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Monday, July 4, 2016

Observations on Independence Day

Fill in the blanks: “I am in charge of ___.  I want to be in charge of ___ , but only for one day.” (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 614.)

Before marriage when Connie and I met, we each had our own villa.  Connie’s villa was decorated and arranged in a manner that suggested femininity; and mine had the plain, bold lines that suggested a male occupant.  Now married we share both villas.  While we feel free to make suggestions as to the configuration of either residence, yet even now the first and final say is always given in accordance with whether the villa was first hers or mine.  And this pleases each of us since as human beings we strive for some measure of control in our environment.

The same thing regularly occurs with families with offspring.  A very conservative couple will often allow their teenager son to decorate his room in a manner that would be totally alien to the master bedroom.  As a matter of course families recognize and pay tribute to the importance of independence in matters of control. 

The American democracy has long recognized the importance of shared control because, first, control is an elemental human need; and second, because shared control makes for more stable and effective societies–tasks are assigned and accepted without the resentment and rebellion fostered by imperial presumptive delegation and its inherent phoniness.  The basic moral truth is that selfish attributes of man must be fundamentally offset by pervasive goodwill and a community of participatory control.

To say that a society is based on freedom and liberty can lead to the delusion that an individual is in sole control of his behavior.  In a society with shared freedoms even individual behavior is inherently social and thus subject to the best interest of all, not just to one’s own selfish desires.  Perhaps one reason American prisons are full (and congress is in stalemate) is due to the incessant glorification of self-centered thuggery.  

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