A Manifesto on Exceptionalism, or “The Shoe is on the Wrong Foot.”6 min read
Since the earliest days of humanity, the adventurers, the entrepreneurs, and the risk-takers have enjoyed the benefits of a more interesting existence, coupled with the rewards that come from taking measured risks. While it is true that sometimes these ventures and adventures have claimed life and limb, that is the nature of risk – it is a gamble, a bet on one’s own ability to overcome the odds based on nerve, ability, intelligence, and maybe destiny.
Moses might have encouraged the Hebrews to stay in Egypt. Alexander might have indulged slovenly comfort rather than setting out to conquer the known world. Hannibal might have decided that crossing The Alps on elephants was a ridiculous notion. Columbus might have thought it best not to risk sailing off the edge of the earth. If these historical figures had played it “safe,” we would not remember their names and our world would be a very different, no doubt smaller, and less technologically-advanced place. Instead, these leaders, conquerors, and explorers made history. Today woke culture has turned them into villains. Why?
There is no reward without risk.
The Pilgrims came to the new world, embracing doubt and risk for the rewards of religious freedom. The American Colonists revolted against British tyranny. Lewis and Clark explored the American West. Our histories are replete with the names of explorers, adventurers, risk takers, heroes… The one thing they all have in common is that they braved the unknown; accepted the risks because the perceived rewards – even when they were unknown – were worth it. Today, of course, these names are also attacked by that same segment of the population that promotes “wokeness” and anti-exceptionalism. That should come as no surprise as the eventual outcome of what started with participation trophies.
The ol’ switcheroo
Consider now the world since the Spring of 2020. Through the exploitation of fear, empowered both by force and mass communication, the tyrants have seized power globally to close businesses, schools, and churches; to shut down travel, and to quarantine healthy people in their own homes. After almost 2-years of this, society (already on its way to entropy, homogeneity, a bland, featureless mass), has been thoroughly reprogrammed to avoid perceived risks, in spite of the potential to live life.
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit.
Those individuals who are willing to venture out, to take risks, to brave the hazards, are being locked out of society, losing their employment, being ostracized and even penalized. The adventurers, the explorers, the heroes… are today’s pariahs. The fear-programmed majority is constantly screaming their tired old mantra: “stop being selfish with wanting your rights and freedom! you are endangering people!” Cowards are the new useful idiots being exploited in a large-scale reversal of social mentality.
If they are so fearful, aren’t they the ones who should stay home? Aren’t the fearful the ones who should be forced to leave their jobs, and close their businesses? Leave this risky living life stuff to the unafraid, to the entrepreneur, to the adventurer, to the pragmatic risk-taker who sallies forth with faith in self and in divine providence.
Society now demands instead that the world be rendered “safe”, “riskless,” and the risk-takers be relegated to vestigial relics that must be restricted and censured until they just go away and cease to resist or exist.
It isn’t just the pandemic; it’s bicycle helmets, “hot” labels on your coffee cup, and of course gun control and those little signs on storefront doors prohibiting concealed carry on the premises.
Entrepreneurs and adventurers, the responsible and self-reliant, are now the enemy; a public nuisance, an inconvenient reminder of the days where exceptional efforts were sometimes rewarded exceptionally and rugged individuals didn’t need rules and policies to make the world into a safe space.
The powers that be propose a new question: “what use does a modern world have for the brave? the explorers? the adventurers? the entrepreneurs? the risk-takers?” In this very different worldview, there is no use or room for exceptionalism. The modern vision is to lock up or lock out the non-conformist and make the world friendly to a society of the fearful who demand not freedom, but the privilege of the perception of safety. Their paradise is a society where no one can make them experience the reproachful voice of their own conscience by bringing up morality, the just authority of a Divine Creator, or challenge their worldview with independent thoughts or behaviors. Instead, they desire a homogenous landscape where everyone gets a trophy, gets to choose their own pronouns, and the end state is the entropy of anti-exceptionalism. Of course, this is the real illusion. Nature and The Universe don’t care about feelings, political agendas, or artificial social constructs and they will eternally enforce the rules of reality.
So, when the entertainment industry encourages certain lifestyles and behaviors, Nature responds with addiction and deadly disease. When the advertisers encourage the pharmaceutical-driven lifestyle to insulate people from Nature’s backlash… there is still a price to be paid in side-effects and the loss of natural protections. Politicians encourage leaving yourself defenseless by giving up your rights, your arms, and your immune system. Will surrendering your sovereignty and defenses ever go unpunished? Has bowing down to false gods ever not provoked the just wrath of Deity? Employers still want mindless workers to robotically follow procedures, to submit to popular social agendas, and ignore the alarm bells screaming in their heads. Will these agendas lead to a safer, more productive workplace? Will it create more proficient workers worthy of higher compensation? You know the answer.
The risks that lead to rewards and accomplishments have been shamed, because risk is the province of the individual, a unit of measure society is uncomfortable with. Only populations can be controlled because a group involves communication, interaction – and this gives insight that allows that group’s behavior to be predicted and manipulated. The individual, however, is free to act in a solitary fashion and keep their thoughts to themselves – at least if they stay off social media. They are a random variable that can’t be reliably predicted, they can act unexpectedly and that makes them impossible to control.
The ability to think and act independently terrifies the authoritarians, the tyrants, and the cowards who are reliant on group dynamics for their very existence. Hence their terms like “lone wolf,” a predator, an enemy. The compliant and the cowardly have powerful allies that are making the world “safe” for them by taming, caging, or destroying the lone wolves. They have bought into an agenda of eliminating the perceived need for risk, or at least the choice of the individual to determine their own level of acceptable risk. At the same time they eliminate all chance of exceptionalism, creating a world where finally we can all be “equals,” …by hamstringing those who are more capable and ambitious. The nail sticking out will finally get hammered down. That is the ethos of the Marxist dystopia being forced on us.
I’m preaching to the choir, I know it… and I wish I had a better answer for this conundrum. Sometimes, just coming to terms with the problem is a good start. It is impossible to resist getting emotionally engaged in the problem. Fear, anger, rage, hatred…. these are powerful emotions being used to manipulate both sides. Maybe resisting these isn’t the answer… like any power, it needs to be channeled and focused. That focus needs to be on what is important: family, friends, and yourself as an individual. That’s the only way to escape the control. The moment we engage in identity politics or groupthink – even by defining ourselves as a dedicated enemy of these – we can be categorized, labeled, boxed, and put on the shelf.
We all lose control of our emotions temporarily, if we don’t re-assert our will, our control over them, we are near defeat. Strengthen your faith in yourself and whatever power you believe in as The Principle at the Source of Life.
Continue supporting entrepreneurs, continue adventuring, continue being exceptional in spite of the pressure. Scream that message from the rooftops. Reproach and admonish.
We have an uphill battle, but adventurers always have.