Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | March 27, 2014

What Shall We Do About Assholes?

I’m through with letting assholes rule the world. And there’s a simple reason why assholes rule the world.

We let them.

Why?

Because they are willing to violate others and we aren’t. Because they have no sense of the inestimable dignity and beauty of others and we do. Because they can’t see that people are worth more than possessions and achievements, since to them everything and everyone alike are just objects, resources, no more than a means to their aggrandizement. So when they don’t get their way, they violate anyone who won’t comply.

Most people are sane and realize that giving assholes their way is less costly than fighting them over crap. Peace is worth more than stuff. Joy is worth paying for, if necessary, especially when the price is minor in comparison. So we give assholes what they want, hoping that they’ll take it and then leave well enough alone. But they never do.

Giving assholes what they want just encourages them. Assholes don’t have any sense for limits or how their compulsions affect the people they violate to get what they lust for. That’s what makes them assholes. So when they get what they want, the pain they caused doesn’t figure into their thinking. All they know is that force got them what they wanted. This means that more force can get them more of what they want. So they violate again, only worse this time.

And we give in again.

Now, we think, they’ve gotten even more of what they want, which must bring them closer to satisfaction. But we’re fools. This only increases their appetite and proves to them that they can satisfy it whenever they want to. It also suggests that there is no limit either to how hungry they can get or how much they can take to satisfy themselves. They soon realize that there are no rules, and there might well be no one who can stop them, so the world around them suddenly looks a prize waiting to be conquered and taken.

Not everybody wants to rule the world. Just assholes.

It’s time we stopped giving them what they want.

We’ve tried pacifying them for thousands of years now. What has it gotten us? Over the centuries pacification brought mass starvation, oppression, slavery, impoverishment, genocide, ritual sacrifice, ritual rape, infanticide, physical and sexual and labor exploitation of children and women, the Inquisition, the Crusades, caste systems, class systems, and war after war in an endless flow of blood spilled over hubris, greed, paranoia, and domination lust. Read any tome on world history. Human history as recorded is defined by the acts of psychopathic assholes. The goodness of sane people occurred in the spaces between confines dictated by assholes obsessed with power and “glory.” We don’t comply and participate because we like the world as they’ve made it or enjoy the way things are, but because we were beaten into believing that we have no choice. Bullshit.

It’s time to tell assholes no. They can’t have what they want anymore, because they don’t want what’s good. They don’t want what’s beneficial. Their ways haven’t worked. In fact, their ways fucking suck by any measure. And they don’t even know what they want. All they know is that they must have more. What they get more of doesn’t matter nearly as much as being the ones to decide what it is and when to take it. That’s because for them it’s not about what they take — it’s about what was taken from them.

Assholes behave the way they do because they carry gaping black holes where their hearts used to be. What they try to fill those holes with is arbitrary, and it often changes. More than what they take, what matters is that they do the taking. Gifts frighten them, were they to consider them sincerely given; which is why they see gifts as tricks or the gestures of suckers. But what they take, now that they own. It’s especially sweet when they take what belongs to others, because this mimics the violations they themselves suffered. Simultaneously, they create fellows who like them are intimately acquainted with atrocity, while retaliating against proxies for those who violated them, pain for pain, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Their spoils testify to their prowess and inviolability, but it’s all a sham. They don’t reclaim what they lost from those who took it from them, but instead substitutes from proxies, so there’s never an end to it. No matter what they do to their victims or how many they victimize, their violators remain, looming no less tall and menacing in the crypts of their psyches. When faced with their actual violators, assholes cower and tremble. But facing those weaker than they are — as they were weaker than their violators — they swell with overbearing superiority. It’s easy to see how false and hypocritical this is, because the truly superior don’t swell or overbear — they protect and aid.

Assholes operate with carrots and sticks — validation and intimidation. Both have prices affixed. We must pay for their validation, and if we resist the extortion, they make us pay with pain until we no longer dare refuse. And we’re at a disadvantage, because what we lose in this is never worth the pain of refusal — at least not in each instance. What we don’t realize, instance after instance, is that this isn’t about instances. Assholes don’t measure what they’ve taken, except to boast. They aren’t motivated by not enough or the promise of more, but by insatiable need. So for them there is no “more” that will ever mean “enough,” and this prospect terrifies them, compelling them to get ever more even after exceeding all sane measures of “enough.” There will never be an end to the instances, and so there will never be an end to the extortion, and so there will never be an end to the pain they inflict. Their validation will remain promised but undelivered, and their intimidation will remain as a standing threat even when not an awful experience. Sane people consider evil an exception and keep accounts. Assholes see evil as the stuff of life itself; breaks in its torment are welcome respites afforded them by offloading evil onto others. Sane people assume that evil has limits and, therefore, an end. Assholes are committed to the proposition that no end of evil for others will ever come, because if it did, then they’d have to bear it themselves.

So, there is no point in putting up with asshole violations ever or at all, because for them the first time and the thousandth time alike are both just the time before the next one in an undifferentiable flow of abuse that is their conscious and subconscious reality. They aren’t more prone to relent later. In fact they are much less likely to relent later; so the best thing is to stop them early, before they gain momentum. Sadly, this rarely happens, thanks to a combination on our parts of cowardice, denial, and false hope. If the water is putrid, cap it at a trickle. It doesn’t get easier once it’s a torrent of muck overflowing its banks, flooding and fouling the whole territory.

How can we stop them? We ask that question like fools. We ask it thinking that we have alternatives, that “how” matters, which only shows that we don’t grasp what’s at stake. A woman facing her rapist doesn’t ask “how” once she decides she won’t be raped. An abuse victim doesn’t ask “how” when he’s had enough. A slave doesn’t ask “how” once his slavery finally gets intolerable. They don’t hope for answers — they find them or they make them. Anything else is unacceptable. “How?” implies that some ways will work and some won’t, meaning we still recognize failure as a possibility, a future where we continue suffering extortions and atrocities. As long as that’s true, assholes will win, because we’ll let them.

The question we should ask instead is how we could possibly go on giving into assholes any longer; and the answer must be “no more, not ever.” Otherwise we’ll go on giving into them or eventually relapse. If so, it won’t be the assholes’ fault. Their fault is that they are assholes willing to violate us and have violated us in fact. But they are not the ones who give into their violation and consider it preferable to alternatives. That’s on us. And of course there is no lack of excuses available to prove that we have no choice but to give into them. The victim’s view is quite familiar to most of us, but it’s just a lie we tell. If we give in, if we make allowance for giving in, it’s not on the assholes’ accounts. Rather, it’s truly what we still want.

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