Fireside Chat on the All-or-Nothing Gamble
02 August 2015
Good Evening, Friends.
I want to point out to you the trees and the bushes in the city, the plant life that goes unnoticed as long as it does not become unmanageable. Think of how well-trimmed and manicured, how tame they are. They live where we allow them to live and within the limits we have set for them. Should they grow out of the space or the shape we imagine is best, we trim their branches and put them back in line.
But is there much difference with how we treat our fellow man? We have set invisible yet commonly accepted boundaries all around us, and if someone exceeds those limitations, he is reviled. It is better to say he “transgresses” than “exceeds,” for those arbitrary limitations are called “laws” when it is our fellow man we seek to trim and keep tame.
Many believe that this is the evil of Government, but it is not. The Government is merely a symptom of the human condition. Look to the family, who chastise, punish, or disown the daughter who preferred witchcraft to Sunday service. Look to the community, where neighbors whisper gossip about the stranger down the street. Look to the school, which stamps out wherever it can the fires of creativity and independence. And this carries on to all bodies of human society.
Thou shalt not challenge thy Government or set out to change it.
Thou shalt not diverge from the official Party platform or think for yourself.
Thou shalt not inquire into subjects outside of the university curriculum.
Thou shalt not take matters into thine own hands or exclude the police from thine affairs.
Thou shalt not live a dangerous life and snub the peace we cherish.
Thou shalt not think or act in ways that make us uncomfortable.
And is this not the greatest commandment of them all? We do not want those around us behaving in ways that challenge our preconceived notions of what is acceptable. This is the true totalitarianism of human society. We are allowed to think and to speak only within the arbitrary bounds agreed upon by the masses as tolerable.
Like the shrubs of the city, we are cut down to size: we are ostracized when we think unpopular things; we are derided as insane when we question what everyone around us believes; we are turned on when we want something more than our lot in life; we are fired when we fail a drug test at work; we are demoted when we challenge our superiors; we are ridiculed when we dress differently. To live in human society is to live among shear-happy gardeners.
How, then, are we to branch out? How are we to expand to our full potential? I answer unequivocally: With great daring, and without permission. And as we break free from these restrictions, let us not fall into idleness and apathy. We must break not only our own chains, but the chains of humankind. I say let us keep pushing once we have broken through our personal confines. If there is one thing most essential to my vision of the future, one core upon which all else is built, it is this: the will to transcend our limitations.
Our ancestors set out into the great sea and across wild lands; our grandparents’ generation journeyed into outer space; is our generation to be the ebb of this great flood? Are we but the weak sons of tired fathers? Our ancestors developed alchemy into chemistry and created modern medicine; our grandparents’ generation broke through to technology that shattered all concepts of human capacity. And now, will our generation resign itself to creating new technology for the sole purpose of mindless entertainment? Do we now abandon discovery & true innovation in search of mere profits?
To do so would mark our debasement of freedom. For what difference does it make to be free from something? History will judge us more severely on what we were free for. And what is your freedom for, dear listener? To watch whatever television program you like? To keep more of your money from the Government? To smoke marijuana? But I tell you, My Fellow Americans, that there are bigger things to be had in life.
I want the freedom to pursue interdimensional travel & fantastical scientific endeavor. I want the freedom to sail upon sea vessels exploring black waters unknown. I want the freedom to search the innermost and outermost mind, entheogens consulted as keys on the warden’s ring. I want the freedom to create new forms of organic life like paintings and sonnets, to unearth new blacknesses in order to challenge a new breed of conquerors.
None of this can be done while we bicker over welfare and public housing. We cannot push forward while we labor over accommodations for the handicapped, while we handicap the schools so the slowest can keep up. We cannot travel to the stars and beyond if we are stuck in the mire, fighting like pigs over scraps in the trough. Instead of creating a great civilization, we waste our best legal minds on trite arguments over the trivial intricacies of absurd laws. Instead of seeking to transcend our biological limitations, we set our best medical minds to prolonging the life of the barely living.
To be clear: Our shortsighted obsession with alleviating the petty pains of humanity will cost us our opportunity for greatness. America, I want to remind you of something you have long forgotten: Life is not measured by the money in your bank account or the mindnumbing comfort of the television screen. Life is about risk & daring, honor & sacrifice, love & beauty. Our country is not a hive, and man is not the insect he pretends to be.
So, My Fellow Americans, I present to you an all-or-nothing gamble: Let us seek greatness, or let us perish. Let us rise up and claim our freedom, or let us quickly fade away. Let us conquer, or let us end.