The Salami’s End

(How we ruin a good thing.)

We are spoiled. In diverse ways this condition expresses the success of our society, our economy, and political system. The means we have created, enable us to finance anything that happens to be our fashionable fancy.

On the whole, the endless indulgences we make because the “repressive” word “no” has faded from our vocabulary, reminds of a permanent Christmas Day morning. Everyone gets something because others were also given packages to tear open.

Some of us operate under the delusionary assumption that “we can afford” the next concession. Here the “we” has a special meaning. It implies that not the person that nods will pay but that “others” will fork over the means to be spent on an advocate’s pet project. These “others” must cover the costs because they bear a guilt and as its result they can afford to pay. The culpability is that they have more than we do. It is therefore determined that for them paying for us is less painful than it would be for us to pay for ourselves. Hidden in this is a moralizing assumption that amounts to bad economics. Regarding the luxury or charging the bill to others, an inconvenient iron law of nature kicks in. It teaches us that a bad framework by which society regulates its wealth creation will, ultimately, bring it penury.

Without intending to negate the logic of progressive taxes, charging according to the “ability to pay” can deteriorate into legalized confiscation. Yes, it is easy to feel that we are diligent and competent. Therefore, those who wind up having more than we do must be beneficiaries of a trick. The advantage is undeserved; it is legitimate to undo it. Our wish to take what we think we deserve from those who “do not need it” punishes success. Once that happens, there will be less success and less work done. If in the first round, one takes to redistribute from those that have created wealth, then, for the second round, there will be little produced to give away. The empty store-shelves that downward leveling collectivism creates -see Venezuela- are not accidents but obdurate consequences.

To sum up, the assumption that, anyhow, “we can afford it” is a ruinous hoax that cannot invalidate the laws that make the world turn.

A symptom of spreading destructive capriciousness is that, with the help of pleasing mantras, we are told that no umbilical cord connects input and output or rights and obligations. Just take the case of the most demanding of all the duties we owe our community. No, that is not composting waste. The duty meant is military service. The naïve must be reminded that, as the crisis map shows, war is still a normal event. Ergo, the military is by no means an insurance against what cannot happen. Military service implies that the soldier risks his life for his community. Yet, armies are belittled in the West. That might ignore reality but it justifies the refusal to serve. Why sacrifice years for something that is senseless? Refusing to comply with nonsense is a reasonable act. In this light, taking orders is a superfluous restriction of freedom. That is allowed to convert the refusal to serve into an act of commendable civil courage from one of insubordination and a refusal to perform a duty.

The attempt to invoke, so as to justify self-serving exemptions as acts of principle-led courage, likes to use analogies to danger-laden exploits. Such a case is of recent date. The anniversary of Count Stauffenberg’s attempt to assassinate Hitler nears. Someone opined that this resistance has an analogy in the self-celebrated actions of cultish protesters. Does “Antifa” in 2019 in, say Portland, OR, equal the Wolfschanze in 1944? Try Tiananmen Square -today. Safer will be to march with Greta, or to block a road. Choosing an easy enemy known not to punch back is a wise act of self-protection. That still does not make it medal-worthy.
Let us take school and family education. It illustrates the handy “principles” that let the guardians of correct values skirt responsibility to please all. Parents are to pursue the goal of being good buddies to their children. Experts who enable one to swim without getting wet, provide fad-of-the-day theories about parenting and endorse anything that avoids “no”, and whatever that might socialize kids. Any guidance is compulsion that crushes the child’s individuality. Forbidding anything is violence that stunts personality development, and having to learn anything impedes the brain.

Avoided “socialization” has disastrous consequences. In school the number of undisciplined kids -white-washed “children with irregular comportment”- grows. That requires additional personnel and hinders the willing. Socialization through education is a community function that assures its smooth operation without compulsion. Cooperation is facilitated if certain norms that are specific to the community are accepted by individuals as their personal standard. There will be predictability and security because, without coercion, some things deemed to be useful will happen and other acts will hardly ever occur. Shared values build well-functioning and therefore successful communities. Where values are shared, state intervention is reduced to exceptional instances. All this provides a context within which freedom can thrive because liberty is prevented from deteriorating into license.

As a durable system, freedom presupposes a social agreement that defines its use. Where there is no sense of community, a vacuum opens up in the area of identity and purpose. This void is likely to be filled by an ideology to replace the missing natural glue needed to unite society. Its distinguishing feature will be to claim infallibility and to replace voluntary compliance with duress called “rule of virtue”.

Here a further matter is to bemoan. A sound country has the citizen’s primary loyalty. However, now society is fragmenting. As a secondary subject of identification, one used to have an affiliation to a region, a club, or a union. The new vogue is to identify with a fragment of the whole. To the detriment of patriotism, many are primarily loyal to a real or pretended race, a religion, a class, with the “rest” as the enemy.

Discernible developments in the public realm support the abstract point just made. The “nonviolent” advocates of their own moral superiority that do not shun force once it is safe, demand the freedom to not only voice their ideas but also that these be immediately implemented. On the double! The impatience expresses that a widening circle of people have become accustomed to get anything they want. First from their parents, then in school, followed by a diploma as a right, the immunity to disregard of laws they deem restrictive, and finally in the political process. To sum up: Demands progress from a chance to start to a guaranteed outcome.

A special form of self-indulgence is the insistence of some groups that they have a right to say anything they like paired with the privilege of not having to hear what upsets them. It is part of the picture that certain circles are ever more easily insulted by what does not fit their conception of reality. In fact, a race unfolds. The winner is whoever can get insulted first and bray loudest about the impairment of his dignity, internal peace, and convictions. Expect the insulted to quarrel about who may claim to be the most outraged among the offended.

Increasingly, a form of censorship is descending upon us. A new survey tells that only 18% of Germans feel confident to express publicly what 59% of them dare to share only in private. Languages are altered to avoid troubling those eager to claim to be victims of affront. Awkwardly, “mankind” becomes “humankind” and we have “Chairs” one cannot sit on. In some languages, imposed gender neutrality obfuscates meaning. Certain easily identified groups have achieved, to avoid prejudice, the right to a new name. Crime reports do not identify perpetrators that belong to a group with victim status. So, if a note tells “a man has….” then all conclude that his known traits demand protection. This kind of awkward silence feeds private prejudice.

A pattern spreads by which past victimhood ends in a claim of immunity in the present. Irresponsibility can become its own excuse to be followed by remedial rewards. Meanwhile, crime is not personal any more but an expression of society’s inadequacy. Such devious claims that masquerade as liberal leniency do not remedy social ills by creating firm bonds. Much rather the disintegration of society is furthered. Everyone shrewd enough to sense from where the wind blows, scurries seeking an advantage, to insert himself into a victim group that raises demands on society and excuses individuals.

The arbitrary profitable assertion of victimhood allows another observation. Once voiced, victimhood demands equal treatment irrespective of personal merit.

Classifying anything that takes notice of what should not be, as a proof of Nazism, makes nearly all cautious in their phrasing. A fall-out product is, that the curse’ inappropriate use in response of the trivial, devalues its meaning. The danger is that the term’s abuse will, in the mind of the poorly informed, legitimize real Nazism. The reasoning provoked might be “if I am a Nazi for wanting what most others also want, then Nazism cannot be what they say it is”. “Anti-Fa” groups that act out their instinct to demolish because their violence has a moral mantle, contribute to the trend. So does the attempt to make unruly behavior into a protected human right.

Legalizing the abuse of what is initially claimed to be a basic right, is another error of the subculture of those that are miseducated to believe that there can be a society without consequences. This is connected to what could be called the culture of accelerating demands. You might have observed the following that is presented without a specific so as not to insult the protected abuser.

It begins with a historically bequeathed denial of what we now consider to be a right. Let us say that equal treatment for an equal contribution has been denied. The logical demand seeking a just remedy, is to abandon -perhaps through an ordinance- unequal treatment. Overcoming a prejudicial disadvantage should, as implied during the struggle to achieve it, close the case. Frequently, at that juncture, a new plea is made. Past inequality has created deficits, therefore, to create equality, additional credit is due to those that belong to a once disadvantaged group. (Notice how the rejected special treatment enjoyed for group membership creeps back.) Once this adjustment is implemented, a third stage follows. Those with victim status will demand preferential treatment to reflect past suffering. As the dial moves from this point, a quota will follow. Quotas disregard qualifications and concentrate in a discriminatory manner, on inherited traits. The upshot: the condition that existed prior to the reform is restored -albeit with a new privileged category of persons.

One wonders, whether quotas can help their beneficiaries. Some quota-aided groups have not gained a foothold in majoritarian society because their dependence of a protector is perpetuated. If, due to “membership”, success is guaranteed regardless of effort, then striving is devoid of sense. Give someone seed and he can convert that into a living. To ruin him, give him flour and bake his bread.

Why is the long list of ruinous ways by which our civilization undermines itself not fully noticed? The phenomenon has to do with a distorted “right to not know”. The abuse of freedom is an easy way out of a controversy. Additionally, it appears to be financeable, and it convinces for it operates from a base of wishful thinking’s idealized reality. The pursuit of a self-liquidating fallacy depends on the ability to evade the confrontation with reality. Much is done to maintain the illusion that what does not function in fact works in the realm of a cleverly presented fiction.

Escaping the acknowledgement of facts is growing into a thriving industry. Take the mainstream press. Certain themes are taboo, and some persons appear only if wrapped in denigrating adjectives. Also, euphemisms serve to obscure matters, or unfitting terms -every migrant is a refugee-, are applied to improve appearances. Meanwhile, the news is tailored, such as when crime is underreported, and the criminal’s identity is, if he has protected status, kept under cover.

Universities dedicated to the objective examination of facts have “safe zones”, professors with the wrong view are not appointed or they are pushed out, and guests that represent disapproved causes must be disinvited to avoid riots. All this is enhanced by the coming UN-favored censorship of “hate” material on the internet.
The total result is an informally and institutionally enforced “right not to know”. It not only protects “snowflakes” from sunrays, it also deprives the open minded from accessing all aspects of controversial topics.

The rest is a walk with bandaged eyes through a dark space. It empowers elites that shun effective solutions, and it protects the political class’ ability to pull the strings. Nevertheless, although it might please some, bad government is a fatal luxury.
Even if a consensus exists that things are the way they should be, and not in their true shape, proclaiming an illusion to be reality remains self-deceit. Like the deficit caused by a government that bribes its people with their own money, the debt, in this case the shunned reality, will burden the next generation. Even if thinly sliced, and assured that one more will not matter, the salami, not unlike most other things, is finite. Its end must come, and at that point the careless fool winds up having nothing.

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