"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Now I Understand...

...why people become Republicans.

I really do.

Saturday night, while mine and Katy's bikes were locked up outside of a friend's condo, her saddle and seat post were stolen, and my headlight was broken in the attempt as well. Even the headset on her bike was loose after they tried to take the handlebars and fork off, too.

Just the thought of some asshole with his hands on my property sent me into a frothing rage. Realizing he'd probably get less than five dollars for the seat post that I'd spend more than $50 replacing - including the saddle - induced a torrent of profanity to explode from my face as I threw the broken headlight down the alley, ricocheting off the wooden fence and splintering into pieces on the orange, streetlight-bathed pavement.

A group of people leaving for a party scooted past us, regarding me warily.

I'd barely lost $300 dollars worth of property and I was having fantasies about catching the motherfucker in the act. Angrily whipping my telescoping truncheon out, its malicious clacking sound - as it locked into place - would alert the thief to turn around just before it's hard black metal smashed into his jaw. His teeth would barely have time to hit the ground before I grabbed a handful of hair and dragged him out of view behind the dumpster where his pleas for mercy - bubbling through his own blood - wouldn't be heard by anyone else.

Even as I recognized the genuineness of my visceral reaction, I took a deep breath. Embarrassed, I realized I am of course better than that. Reaction is the dominating driver of people who don't or refuse to account for any of their own actions. I should've remembered the quick release on Katy's seat post and removed everything else that could've been stolen. Of course anything you leave out will get stolen. In fact, I needed to assume it would have and acted accordingly.

In other words...I should've acted proactively.

I'm not saying that Republicans are violent, of course. But I am saying the reactionary response that is typical of that line of thinking only gets us in more trouble. By simply cracking down on people stealing easily accessible property without addressing why the property is so easily acceptable or why they need to steal it to get a few dollars will never fix the problem. Shit will continue to get stolen and people will continue to react violently about it, police sanctioned or otherwise while nobody is any better off (except seat post makers and prison guards).

Along the Republican line of thinking, however, this is all fine, as long as we are not wasting time and money to remove the need to steal or blaming ourselves for why it got stolen.

This could really turn into a book, I suppose, so I will close with this: I can see why people identify with this ethos. Completely. I don't agree with it, yet I recognize the need for it as well. The essence or Republicanism is reaction - certainly an outlook that clarifies any situation and can be a way to reach a quick resolution - yet, unchecked and allowed to grow unabated, it becomes fascism. On the opposite end of the spectrum is pro-action, the essence of Democratic thought. It's dark-side is social-engineering, unchecked it becomes Communism. Both ironically find kinship in totalitarianism.

It is important to use both to play against each other, to counterbalance the system and keep it upright and strong. Truly great leaders recognize this principal and uphold it, at the expense of their own power and advancement.

"Nihilism? Fuck, Dude. Say what you want about tenets of National Socialism, but at least it's an ethos."
--- Walter Sobchek

1 comment:

Cliff H. said...

Yep, I think you are on to something.

"A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested."