Just Following Orders

by doomdigit

It is most amusing to see “the government” try to punish everyone during the shutdown.  In the spirit of Daniel Goldhagen I want to know who specifically is just following orders to close public places that should not be affected by the shutdown.  Incidents like this just reinforce in my mind how easy it is for a single little man, the most cowardly and effeminate in the nation, even, to exert his will–lawful and unlawful.  I had lost all hope for resistance when the TEA Party was dissuaded from throwing tea in a pond because ……they did not have permits.  But resistance can take time to develop, and thankfully people are ignoring the will of a little man, at least in one small area.  Hopefully the little man keeps overreaching.

What strange phenomenon is this?  What name shall we give it?  What is the nature of this misfortune?  What vice is it, or, rather, what degradation?  To see an endless multitude of people not merely obeying, but driven to servility?  Not ruled, but tyrannized over?  These wretches have no wealth, no kin, nor wife nor children, not even life itself that they can call their own.  They suffer plundering, wantonness, cruelty, not from an army, not from a barbarian horde, on account of whom they must shed their blood and sacrifice their lives, but from a single man; not from a Hercules nor from a Samson, but from a single little man.  Too frequently this same little man is the most cowardly and effeminate in the nation, a stranger to the power of battle and hesitant on the sands of the tournament; not only without energy to direct men by force, but with hardly enough virility to bed with a common woman!  Shall we call subjection to such a leader cowardice?  Shall we say that those who serve him are cowardly and faint-hearted?  If two, if three, if four, do not defend themselves from the one, we might call that circumstance surprising but nevertheless conceivable.  In such a case one might be justified in suspecting a lack of courage.  But if a hundred, if a thousand endure the caprice of a single man, should we not rather say that they lack not the courage but the desire to rise against him, and that such an attitude indicates indifference rather than cowardice?  When not a hundred, not a thousand men, but a hundred provinces, a thousand cities, a million men, refuse to assail a single man from whom the kindest treatment is the infliction of serfdom and slavery, what shall we call that?  Is it cowardice?  Of course there is in every vice inevitably some limit beyond which one cannot go.  Two, possibly ten, may fear one; but when a thousand, a million men, a thousand cities, fail to protect themselves against the domination of one man, this cannot be called cowardly, for cowardice does not sink to such a depth, any more than valor can be termed the effort of one individual to scale a fortress, to attack an army, or to conquer a kingdom.  What monstrous vice, then, is this which does not even deserve to be called cowardice, a vice for which no term can be found vile enough, which nature herself disavows and our tongues refuse to name?

Étienne de la Boétie, Translated by Harry Kurz, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (New York: Free Life Editions, 1975), 43-44.


9 Comments to “Just Following Orders”

  1. This year I saw an interesting shift in power in the critter KZ. The geese used to be undisputed kings of the pond–they decided who was allowed to swim and who had to stand (at a proper distance, of course) at the edge and watch. Only when the geese were finished swimming around (and they took their sweet time) could the other ducks enter. The geese made a big show of leaving, but the ducks were not allowed to rush the procession or they would be chased/raped away. Eventually the geese allowed the ducks to enter. A couple days ago, two scrawny Indian Runner drakes chased the two geese out of the pond. It was amazing and to me completely unpredictable! Who could have guessed that the dread geese would lose their crowns? I felt a tinge of sorrow for them when they honked mournfully as they quickly waddled away from the pond. The whole process started when they let the other ducks in the pond. They and their Khaki lackey were secure for a while, but at the end of the year the geese lost their crowns.

  2. I like how you tie things back to your animals, Doomie.

    Man is an animal. Probably 99% with 1% rational and logical. The psychology of fear and greed is a very rich area. How often in sports we see an undefeatable champion peak, then slowly decline, then that first big scare. Others see victory is possible, then he becomes common again. We see it in finance, women’s looks, careers, everywhere.

    And so it will be with us. No one is ever invincible. Not Tiger Woods, not Bjorn Born, not Tim Wise, Obama or the USG itself.

    All it would take, to change things dramatically in WN is one man being successful and getting away clean. That’s the example needed, that’s our 4 minute mile. We wait for the man who can do it.

    The mistake of the ducks is to allow the geese to live. The ducks will rule, then grow fat and lazy. The first small crack will appear, then the deluge will fall and the geese will rule the pond again.

    • I meant to add more, but forgot. The pecking order is very important. Any public loss of face must be redressed if possible. In one case, a chicken low in the order was publicly challenged and pecked around. Immediately afterwards this chicken sought out a lower bird to peck. In this case it happened to be a finch that unfortunately made it’s nest near the chickens’ favorite resting spot. In another case worth noting, a rooster (before they were killed) kicked a turkey. The turkey retaliated and punted the bastard like a football. The rooster immediately sought out a weak chicken to pick on.

      The geese are afraid of the turkeys for some reason, even though they do not have a hateful bone in their tasty bodies. It’s possible that the ducks saw this reaction (they aren’t afraid of turkeys) and realized they should readjust the pecking order.

      The relevance involves Obama’s overreach. He must react to this public challenge. He must seek out a defenseless critter to pick on or risk losing everything. There are all sorts of invisible battles being waged, but people can sense them and react accordingly.

      • Turkey’s are bigger than geece. It’s a primal fear of a larger animal. People have it as well. There’s always a pecking order. The little peckers stay away from the big peckers.

        How do you think the animals think of you, Doom? A god perhaps? Do they fear you, love you, or both?

  3. Cicero said:

    In times of war, Laws are silent

    For war to be so important to humanity (in both negatives and positives) christianity says much too little about it; that is a glaring oversight approaching grave error, which we were told God does not make.

    Perhaps an improved – advanced – latter religion like Islam was created to excuse or justify war. Islam silences the mewling, pacifist ideals about “turning the other cheek” and “thoushaltnotkill!” That is especially foolish on an Islam exploiting neutered enemies as it saws the heads off Xtians.

    Xtians who follow this to its ultimate end realize “the end of the world” comes about when every xtian is martyred and eradicated thusly by their enemies. God then comes down off his throne and destroys earth. That’s as foolish a plan as Animal Rights activists shutting down a slaughterhouse by jamming its machinery with puppies and kittens.

    Xtians martyr themselves in death from their enemies, while Muslims martyr themselves by killing their enemies.

    It is the major reason The West wanes…

  4. This was written before Napoleon. The title links to the work which is available for free, no strings attached.

  5. I LUV how doomski can reduce EVERYTHANG to chickens, like stock, gravy and McNuggetz.

  6. my impression is that this shutdown charade isn’t getting the traction previous “crises” have generated. anyone with a brain knows it is nonsense. the fact that they are stretching to maximize the negative and making so little progress with their empty narrative shows that the mask is slipping… the launch of obongocare is likewise going over like a fart in church… still USG will win because there is as of yet no countervailing narrative to replace the corpse

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