“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tyranny is ugly. The only way to fight tyranny is to make your life as beautiful as possible.
That way, if tyranny ever knocks on your door with its usual mask of “good intentions,” it will likely expose itself for what it truly is — ghastliness masquerading as “help.”
It is a most rebellious act to create beauty in a world fixated on its own ugliness.
First, always rebel against the ugliness of dependence.
Tyranny often begins with good intentions.
But it goes well without saying the individual should always have a choice not to be dependent — especially on services created with good intentions.
If such a service, after all, stamps out opportunity in the name of providing itself, then it is of no service at all.
Yet, alas, humans are strange strangers. Many people seem to need to feel needed by people they do not know.
Some people have a special gift of looking right past the tree and seeing only a forest which needs someone to prune its tips collectively — usually a la the metaphorical (and sometimes not so figurative) carpet bomb.
And such people always have dangerous thoughts like, Well, if not me, then who?
These individuals feel in their heart of hearts they know better the direction all individuals must take (often without even having their own houses in order).
And once such power is acquired by such horrifyingly incessant do-gooders, it’s not normally given back. Rather, it’s passed along to the next conceited fool who has the “right” intentions.
Oftentimes, then, paradoxically, those addicted to the power to help are always the most self-serving.
The first order of business by the altruists is often to create borders and barriers around themselves. Arbitrary power over others, after all, requires arbitrary protection from competition and that usually requires increasingly bigger barbarians with more mettle, metal, brawn and aggression.
Such humanitarians build phantasms and moats in the name of protecting the most “vulnerable” from learning from their own mistakes — and fail to see the irony every step along the way.
Years pass by and the bleeding heart, so relentlessly concerned with things which have nothing to do with himself, hardly ever gains the self-consciousness necessary to realize what he’s become (or, more likely, what he’s been all along) — a misanthrope.
The only way to fight misanthropes is not to become one.
Powerful interests have always beaten back the bush of independence and demanded a certain level of servitude from those they’ve felt fit to lord over.
Technology and the free flow of information have certainly made this more difficult for the busybodies. But we should never underestimate that individual who sincerely believes his will is the will of what is good and right for those unfortunate enough to reside within range of its impact.
C.S. Lewis put it this way:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under of robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some points be satiated; but those who torment us for their own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
And H.L. Mencken said: “The urge to save the world is almost always only a false front for the urge to rule it.”
But here’s the good news…
Never before have citizens all over the world had more opportunity to break free from these powerful interests which take it upon themselves to try to control the wills of other people.
But when an individual is banned from building a tiny home on his property…
Or when he is barred from collecting rainwater falling on his soil…
Or when she is forced to destroy her vegetable garden on her land…
The entire fabric of what it means to be a living, breathing, creative individual is threatened. The beauty of life itself is threatened.
But there’s a way out of the madness.
Fight ugliness by making your life beautiful.
We are reminded of a quote from Albert Camus in his book, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt: “Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty.”
Fighting ugliness with ugliness only creates more of the same.
Hitting the streets and beating people up, blowing up buildings or even engaging in nasty conversation is exactly what those powers-that-were want you to do.
It only vindicates the ugly beast and adds to its legitimacy.
If one wants to rebel, one must fight ugliness with beauty.
The most revolutionary act, for example, would be to make your tiny home so beautiful, so sacred, it would be a cosmic crime to force it to be torn down.
The most rebellious thing you can do today is create a vegetable garden so gorgeous even the most hard-hearted melts in its presence.
Create rain barrels which make your neighbors gush and make them want them, too.
Place elegant solar panels on your house. Let your neighbors know how those panels can protect them as well if the power goes out.
And maybe they will be inspired to protect their neighbors — and their neighbors might do the same.
Beauty also has its own way of cascading.
Fight, then, tyranny’s dehumanizing force with the only weapon worthy of its weight — beauty.
That inexplicable quality of which we universally recognize and feel upon its sight, but is often beyond words. (Thus, beyond bickering.)
Living a life surrounded by beauty can protect you far better than violence, anger and ugliness.
You’ll never, after all, beat tyranny at its own game.
These days, it should be known, the most dangerous thing you can do is not dance.
Have a beautiful day,
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today