“Whaddeyou mean by that word “right”? The only thing we’re concerned
about is what’s right for us. We got our own definition of “right”.
-A Hell’s Angel sunk in philosophy
From “Hell’s Angels” by Hunter S. Thompson
So, what is right? Is it what’s right for us? Is it the opposite of what’s right for us? Do the two, if separate, partially overlap?
I was watching CNN Saturday night and they had one of those roundtables, and the subject was America. (You know you’re in trouble when the subject is “America” in the abstract.) One of the guests was that Canadian lesbian Moslem, and she was saying she’d like to see more of the America of inclusiveness, democracy, human rights, the Statue of Liberty, blah blah blah.
I like that America, and I’m proud of it. But there’s another America, the one that will stomp you into the ground if you screw with it. The America that firebombed Tokyo and Dresden, and in the days before airplanes, burned Atlanta with torches. I like and am proud of that America too, And the first does not exist without the second.
Short of reading material, I was flipping through “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, a most profound book by a most profound author, Philip K. Dick. Understand that the book is much different from the movie it inspired, “Blade Runner.” In the book the androids are not sympathetic, they are incapable of empathy and will kill without remorse as many humans as they need to to ensure their freedom.
Deckard has grown tired of killing and finds it repellent. He comes across another bounty hunter, Phil Resch, who has no qualms about this. Deckard is so offended by this he demands to test Resch and see if he is an android. Resch goes along, and no, he’s not an android. His argument is that all the androids they are hunting have killed human beings and will keep doing so. He tells Deckard it’s easier to kill an attractive female android if he has sex with her first.
He enlists the help of Rachel Rosen, the Rosen company android, to help him kill the others. He has sex with her and finds he now has no stomach for killing the rest, particularly Pris Stratton, an identical model to Rachel. (In the movie Rachel is played by Sean Young, Pris by Darryl Hannah, and the issue of them being identical is never raised.) Rachel gleefully tells Deckard that was part of the plan, and no bounty hunter other than Resch has ever been able to kill an android after having sex with her.
Despite knowing he’s being cynically used by evil androids who have killed and will continue to kill, Deckard can only just bring himself to kill the remaining androids. Dick presents Resch as a strange and unusual character. Dick may have been a pacifist, if so that would explain it.
For liberals, killing is just bad. Killing to prevent other killing is no excuse, it’s still killing and is perhaps even worse than what the bad guys do because it is done after some moral deliberation. Bad people kill mostly without any such deliberation and thus in the liberal mind get a pass of ignorance and thoughtlessness.
From this standpoint, morality not only has to be absent of one’s self interest, ideally it should be against one’s self interest, to prove its authenticity. But the morality that destroys the individual or group holding it is not morality at all. “What’s right” is substantially, if not completely, “what’s right for us.” Prefering one’s own is not evil, it’s a basic survival mechanism even primitive creatures have.
Chess players of any skill think at least a few moves ahead, but liberals never do. The question is not “Is violence bad?” but “What is likely to be the result of this violence?” The result of violence by bad people is usually more violence. The result of violence by good people is less violence. Every time Nazis used violence and where successful. they engaged in more violence. Every time the West has used violence, the result has been less violence.
A cultural value system has to be self-sustaining as well as ethical, or it will lose out to systems that are just self-sustaining.