Sunday, October 02, 2022

People have responsibility for actions

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 31, 2022)

Is it my imagination, or do many people run from responsibility as fast as they can?

If you cause harm to a person's life, liberty, or property you need to take responsibility. Don't wait for someone else to hold you accountable. Step up and accept it.

If it was an accident, it can't be a real crime, no matter how bad it was or what government says. You still owe restitution but government has no stake in the matter. It's between you and the one you harmed. Punishment shouldn't even be an option.

It's only if you refuse to take responsibility that I can see how some might justify government involvement. I still suspect this will always make things worse.

If you caused harm on purpose you committed a crime. You can still choose to take responsibility, although if you're the sort to commit crimes I doubt you will unless backed into a corner. Some people imagine government is the right tool to use to back criminals into a corner; I think it's a weak tool and still makes things worse in the long run. Being punished by government isn't the same as accepting responsibility or even being held accountable. It's nothing.

It's not just the big things like this, though. In fact, those are the extreme cases, even if too common. The smaller examples are even more common, and probably affect more people.

People don't take responsibility to put their trash in a proper receptacle, and if they do, they don't care if it's going to blow right back out again. They'll leave paper in the back of their pickup, knowing it's going to blow out and become litter.

They dump cats and dogs, not caring about the pain and misery they'll suffer as strays-- and the puppies and kittens born doomed.

I get it; responsibility is hard. It's not fun. It's easier to let someone else deal with your messes and suffer your consequences. But this is how others justify political government-- which is just more irresponsibility; every bit as damaging as the other things I've mentioned. Laws are pollution, too.

You are responsible for your actions, whether you accept it or not. If you don't face it you are hurting yourself. You're making a world none of us-- including you-- would want to live in. You might as well be telling everyone that you're not very smart or good.

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Dystopia + government = same old thing

I often enjoy dystopian fiction. Books like the Hunger Games series, television series, and movies.

However, almost all of it introduces some factor that I don't like, which interferes with the whole premise-- usually because it doesn't seem like it really fits the story. Something that tries to make it into something other than what it was.

After establishing how you'll adapt to survive this world, suddenly, "Oh, look: there's a whole society you never knew about living just over the hill...or under it. This changes everything." And usually not in a good way. It's like the common fiction arc: "Let's discover this wondrous new place or thing, and destroy it so the world can return to how it was before."

And, of course, most dystopian fiction has to become a sermon promoting the Religion of Statism in some way. "See how brutal and short your life would be without us robbing and controlling you for your own good?" They do this, for example, with aggressive neo-governmental gangs calling themselves a militia and pretending they are different from any other political government. They aren't. And it kind of ruins the storytelling in a lazy way.

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