Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Pattern-chaser »

subatomic wrote: May 11th, 2021, 3:58 am Isn't this just anarchism, or philosophical anarchism, where people believe that we would all survive if everyone acted on moral values, and thus we wouldn't need a government because people would regulate themselves?
Yes, I think it is.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Robert66 »

'If anyone's plan to 'save the world' or do charity requires committing rape, murder, or other non-defensive violence, then let me give that person fair warning they need to be ready to fight me to death.'

I cant decide what this reminds me of. Either John Cleese in a Monty Python scene, or a US president a.k.a. the World's Police Chief.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Julius Otieno »

Scott wrote: January 23rd, 2021, 9:37 pm One of my family members sent me the following question, and about eight or nine paragraphs into writing my blabbering reply, I decided to copy my answer here.
I'm interested in your thoughts on how society would function if people were truly free to do whatever they wanted. As in, if government doesn't make any rules that services need to be available to all, would that make the inequalities and injustices better or worse? People are kinda **** and I imagine there would be groups of people deprived entirely of essential services. For example, if there are only a handful of doctors in a state qualified to treat a rare medical condition and all of them refuse to serve people who are left handed, lefties would be SOL.
What a great question! :)

First, I want to say that the majority of my philosophy and the best aspects of my philosophy, in my opinion, are not political. My beautiful glorious non-political overall philosophy is centered around a deep value for spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) and a transcendence of flesh and of fear of death. My first tattoo was a stoic meditation, "Memento Mori", which is Latin for "remember you will die". I put that stoic meditation on my left arm where I see it every day.

Political philosophy mostly only interests me to the extent that it acts as an analogue for my spiritual philosophy of spiritual freedom. For instance, self-government can act as an analogue of self-discipline, and self-employment can act as an analogue of both of self-government and self-discipline.

Primarily, the authorities and enslavements I seek to firmly, stubbornly, and defiantly reject are much more than merely petty political ones. I suspect generally only those people who are way too attached to the material world of the flesh could care very much about the topical human politics of a sliver of time on a tiny planet in an endless sky.

One reason all of that is important to note is because it speaks to this point: I don't believe in "shoulds" or "oughts" or other moralizing. So if hypothetically I'm asked "what should the government do" or "what ought my neighbor do", I cannot answer. There are no shoulds or oughts in my philosophy, only cans and cannots; and then from ‘can’ there is only do and do not. In my philosophy, there is no ought, no should, and no try. I can tell you what I will or would do, and only time and happenstance will tell if my answer is honest and true.

With all that said, I agree that humans are **** (and arrogant, selfish, cowardly, short-sighted, addiction-prone, and self-righteous). Man is not fit to govern man. No human on this planet is fit to wield the power of non-defensive violence, especially not of the state-sponsored variety.

The idea of the benevolent dictator is an impossible naive pipe dream, in my opinion. The idea of a mob of people acting as a multi-person benevolent dictator is even worse and more absurdly impossible. It may falsely sound pleasant in random specifics (e.g. "let's use non-defensive violence to end world hunger") but it is easily shown to be an absurd impossibility. Impossible imaginary ends are used to justify foolish means, the foolish means being namely non-defensive violence such as murder and rape.

If anyone's plan to 'save the world' or do charity requires committing rape, murder, or other non-defensive violence, then let me give that person fair warning they need to be ready to fight me to death. I believe not only in the principle of "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," but also I believe equally in the broader principle from which that one is derived: "I strongly dislike what you do, but I will defend to the death your right to do it."

I don't care how noble the Noble thinks the end goal of their prima nocta is, or how legal of a raping it is, I would still rather die as a William Wallace than live to become a murderer, rapist, or coward--to sacrifice the one thing that is worth anything: self-discipline, self-ownership, and spiritual freedom, three different phrases that all mean the same exact thing to me.

I don’t philosophically agree, but I understand why an act utilitarian would hypothetically commit murder, rape, or slavery as a perceived lesser of two evils, such as by murdering an anti-left-hand doctor's child to coerce the doctor into saving two left-handed children against his will, presumably as a form of utilitarian slave labor. A more traditional philosophical thought experiment is to murder a fat man by pushing the fat man in front of a train to save 5 others.

I would still rather fight a good-hearted act utilitarian to the death to defend the mean doctor from slavery, or to defend the fat man from murder, than violently enslave a doctor myself or violently murder a fat man myself.

But in practice such act utilitarianism never works anyway for many reasons. One is that humans are too selfish and foolish to do utilitarian calculations with any reliability. For example, in real life, those claiming that committing murder, slavery, and rape is for the greater good in a utilitarian sense are simply mistaken, like a child failing his math homework. More often, they are self-serving liars who know they are playing a shell game. In another example, most people’s utilitarian calculations are biased and perverted by their own denial-ridden dishonest fear of death. For instance, any accurate trolley problem needs to have a loop in it very closely because the trolley is going to get us all very soon. You can’t save any human from death ever; we are all going to die very soon. The best you can do is postpone a human's death for a little bit. I've heard many different wise people say, we all die, but we don't all really live.

You show me a self-proclaimed act utilitarian, and I'll show you a lying hypocrite who doesn't donate enough food to starving children and doesn't donate enough organs to dying patients. If one is an organ donor and an honest act utilitarian, then I ask that person, "why don't you slit your organ-donating throat right now?"

So even though I would still oppose rape, murder, slavery and other non-defensive violence even if it was utilitarian, ten times out of ten I will bet that my way (namely peaceful non-violence) happens to be the utilitarian way anyway, at least if we limit ourselves to the practical and truly possible. To illustrate, I definitely believe that, if somehow society suddenly became much less violent (and thus by extension there was much more political localism, self-government, decentralization, and individual freedom), then there would also be less children starving to death every day and less kids being blown to pieces by drone strikes. I don't think so many thousands and thousands of children are starving to death because there is too little state-sponsored violence; I think the opposite is the case. While utopia might not be possible, I believe less violence would lead to much less children starving. For example, I definitely think I myself would personally donate more to useful charities if less of my money was forcefully taken from me to fund the military industrial complex.

But please don't think that me giving those hypothetical examples of the utilitarian benefits of the current violent plutocracy suddenly backing off so that we can enjoy the wonderful fruits of a much more peaceful society are meant to imply shoulds or oughts.

Nope.

Rather, we each have to choose for ourselves what we ourselves will do. Our freedom of spirit precedes and supersedes that of any politics or fleshy happenstance. I must choose for myself whether I murder, rape, and enslave others or not. I must choose for myself whether or not I vote in favor of murder, rape, slavery, or other non-defensive violence. When the Nazis come after the Jews, I must choose for myself whether or not I break the law and hide Jews in my attic or follow the law and turn them in. When I am given the choice to commit murder for a Nazi to prove my loyalty, and thereby live another day, or have myself and my whole family murdered by the Nazis as punishment for my peaceful civil disobedience, I must choose whether I will murder one to save multiple including myself or die as a defiant free stubborn peaceful man. Live as a murderer or die? If that choice is presented to me, I choose death, or at least I hope to have the courage and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) to honor the promise I have made here and bravely choose death for me and my family instead of becoming a murderer, rapist, or enslaver.

The reality of humans isn't that they are bad at designing diets, but that they are bad at sticking to their own diets, at maintaining honest spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) in the heat of fleshy discomfort and in the face of those or that which would say, "eat the cake; break your diet and eat the cake". But sometimes it's not cake that a voice in your head that is not you says to eat; sometimes it is not a delicious drink of alcohol that a voice in your head that is not you says to drink; sometimes the voice is from an external Nazi, the politics aren't an analogue, and the cake is an innocent person you could violently murder, rape, or enslave. I chose to say no. I choose to disobey, to disobey both the Nazi with a gun to my head and the egoic voices in my own head pretending to be me. If you have ever been on a tough diet, you won't doubt me when I say it may be the latter that it takes more self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) to disobey. I've never been addicted to drugs, but I imagine it too may be tougher spirtually than having a literal Nazi put a gun to your head and telling you to either murder one person or watch your whole family die as punishment for your disobedience.

Each person is stuck choosing for themselves. What will you choose?

You have to choose for yourself.

Because unlike political freedom, when it comes to spiritual freedom, slavery is a dishonest illusion built on denial and resentful rejection of reality. You are always 100% in control of your choices. When it comes to your choices, there is no try. There is only do or do not. But many humans resentfully reject that reality, and cling to the comfort of their own imagined slavery, as self-delusional as it may be, thinking ignorance is bliss. The so-called bliss of ignorance and dishonesty may indeed be comfortable, but insofar as it is then I wish to avoid comfort and seek out and embrace discomfort. Kierkegaard wrote, "anxiety is the dizziness of freedom". Kierkegaard didn't mean political freedom, but freedom of spirit.

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who wrote, "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." Shaw's words help show the analogousness between mere political freedom and grander spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline). In a Shaw-like way, we can say that the spiritual freedom that is self-discipline means self-responsibility, and that is why most humans not only dread it but also desperately lie to themselves in anxious dreadful resentful denial of this most obvious truth: Spiritually, you are free whether you like it or not. Whether one likes it or not, the obvious truth is that one's choices are 100% one's own. Nobody can make you a murderer or a rapist; you would have to choose that yourself. Nobody can make you choose to intentionally and knowingly commit non-defensive violence (such as but not limited to murder, slavery, and rape), you would have to choose it for yourself. Whether you like it or not, the choice is 100% yours.

Voltaire wrote, "man is free at the instant he wants to be."

To paraphrase yet more thinkers who are probably wiser than I am, in this case Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Emiliano Zapata, I believe liberty and non-violence are the mother, not the daughter, of order, and regardless I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
Going by the edict of live and let live, we presume that if everyone is left to their own devices society will morph into something good.
This constitutes a fundamental flaw of the idea which arises from misunderstanding of the constitution of man.
Humans are not rational beings. Frederick Bastiat noted that in every human there is a fatal flaw & that is to live & develop when they can at the expense of others.
In the absence of any moral standard & if freedom is given on a platter chaos would ensue. This necessitates balancing of societal structure and total freedom.
Further, blanket freedom will lead to societal ills and decay. Emile Durkheim in ‘Suicide’ noted that it is not the lack of freedom that causes decay but what is done as a result of that freedom.
And if people are left to do whatever they want they likely don’t have mental fortitude to bear the consequences of their actions. Dostoevsky in ‘Crime and Punishment’ warns of the dangers & delusions of people exercising unbridled freedom even if they escape punishment. Raskolnikov escapes punishment but he cannot escape his conscience which is present in all humans.
To that end we should seek to protect humanity from the imperfect human nature & blanket liberty by preserving the institutions, laws & norms that make liberty available.
The only way to do this is when people who have proven to be competent, moral and knowledgeable govern other men.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Slavedevice »

I agree that the average man (which make up the majority of votes) is too stupid for his (or society) own good! Am I wrong? So mathematically, democracy is not the most efficient system. Nothing in nature works on democracy. Nothing in the corporate world works on democracy.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Slavedevice wrote: August 4th, 2021, 2:37 pm I agree that the average man (which make up the majority of votes) is too stupid for his (or society) own good! Am I wrong?
In my view, yes. The "average man" thinks that he is better than others at most things; 80% of people believe they are above average.... Those who are intelligent believe they are superior to those less well endowed. But perhaps some of those intelligent people are so lacking in understanding that they believe intelligence alone is all a human needs to make them fit for governance? There are so many other qualities that many might feel necessary and appropriate for governance. And what of those who really are below average in one area or another? Must they be disenfranchised, even though they are contributing members of society, just as everyone else is?
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Steve3007 »

Pattern-chaser wrote:80% of people believe they are above average
I know I'm a nit-picking pedant to say this, but they could be right, depending on how the word "average" is being used. If it's "mean", then the vast majority of people in the world have slightly more than the average number of legs, for example. It would be perfectly possible for everybody in the world except one to have a slightly lower than average level of pedantry if that one person was a huge pedant.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Steve3007 wrote: August 5th, 2021, 7:16 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:80% of people believe they are above average
I know I'm a nit-picking pedant to say this, but they could be right, depending on how the word "average" is being used. If it's "mean", then the vast majority of people in the world have slightly more than the average number of legs, for example. It would be perfectly possible for everybody in the world except one to have a slightly lower than average level of pedantry if that one person was a huge pedant.
You are right of course, but only in unusual circumstances. People believe they are of above average intelligence, strength, morality or dexterity (to offer several examples), not just pedantry. 😋
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Slavedevice »

The question was not a moral question of who “should “ have a say. The question was who is FIT to make decisions that affect the world. I agree that intelligence is not the only part of what makes a person. I just said democracy takes much longer to advance us.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Scott »

subatomic wrote: May 11th, 2021, 3:58 am Isn't this just [...] where people believe that we would all survive if everyone acted on moral values,
No, absolutely not.

As stated in the OP, I do not believe in morality or moral values. In the OP, I wrote in part the following:
Scott wrote: January 23rd, 2021, 9:37 pmI don't believe in "shoulds" or "oughts" or other moralizing. So if hypothetically I'm asked "what should the government do" or "what ought my neighbor do", I cannot answer. There are no shoulds or oughts in my philosophy, only cans and cannots; and then from ‘can’ there is only do and do not. In my philosophy, there is no ought, no should, and no try. I can tell you what I will or would do, and only time and happenstance will tell if my answer is honest and true.

***

subatomic wrote: May 11th, 2021, 3:58 am We need someone to regulate us.
Why do we need someone to regulate us?

Is the someone a human, or (even more frightening in my opinion) a group/mob of humans?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by Scott »

@Julius Otieno, thank you for your reply!
Scott wrote: January 23rd, 2021, 9:37 pmI don't believe in "shoulds" or "oughts" or other moralizing. So if hypothetically I'm asked "what should the government do" or "what ought my neighbor do", I cannot answer. There are no shoulds or oughts in my philosophy, only cans and cannots; and then from ‘can’ there is only do and do not. In my philosophy, there is no ought, no should, and no try. I can tell you what I will or would do, and only time and happenstance will tell if my answer is honest and true.

[...]

Kierkegaard wrote, "anxiety is the dizziness of freedom". Kierkegaard didn't mean political freedom, but freedom of spirit.

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who wrote, "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." Shaw's words help show the analogousness between mere political freedom and grander spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline). In a Shaw-like way, we can say that the spiritual freedom that is self-discipline means self-responsibility, and that is why most humans not only dread it but also desperately lie to themselves in anxious dreadful resentful denial of this most obvious truth: Spiritually, you are free whether you like it or not. Whether one likes it or not, the obvious truth is that one's choices are 100% one's own. Nobody can make you a murderer or a rapist; you would have to choose that yourself. Nobody can make you choose to intentionally and knowingly commit non-defensive violence (such as but not limited to murder, slavery, and rape), you would have to choose it for yourself. Whether you like it or not, the choice is 100% yours.

Voltaire wrote, "man is free at the instant he wants to be."

To paraphrase yet more thinkers who are probably wiser than I am, in this case Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Emiliano Zapata, I believe liberty and non-violence are the mother, not the daughter, of order, and regardless I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
Julius Otieno wrote: May 19th, 2021, 5:54 am
Going by the edict of live and let live, we presume that if everyone is left to their own devices society will morph into something good.
This constitutes a fundamental flaw of the idea which arises from misunderstanding of the constitution of man.

[Emphasis Added.]
Who is the "we" making that presumption?

I am not presuming that.


Julius Otieno wrote: May 19th, 2021, 5:54 amHumans are not rational beings. Frederick Bastiat noted that in every human there is a fatal flaw & that is to live & develop when they can at the expense of others.
I agree that humans are irrational and prone to selfish and predatory behaviors, which is why I say humans are not fit to govern, meaning not fit to wield the power of non-defensive violence.

Julius Otieno wrote: May 19th, 2021, 5:54 amTo that end we should seek to [...]
I disagree that we "should" do anything. I don't believe in shoulds.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom

Post by EricPH »

Peace on Earth should be so easy. We just have to recognise that we have to treat others in the same way we want to be treated. We should say, what can I do to make my country a better place. How can I leave the world a better place for my children and grandchilren's generation.

Sadly self interest wins most times. If you are lucky enough to earn more than thirty dollars a week, then you earn more than three billion people today.

True justice and fairness would mean those very lucky people who earn more than a hundred dollars a week, should take a pay cut to share with those less fortunate.

We all know this can never happen, because we put ourselves and our own families first. Self interest wins at the expense of those less fortunate. Sadly I am part of the problem too.
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