March 6th, 2010

eyes black and white

Evicting a Squatter: No Pity for my Inferior

Tonight, I evicted a squatter. With her starving newborns, who will quite possibly die of cold if they don't find quickly a shelter in this freezing winter. I don't have any remorse.

She wanted to live at my place. I admit I initially thought I might have fun with her when she sneaked her way inside my apartment, as she's cute and petite. But she's also vastly dumber than I am, ignorant and crass, and she's therefore not my type at all. I have no qualms about calling her my inferior, and tracing this inferiority to her genetic heritage, damning all her kin with her.

I could probably have found an arrangement with her, but I did not want to adopt her kids, about whom I didn't know when we first met. I could have been nicer to her and not throw her out with kids at night, but I decided that she was a serious health hazard, after what she did to my stove. It didn't help that she had poor hygiene, and never bathed for the whole week she was here.

I don't mean any harm to her, but neither do I mean any good: I just don't care what happens to her. I am not responsible for her — she's responsible for herself. If she makes plans assuming she can stay at my place and otherwise makes bad decisions — that's her problem, not mine. I don't care if her kids starve, get sick in the cold and die — that's her problem, not mine. I don't owe her anything just because she put her hopes on me. She owes her success and survival to herself.

I just demand the respect of my property rights (in this case, of my renter's rights, as derived from the property rights of the landlord and my agreement with him). Sure, some may claim that her ancestors were on this territory before I or any of "my people" came and "stole" what became "this country". But I don't care: that's collectivist talk, and it has nothing to do with the specific dispute between the two of us.

If she wants help without having any specific claim, she may beg for her subsistence from charities that may care, instead of demanding it from me, a total stranger. She can beg me, and I am benevolent enough that I was ready to help, until I decided she was a hazard. But she has no title to demand anything from me.

If on the other hand, her direct family has a specific title to this specific spot of land, let her show this title and petition for her rights in court, and evict my landlord and I after him. It's not like the affair started yesterday, and if her family waited that long to open a case, she can wait till the case is closed to move in; and I don't owe her shelter in the meantime. Common Law will recognize my landlord's rights (and through his, mine) as pretty strong. Certainly stronger than hers.

Of course, even speaking in collectivist terms, "her kind" never possessed any better title to the land than the title "my people" now possesses. Were "they" granted a title from God Almighty upon a virgin land, or did they rightfully inherit such a title from a previous owner? No. Not anymore than "we" did. Instead "they" occupied the land by excluding weaker ones from whichever resources they could grab, and cowering before stronger ones who took whatever they could. "They" are no more exempt than "us" from the same ruthless competition that has been running since much further than our common ancestors lived, and "their" branch of our Great Family Tree is no more saintly than "ours".

If anything, "we", by mastering the arts of physics and chemistry, learned to extract resources from the inanimate to bestow blessings upon the animate, whereas "they" have only ever but parasited their inferior without bringing any new resource to our common Realm. And that makes "ours" as good a Title of ownership as there ever will be. And indeed, this house was built by "us". More precisely, my landlord's family (and its predecessors) paid for this house, its building and its continuous maintenance. Her family never had anything to do with it. Yet she wasn't proposing to squat on the bare land of the backyard but inside the cozy apartment I live in.

I freely admit that my lack of sympathy for her is directly linked to my feeling of superiority, and that whatever little sympathy I may indeed have for her that I won't display towards yet others is directly linked to the fact that those others are even more inferior. Of course, if she were my superior, the roles would be reversed, and rightly so, as I would be the one in need and begging. But the point precisely is, superiority exists; and in this case, I was the superior person, she wasn't. "My" people dominate and may or may not purvey the resources begged by her and her kin, and rightly so. If she were my equal, or slight inferior or even slight superior in temporary need of resources due to accidents of life (my vastly superior would never be in position to be helped by me), I might have shown more sympathy, and have been willing to take advantage of her for mutual benefit. It's all about what values are worth spending my resources for, what genes and memes I am ready to sacrifice to help propagate. She's so inferior that I don't value hers much if at all.

I can imagine some of my readers shocked and self-righteous, calling me a racist, a heartless, self-serving person, and other names. I don't mind to be described for what I am, though I don't care for labels that are mostly a way to slur their victims through semantic shift from one description that fits to alternate meanings that don't. Actually if I were to feel anything about my superiority, it would be pride, certainly not shame. A pride not derived from the origin of this admittedly unearned superiority, but from its destination, from all the things I create thanks to that superiority, that are so far beyond what she can fathom.

So yes, I had nothing more to do to be superior but be born from the superior family, whereas she was born from the inferior one. And so what? I was indeed born her better. There's no denying that truth, no possibility of ever reversing it, no regretting it, no being ashamed of it. Am I being worthy of my inborn talents, or am I wasting them? That's an important question indeed, but ultimately none of her business, hardly any of yours at all. Truth is, she doesn't even have any inborn talent to waste. And though I appreciate your concern and advice regarding my talents, I will certainly remind you of minding your own waste of yours before you start being condescending about mine: if you spend any amount of time trying to help her and her kin live happily and express themselves creatively, it will be a mighty waste of your talents and resources indeed. If you foster her life and activity as equal to the life and activity of her better, it will be a shame indeed, and a waste not just of your time, but of that of those betters that you will have neglected in favor of her.

What more, I contend that all my readers do the same as I, and worse, and that the possible self-righteous ones are just being hypocritical about it. You my dear readers, as well as I, have condoned and partaken in the mass murder, the genocide even, of genetically "inferior" rivals in their contest to "your" resources, using chemical, biological and sometimes nuclear weapons no less.

All that to say that a squirrel tried to live in my house, first between my ceiling and the next floor, then inside my apartment. Not content with eating an apple I had left out and making a big mess, she made a nest with paper tissue inside my gas stove, and there had three babies. She ran all over the apartment as I tried to get her out. Eventually, I moved the nest into an icebox and tried to lure her in, failing which I took the box outside the house, then chased the mother from one hiding place to the next and back, until she'd eventually go out the door I left open. And then again I chased her down the stairs from the top floor down to the house entrance.

Sure I'd have been glad if she could have relocated peacefully with her babies and happily-ever-aftered somewhere, anywhere but my apartment. It was sad hearing the babies cry after their mother, and the mother too scared to come out of her hiding place behind the fridge to help them out. But I'm not going to break a tear about her losing her babies. She was too dumb to negotiate any kind of peaceful agreement; she understood nothing but force, and force had to be used.

If you wanted to know how the conqueror feels about the conquered, how the aristocrat feels about commoners, how the colonist feels about the natives, how the master feels about the slaves, how the politician or bureaucrat feels about the mere citizens, etc., just remember what you feel when you expel a wild animal from your house, crush an insect, or take medication against an infection. And guess what? You're mostly right about it. As they probably mostly were and are.