Rout of the Rebel Angels, by William Blake

A Dog Starv'd

A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
      -- William Blake,
     "Auguries of Innocence"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Be Liberal? (1)

Fundamentals first: be liberal because you already -- irreversibly, fundamentally, biologically -- are liberal.

What happens at the cellular level as we go through life? Cells mutate. They grow, divide, multiply. They consume, they excrete; breathe in and out; become other cells, which become other cells, which hook up with yet more cells and become something entirely different.

And when we die? It all stops. That's not the result. It's the REASON we die. Death, at a cellular level, is indistinguishable from stasis.

Everyone wants to attain* comfortable, stable levels of activity. Everyone -- especially nowadays -- longs for yesterday, or the day before, or a day ten, twenty, thirty years ago. Like the scorpion's sting, nostalgia is in our nature, up here in the thin air at the top of Maslow's pyramid. So go ahead. Relax. You don't have to change everything, all the time.

But when we completely stop changing we don't go happily along from one day to the next, each tomorrow indistinguishable from each today which differs not at all from every yesterday. No. To stop changing, we must stop eating (to eat is to change one form of matter into another, or into raw energy). We must no longer sleep, for that is a change in state from consciousness to the alternative. And if we stop changing while asleep, we don't wake up.

When we stop changing, we die.

Conservatives, especially when operating in full-bore legislate-morality mode, often declare themselves as crusaders on behalf of life. Bullshit. They deny life itself.


* Note that that verb attain implies that you've made progress. Onward and upward, eh? And then when you get on and up, then what?

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