The Age of the Common Man
The Age of the Common Man, as Cooper termed it, is upon us. We have created a world of sensitivity and inclusion and community that is slowly choking out older values, values that helped to create this wonderful world we live in.
Ideas like community have replaced self reliance, sensitivity has replaced achievement and political correctness has made liars and cowards of us all. We no longer execute people for speaking their mind, but we take away their jobs, and livelihoods for offending someone who was bound and determined to be offended in the first place.
So, I present to you 6 questions that I would like the answer to. No one has ever been able to adequately explain to me the answers to these questions and I would welcome anyone trying. Maybe if someone just explained it to me I could rush forward and join the rest of the world in this new century.
Question 1: Why is peace a desirable goal?
This one really grates on my nerves. There is a youth pastor with whom I am acquainted and he insists on greeting me with the word “peace”, despite my protests. I see peace symbols on bumper stickers and clothing and I hear people on television call for “Peace Now”, “Peace in the Middle East” and “Peace for Darfur.”
The interesting thing about peace is that it is the easiest thing in the world to achieve. If peace is defined as the absence of strife, all one has to do to achieve peace is to lay down their arms and give up. Give in, stop fighting, surrender, acquiesce! All peace requires is for one group of people to give up their rights to another group of people and everyone can live together peacefully. So why doesn’t it happen more often?
If the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement would simple lay down their arms, surrender themselves to the government of Sudan and allow themselves and their families to be executed, there would be peace in Darfur this week. Is that a laudable goal?
The reason is that WAR SERVES A PURPOSE. People don’t want to give up. Some people are not made to be dominated by another and would rather die before they allow it. These are men and women for whom surrender is not an option. No war is more terrible than the thought of handing over your liberties to someone else, anyone else. They would rather fight and loose for freedom than to willingly be subjugated, and who can blame them? War is better than subjugation. War at least provides hope for a better future, where as subjugation does not.
Peace itself cannot be a goal. Peace itself is meaningless. Remember that the end of strife is not the end of suffering and that choosing to resist is not a vice, it can be a virtue.
Question 2: Why has the word “community” become more important than individuality in out lives?
When I was growing up the term “Self Reliance” was a very important concept. It meant that before you looked to take care of others, you made sure that you did not need someone else to take care of you. It meant that you found out your own worth to the world before you expected it to put a value on your abilities. It meant that you had a purpose and that you could be counted on.
In recent years that has all gone away and the concept of community has surpassed it. We are no longer judged by how well we can take care of ourselves but how well we fit in with the heard. This is unacceptable.
There was a time when being exceptional was something to be proud of, not it’s just looked on as being prideful.
In The Age of the Common Man, the nail that sticks out gets hammered.
Question 3: Why is sensitivity important?
I recently had to attend corporate sensitivity training along with the rest of my office. It was a very exhausting occasion. Apparently, sensitivity translates to making sure that nothing you do or say to anyone could ever be construed as offensive to anyone, anywhere.
We were repeatedly told that it is not what we say that matters, intent is irrelevant. What matters is how someone takes it. If they take offense at your statement, apparently, you have been insensitive.
What we say doesn’t matter? Excuse me? Did I hear that correctly? Shouldn’t it be the only thing that matters? Why should it ONLY be up to someone else to determine if my words are legitimate or can get me fired?
If it is not what I say that matters, but how someone else takes it, it is not longer my actions that matter, and therefore I cannot be held responsible in a free society. In a tyrannical society you are held subject to the emotional whims of another person.
Please name for me men and women that are known for great achievements, and their sensitivity? The reality is that most of the people that have achieved greatness have done it in very insensitive ways. Sensitivity is not a virtue. Kindness is a virtue, and we should all strive for it. But never mistake sensitivity for kindness.
The effect of sensitivity is that it keeps us from speaking truth. Sensitivity has made cowards and liars of us all. Congratulations.
Question 4: Why do people talk about safety like it is the ultimate goal of any action?
The phrase “Safety First” is a ludicrous, if not down right asinine comment to make. If safety were really the ultimate goal of any activity, nothing would ever get done. You see it’s a lot safer to do nothing at all rather than to do anything whatsoever.
Estimates vary greatly, but a good middle ground is that about 4,100 people die of accidental drowning every year in the United States. If safety really were first, shouldn’t we all stop bathing, swimming, fishing and boating?
If safety really were first, no one would have a dangerous job. No one would be offered hazard pay and nothing would ever get done. This is not to say that safety isn’t important, but it is not first and it is not the only motivating factor for getting a job done. The job matters also.
Another important issue is the concept of our free will to risk our lives if we so desire. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous but exhilarating. Shooting is dangerous but fun. Dangerous jobs tend to pay more than safe jobs that require similar skill levels. Reward requires risk, and it seems like recently we have forgotten that.
I think Mike Rowe addresses this best when he said “Safety third.”
Question 5: When did we lose the distinction between killing and murder?
There is a very clear distinction between these two concepts that has existed for the last 3,000 years that we know of, and probably much longer. Murder is defined as the unjust or unnecessary killing of another human being. To kill someone is to take their life and can be justified or necessary.
The original text of the Ten Commandments read “Thou shall not murder” as the Hebrew word for kill and murder are very different and could not be mistaken for each other. In Hebrew any taking of human or animal life is described as “harag”. This is roughly parallel to our concept of the verb to kill. The Hebrew word for murder is “ratsah”. It specifically means the criminal act of taking the life of another human.
Soldiers and police officers do not commit murder in the course of the disposition of their job. They kill as duly authorized agents of our government. Similarly when a man defends his home and family by killing an intruder, he has not committed murder he has merely killed a criminal.
I recently read of a woman that left her husband after he returned from Afghanistan because of “all the people he murdered as a soldier.” I would say that the woman should be ashamed of herself, and she should, but truth be told he is probably well rid of her.
A man should NEVER be sent to prison for defending himself or his family against an aggressor. This creates an environment where men of stout heart and good intentions must hesitate before they defend themselves or their families out of fear of reprisals from the government. This gives the scum of the earth an advantage over the righteous, and that cannot be tolerated.
Let us be done with this once and for all. To kill and to murder are two very different verbs only similar in the trivial sense that they both result in the cessation of human life. The concepts behind them are worlds apart.
Yes, I meant to use the word trivial.
Question 6: Why am I expected to accept the warped, cruel or inappropriate behavior of others simply because they are different than me?
Diversity! There are many things on this list that grate on my nerves, but this one legitimately pisses me off. I am a man that openly and cheerfully welcomes the differences between me and others. No, I don’t want to live in a world where everyone looks, acts and dresses alike.
However there are behavior and attitudes that I REFUSE to accept based on “cultural relativity”. No where is there a clearer example of this than in the way that many cultures treat women. Violence toward women is violence toward women and there is no context in which it should be tolerated. I don’t care if that’s just the way they do it over there, or if that’s what their holy books tells them to do, or if I just don’t understand.
I will never accept violence toward women, and I don’t care how insensitive that makes me. I will never accept concepts like forced incest and honor killings, no matter how common they may be in other parts of the world. Rape is never acceptable.
God knows that Western culture has its fair share of ills, and yes we should address them and improve where we can. But just because we are not perfect does not mean that we have to stand by and watch as atrocities are committed in other countries or in our country simply because it is part of their culture.
We have to learn to separate the stuff that doesn’t matter from the stuff that does, and when it matters we should never accept the dastardly acts of cowards simply because they are different than us.
If there is anybody that cares to disagree with this, please let me know. I am legitimately eager to hear from you.
About the Author:
Shooter is a marketing specialist from Louisiana. He is well read, and fairly well adjusted to a world that no longer cherishes men of the caliber it once did. In the age of the common man, uncommon virtue is no longer politically correct.
As his nom de guerre suggests he is an inveterate shooter, an amateur philosopher and an occasional writer and is the co-founder of The Institute of Man.