Since the dawn of our inception, humankind has tried to tame a darkness that they have labeled in many ways. In the shadows of our consciousness we have hosted entities like demons and devils and all sorts of personifications for ideas like hatred, violence and evil. Every philosophy and religion has been an attempt to understand that darkness with symbols, archetypes and narratives; so that we might conquer it and live in peace and harmony with ourselves, others and the universe. We estimate that it is our purpose to vanquish that darkness through the strength of our humanity and the grace of our very existence through faith and free will. And ye though we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, yet we continue to fear.
Our confusion rests on a single flawed premise, which is that fear is a response to the darkness. In actuality, fear is the source of that darkness. Fear does not happen outside of us, it happens within. Those things which we fear are either the product of fear in ourselves and/or others, or they are an irrational unwillingness to accept the uncertainty of our existence. There is no certainty in our universe. There is no back of the book that we can peek at the correct answers from. We develop laws of humanity and nature, that while having many practical benefits and uses, eventually become ingrained into our consciousness as absolutes. Humans look at our existence as a river through time, but we are prone to believe the banks of the river have always been just as they are in our observations. Yet rivers continuously carve out new paths for themselves at a pace we are unable to directly observe, which is why we get caught in the illusion of permanence. Our universe is like that river, we can never see it in the full magnitude of space and time, and so we believe the universe is as eternal as our minute perception of it. Yet existence, reality, the universe or whatever you want to call it has no permanent state we can refer to. And so our certainties stem from that which, by our own limited nature, must be incapable of accessing.
Somewhere in the cognitive dissonance formed from being simultaneously unable to experience certain absolute Truth, and the misguided faith that we know it anyway, fear is born. It is born of the expectations that we have for a universe that doesn’t not conform to them. Unwarranted certainty and existential entitlement create an inner conflict in which fear is born. And from that fear we attempt to build shields against reality through layer after layer of internalized and externalized order. In an attempt to vanquish our uncertainty through an imbalance of applied order, we end up creating more potent uncertainties or darker certainties than existed before our contrivances. And there is no orderly construct with as much potential for destructiveness in the human catalog of contrivances as the state.
In the same way that religion is the ultimate tool against the state, a religion of the state is the ultimate tool against humanity. When we sacrifice our personally sacred ethics, values and morals for those proscribed by an agency of force, we surrender our meaning and purpose to an agenda far less virtuous than those possible in individuals. Proscribed laws and order rob from us our individualism and self-responsibility and replace it with arbitrary absolutes that more often than not conflict with the goodness of individuals. This must be the case, since the structure of the state itself takes on a form and desire that exceeds our own. And that structure uses our own darkness against us for its own continuity and growth by appealing to our fears.
Those who kneel unquestionably before the alter of the state were led their through fear. The apparatus of the state, without specific conspiratorial volition, intrinsically creates narratives of fear that validates itself and creates justifications for the activities that promote its own survival and evolution. Even while, quite often, those activities are in conflict or contrast with the survival and evolution of the individuals trapped within the state. Yet through ever more layers of fear we are drawn from our own self-interests into that of the artifice of the state.
For the pious statist, the world is bedeviled with evil shadows around every corner, from which the only salvation is the state. Boogeymen are created at home and abroad as a reference for why we must have the state to protect us from our own inferior individual nature. Yet the sins of these boogeyman are often the crimes committed most often by the state itself. The state refocuses our ethics, values and moralities into groups, teams and enemies. We are willing to sacrifice even our most sacred ideas, such as ‘Thou shalt not kill’, so long as those being killed have had their deaths sanctioned by the state and the fears it produces. The fears that drive statists ideologies are almost always far less rational than a fear of the danger of the state itself.
With or without the state there are always going to be individuals who act outside the framework of human mores. The state just gives them a framework with which to increase the success of these activities, or protects them against natural consequences. Yet throughout most of nature we can observe that such deviants are an anomaly. Evil is not the norm, it is the exception. By treating it as the norm and creating normative systems of response, we influence those within the system to even more deviant behaviors than before. The side effect of any system of order is an equal and opposite reaction to that system of order. The state does not free us from our darkness, it traps it in a feedback loop of ever-increasing amplification. It is not our denial of the darkness which gives us our humanity, it is how we respond to it. The state is reactionary. It preordains certain responses to categories of behavior, and then reacts to those behaviors with rigidity and absoluteness. Yet every behavior is a complex nexus of internal and external forces of the individual, and can only rightly be responded to fluidly and individually by our peers. Having sacrificed our personal commitment to upholding our ways and placing that awesome duty in the hands of an abstract entity has robbed us of our meaning and purpose. And the less meaning and purpose we have, the more likely we are to fear; and the more likely we are to fear, the more likely we are to accept that which robs us of our meaning and purpose.
The state is a feedback loop in which we are constantly separated from ourselves and divided against one another. The more blindly obedient to it we are, the faster that loop speeds up, and at some point it will reach a critical mass that takes as many of us out with it as it can. That is the kind of entity the state it, it says, “If I go down, I am taking you with me.” And its inevitable path, like ours, is death. The state is impermanent. Yet since it will not accept its own demise, it makes futile attempts to stave it off by sacrificing its adherents and enemies alike.
We must stop being afraid. In your life you will experience loss and pain and eventually even death. These things are inevitable. There is no salvation in causing loss and pain and death in others because we refuse to accept our own vulnerability. Bad things happen. Good people learn to accept them. Those who cannot accept them become a volunteer army of consent for that which makes bad things happen more often than nature ever could- the state.
Statism is a religion, the worst one yet. It is a religion of fear. It offers the individual self-sacrifice without salvation and damnation under the guise of protection. Its prayers are cries of fear and its worship is glorification of the darkness that can only be overcome through acceptance.
In the eternal words of Bill Hicks, “It’s just a ride.” There truly is nothing to fear.