Monthly Archives: July 2010

BFE: Watch Those Cultural Labels

BFE: Watch Those Cultural Labels
Well…

Does everyone have their own version of BFE?  From what I’ve been reading on the internet, it seems that being from the “sticks” or from some country where sand shifts in organic patterns of great beauty, somehow disqualifies one as a person of intelligence, someone who shares the same humanity, the same human rights, and the same sensitivity, although, perhaps, a better set of manners.

When did being a “redneck” or a “hillbilly” or a “red” or a “brown” mean that one was worthy only of derision, dismissal, and dehumanizing?

Think about that.  Ponder.  What labels might another person’s trained vision attach to you?  I am sure you can think of a few for yourself, no matter who you are.  Someone would put a label on you, couldn’t they?  You might think that you easily can dismiss their name-calling, because you think you are somehow “better” than they are.  Or somehow “apart” from that part of humankind.

Think again: how does your own name calling, sweeping generalizations, and being brainwashed by those who profit from stirring up this division and hatred, make you any better than anyone on the “other side”—no matter what “other side” of the thousands of “other sides” you choose—how does labeling any other human individual make any of us better than the person we lazily label because getting to know the actual person is just too, too much trouble?  Is it easier to obey the orders of the hate-teachers and kill that other actual person.?  It is easier than thinking?  No, not really

As long as you refrain from questioning your conditioning of hatred, as long as you refuse to accept that non-aggression is a principle which must be applied to all humans, and that your labels of another as “inferior” in no way gives you any sanction to violate their human rights, just as their labels of you in no way gives them sanction to violate your human rights, you lose your rights.

“BFE?” “sandn****r?”  ”hillbilly?” “sheeple?” “civilian?” “JBT?” “Patriot?” “Liberal?” “Neocon?” “southsider?” “dyke?” “mike?” “taco?” “right wingnut?” “gun nut?” “Libertarian?” “bureaurat?”

Now, think up at least five that could be said by a hater of you.  See what I mean?

I’ve been a hillbilly, for sure, for a bit of my young life—jumping on big rocks and throwing small rocks at copperheads and rattlers in the Ozark Hills—where children only got shoes if the school insisted they have them.  Where the school house was heated with a wood stove.  Where I remember when REA came through, and we got an electric cream separator for the milk, and we grandchildren no longer took turns cranking the centrifuge system that was run on arm power.

Where bobcats screamed in the night, there were no lights except the stars, where running water was in the creek and from the spring, and we picked wild greens and berries whenever we found them.

We also read Shakespeare aloud, taking turns, while the rest shelled corn, or split wood, or hoed in the garden.  Everyone was expected to read music and play at least one instrument.  There was no television or radio.  We had a whole room filled with books, and reading Emerson and Adam Smith—and being able to hold up your end of any discussion—were considered absolute necessities at the dinner table.

I have cousins who still live in the country, run ranches, hunt for game, and roll their own.  Some may go away to Harvard, Princeton, or one of the Seven Sister schools, but all know how to milk a cow, brand a calf, butcher a steer or a deer, gather eggs, carry water, split firewood, and hitch a team to a double tree.  All have helped build barns and cabins, fix fences, and every one can ride bareback better than most can ride with any sort of saddle.  Some know how to tan hides and make moccasins, too, because there is a bit of native blood as well.  Some also do art, read voraciously, speak more than one language, and enjoy the symphony.

So, when you say hillbilly, think of those who come from eight generations of hill folk, who can parse a bit of Greek and Latin, who hate any non-voluntary form of government, and who remain civil, educated, genteel, kindly folks, albeit often dressed in patched jeans.

Be careful of your stereotypes out there folks: it is when we stop seeing each other as individual humans, and start sticking on lazy labels that we grow blind to each other’s humanity and uniqueness.  Be careful of being conditioned by those perverse cultural cues foisted upon you by mainstream media, movies, and emotionally reactive non-thinkers both in and out of government.  Take the time to actually learn not only facts, but also other humans.  Good character begins with the Zero Aggression Principle.  (ZAP)

I have spent a bit of time in Egypt, and must say I found the desert people there to be among the most polite, civilised, kind, generous, and friendly of any of humankind I have ever met.  I felt very at home there, and very safe. Living in “BFE”—even in some of the remote villages where water is carried from a central well, there is no electricity, and all the children can read and write, as well as speak intelligently, and everyone is quite civil—puts many of the US urban “cultures” to shame.  I have slept on dirt floors cleaner than many I have seen in slovenly-kept homes of arrogant and ill-informed, television-addicted urban beings in major US cities.

So, again, equating remoteness to “BFE” is such a misnomer in my way of thinking, that I would encourage you to not make such a statement, merely so as not to disclose your lack of knowledge.  Get to know individuals, and individual circumstances.  This is, after, the age of the cooperative individual.  And there is such richness of thought, creativity, and love in individual, ZAP-practicing free-marketeers.

Those who would tell you that they need to keep stealing from your to protect you: tell them, No, thanks anyway.  I don’t need you”  Tell them to grow up and find a better way to live than through theft.  Tell them you will not learn hate from them anymore.

Labels are for the lazy: get to know a few actual humankind individuals, outside your family and close friends.  Seek out someone who scares you.  Seek out someone whom you scare.   Make peace with two people.  Unless they are actually dangerous, of course, then find someone else to help you make peace.  Set aside the labels, and work on learning each other’s humanity.  You might even make some new friends.  Enrich your world.  We are all on this Earth together.  Learn love. Forget labels. You have nothing to gain but friends.
feralfae

Nullification: Individual and Collective Uses

Also see: Fully Informed Jury Association - FIJA.org

In Wood’s new and excellent book on Nullification, much is written about the use of nullification at the state level of government against the federal level of government, but less attention is given nullification by the individual juror. Yet, the essence of justice is that human rights and conscience exist and can be exercised only at an individual level. There is no “collective right” just as there is no “collective conscience.”

While the perceived collective political community may embark on collective political posturing for myriad reasons, it is only at the individual level that the elegance of the independent juror, capable of raising a standard of justice in anticipation of the coming tides in the affairs of men, that we observe the prescient nature of the individual human conscience in steering the ship of state through troubled waters.

Throughout human history, we have moved from slavery toward the recognition of the unique rights and self-ownership of each individual human. With this journey has come the recognition of the evils of collectivist thinking at all levels of consideration. When we finally accept––as a cultural necessity––the inherent value and rights of each individual human, and when there are free markets and voluntary associations, we will still have need of juries to consider, to weigh, and to decide, what is justice and what is not.

In fact, one can readily thumb through history and find instances of brilliant juror nullification: cases in which the jurors anticipated later-recognized human rights; cases in which jurors raised the standard of justice to new heights. A recent reviewcarefully points up shifting sentiment toward nullification. At almost every instance within this excellent article, one could substitute the concept of the individual juror for the concept of the collective state government, and in that substitution, find the essence of the concept of the jury of 12 jurors: of self-determination on an individual level, as each juror accepts the authority to judge the law as well as the fact, based on individual sense of conscience, justice, and compassion.

Investigation of instances of failure of the jury reveal that such instances can be attributed more to government employees’ political jury stacking than to jury malfunction. In many instances, racism, sexism, or other factors kept juries from being truly representative of all those connected to the case.

(The economic implications are clear: re-open justice to the vote of the free market: let the people, as should be represented by the jury in every criminal case, determine those laws considered economically viable for enforcement. We might soon see only one law: no initiation of force or fraud for any reason whatsoever.)

Let the jurors act on individual motivation, and let bad laws fall before the conscientious, informed jurors who understand that they have the authority to judge the law as well as the facts, and that it must be their personal sense of justice which compels their individual verdict. Let there be no distinction of the right to nullify bad laws, whether at the state level or at the individual level, where one juror, acting independently in good conscience, has the same right to nullify as any government body.

The jury is one of the smallest, and therefore most significant, of duly constituted bodies involved in the application of laws and the mechanisms of justice. The elegance of 12 jurors has been examined from a mathematical perspective, found as Appendix I in Vin Suprynowicz’s brilliant Send in the Waco Killers, which I imagine you have all read. Read the Appendix I again. You will be enlightened about the role of the individual juror in serving as an essential and mathematically significant check on government employees’ tyranny and attempted usurpation of human rights.

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution,” a Virginia lawyer wrote … His name was Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson clearly understood that while self-serving government employees at every level would exceed their authority given any opportunity, they could be denied that opportunity by the people who would comprise the jury, who would refuse to enforce usurpations of individual human rights. Jefferson also understood the “anchor” metaphor, and chose it above the “cannon” metaphor, because the jury is a peaceful, necessary restraint to keep the ship of state steady and safe in serving its purpose: the protection of individual human rights. Jurors hold the authority and the ability to enforce the limits of the Constitution by refusing to enforce government employees’ attempts to violate Constitutional boundaries.

Find out more by visiting the Fully Informed Jury Association. You will want to stay for a bit and read up on one of the least-known rights in our Common Law country. It is a right, that when known, effectively can save us––through peaceful means––from the war the government has declared and is making against its own people, not so different from those wars against the people that inspired the Magna Carta.

It is the independent, secular, non-partisan juror who stands as the Fourth Branch of Government, capable of placing a veto on bad laws by refusing to enforce them at the behest of self-interested government employees, whether at the federal, state, or local level. After all, conscientious nullification resides, in the final analysis, in the independent mind of the thinking individual.

feralfae
15 July 2010