07 May 2011

The Manifesto of the Effective, Part 1

The Manifesto of the Effective

by Larry Adams

The Unclean

There have been, over the past thirty years or so, hundreds of self-help ideals that have come to the fore to help all of us poor benighted, unenlightened, unmotivated people to find the source of the drive and motivation which apparently missed us completely. What comes now, by my hand, is not to be interpreted as such an argument. It is intended only to allow me to highlight the absurdity of modern reliance on those tomes, while showing how this modern society has lost sight of the fact that, in the end, it is only each of us against the world that we live in. That we are not entitled to help from any source that we cannot secure for ourselves. It will seek to highlight the reality that those who can think, decide, and act for themselves will ever outpace those who stand around, like ducks in thunder, waiting for someone to come and take care of them.

The goal of these musings is to show the confluence of individuality and logical thinking; and how the uncompromised expectation of these qualities in others is not a vice, as some would have us believe, but is paramount to being an effective human being. As a manifesto, it is not intended to be an exhaustive work, but rather an argument that runs contrary to the tendencies of a society that has forsaken accountability and the expectation of anyone's ability to do what they say that they can do.

Forewarned: I use "he" and "him" when dealing with hypotheticals. If that offends you, go fuck yourself. Thank you.


Once upon a time, (one of my favorite lead-ins) the American people were feral. We, as a culture, were rough, uncivilized, wild. In those days, the number of people who lived in urban sprawls were not the majority. Therefore, the average man was expected to be able to take care of himself. There was no modern safety net of universal health care. Hell, there was no anticipation of any sort of healthcare anywhere outside of a built-up area. One lived by his wits. As such, he became lord of his own destiny. He didn't need to justify any sort of risk to an insurance adjuster. He didn't need to plead with a bank to give him money on the margin to establish a homestead on the frontier. He had provided no assurances and none were provided to him. As such, his successes were his own, and could not be claimed by any other who sought to reap the produce that resulted from the sweat of his brow.

This is our legacy. It is what identified us as an effective people. It is why we have come to enjoy the success that we have enjoyed since the Eisenhower administration.

So what happened? How did this modern society come so far from that paradigm of accountability?

The majority of the United States became domesticated.

Consider for a moment the difference between a feral animal, and a domesticated one.

-A feral turkey is a wily animal, who is a member of a flock that works together, is adept at perceiving and mitigating threats, and can communicate with the rest of his mates to preserve the continued survival of the group.

-A domesticated turkey is an idiot, raised simply to consume food, reproduce, and be eaten by humans.

We can see this same dynamic in almost every single animal that mankind has adopted to serve his ends. Horses, dogs, pigs, sheep, goats. (I would include cats in this discussion, but I've never agreed that a domesticated feline actually serves the ends of mankind, but rather the opposite.)

This domestication has taken place, sadly, within our own species.

A hundred years ago, if a man brandished a firearm in a public place with clear intent to use it, he was put down by others in the crowd who understood that NOT having a way of defending oneself was to become beholden to any aggressor bent on taking away their life, liberty, and property.

They were feral. They were adept at perceiving and mitigating threats, and could communicate with the rest of their mates to preserve the continued survival of the group.

Compare that to this current era. These days, if a man brandishes said firearm in a crowd (or in the case of three 9/11 airliners, a razor blade), mass panic ensues. Few are able to effect their own defense, and mitigate the threat. There is an expectation by those threatened that someone else should protect their life, their liberty, and their property. And so they defecate in fear, begging for their salvation, instead of taking actions to preserve themselves.

Much like the domesticated turkey. Welcome to life in 21st century America.