by Sarah A. Hoyt
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
There is a theological explanation of heaven and hell that I’d like to borrow for non theological purposes.
So, in hell, everyone has a six foot long spoon, and free soup. No one can eat, because of course you can’t feed yourself with a six foot spoon. BUT in heaven, everyone has a six foot long spoon, and free soup, and everyone is well fed, because they all feed each other.
It’s cute. It’s simple. It sort of makes sense (but not. I mean, look, some of us would be cutting the spoon against some rocks. Using the scraps to make new spoons and selling them for…. something. Others would simply grumph and grab the spoon near the bowl, wildly waving the rest of the handle behind, as a protective shield. (That’s me.)) Except where it doesn’t, because if you’re required to constantly feed others…. well. If it’s heaven you’re all past a redemptive event where everything works. But in the world, with normal humans, you know it just turns to hell, because there’s always that guy, and then it ripples through the whole fabric of society, till no one will feed anyone because “f*ck that guy.”
Note that I’m not Ayn Rand. (Nor even her child by Robert A. Heinlein, whatever that chick who picked a fight with the blog said a few years ago.) I don’t try to fight altruism. Some forms of altruism are not only good, but civilization maintaining or enhancing or even necessary. Like your altruism in marriage guarantees a happy marriage. Each of the spouses should want to make the other happy. (Not unlimited, though, because if you don’t rein each other in, the other becomes a monster.) And the same with children, particularly very young children. If you’re not altruistic in looking after them, you won’t raise them. Then again, if you always do things for them, sacrificing yourself forever, you also raise monsters.
In all things you must strike a happy medium, though she’ll rarely stay happy after you strike her, to be honest.
But what we saw during the covidiocy was the result of extolling that model of heaven. “Well do all this for others, look how wonderful we are.” And that’s great, except for when the entire premise is false and there is no sparing the neighbor by your sacrifice, so you’re just depriving/destroying your life for no reason.
Mind you, I think humans have a built-in need to be self-sacrificing/do things for someone else. Maybe an evolutionary need, because if you weren’t useful to the band, you might end up in the cooking pot when things went wrong.
Which brings us to the whole heaven and hell thing again.
I realized recently that the left is inherently very unhappy. No seriously. We can be unhappy ABOUT this and that. And humans are humans, and sometimes we get very unhappy for a while. BUT the left are unhappy all the time.
I have found myself talking to people I considered sane and nice, and suddenly they start talking about how everyone needs to die/there needs to be an extinction level event for…. reasons, and only then will we have paradise.
The reasons range from of course, overpopulation/gaia/etc. to things like “because that’s the only thing that will cure us of capitalism” or “so the smart people are the only ones that survive” or whatever.
The reason is actually unimportant, what comes through in rage-flecked spite is that what they are in it for is the destruction. That’s what makes their soul sing.
How angry do you have to be to be that hateful at all of humanity, sometimes all of existence?
It took me a while to figure out how it was even possible. And then I realized…. They live in a very frustrating world. First of all, they thing that the metaphor for heaven really is, and really works, every time and perfectly, and they should feed and be fed, or even not feed, and just be fed, because why not. And everything will be perfect.
And the world is never perfect. And they’re frustrated. And they imagine that it’s perfect for other people: whiter people. People who are richer. People who aren’t them.
Because no one ever told them “Life is pain, princess. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.”
Now, this isn’t an absolute, anymore than life is perfect is an absolute. It is just that life is mixed. There is no perfection. Ups and downs.
And if you think you’re having a really hard time, maybe you are, but probably there are people out there having more challenges and doing better. Same as there are a lot doing a lot worse.
Imagining that everyone has it easier just messes society — and you.
Until you hate everyone who is not you, or you think that everyone has it better.
And then you want to kill them for whatever reason, including because you think the landscape would be prettier without them.
And that’s a good way to go to hell while looking for heaven.
Reprinted from According to Hoyt for January 24, 2023
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