François-René Rideau (fare) wrote,
François-René Rideau

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I vs Robot — Second letter to the Robot

Dear Robot,

I dreamt of our duel last night. There was this combat venue, and whoever would kill all volunteer opponents got to be king of an acclaiming mob, always cheering the strongest — until a better fighter would step forward, slay him, and be cheered instead. You were the king — a big brute, unvanquished for a long time.

I was your involuntary opponent, there by chance, as a curious passer-by that you decided was defying you — because I wasn't cheering. As usual, I was trying to dodge your blows and missiles, and wasn't even trying to fight, because out of a long experience in dream fights, I knew none of my fighting techniques were ever deadly — yet somehow I didn't know that of yours anymore.

Then, at one moment, I stopped trying to hide from your attacks. I turned back, and I faced you. My fighting was no longer involuntary: I chose to face you. Whereas you were the brute, I was the mind. So like David against Goliath, I threw a missile at you — a razor sharp CD-ROM, making creative use of technology against brute force. You took it in the shoulder to save your throat; but while you were recovering, I took one of your golf clubs and smashed your head, using brute force against brute force — but with a proper tool at the right moment.

I was acclaimed king by the mob, and this prompted new candidates to pop in — brutes of the you like of you, who thought I vanquished you by chance and would be an easy opponent to defeat, at least much easier than the former king. I promptly smashed them, too, not leaving them a chance to warm up and enter the fight seriously. That was enough to handle those few initial volunteers; but so as to stop short the wave of fighters, I had to convince them they stood no chance of winning. The mob adulated rage and primitive force, and that was the only thing that could impress the fighters and stop them from defying me — so I let rage build and displayed brute force.

The secret of fighting, like everything, is to forget to micro-manage your body, yet not let it take over — put it on a leash, but leave a reasonable length for it to live its life, only pulling the leash when it goes astray. To let your emotions help you — not to hush them, but to use them. By making proper use of rage, I could remain king and keep my subjects from acclaiming another brute.

I despised their cheering at brute force, but I did understand I had to accept it willingly, for I had to be king. Unlike the brute you are, I didn't find acclaim worthy of fighting for — I was despising the state of mind(lessness) that would lead anyone to such acclaim. However, the acclaim by the mob was to me a tool expressing the perception of my strength; by keeping this perception high, I would reduce the frequency at which new fighters would step in to defy me and limit the waste of precious resources in fights. I didn't lust for kingly powers, either; I knew it would be good to enjoy them, but they were not my prime motivation. I don't lust — you do that quite well enough for me already. Rather, I knew I was fighting for the most precious thing I could ever fight for: my freedom from whichever brute would be acclaimed as king if I weren't the strongest.

What kind of combination of libertarian and neo-conservative does that make me? A neo-libertarian, I suppose. Or an objectivist. Or whatever. I don't care for the label. I don't feel anything for labels and herding. And I won't let you do that for me — I'll tell you what label to care for, if I ever decide you have to care for one, which is not bloody likely.

The mind must be strong and be able to fight the brute and crush it at its own stupid brutish game. Just like civilization must be able to wage a crushingly successful war against the mindless worshippers of brute force.

One shouldn't try, like the neo-conservatives, to make all the mobsters intelligent, and suppose that by winning the war, one can give most of them a mind so they will realize the pointlessness of the stake and cease to fight. These mobsters chose to be mindless, and they want to have a king — and if mindful one refuses to be that king, they'll find mindless other one instead. And then mindful one will have to fight a costly war, once again, from which one mightn't survive.

One shouldn't wish, like the paleo-libertarians, for a world were fighting isn't necessary, and refuse to fight on the grounds that fighting has evil at its root, and that other people will not fight one if one is peaceful, whereas one's example will show them the way. Once again, they chose to be mindless, and they want to have a king — and if mindful one refuses to be that king, they'll find mindless other one instead. And then one will be at the mercy of whoever is the strongest, so one will be lucky if it's a somehow mindful neo-conservative rather than a mindless brute or worse, one of those socialist anti-mind brutishness-worshippers.

Mindlessness is a fact. Mind is built atop mindlessness, neither without it, nor against it. Its purpose is to control the body and make decisions. It can abdicate, and let someone else choose instead of it, or let some mindless default choice prevail. But there is no way that mindlessness can be taken care of automatically; or rather, in as much as there is any automatism to control the mindless, the mind is this automatism — it is done by the mind, and cannot possibly be done without it. I have to decide to prevail. I have to do what it takes to prevail. And then I have to decide to remain on top. And I have to do what it takes to remain there.

It would be nice if the stupid could cancel each other without ever having to be taken care of. But that won't happen. If you let stupidity loose, you'll soon have to face violent fanaticism directed by mystics against all the rational things they hate. You have to face it, fight all those brutes who try domineer you, take over from them, and restore a proper order — not one where you'll manage the mindless, for you can't — not one where you'll convert them, for you can't either — just an order where justice will be enforced and peace will be preserved. Time will do the rest — but this part it won't do. And that's how I reconcile Confucius and Lao Tse.

Do I sound statist to you? Then you still confuse government as organization of force, and government as monopoly of force. Force is. You may forswear its use. The brutes won't. Ever. I'm not a pacifist. I'm a free man.

Bearing a weapon is the distinctive token of the free manHenri Guisan

I choose not to let the brute rule me any longer. Never again.

Tags: dream, en, memories, procrastination, psychology, robot, self-help
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