The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Do Not Understand

But why would I? I have been, for most of my life, a loner. I think of myself as independent, as sufficiently resourceful enough to deal with whatever life throws at me. I have rarely wanted to rely on anyone else. It is, of course, impossible to do so and it is a conceit to even think it is possible.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Some of you, many of you, will recognize those lyrics by Paul Simon. I first heard that song when I was dating a young woman in a place called Lomita, California. I immediately identified with it. It told me that my self-isolation was not real. But, deep inside, I already knew it. Still, I persisted in believing it. It had become habit, a part of me. At the time, I was in the Navy and assigned to a ship, a destroyer, with around 300 sailors. Yet, I saw myself as apart from them; a part of a crew and separate from them at the same time.

And now I wonder about the radical Islamists who have joined (and continue to join) ISIL and al Qaeda and other groups of that ilk. I think they too feel isolated and alone in the world and want to become a part of something large and which has purpose. But what I do not understand is why they willingly submit to a philosophy that denies them any freedom.

The other day I watched an episode of Criminal Minds which involved a cult. It brought these thoughts to mind. I have only known one person who joined a cult and it was a benign one which allowed her to leave when she wished to. The dangerous ones do not let anyone go and they are rare.

But, yet, people join them. Some of these joiners help keep those who want to leave in the cult.

I think that is what radical Islamic groups are: cults. They are not very different than the radical Christian cults except that violence appears to be the purpose of the Islamic ones. They profess a desire for a caliphate. A caliphate is nothing more than a dictatorship, as is any monarchy.

What I truly do not understand is why anyone would desire to be ruled by a dictator.

1 comment:

Inspector Clouseau said...

Ah Douglas, so prescient on your part, as always. Last year, perhaps more than any other year, I heard lots of commentators mention that throughout history there has been an implicit social contract between the led and their leaders, which essentially amounts to this: "You take care of us, and we will do what you ask."

When I first heard, I could not believe my ears. However, the more and more I thought about it, I realized that it may be sad, but true. I actually planned to write a piece on the topic, and relate it to numerous global events which occurred last year, where the issue was raised.

There may be something to it. Additionally, the folks who brought it up have a far better appreciation of history than do I...