Monday, September 13, 2010

There Oughtta be a Law

During the commute home I drove behind a truck laden with dry grass and/or some other vegetable matter. Behind it a trailer swung with a tree. It didn't really swing but the description reads nice, yeah?
I was wary of this truck. It was leaving alotta space infrontof itself so I wanted to pass it anyway but also, nothing strapped these plants down. The back end of the truck was open, ungated. With only their weight keeping them on you gained the impression a sudden enough brake or acceleration would throw a tree and company at the left lane behind this truck. Pileup.
To amuse myself (gotta do something during traffic) I thought, "there oughtta be a law..." implicitly against such a situation. That the trucks shouldn't be allowed to drive except in the right-most lane. Those people drive too slow to be looking forward to living.
In summoning this thought I became conscious of an association I already had: laws are the refuge of people uncomfortable with the awareness of their own decisiveness. Despite the fact I preferred not being behind cargo suspect in its' security I remained in my place. If I believed a crash a likelihood rather than a distant possibility I would leave the lane. The options were available to me and I had chosen. Speed and danger go together. Better both than neither.
Such a situation can't be relegated out of reality by legality. No motion by congress will relieve the populace of being aware they have made discomforting decisions. But by externalizing the process of decision-making people are more secure within themselves.
In a way, preference for a stronger state is a preference for a prominent external division versus an internal one. Part of us wants one thing, another part of us wants a different thing, our motivations clash and we're not sure what's the optimal decision. Will we regret doing this? Would it be better if we had? And the option, the ability to switch, perpetuates this state of unease. So long as we could do something different the way currently untried is a temptation. Some men love the state, even as they hate it, because it settles arguments in themselves.
The want to silence opposition is similar. However outlandish or wrong an idea is: once you have taken it in, it's in you. An oppressive rule muffles certain opinions, making it easier to remain ignorant of beliefs contradicting your own. States prevent communication. I mean not person to person as much as segment to segment, clique to clique. States let us understand each other less. We feel finalized.
The consensus is that freedom's a burden and bondage a relief.

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