When I leave my gym, there’s a red light at the intersection that literally takes five minutes to change. Often, it will skip the green arrow for people waiting to make a left turn from the side street (that’s me). You are supposed to wait for the next cycle. Another five minutes away. I routinely “run” (that is, ignore) this light. With my V1 radar detector on to screen for road tax collectors, I make sure the traffic is clear in either direction and just… go.
I mean, why not?
There is no reason not to – other than deferring to the conditioning that tells you to obey.
If there is clearly no traffic coming, if it is therefore objectively safe to proceed, why just sit there like a well-trained German Shepard? Unless that’s what we’re supposed to be, of course.
Which of course, we are supposed to be – and punished if we’re not.
If a road tax collector happens to see me perform this maneuver, he will “cite” me not for causing any harm but rather for my failure to …. sit there like a well-trained German Shepard. Because I did not obey my master’s voice. It will actually state this explicitly on the form itself and later, in court – though not using the same phraseology. The “defendant” – aka, the German Shepard – will be scolded for having done Thus and So against the strictures of the traffic code. Which is the equivalent, in two-legged terms, of being told bad boy! and swatted across the snout for climbing onto the sofa.
I am, too.
Which is why I routinely ignore his “voice” – his edicts and commands. His rules and regulations. As much as I can possibly get away with. For two reasons:
First – for the almost erotic satisfaction that comes from getting away with it. It is like successfully kicking a bully in the nuts. It feels good to be bad – when “bad” is nothing more than exercising your own mind’s judgment rather than shutting it off in deference to the judgment (often arbitrary, not infrequently ridiculous) of faceless others who presume they know best, that you are an idiot – and must be treated accordingly. As Seinfeld once put it, Who are these people?
And why must we fear and obey them?
If you are right – and “the law” is demonstrably wrong – why (leaving the possibility of potential punishment aside) obey? It’s mindless – literally, devoid of mind – to obey for the sake of obeying. When you know there’s no reason to obey – other than “just because,” or “it’s the law.” There is nothing intrinsically wrong with disobeying “the law” – and often, a great deal to be said in favor of so doing. It’s something most people never think about, but really ought to. No, more than that. It is essential for them to consider the difference between “the law” – and right or wrong. That “legal” does not necessarily mean right. And just as important, that “illegal” does not necessarily mean wrong.
We are not talking about moral transgressions here – things such as taking what’s not yours, or causing others harm. A fully functioning human being does not require his master’s voice to refrain from such. Because his inner voice – his own moral sense – tells him not to. For good reason. Because it is wrong. Not “just because” or “it’s the law.”
That red light at the gym I routinely “run,” for instance. Others seem to be running it, too. The average person seems to need an example – someone else to do it first before he will risk the attempt himself. Submission conditioning is more (or less) effective on some people than it is on others. But if you show the way… show that it can be done… and far more important, show that it is stupid not to to do it – odds are good you’ll at least get others more conditioned to submission to think rather than blindly submit. The guy waiting behind me at the light will see no harm or chaos resulted from me “running” the light. It may – and hopefully will – arouse annoyance in him. Not at me – but at the idiocy of just sitting there, wasting gas and time… because a light is red. Not because there is cross traffic. Not because it isn’t “safe” to proceed.
But because a light is red.
This is how animals are conditioned. Men – human beings – are supposed to be defined by their capacity to think. To use reason, to exercise judgment. It’s time for more of us to begin acting that way – and show others they can, too.
Traffic law – one form of his master’s voice – is merely a good place to start.
Throw it in the Woods?