Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reply to a defender of the NRA


JohnShade, you write that "... [the] same could be said for churches, unions, civil society organizations and government. Each is an organization that exists to propagate itself before any other goal."
Please consider what you're saying. You are excusing the NRA (and no doubt other organizations and politicians in your life) with the excuse "they all do it, they're all like that, so live with it."
It is in our nature to try to understand others, other organizations and societies from the starting assumption that they are like ourselves, like the groups we know and are part of. This is very limiting. There is a whole world out there of regular people self organizing and organizing for the common good, people and groups whose essential goodness becomes invisible to you when seen through this lens.
Consider in your own life. Do you belong to a local NRA group? Is *it* "there to make money"? Are you in it to make money? Is your local church, lodge or boy scout troop, militia or oath keepers group there to make money?
If your answer is no, then why are so many of these organizations organized from the top around the principles of money, profit, self perpetuation and self-aggrandizement? If that's not what human nature dictates at a small scale, then possibly, just possibly, it isn't a universal law of nature for larger formations either.
Perhaps when you really start looking for these exceptions to the rule, from a place of accepting the possibility they exist rather than a belief that they can't, you will find some.
Your first attempts will very likely be failures and disappointments. If you've spent your adult life assuming all large organizations are corrupt and self-seeking, your skill at sorting the good from the bad is undeveloped. So promise yourself from the start that you won't give up in despair and curse the lot and go back to your old beliefs the first time you are disappointed or feel betrayed by the movement or organization whose honesty and integrity you decided to trust.
Instead, commit now, at the start of your search for honest leaders, organizations and movements, to take each disappointment as a learning moment. Commit now to seriously examining what were the signs and indications of corruption, profit-seeking and self-aggrandizement that you should have picked up on. Commit to grieving your loss and then going back to trying, to continuing your search for groups that don't display those signs and indications.
The reality is that they're all around you, but it will take real work to learn how to see and trust them. The world of free people struggling to learn how to self-organize and cooperate in small and large scale efforts is all around you. But if we're to survive and save our communities, our country, our civilization, we need to learn to see with new eyes. Know that everyone who has gone before you has had to struggle with this, and is still struggling with it.
Undoubtedly in some ways you are already part of the struggle toward this new way of seeing. But you need to learn to distinguish between those leaders and groups who would lead us in circles and pit us against each other, and those that are genuinely part of this path of transformation.
And then  teach what you've learned to your friends, your children, your neighbors and your battle buddies.
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