Sunday, April 3, 2011

Masters and Slaves

Warning: This post is going to be harsh and offensive.  If you're disinterested in raw emotions coupled with stinging invectives, stop reading now.  If you can keep a dispassionate view and recognise this entry as what it is--an explosion of stressful feelings not directed at anyone in particular--then keep reading.

Who are the masters among us?

They seem to be those who manipulate and weasel their way into positions of power, thinking themselves suited for directing the lives of others.  They seem to be curdled souls tortured by unresolved psychological issues, who, in a sadistic twist, see fit to inflict their misery on others.  They seem to be the kinds of people who trip a macabre dance through the web of society, warts covering their eyes, and pestilential ideals burning the light of their days.  They seem to be the man or woman who thinks nothing of passing a regulation, bill, or expectation that indentures others to false pretenses, moral dissonance, and self-abasement.

Who are the slaves among us?

These passive souls lack the courage to block the passage of those who would purposefully dominate them.  They can't--sometimes won't-- see their own personal sovereignty as a human being, a member of the natural world.  They kowtow to the masters for fear of  being ruled too harshly; as if by cowering blindly under a self-proclaimed dominator their life will go easier for them; as if by denying the freedom inherent to their existence they will be able to gain the approval of those who seat themselves in places of authority.  They are willlingly blind, purposefully silent, self-abnegating, falsely humble, arrogantly immoral about their own self-worth, given to humourless self-deprecation, and easy to turn against their own kind.  They are sickly, weak, tepid personalities forced ever deeper into their own concentric shells by the force of their own untamed illusions and the violent machinations of those who presume the place of a master.

But the master doesn't need to be a maniacal fuckwit stamping about the earth in some sophisticated temper-tantrum; he doesn't have to be the person who gains his titular superiority by seeing how many people he can manipulate into bending over.  He can give those things up for a more reasonable, more mindful way of being.  He can change his negative self-limitations into positive self-sovereignty.

Similarly, the slave doesn't have to be a slave.  The alternative is blindingly simple: he can choose to be free.  He can shed his snake-oiled false humility, straighten his shoulders and recognise that he belongs: he belongs inherently to a class of creatures that have a unique freedom.  Why should anyone, let alone a slave, limit himself by his own preconceptions of useless servility?  Why serve something "greater" while touting the contradictory message that you are "unique"?  Doesn't that uniqueness assume the greater?  Doesn't being unique mean, definitionally, that you are greater?  What can be greater than the singular essence of your unique self?  There has never been a you before you, and there never will be another you after you: that makes you the "greatest," doesn't it?


If you fit the abject cowardliness of the modern slave, if you understand that your limitations are self-imposed (e.g., you can't do such-and-such because you haven't gone to university to get your letters), if you're the person who sneers at mainstream social impositions (e.g., getting an English degree to prove you can refer to others who write well), then bloody-well get off your ass and start doing it!  You don't need to modify your desires, your ambitions, your passions, to fit anyone else's expectations of how you should be.  Stop listening to the message of the masters, the slave-drivers.  See your uniqueness as your evidence of your sovereignty.

If the fact that no-one else is you doesn't convince you that you are, definitively, "the greatest," then you will always be the slave, the milquetoast personality that aspires to mediocrity, that lives under the bar as if it was a roof instead of raising it or removing it; if you cannot break free of the master-slave mentality that so predominates our cultural mechanisms, if you cannot declare your own personal freedom and sovereignty, then you are a slave and you will be ruled.  You will be ruled by the same self-limiting assholes that have made it profitable to thrive off of your weakness, your lack of creativity, your refusal to be a self-actuating personality.

Your uniqueness is proof of your greatness; it is the evidence of your personal sovereignty.  Stop feasting on the blandishments of mediocrity, of commonplace social expectations.  Start self-directing, self-dictating.  In essense, start being rationally selfish.  Or to put it less controversially, don't be afraid of self-referencing decisions: you are not required to sacrifice your personhood for the predeterminations of others who are no more fit to rule you than a camel is to play a guitar.  Be free.  Rule yourself.

4 comments:

Ryan Turnbull said...

It would seem to me that at times, limiting ourselves, actually is beneficial. We are not becoming weak or enslaved, but acting humbly and with self-control. A true master is one who is a master of all parts of his life, and that means keeping in check all impulses, controlling the tongue etc. Not all passions need to be checked or controlled, but I am confident that you would agree that some should (i.e., certain people who have desires to shoot up schools, rob banks, rape, kill and torture etc.).
Slavery and Mastery are not defined by this decidedly Nietzschen view you seem to hold. It takes a strong man to submit in humility than to run rampant in fulfilling every desire of humanities fanciful wills.
Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the real masters are those who can serve others with joy, because their self-worth does not depend upon putting others in their place.
And perhaps the slaves are those who just have not realized their worth yet ...
I appreciate Ryan's thoughts on this.
J

Hendrik van der Breggen, said...

Hi Kane,

This is a bit of an aside, but here is an interesting 5-part blog series on Ayn Rand.

Best regards,
Hendrik

Craig said...

Kane,
In your research on diet have you ran across any good articles on inflammation reducing diets? I am intrigued by this approach to eating right now. (Although not dedicated enough to buy things outside the grocery store).