Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Culture, Self and Law – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on May 10, 2021

When these ideas harden into eternal truths — when, in the management phase of civilisation, they are codified or written down, in holy texts or in statute books, or in the consciences of men and women — they serve, and can only serve, that which is incapable of abandoning facticity and causality, the inherently dishonest, selfish and violent ego. This is why you can’t trust a law-abider.

Darren Allen

Self produces manifest culture, and then that culture shapes self. First, self is externalised as an expression — some kind of act or presentation. The expression appears as an object, a thing in the world, which is related to other objects, which are then reappropriated by man back into the self.

A band releases an album, a building company constructs a block of flats, an advertising agency puts up hoardings around town, an individual recounts a few anecdotes. The songs, the dwellings, the signs and the stories become part of a world which then shapes those within that world.

If self is unselfish this process ultimately begins “beyond” culture, with consciousness, to which the reappropriated modifications are subject to some kind of evaluation — I can reject the bullshit music, the ugly council estate, the advertising lies and the witless jibber-jabber.

If, however, self is fundamentally egoic, consciousness is given no freedom to operate, and the caddis case is formed almost entirely from without, walling up inner quality, and with it, genuine individuality.

First self speaks, then the words get set in stone, then the stone speaks to the self, writing its words back into the human heart, which speaks again.[1] If there is freedom to speak, and to be heard, and to walk away, this dialogue (or dialectic) is fruitful and serves man.

But, just as if one person screws another down and forces words into her head it is no longer a conversation, so if society (culture plus self, or selves) fills its schools and lines its streets with messages that all say the same thing, with no way of escape, then we are no longer individuals participating in a society, but stackable storage units for whomever or whatever is filling us with the things we are forced to feel, eat, look at, think about and energetically engage with; in short, build our selves with.

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