What does it mean to be a good person?
One hears the term fairly often. So and so is a good person.
Or the plural theyre good people. But what is
meant is rarely defined. It is accepted that were
all talking about the same thing but if you look at it a
little bit, very often were not. Because many of us seem to
have a view of goodness that is completely at odds with the concept
of goodness as defined by others.
The liberal Democrat, for example, thinks of himself as a good
person because he expresses concern for others, typically those
less well-off than others. He wants to help but
his goodness (as he defines it) does not manifest itself via himself
personally helping those he believes are in need. He does
not invite the homeless into his home (or even his garage).
He invites them into your home. He does not give
of his own time or money. Rather, he demands that others
be made to give of theirs. Which of course does
not strike him as oxymoronic let alone vicious. This good
person will not feel bad about demanding that some be enslaved for
the benefit of others so long as the former are deserving
(as defined by the good person) and the latter are paying
their fair share (again, as defined by the good person).
On the other end of the continuum we find the right-wing Republican
who also views himself as a good person. Often, a good religious
person. He is outraged by events like the attack on the Twin Towers
(and lets not forget Building 7, too). The appx. 3,000 people
killed in one day must be avenged by killings tens of
thousands of interchangeable brown people for going on ten years
The right-wing good person only hears the cries of some
Both the liberal and the right-winger share one thing in common
the adoration of random violence. The phraseology is important.
It is random violence because the people affected are typically
innocent or at least, they havent done anything to
warrant a violent assault. The mere fact that you are a Have becomes,
in the mind of the left-liberal, sufficient justification for him
to send goons with guns to your home in order to force you to hand
over some of what you have to the Have-Nots. It is not alleged that
you have stolen from the Have-Nots. It is enough that you
have and they have not. The non-having is the
justification for the taking. Precisely in the same way that one
hungry chicken will snatch a crumb away from another hen who had
it first. Redistribution is the moral standard of these good people
goodness defined as he who redistributes the most.
The right-winger, meanwhile, pursues ideologically random violence
as opposed to the left-liberals economic violence.
There are entire categories of Them who must be extirpated
or at the every least, brought to heel merely by dint of
being Them as opposed to Us. The Chimp apotheosis
of this mentality put it just so: You are either with us
(that is, a lockstep follower of The Chimp) or you are against us.
And we all know what happens to those who are against us.
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© 2012 Eric Peters
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