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Sunday, April 07, 2013

A Kierkegaardian Moment

The Future Eden of Ringworld

Kierkegaard's leap of faith described a recurring jump to bridge the gap between very different phases in human life. These are more like passages that dot our lives, rather than a one-time event.

I had a Kierkegaard moment ("K-jump") when writing about guns after Newtown.

I was just watching a 60 Minutes segment of the parents of the dead from Newtown, and their lobbying effort to persuade state legislatures to pass meaningful gun laws. (Part of the show includes the startling information that the Lanza mother's gun closet was in her son's bedroom !) My K-jump had come back in January after the moment I realized that there was no real common ground between a gun culture and a no-gun culture.
As long as guns are as plentiful as dandelions in a spring field, the best security there is in a school is more guards in the form of trained and armed guards. Otherwise, there will be too high a probability of mortal chaos.

There are nations and societies in the Western world which actually have gun control laws that work; we are ignorant of them. If we are aware of them, we belittle them in the exact same manner we belittled the UN weapons inspectors who said that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction program.

I think of the Gospels and I think of Gandhi, and my mind goes there.
Then I think of the American Revolution. Then Waco, which was an atrocity by any description. And I, too, have smoked the long burning weed of libertarian meth about repressive and dangerous government...

Then my mind goes to that place where guns are enshrined in the Second Amendment.
But then I am strongly drawn to the belief that the Second Amendment was not to guard against the US government - as the participants in the Whiskey Rebellion may have held - but to allow communities to defend themselves against Native American attacks and slave uprisings.

I did the K-jump when I realized that there is no common ground between the Gun Culture and the Non-Gun Culture.
Gun Culture does have its own logic, and the USA is uncovering it and implementing it.
Non-Gun Culture is possible in this violence-worshiping world only if we live according to the Sermon on the Mount or under the philosophy of Satyagraha of Gandhi, or the ways of peace of Islam and Judaism and Buddhism and all the other ways to the Holy which deny violence.

The Gun Culture is alien to me now, and so are all its manifestations in the near future. I hope to spend the rest of my life building a sanctuary where the way of Peace can be practiced; the sanctuary may be little more than a shelter where the remnants of the survivors of the politicians' destruction of the world economic system may huddle, or it may be a New Eden.
It is in the hands of God.

The one thing I do know is that there is no common ground between the old world of weapons and warfare and the new world of Peace and Truth. I admire the efforts of the Newtown parents, but I think they will soon discover that the logic of weaponry will overtake them.

I am sorry about this. I know that the paradigm is working together and negotiating, and I myself have said so. But this is not a matter of taxes or no taxes; taxes are not a moral issue. The definition of moral issue should not be extended by our greed to include all that a generation desires.
But the matters of the Sermon on the Mount are such matters, and they do not appear in the best light when we see them in the Big Easy which is the Present, the times of casuistry and avoidance of such morals; it is the Time of Paranoia and Thuggery.

Like the Amish withdrew, yet witnessed the slaughter of their Innocents at Nickel Mines.

The Present is a time-bomb.


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