WE ARE EVERYTHING

IMG_0663Short Story by Ari Juniper.

I remember a time when I felt powerful, and the world, the universe, vibrated at my feet. I was a sunflower sprout, stretching, reaching toward the bright energy above, drawing me in magnetically. A natural pull that made me know I was growing tall.

It all began with a seed, a thought pushed into the dark and fed by the world. The little idea began to shake, tumble, like a snowball pushed down a hill by gravity, the little seed gained momentum as it grows, gathers nutrients from the soil, and explodes.

The first step is hardest, we want to test the water before we jump. What if it’s cold? Hesitations and justifications like stones weighing our feet to the ground. But the seed, as it’s nurtured, pushes its little head toward the sky, slowly unveiling the light. Then we jump.

Head first is best, we’re thrown into the chaos, sending ripples resounding around us. Waves rock our bodies as we gain balance. But we can’t stop here. We choose now to swim, or sink.

Engulfed in idea, we begin to transform our visions into reality. I push my arms into the water surrounding me In any direction, I pull myself closer toward somewhere new.

I move slowly at first, as I feel how the water surrounds my body and how to best move through it. I roll over onto my back, breathe air into my lungs, and float in peace, letting thoughts and waves rock me. My arm is a pinwheel and my cupped hand is submerged, and I am moved. Then my other arm follows lead and begins to act in patterns, thoughts guiding actions guiding thoughts. I slide gracefully over the surface.

I appreciate the sky and begin to wonder what lies below the surface. I have almost forgotten what it was like before the jump and remembering makes me see how far I have come. I flip, taking in air as I submerge my body, reaching my arms below me into the darkness. I pull, like a rope guiding me up a wall, and my eyes are adjusting to the lightless world below.

lake sunsetI come up for air, keeping my eyes open to take in the light. Small steps give introduction to the unfamiliar, and as I explore, I am not afraid, for fear will pull me back to the shore. The little sprout never feared, for the sun was always there, telling the sprout, “all you must do is reach, then rest, and you will grow tall.” And so the seed stretched and shivered as it inhaled the life from the light, and when the light had gone to teach others, she would rest, awaiting another lesson.

As the seed grew into stalk, she learned about leaves, from her ancestors who speak to her through her own body. She found the leaves helped her to grow faster and stronger and so she made many. And at the center was the bud, the flower waiting to bloom.

As I float, moving through the water, this new world begins to feel natural as my body discovers and learns to be one with the medium. I begin to realize that all along I knew how to move but I just needed to throw myself into the waves and remember to move to stay afloat. my ancestors taught me how to swim as I mimicked their fins and trained my lungs to hold my life.

I dive again and see a fish dive below me, shaking his tail and body to propel himself. I see his way of moving is effective and try new methods of movement, slowly discovering better ways. I practice movement and reflect on my progress, and then resurface to rest and breathe.

Breath to energy; photosynthesis to light. I begin to see how I am the seed, slowly reaching and becoming more than a seed, but a stalk, a trunk, leaves, petals and more seeds. As I grow, my thoughts grow and I am able to know that one day I will send these new seeds, grown from another seed, out into the world, scattered in the soil to be nurtured as I was.

man-on-beach-at-sunsetAs the sunflower opens herself to the light each morning, her bright eye follows her muse across the vast blue ocean above and she shines, they shine together. I reach forward, my body submerged and moving toward the other shore. I am thankful for land and rest. As I pull my body, emerge from the depths, water droplets cling to my skin like burrs, soaking into my pores. I may be moving on from this pond but the pond has become a part of me now, just as the earth and sun become and create the sunflower.

I am the seed, the sun, the swimmer, the sea. I am my ancestors, the ancient biological knowledge that pulses in my veins. I am this place, the land below and sky above that nurture my body and soul and are home. I am the fish that shows me the way, I am the rain that quenches my thirst as I grow. I am myself, I am you, I am the universe, the stars and sand and energy. I vibrate at your feet, I am the world, we are all the world. We are everything. So, jump!

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THE WELFARE STATE: WHY WE NEED IT, AND HOW WE OUGHT TO CHANGE IT

Lincoln-on-welfareAn essay on ethical and political philosophy by Mark I Rasskazov.

There was a time when we did not need the welfare state.  Adults got jobs, got settled, got married, had only as many children as they could support, and, together, raised their children to become responsible adults capable of seeing to their own survival — in that order.  If something unfortunate happened to an individual which made it impossible for that person to survive on his/her own, then the community would come together — usually via the local community church — to make sure that that person had food, water, and shelter.  Once they could no longer work, the elderly were taken care of by their children.

This was not a world devoid of tragedy, but it was world where, by and large, people got by, and did not rely on government assistance (meaning: resources confiscated from innocent individuals by force) to do so.  These people did not need to be saddled with massive taxes and regulations because they accepted responsibility for themselves, and spent the necessary resources voluntarily to make sure that the unfortunate did not starve — and if a man was an uncontrollable drunk, then resources were not wasted to fund his habit.

Fast forward to today.

Most people who engage in substance abuse are on welfare.  People who are responsible for themselves are not having children — because they cannot afford to, due to massive regulatory barriers to entry into self-employment, which limits the creation of new jobs, as well as a massive tax burden upon almost every aspect of their lives — whereas those who cannot or will not make any effort to contribute to their own survival often have several children with multiple partners whom they no longer have any association with.  These children are frequently abandoned, or are raised by a single parent.  With each consecutive generation, more and more are growing up learning to take from the productive by force via government while contributing nothing.  They are not being raised properly, and they have no interest in supporting themselves — much less a family — and much less those members of society who have genuine a disability which would legitimately prevent them from being able to support themselves.  This is a recipe for total social, economic, and cultural collapse.

How did we get here?

welfareFirst, we relieved children of their duty to see to the well being of their parents once they’d reached the age at which they could no longer work by instituting the Social Security System. Upon the infrastructure of Social Security, we then built a system whereby we relieved society of its duty to see to the disabled.  Once we accepted that, we decided that it must be the government’s responsibility to take care of everyone — regardless of what their problem might  be.  And so now we have more forms of welfare and personal subsidy than can be counted.  To name a few: food stamps, housing projects, housing subsidies, free phones, childcare subsidies, college grants…the list goes on.  This government (extorted) system of welfare was  (and is) distinct from individual charity in that, while private charity was a system of voluntary help based on assisting the unfortunate to deal with such things that would normally be their own responsibility, government welfare is seen as something to which the «unfortunate» (which is a term which has now been broadened in meaning to indicate anyone who sees themselves as a «have not») are morally entitled to.  Thus, there is a strong incentive on the part of the irresponsible and unenlightened to plunder as much from responsible, productive, self-sustaining people via the government as they possibly can.  This new system of institutionalized parasitism has severely undermined the very fabric and sustainability of our society, and (and this is critical) it is getting consecutively worse due to the fact that new births now tend to be to families that will not teach them to be responsible for themselves and help keep the system afloat.  While productive families generally tend to have one or two children, women on welfare frequently have five or six, from multiple male partners who are absent from their children’s lives.  This ensures that, over time, the population will strongly tend to increase in the number of those who demand welfare, while decreasing in the number of those providing it.  This, of course, can ultimately lead nowhere other than total economic collapse.

This brings me to the first key question of this essay: why do we need the welfare state?

WelfareSpendingChart

We need the welfare state for two reasons: firstly, getting rid of the welfare state at this point will cause human suffering and chaos on a scale which is unimaginable to the modern mind.  Once the «government cheese» stops flowing, those who have come to rely on it — those who do not have a job, and have never bothered to learn any skill which might enable them to survive — will take to the streets committing acts of theft, violence, and destruction.  Eventually they will all die out, whether at the hands of the police, at the hands of private individuals defending themselves and their property, or of exposure, disease, dehydration, or starvation. In the meantime, the amount of destruction that will be wrought upon society and the economy will be catastrophic, and will take at least an entire generation to rectify.  Secondly, at this point in time, we have reached the point that a vast swathe have had so much handed to them, that they take the means of their survival for granted, and they no longer understand even the most basic concepts of long term self-interest.  These people will continue to reproduce and have multiple children with multiple partners — even in the face of starvation — thus perpetuating the destructive cycle of institutionalized helplessness, depravity, and destitution for generations to come.

The bottom line is that the main problem, over the long term, is the birth rate of that section of society which relies on theft via government assistance for survival; yet abolishing the welfare state will, at least in the short and mid terms, make things much, much worse before things start to get better.

There is a simple way to mitigate both of these factors if we act soon — which brings me to the second key question: what do we need to do to «fix» the welfare system?

The answer is simple:

Keep welfare in place, but make vasectomies or tubal ligations mandatory for anyone who wants to receive it.

Let’s talk about this for a moment.

The individual is the rightful owner of his/her person and property, and the state has no right to  compromise this right in any way.  It is not within the government’s proper purview to dispose of the person or property of a human being except as punishment when that person violates the person or property of another individual.  However, no one has a right to government assistance — in fact, if a person accepts government assistance — except as part of a contractual agreement for public service — then that person is committing an act of theft against every person who is forced to pay taxes into the system which supports him.  Thus, by rights, the welfare system should not exits, as it is an institution based on mass theft.

However, as discussed before, welfare does exist, and we can’t get rid of it without experiencing serious short and mid term consequences.

iphone-welfareSo we need to acknowledge that if a person accepts government assistance then that person becomes a ward of the state.  This means that, unlike the person and possessions of a person that deals with others on the basis of voluntary interactions, that person’s body, mind, and property now exist at the whim of the state.  Once we’ve acknowledged this, the solution is very simple, and is as I have already stated.  You stop the welfare crowd from perpetuating itself. You give them enough to have shelter, food and water, but you take away their right and ability to have more children — and the children they already have must be properly accounted for in terms of how they are treated, and in terms of receiving some form of basic education with opportunities for vocational school or college preparation.  If the children are being mistreated or neglected, then the state will exercise the right to confiscate them and give them to foster parents.  At present, the government exercises this legal philosophy toward self-sustaining people as well.  This must stop immediately.  The government has no right, and should have no privilege, to make decisions as to the fate or future of a child who is born to parents who do not receive government assistance.  Yet it does have that responsibility to the children of those parents that do, and the government should exercise that responsibility.

From then on, receiving government assistance will be tantamount to removing oneself from the gene pool — which is just; the law of nature is such that if you cannot survive, then you are not fit, and should not reproduce — and this is more humane than the wild, because we are not letting these people die of starvation, thirst, or exposure to the elements.

Over time, this will correct our current culture which values parasitism over progress, ignorance over intelligence, and weakness over strength, and our country will be preserved from the complete collapse that is otherwise inevitable.