Bigsley the Oaf

To Put Above

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on September 21, 2011

We must stop putting ourselves above others. I am as guilty of this as anyone.

I’m not talking about value-hierarchies, here. I’m not saying that you should sacrifice your life for the life of another. I’m not saying that you should sacrifice your means of production or happiness for the benefit of another. This is clearly crazy. We all know that the best way to make others happy is to be awesome and humble. We all know that the best way to enhance the lives of others is to eschew their short-term benefit for well-thought-out long-term infrastructure creation.

Pay a dollar to feed a bum today, or invest the money in green energy so that all future humans can survive in a clean and energy-abundant world?

No, I’m talking about thinking of yourself as being above, better, different, somehow essentially greater than those around you.

This type of belief perniciously pervades the rhetoric of every decaying and corrupt cultural form which we despise:

Religiously:

  • Hindus, Muslims, and Christians believe that they know god better than others
  • Buddhists believe that they know the mind and reality better than others
Politically:
  • Republicans believe that they are the “Real Americans”
  • Liberals believe that they are the sole proprietors of “Real Compassion”
  • Libertarians believe that they alone understand “Freedom”
Socially:
  • Queers think they understand sex
  • The rich think they understand production
  • The poor think they understand what it is to be “real”

Well fuck you! If you know God, so do I! And I am a real american, and I am compassionate, and I love freedom. I understand sex, and production, and I am real, goddammit! Just as real as you, you bastards! Where do you get off believing your so fucking special?

So stop it!

When you speak with someone, listen to them. Their arguments might sound like everyone else’s, but if you listen very carefully you’ll see that what they’re saying is not driven by logic, but by pain. And if you can hear their pain, and help them heal, or maybe just help them feel connected and less fucking alone for a while, then, maybe then, can progress be made.

And if we can all do this, then we’ll be able to figure out how to cooperate again, and we won’t be so easily ruled and oppressed by tyrants who have our souls locked away in their soul gems!

[EDIT] I forgot to mention. The worst – the absolute worst – are the intellectuals. Their capacity for manipulation of linguistic symbols – the symbols which constitute the media of interpersonal connection – allows them to figure out truly insidious means of putting themselves above others. Maybe you’re really good at messing with someone’s emotions (psychologist) – maybe you’re really good at manipulating complex logics (mathematician) – maybe you’re good at reducing everything to an organic metaphor (biologist) – etc. etc. The fact that you’ve inherited one of history’s intellectual traditions does not mean that you are essentially superior – that your pain hurts worse, that your needs are more important, that your words ring more true. Indeed they may ring more true, but this is not due to your essence. The burden of the intellectual is the constant call of deception – she can use her talents and credentials to persuade others into sacrificing their value. Well fuck them! Fuck me!

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3 Responses

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  1. emmajolin said, on September 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Can we ever really not put ourselves above others? Our experience is so consuming, and the presumed experience of others so abstract, that can it seems that to *really* treat other people as equals would be to deny reality as we feel it.

    For instance, I *feel* my feelings – I just hear you bitch about yours. How can I treat your feelings with equal importance to mine? I put a lot of effort into trying to understand you and your emotions, and on a logical level I would like to treat your feelings as equally important as mine, but it seems like an impossible task to do that and stay honest about what *I* feel.

    The one exception to this is times when you – presumably – share emotions or thoughts with people. This happens to me when fucking, when programming with people, when experiencing art with people, and when smoking salvia (to the people in my mind.) Sometimes in dreams I share feelings with imaginary people too.

  2. Noah said, on October 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks for the last two posts Chris.

    — Noah

  3. Carlos Satanas said, on October 15, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for your humbling post.

    Intellectuals who’ve nothing to share, but only to manipulate, are far worse than someone of moderate or lower intellect. They lack humility. They fail to realize that others’ ignorance will ultimately affect their lives. Those people forget there are other intelligences than their cold, analytical intelligence.


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