Accept the world as it is, not the way you wish it to be
Getting ready to see the doc in a few hours. Nerve-wracking.
Since I’ve not been able to do much with my free time with my leg, been working on a book on dating I’ve been meaning to write for a while. It’s a little different from what’s out there already but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, it’s probably exactly what you might expect.
One thing I have is a list of baseline beliefs that one has to have to get anything out of what I write and the first – very first – baseline belief is to “accept the world as it is, not as you wish it to be.”
It sounds simple, but it’s something that I don’t think I myself really did until I was in my 30s.
Brought this up with someone who immediately scoffed and said, “What about Rosa Parks? If she did that, black people would still be sitting in the back of the bus.”
Which I thought was odd because Rosa Parks is a perfect example for my baseline belief; I’m sure she wanted to punch that guy in the face. Or sue them for discrimination. But neither would have worked in her world. Which didn’t mean not to do anything, but to do things that made sense in her world. And quietly sitting there fit into that world.
And now, the ability to sue for discrimination exists in our world, because of her working within the restraints of her’s. Because it doesn’t mean giving up on wishing for it to be different.
It’s a fine distinction, which is why it’s so difficult.
Fast forward to now and we’re in our current US government shutdown. For those of you not in the US, there’s a brand of politics called, Libertarianism, which essentially calls on as little government as possible. People should just be responsible for themselves.
It’s one of those things that in theory is great; personal responsibility is great. But in practice, it’s difficult if not impossible. I admit that when I was younger, I was a firm believer in it.
As I got older I realized that the reason it’s near impossible is because what George Carlin said is true: Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
In short, Libertarianism it only accepts the world it wants, not the world as it is.
I’m off to get poked and prodded now, so I leave you with a paraphrase of a Salon.com column by The Week, June 21. In it, Michael Lind asked a simple question: “Why are there no libertarian countries?”
Modern states have tested all kinds of political philosophies, from fascism to communism to social democracy. But not one of the world’s 193 sovereign states – not even a tiny one – has adopted a full-on libertarian system, with very limited government, an unfettered free-market economy, decriminalized drugs, and no welfare or public education system. Yet libertarians still insist we’d all be happier in a system with an absolute minimum of government. Lacking real examples to prove their point, libertarians are forced to make lists of nations where there is a lot of “economic freedom,” with the lowest taxes and least regulation. That list includes such countries as Singapore, where economic liberty is paired with an oppressive police state, and Mauritius, a tiny island country with double the infant mortality rate of the U.S. and nearly triple its maternal mortality rate. Would you prefer to live in either place? Libertarianism, clearly, is based on a fantasy—that regulations, social safety nets, a strong military, and engagement abroad are unnecessary nuisances that can be discarded. Libertarians live not in reality, but in an “imaginary Utopia.”