virus: Re: virus: Socrates

Re: virus: Socrates

Mon, 03 May 1999 10:35:02 -0700

Reed Konsler wrote:

> Socrates didn't worry too much about being hated.
> He recognized that his fellow citizens were attached
> to their prejudices and became a lightning rod for
> their inconsistencies.

> I think everyone is frustrated with the constraints
> of society. We need rules to feel safe and yet we
> would rather be free of them when it's convenient.

Another way of looking at the role that rules and rule makers play in our lives is that we have been collectively frightened into accepting a largely arbitrary set of constraints and the capricious exercise of power by the "legitimate authorities" as the only workable defense against the rapacious and amoral appetites of our neighbors.

> Most of the rules we live by aren't of our own
> design, and few are ever explained to us.

Many of them could not withstand informed scrutiny and have no convincing explanation. Many rules long outlast the set of conditions that made them seem useful or even necessary in the first place. All too frequently, the supposed conditions that necessitated a new restriction on our freedom never actually obtained but were enacted for the benefit of a privileged few and sold to the many with horror stories that exploited pre-existing prejudices and insecurities.