2016 Jason Scarabin

Iconoclasm over acquiescence is a lonely road. Dare to be different and a heavy social, and eventually economic, price is paid. That dare to self is never the foundation on which one begins or rests this sad and lonely journey but it could be the initiator. An iconoclast cannot simply use the need to be different as a driving force or his arguments will not sustain themselves.

The journey frequently begins by reading or getting exposed to another iconoclast. The well-established iconoclast is strong, so the inspiration in kind thereby has a strong effect. This near-hero worship blinds the new recruit into delusions of grandeur.

I embraced the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Her dogmatic approach to government struck a chord within me. The underlying theme was rejection of force which led to my second, and more of a nail in the coffin, iconoclastic hero: Christopher Hitchens, who lambasted religion night and day, an anti-theist.

Despite embracing Rand’s philosophy, I was so detached from politics that I didn’t have a name for my philosophy as it pertained to government until a dear friend labeled it for me: libertarian.

In short, libertarian philosophy rejects the force of government in personal and economic lives. One could argue that many of the authors of the United States new government in the late 18th century embraced this philosophy, particularly Thomas Jefferson. Outright rejection of laws restricting personal and economic behavior sits at the foundation.

Because of human tendencies and weakness, vast majorities will outwardly condemn this philosophy. It has the implication of encouraging lawlessness throughout the land but more devastating is that it implies having no compassion for the helpless, both of which are not true for anyone not a control freak.

In short, anti-theism philosophy rejects the influence of the supernatural in all its forms and actively fights religion. One could argue that at least some of the authors of the United States new government too embraced this philosophy, particularly Thomas Paine. Outright rejection of celestial, invisible dictatorship from on high sits at the foundation.

Because of human tendencies and weakness, vast majorities will condemn this philosophy not only in public but privately too. Fear of death and the unknown, hope for eternal life, and an overall need to live in servitude coupled with firmly-held traditions drive theism.

When a person expresses views completely opposite of another, there is not only friction but separation in all its definitions. The defense mechanism is to avoid negativity, shame and anything that would put a target on one’s back. Most are consumed with enough stress in their own lives that the status quo alleviates the spread of more stress and anxiety. We are driven to comfort and pleasure, not discomfort and pain.

An embrace of philosophy that rejects force in all forms will not only reveal really deep, natural human behavior in oneself but in others. Friendship circles will vanish. Your same need to disassociate with negativity will also be executed by those around you and you’ll find yourself alone on an island. In essence, you’ve traded toxicity for inconsolable grief – and so have they.

Both parties have placed the other into a container in which neither one belongs. Neither party has the will to reconcile the differences.  Those schisms have been hashed out too many times – if one is lucky enough to get to hashing. The debates require staggering amounts of strength that too often has lay dormant near atrophy.

To overcome this devastation on relationships, both sides making some concessions may be necessary. Find common ground to teach and learn the other side.

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