A BEAR STORY FOR JASON … WITH HOPE
by Dale Coberly
A BEAR STORY FOR JASON
[Jason is a “Libertarian” who recently tortured his brain to produce a proof that we have no obligation to help anyone else, because they are probably bad or will sometime, if given the chance, do something bad.]
A long time ago I saw a film clip. I don’t know who shot it or how. A hero, but not the hero of this story. The film opens on a mountainside where a bear has found a dead elk, or killed it himself. We are not told. It doesn’t matter.
The bear is just sitting down to dinner when around a shoulder of the mountain come four wolves. The wolves see the bear and his dinner, look at each other and laugh and laugh. They surround the bear on all four sides (bears have four sides). One wolf bites the bear on the butt. The bear turns to face him, … turning his butt to second wolf, who bites him. Turns to face second wolf… and this goes on, but not for long.
The bear knows he can’t win this fight so he throws up his hands and says, “You want this old carcasse? Fine! You can have this old carcasse.” And he ambles away down the mountainside. The wolves watch him go, lauging so hard they can’t eat.
I remembered this clip with smiles for years. Then the other day I saw another clip. Again, I don’t know who shot it or how. This one had a narrative. It opens on a wolf lying in leaves in a forest. She is a new mother and has not eaten in too long.
Her husband is away looking for something to eat, when two crows fly over yelling “awwwrk, awwwrk!” Wolves love crows because this means they have seen food and will lead them to it. So mother wolf calls her man, “owwwooooo!” And together they go to see what the crows have found.
They found four bears with a big dinner. Ahem. This is not a story about four wolves and one bear, This is a story about four bears and… well, let us see. The wolves size up the situation and very quickly come up with a plan. Father wolf charges the smallest, and probably the youngest and hopefuly the least experienced, bear who panics and runs away.
The other bears hear him yelling and leave their dinner to go help him. At which time Mother wolf rushes in and grabs the biggest piece of dinner she can carry and heads for home. The bears realize they have been had and return to what’s left of their dinner, just a little grumpy at the littlest bear.
Meanwhile Father wolf stands at a distance watching Mother eat. She needs it more than he does.
[The “hope” in the title is the hope that Jason will understand this and stop playing with “proofs” that lead him into evil thoughts.]
Good luck with that. It does not matter whether or not we can bear Libertarians. We have no plans to kill them all, so that is that. Ironically though, even Libertarians have a larger social network than the Steppenwolf.
From what I know of Hesse, he was very uncomfortable with the duality within himself. His upbringing was very civilized and orthodox. His was a spiritual search for identity and, as such, his inner duality formed a kind of intellectual crisis for him.
My dad was an illiterate Cherokee half-breed mountain man. My upbringing formed me into a natural autodidact and stoic. The difference between spiritual crisis and profound spiritual gift is often just a matter of perspective.
From what I know of Jason Brennan (all learned here at AB over the last few days – never heard of him before) he, like most of our contemporary Libertarians is actually an Objectivist. The property argument is really the objectivist argument, directly in opposition to all forms of collectivism. Before Reagan, Libertarians identified more with Acton’s warning of absolute power; i.e. were anti-statist rather than anti-collectivist. Ayn Rand called Libertarians “hippie anarchists,” no doubt a reflection on the Libertarian inspired fiction of Robert Heinlein, with whom I identified myself as a youth. Such identity today is associated with anarcho-syndicalism rather than Libertarianism, which label has been coopted by Conservatives.
Oh, and the moral obligations argument is just plain BS regardless of whether it is being used by the Right or Left. The Right just wants adequate separation from the trash dumps of civilization and the Left knows well enough that if we do not properly dispose of our trash then it will overwhelm us. Moral arguments are a matter of feeling good about ourselves behind the façade of any superior nature despite our inability to associate with those that we would subordinate to our will.
[Just as a basis for comparison the following is a valid moral argument, but it cannot be identified as either politically Right or Left. The political Left in contemporary times mostly denies this guy’s existence as an actual person about 2,000 years ago although about 100 years ago he was a central figure in the ideology of the humanist, rather than socialist, left. The political Right in the US claims to follow him while simultaneously failing to observe his teaching in their policy preferences.]
John 8 New International Version (NIV)
8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”…