‘Government as a human act of governing oneself and one’s responsibilities and one’s dependents is very different from the modern institution of the State.’ — Alana Roberts, from her film review of The Dark Knight Rises

Friday, July 13, 2012

The art of defiance

What do you do when you need to demonstrate to false authority that in you, no false conscience resonates to its shrieks? What do you do when you need to whistle in the dark, even when something in you does resonate to the claims of false authority, but you have recognized it and decided to sacrifice not a single good to it?

Welcome to the art of defiance.

Gaiety is never out of place in this situation. Arguments are.

Insults should be veiled. Make your opponent work to be offended and you will be one up on him, since he gave you mountains of offense for free. With luck you will be able to avoid engaging him in an actual battle and you will have nothing to regret.

Always tell the truth as simply as possible. False authority is built on lies; the more relevant truth you are able to pack into a sentence the more baffled your liberty-killing opponent will be since he has relinquished his relationship with truth.

Do not try to make your genuine claims clear to false authority. Like trying to cut tiny pellet with a pocketknife, your opponent will always slip out from under from the point. Rather, try your best to confuse him. As long as you consider him your brother, you will not want to confuse him – you will want to save him by altering what you perceive to be his honestly mistaken beliefs. When you realize that he is a devil-puppet and a soul-killer, you will simply want to stop him, leaving his salvation to God. Confusing him while making your genuine claims clear for thoughtful observers is the best way but requires skill. I recommend practicing on other people’s blogs.

I’m not good with people. Never have been. Since I don’t have that knack, I have to take the long way around and learn either through mistakes or through trying out the precepts in this book.

Defying false authority is fun unless it has real power over you and your loved ones. Then circumspection is called for. I’ve been in both situations.

— Alana Roberts, Curmudgeon in Training

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