in action. To be safe the individual must see to its own security in the small ways that any one can, not by avoiding “bad areas” but by not allowing them to exist in the first place. If we know of any group or individual doing or preparing to do any criminal act it is for those who know to inform those who handle such things.

If we deal with the things that lead up to crimes and the actual crimes when they do occur then we need not have “hate crime” laws or any of the other social controls that the system uses to take our freedom that we do not defend. Crime is crime the thinking behind the crime means nothing. It is Jefferson who gives us the cost by saying, “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”