Rollin' Like Sisyphus

Civilization Is Not A Birthright

Posted in The Fail Pail by Huckleberry on October 20, 2011

Its useless training, but she worked really hard, so give her some Latin to translate. Does she know Latin? I don't know. She probably studied the English translation of The Aeneid. Plus, I understand that a thorough analysis of Hesiod's Works & Days is pivotal to the extrusion of magnesium.


I haven’t commented much on the Anarchists For Big Government protests that have been, er, “sweeping” the nation for a few weeks. In private discussions, people on both sides want to know my opinion until I give it.
Then the wheels come off.
Conservative friends expect me to call them all dirty, useless ungrateful hippies who need to get a job.
Liberal friends expect me cream my pants because protesters are somehow stickin’ it to the man by LARPing as homeless rabble.
They’re both right.
Which means we’re all wrong.
Look, its pretty obvious the rudder has fallen off the Good Ship America when 99% of a narrow slice of the demographic Bell curve takes to the streets to protest vociferously against half the problem, demanding that the other half of the problem do something about it, because, dammit, voices need to be heard.
This, in sum, is the problem I have with the Tea Party as well. As if flapping Tea Bags in defiant ire against the Government but not Wall Street, between the permit hours of 3 and 4:45 pm, is going to do a damn bit of good either.
The problem at the core of both initiatives is the idea that “they” (we, the people, I guess) are somehow owed the consistent fruits of a civilization without actually having to contribute anything to it.
For redundancy’s sake, civilization is not a birthright.
A cursory examination of the breadth of human history quite clearly reveals that “civilization” as we understand the concept is not the natural state of the human condition.
It is a construct established either through cooperation or through force.
Cooperation can involve one of various models, but the model with the most success has been mercantile capitalism.
Force, of course, is the default.
I don’t think I need to detail that one.
That’s it.
Civilization is not owed to you. You can’t sue for it in a court of law, nor can you click your heels three times and wish really hard for it.
You aren’t owed a job on the merits of your audacity, or because you worked really hard at something that no one wants to pay you for.
You are also not owed consistently rising investment opportunities, and no matter what your mutual fund manager may have told you, investing in the market is not in any way, shape or form “savings.” You didn’t loose your investment “savings” when the market tanked, you lost your investment.
You lost a bet.
You are not owed a stable existence just because you have the temerity to exist.
Demanding that someone, somewhere, funds the pursuits of your dilettantism will get you nowhere.
Forge your own path. Use that heralded “work ethic” to figure out a way to make a Classical Studies degree “marketable.”
Here’s a hint, it will probably involve you not working for someone else.

Huckleberry’s 21st Century Protest Cheat Sheet

Wall Street = Bad Guys in suits
Obama = Bad Guy with a teleprompter
Senate = 100 Bad Guys
House = 435 Bad Guys
SCOTUS = 9 Bad Guys in robes (like Greece, Mz. Classical Studies)
You = Fucked

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One Response

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  1. Arielle said, on October 21, 2011 at 07:56

    Your cheat sheet sounds pretty accurate, sadly. Very solid post all around.


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