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Old 08-23-2002, 11:04 AM   #35
Brian H
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 102
yet another political thought:

I have never been a real ran of the Left Vs. Right model of politics.

I my mind there is no real difference, in practice, between totalitarian governments. Does it really matter if the man who has his boot heel on the back of your neck is doing it in the name of Fascism, Communism, Socialism, or for that mater, "Homeland security."

My answer is to use the Individualist vs. Collectivist model.

Kevin's life style changes are, no doubt, the result of much contemplation and bring him a measure of comfort and personal satisfaction. It is an individual choice made to benefit himself. By sharing his personal journey with us, he has inspired us.

This sort of thing is individualism at its finest. Kevin is not harming anyone by his choices (well, maybe the beef industry, but I will do my part to keep them happy for him), but he is "being a good example." Not that bad examples don't have there place too.

Collectivists are those that believe that they can make those choices for you. Ban this, enforce that, there should be a law against that. Laws are a good thing, if you harm somebody else, you should be held a accountable (individually - good example: 19 Moslem terrorist belonging to a moslem terrorist organization were responsible for 9/11, but "Moslems" were not)

I find Kevin's choices inspiring and admire him for making them, but they are not for me. If I was forced to make the same lifestyle changes, for the good of all, it would be oppressive and I would be unlikely willingly obey (and thereby become a criminal). What works for Kevin sucks for me.

An incident that occurred several years ago comes to mind (not sure why) where a boy was lost in a designated wilderness area. A helicopter located him. However, for the good of all, it was illegal for any powered vehicles to be in the park and the helicopter could not land. So the boy had to spend an extra night in the woods and wait until a team hiked in to rescue him the next day. While I agree that all can benefit from an unspoiled park and individuals can find other places to ride ATVs and 4x4s, why should we risk the life of a boy to reach that utopian collective goal.

The "Aiki-me" strives to do the right thing, sometimes with the support of others and sometimes despite the lack of it.

Creating a mybrid of petty laws and edicts does not seem to be the answer. Better to have a lot of Kevins.

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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