Monday, June 17, 2024

The levels of maturity

I notice a kind of hierarchy of maturity:

First, you have innocent but self-centered Childishness-- Don't get too loud or upset the adults and everything is fine. Someone will take care of you. Everyone can just get along and no violence is ever necessary. These are the people who say they'd never use violence against a rapist or a thief because his life is just as valuable as anyone's. Bread and circuses-- I'm happy as long as I can play and eat and don't have to think. The welfare state.

Next, you have the Hormone-addled teenager, which is what most people seem to mistake for maturity-- Characterized by those who speak of "Hard men doing violence so you can sleep soundly", or said another way, "Adults in the room" doing wrong, because they imagine someone has to do it. These people worship cops and the military. They believe government is inevitable and necessary (even "good"). They'll mock anyone who points out that taxation is theft/extortion because they don't see another way to fund what they intend to impose on you. They feel they are immune from consequences but want to see others punished. They seem to experience anger and pain if they see anyone not as miserable as they make themselves (but they'd say "I'm not miserable, you're miserable!"). Almost everyone not stuck in the first level ends up, and stays, here. The police state.

Lastly (unless there's a higher level I'm missing) are the ones I consider to have reached Adulthood -- Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff, but defend the innocent from those who do. Justice, not punishment/revenge. I'm responsible for what I do and don't need government looking over my shoulder to threaten me into doing the right thing-- or to threaten me into doing what I know is wrong just because government requires it. What you do, as long as you aren't violating another, is not my business, even if I wouldn't personally choose to do the same. Just keep your hands to yourself and we won't have a problem. No state.

I think it's easy for any of us to slip into lower levels under certain circumstances, but we should strive to stay in the higher level as much as humanly possible. It's a journey, not a destination.

Thank you for reading.