Fear of death is the death of freedom
Love this post! Life is always at best a calculated risk but risks fuel evolution especially in the young. What I notice is that those who take safety first as a mindset live incredibly cloistered lives of quiet desperation and often engage in habits that are very unsafe in the long run: they marry the safe choice, stay in the same safe group of associates who validate their perceptions, watch the glowing screens all day, and drown themselves in pointless addictions whether it be drugs, porn, alcohol, shopping or Netflix. They're living vicariously and not really living. You have to make peace with the inevitability of your own death which leads on to what legacy you want to leave behind
Your amazingly excellent essay brought to mind that crazy German genius who not only predicted the wars of the 20th century but also the "Safety First" epitaph of Western Civ.
This is from his Zarathustra:
"Behold! I show you the last man.
‘What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?’ – thus asks the last man, blinking.
Then the earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His kind is ineradicable, like the flea beetle; the last human being lives longest.
‘We invented happiness’ – say the last men, blinking.
They abandoned the regions where it was hard to live: for one needs warmth. One still loves one’s neighbor and rubs up against him: for one needs warmth.
No shepherd and one herd! Each wants the same, each is the same, and whoever feels differently goes voluntarily into the insane asylum."
Nietzsche knew how fear, conformity, and the sterility of comfort uber alles produced a sort of anti-life or death-in-life, certainly no real life worth living.
Loved the juxtaposition of the safety from the virus vs the safety of the vaccine. This is an amazing rant. God Damn you can turn a phrase!
I had never heard of Burning Man's motto of "Safety Third," until Charles Eisenstein said it. He stated that he received an incredible amount of flack quoting it. It is my new motto.
There's another juxtaposition for you, you and Charles Eisenstein, no offense to either of you.
Excellent rant. Agree very near 100%
The one thing I can't help stop for nagging my mind though is the correlation between the rise of safetyism and the late 20th century advances in technology.
Despite the "Right Stuff" style origins of our space program in reckless disregard for safety, NASA (and its cultural correlates) today is basically ground zero of the hyper-safetyism mentality. There seems to be something self-defeating baked into the theme of things; something in the process of developing the kinds of technologies which could produce mag-trains and space ports, which spiritually and culturally degrades the people to the point which such feats are unachievable.
Maybe it's all to do with the comfort of modern life and the implied opportunity costs that induces. We have access to seemingly endless diversions and entertainments, even if we accomplish and risk nothing.
The old playground equipment was far superior. Now no carousels, nor swings with ropes longer than toddlers need. Not only is adulthood illegal, so is childhood.
I presume you've read Jack Williamson's "With Folded Hands..." Sicherheit über alles is the overarching passphrase of the nanny state, but they'll beat you to death if you object. Even if they don't beat you, you can just starve in the dark.
However, you appear to underestimate the nanny state's hypocrisy. Safety from the virus vs safety of the vaccine barely begins to touch it.
Few things in life feel better than making a personal decision to assume risk and having it work out to your satisfaction. The idea that my ability to enjoy such things is being perpetually throttled by dumb cowards is difficult to accept.
I think you may enjoy this if you’ve never seen it.
This attitude toward life is a chief reason that I moved to NZ in 2015.
Then Covid happened.
Never in a million years did I imagine Kiwis lose all their common sense and cave to this. As a general rule people tolerate much more physical risk than most western countries. I have been devastated to witness the country being smothered to death by the dark mother ruling the country with an iron fist.
The real problem, and the motivation for the safety fetish, is the loss of our capacity to manage risk. Everything has risks, some known, some unknown. Everything has value, some large, some small. Competent people learn to understand and evaluate those risks and benefits, and choose actions that optimize their outcomes. The failed education system has systematically eliminated that capability for several generations. Reversing that pathological approach will take time, but the sooner we start, the sooner we recover.
You are far too prolific to keep up with, sir. I'm still formulating an answer to something you posted this past weekend (maybe my processing speed is on the wain; it happens to the best of us, and I don't claim to be that).
One quick thought that sprang forth was "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." The common burial prayer is in fact a middle finger to the concept of material risk. All that lives must die.
The truth of this stalks us always, as creatures of reason. Sometimes -- if we are blessed or lucky -- it grips us in the dead of night, Death shaking us playfully in its fangs until we understand its defining purpose. I fear for those who have not yet been shaken in that way, and think it's largely these poor souls who torment the rest of us.
Somewhere tonight, Bill "Manboobs" Gates will stretch himself out on a luxurious bed, with servants attending to his every need and whim. But he will never find the comfort of surviving Death's fangs, and will remain a terrified child even if he lives to be one million. He and his ilk will senselessly inflict that discomfort on us, much as a wailing infant inflicts itself on flight passengers.
Before Safety First, the weak, the less agile, the less cognitive were removed from the gene pool.
Safety First has broken the evolutionary cycle for the past two generations, leading us to this bizarre world we are witnessing today. And we don't appear to be anywhere near the end of this epoch.
It may have saved a few lives of the less genetically fortunate, but it's killed millions of souls.
Great post, I could not agree more.
I was recently informed that a young (10 year old) male relative is often bullied by his classmates, that his teachers are aware of this bullying and try to protect him from it and that he is now thinking he that is gay. When told this I immediately commented to my wife that all boys are bullied at some point and dealing with it is is a learning and growth process. When a boy is protected from bullying he is denied the experience of having to develop a strategy to deal with it. His teachers are doing him a disservice by sheltering the boy from the reality that boys are always competing with each other. It is the ingrained survival instinct in competition for food, shelter, a mate. Faced with bullying boys develop a strategy to cope. I was on the smaller side and for me fighting back involved not fists but charm, guile and allies. Protecting this boy from a normal and valuable part of growing up is surely doing more harm than good.
Man, oh man. Brother John: you are the first man I have ‘heard’ that thinks as I do. For fifteen years I have preached that same philosophy. Kudos. - Ross
Very good article Mr. Carter. I feel safer just having read it. Perhaps I should go cower under a rock somewhere just to stay on the safe side!!!!!!
Linking tomorrow as usual@https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/
Also, this is really strange or then again maybe it's on purpose. I use Startpage as a search engine and happened to search the word cower, sometimes us illiterates have to verify our spelling. You know how a word just sometimes doesn't look right when you type it...
So I type in cower in Startpage's search, and this is the first thing that comes up:
1. crouch down in fear
Example: "children cowered in terror as the shoot-out erupted"
Now just how "fu**in freaky is that? Do they like update search terms to fit the daily propaganda now?????
You are speaking directly to my heart, and I am inspired and as assured as ever that I am on the right path. The picture you paint is the world I imagine and am striving for in the interests of me and mine. I know you might have just been making a rhetorical point, but when you say "it isn't totalitarianism... it's because they put Safety First" I disagree. They want safety first for themselves because they are cowards. They demand safety first for you and me because they intuitively understand that they will not be able to compete with those of us (dare I say better men?) that have higher risk tolerance under conditions of freedom. By the way, since you are clearly an American in mind and spirit, have you plans to pursue U.S. citizenship and join the fight to realize the vision you outline?
Wow, amazing post ! This should be shared far and wide. It is simultaneously incredibly inspirational and a great explanation for how we got here. It is hard for me to imagine this not resonating with almost anyone who has a glimmer of a soul.
I've recoiled from the words "safety first" my whole life. That attitude just closes all doors, windows, peepholes and cracks into experiencing life. And without experience there is no passion, no emotion, no discovery. I just can't imagine a life where safety is my first thought. Or even part of the conversation, at least for the initial wild eyed passion about something.
I equate free speech in the same way with thinking, You cannot think freely without free speech. In large part, if not almost entirely, our innovative, do anything spirit in the USA is a direct result of freedom of speech. You can't spitball and come up with wild crazy ideas if you can't just say the most ridiculous, and perhaps inappropriate things. Creativity comes from tossing all kinds of crazy ideas and perspectives together and seeing what emerges. So yeah, no safe speech neither.
I’m a retired army pilot and fly in the corporate world now. Safety culture has greatly enhanced aviation with processes, but it’s also prone to become a huge pain in the ass. The military has gotten to the point where data gets manipulated or one can’t fly because you can’t satisfy the safety requirements. Sometimes they just don’t fly because it’s the “safe” thing to do. I’d make a large bet that China and Russia aren’t consumed by this nonsense.