Are We All Really ‘Slaves’, as Some on the Left (and Right), Claim?

A Facebook friend claimed we are all just slaves:

The truly amazing thing about America is that its workers have been persuaded that they really want to build the pyramids. Slaves who believe they are free are so much easier to control.

Another mocked the notion that Americans are adequately fed, paid and housed.  To top it all off, he claimed we lack sufficient leisure time!

As for myself, I work a lot (perhaps 50 hours a week), because I have a large family to support and commitments to others. But I enjoy leisure time as well, frequently after 6pm, usually on Saturdays, and always on Sundays.  My list of leisure activities-and between my work, teaching children, domestic duties, prayer and Church activities is not really very extensive-includes books, music, television, internet, radio, newspaper, a fully-equipped gymnasium, public greenways, libraries, parks, tennis…the list of leisure activities that are low cost or free is almost exhausting.

This daily leisure time-adding up to nearly as many hours as I work in a week-puts me in the category with Kings, doesn’t it?

And, if I (really here I am talking about the ‘we’ of the first world), didn’t want multiple cars, multiple smart phones, cable, dinner out and the long list of other luxuries even the poor among us enjoy (if you doubt that the poor enjoy multiple cars, smart phones and cable, spend more time in the ER, or at prison waiting rooms, or at WalMart, or around public housing), well, if I didn’t have the freedom to choose to work more to enjoy these luxuries, I could work even less!

The truth is that large numbers of our population do not work at all (whether they are retired-such a thing never existed before-early retirement, dropped out of the workforce, on welfare, etc), and the 40 hour work week is a relatively modern invention.

Our ancestors would be humiliated that we complain about working so little hours at jobs that are, more comfortable, easier and safer than ever before!

As men, as Christians, as Americans, we need to practice gratitude, not envy. Envy is the lifeblood of the enemy. It destroys souls, families and cultures. (I point to the American culture as the prime evidence).

Cassman’s Principle of the Certitude of Contrarianism

Complex situations (like societies), can often be difficult for us to interpret and analyze (if you doubt me, watch people trying to order at McDonalds). I find that a reliable method for simplifying this process is to simply study my opponent. Put another way, if you know who your enemy is, and you are uncertain of your situation, observe your enemy closely for a reliable barometer of reality. I listen to NPR for this reason, and watch CNN. I can quickly ascertain the reality of any situation simply by believing the opposite of whatever they assert. If they say the polar ice caps are melting, I know they are not. if they say the seas are rising, I know they are not. If they say candidate X will lose, I know he will win. This is how reliable they are. It’s an extraordinary thing, really. But you have to read Orwell to get it, and that means I’m only making sense to 12.5% of you.

This Slate article is a great example: the modern understanding of “civil rights” is unequivocally a violation of the first amendment rights of every citizen. You are not even free to THINK without violating federal law. (Hate crime legislation and ‘enhancements’ in federal sentencing guidelines prove this beyond a doubt). P.S. Trump is winning and I don’t even think he gets it.

 

That Most Lethal of Combinations: Arrogance and Ignorance

FB is that most egalitarian of communities, making present the spirit of the French Revolution in new and unimaginable ways. Can you imagine a medium by which the Dunning Kruger effect could be demonstrated over and over again with such perfection? I know-as a few of you must-from daily first-hand experience that the very people who are smugly superior while proving their near-total ignorance of a topic on FB are also the least likely to speak up in a public forum. I fear that in the same manner a virus spreads, this online behavior must inevitably have an adverse effect on the cumulative IQ of the species.

How to Lose Friends and Arguments Quickly and Easily

It is rare I find myself in a discussion of any seriousness without someone resorting to personal attacks, ridicule and simple name-calling. I do not think the guilty parties recognize how bad this is for themselves, and their ideas.
 
First, when you engage in one of these activities, you are showing the entire audience-not just the person you are attacking, but everyone who will ever read those words-that you are either ignorant on the matter at hand, and unable to articulate an argument, or of such poor character that you cannot resist the temptation to attack the person, rather than their idea. You get pleasure from insulting them, but care not for advancement of truth.
 

This never reflects well on you, or your argument. It also plants the idea in the mind of your audience that perhaps people who believe like you all suffer from a weak and/or corrupt mind. This is not a fair observation, but it is a likely one. If you want to advance truth, you care more about effective persuasion than hurting your interlocutor.

Secondly, the personal attack represents a violent approach that, on the surface, suggests you are incapable of argumentation, and thus, must resort to violence to get your way. In other words, you are a bully. If you don’t know the difference between a bully, and someone who is simply strong, then you might be guilty of this. A bully rules through fear and force. A strong man rules through power. There is a difference between power and force.
 
Third, if you resort to these behaviors, you are showing yourself to lack self-discipline. If you are not in control of the words you write or speak, you are not in control of your mind, and thus you are proving yourself unworthy of participation in the conversation. It is simply verbal diarrhea. Who needs that?
 
These are principles every child should know by the age of reason. They may not be easy to conform to, but they should be accepted as reasonable guidelines for behavior.  Teach your children and those you influence, and if the requirements for civilized, mature conversation are out of your reach, just abstain from conversations that prove too much for you.  None of us are above falling into these errors, but we can at least hold these virtues above ourselves and strive to acquire them.