(to the practice of a religion or anything else.)
by Sylvain Poirier
translated from French
To leave the common paths
Remark on the natural progress of civilization
Warning : to correctly grasp the meaning of the following text, you should read it until the end.
Take a population which you want to convert to your religion (or
to anything). For that, quietly issue the following, while diverting
the attention of the population to some more urgent topic.
The compulsory educational establishments (secondary and academics) will be divided into 3 categories:
- Those for the converted (men and women)
- Those for the non-converted men
- Those for the non-converted women.
Moreover, for each city, the first will be established downtown, and the two others will be established in diametrically opposed suburbs of the city, and with periodes of holidays which prevent non-converted men and women from meeting each other.
The effect is understood easily: as people need to find partners but consider this as a purely private problem, and will naturally follow the methods of individual do-it-yourselfing, they will try to convert themselves for being accepted in the mixed establishment. Otherwise, if they try during the holidays periods to come downtown, they will find converted people, who could easily find possible converted partners, and will thus not have any reason to make any effort to adapt their way of life to that of a not-converted partner. They will thus most often pose as an obvious and natural condition for unconverted candidates to be acceptable, that they adapt to the ways of the converted, and for this, in practice, to convert themselves too. This will thus destroys any will of resistance to conversion by the unconverted.
If some unconverted try to resist, their dissatisfied love desires will lead them to often go and look after people who do not want them. This will attract them a dirty reputation of frustrated and perverse people. Thus the virtue of this religion as a source of joy and goodness will be well-known and certified by statistical studies.
As for the few who still do not convert, being therefore condemned to celibacy, they will not be able to reproduce and thus will mainly disappear from the next generation.
With the following generation thus, whereas the initial method above would risk to be finally exposed to the protests of some people, the minority situation of not-converted people allows you this time to pass to the following even more machiavelic method, that continues to produce the same effect in a way now out of any suspicion.
You mix again the population into an homogeneous mass and split it again in small local groups (classes, schools) in a random but constraining and uncheatable way, according to a publicly objective method of drawing of lots (randomizing) that will hardly let anyone deviate from it by any voluntary choice.
Then, the not-converted being minority find themselves in each group in a situation of isolated individuals, that have most of the time only converted people as possible partners to meet. These, here again as before, are surrounded with other converted people, so they do not have any reason to question their religious habits for a possible not-converted partner. This is what reproduces the preceding situation, and even more if for any reason the relations between converted and non-converted people are harder to establish than those between people of the same kind.
If that is not enough, you can always force integration by founding democracy in each group, allowing its members to vote to decide on the basis of majority, which common habits they will respect. But this is in fact even not needed: it suffices to let the law of market take effect locally, while maintaining the constraint of indivisibility of each group, as concerns the question of what group activities to organize, of a sort where the status of people (being converted or not) is involved. Group activities will always necessarily be those of your religion, as the unconverted people are only isolated people and not groups.
Thus your religion will impose itself de facto to all.
What do you say of these methods ? Never thought of that ? delirious imagination ? Inapplicable? Admittedly the method number 1 described above was never seen, at least apparently not in this form, but... wait a little.
As for the method number 2, you will note that its procedures are of a neutral form, that never need to distinguish or mention any religion, and in its contents does not anyway differ from the current system of public high schools and colleges. And thus the question is not to know how to introduce it, but rather how to leave it, if ever anybody dared to try to stop this against all the egalitarian principles of the Republic.
Good, joked enough will you say to me, since even if the method number 2 described above is indeed in force, there is no dominant religion currently imposed or potentially enforceable by such methods.
So, after these abstract generalities, let's now switch to considerations of concrete realities ot the present world.
How can we know if the situation is comparable, finally ?
A small indicator at random: the rate of celibacy. Uh, one notes that nowadays it is important, and increasing.
Hum... but let us not conclude so soon, let's try to examine the causes concretely.
Well, I'm not sure concretely what may be exactly the causes for others, but I will speak about problems I personnally faced. In fact there are several such problems.
Randomly, let us see: when I spoke about my problem of celibacy
around me, among the reactions of misunderstanding, was for example
this one often heard : "Hey man, to meet girls is easy, you
should just go to night clubs !"
To this I would like to answer: hum, you did not well understand the question. I am rather seeking for a girl of the style that does not like night clubs and disco music ! Where can I meet some, then?
At this point people start to scorn me. I am not normal. Everyone likes disco music. Disco music it is super, one is burst, it is in night clubs that love meetings are made. What a strange idea to try to meet people outside that, frankly? It is my fault, I just have to like disco music like everyone. People teach me this lesson of morality: "You should at least open yourself a little, to styles of things which you do not always prefer".
But, do I force any people to adopt to my tastes, and to open themselves to the choral society, the ballet dancing (which I do not practise but I may have been interested if it was well spread), mathematics, physics or the libertarian economic thinking for example? Not of course, and even if I wanted it I could not.
Why should I adapt to the common spread tastes of others, then?
People ask me: Why you do not like this music?
(as if the tastes could be discussed. They proclaim: it is good music...)
Do you not see the people who have fun (or: who burst themselves) ?
Don't you find that good (or that you think about it)?
Well, if you really want to know everything... I find them stunned, under the influence of this dreadful, violent and foolish din. In any case I cannot see what the heck it should have to do with love, as so much of people seem to assume.
I think that it is one of the worst conceivable contexts to get to know someone as :
- One cannot see each other (darkness, chaotic coloured lighting)
- One cannot hear each other, one cannot thus tell one's life
- One is not concentrated to be interested in the other
- What happens is subjected to the arbitrary rhythm of the pieces casted
- When one tries to come among others, one gets people in the face every minute in an unforeseeable way.
As a result, when I am there despite everything, I happen to wonder what the hell I came for in the middle of this horde of zoulous.
Enough philosophized on the tastes, let us come back to the problem.
It is too easy indeed for the crowd to justify itself by the fact that anyway it is the majority of people which like that, they did not choose purposely to be the most numerous for bothering those who aren't, and thus no matter what, we can say it is necessary to adapt to them. What a strange idea to try to oppose the current tastes of most people ?
One can wonder indeed, how I could resist it. To tell the truth, it was not a small matter.
Thus let us come back to the beginning, the story of my tastes during my childhood.
I must acknowledge that my family with a traditional style is probably there for something, even if it there must also be some innate factor. However, this had only a relatively limited weight relatively to the influence of the ambient society. Indeed, however I tried to follow my tastes and to refuse as much as possible what I hated, the social context forced me to be very often subjected to the aggression of this din.
Violent by nature, this "music" exerts its violence by employing its followers to force it onto themselves and others by all means. By the means of decibels for example, by which their followers to attack their own ears, sometimes until they become half deaf and need to still increase the decibels to compensate, it imposes itself to the ears of whoever is near. By the behavior also, where the excessive enthusiasm of the followers leads them to violently try somehow to share their enthusiasm with the others with the terrible insurance of those completely persuaded to bring their joy to others. By this violence of their incomprehension towards those would not share the same tastes. Violence also not to accept to stop and respect a few moments of silence.
I underwent this violence somehow everywhere during my childhood and teenage. At home by opening television or the radio. Outside, at each step: in the trip buses, in some stores or restaurants, in any school class party, with the car radios in others'cars. I would even say that it made me quite upset.
And with that, people reproache me to have locked up myself, to have not tried to listen to these horrors to know if I liked that or not. They explain me : « it is normal not to like the first time. To really know if you like a music or not you must first listen to it hundreds of times ». Only this way I could have a chance to « open myself ».
But... would it be thus really obligatory to... "open oneself "? And if I do not want to try, how can I do ?
Is there thus only this thing in life which can give me the right to qualify me as "open "? Is the world really so narrow and monotonous that it does not offer anything else but this kind of disco music, to give people a chance to "open themselves "? Would there thus not be the right to try to open oneself to anything else instead ? Anything, like for example baroque music, nature, the mountain, the folklore, physics, philosophy or economic thinking?
I acknowledge, that my resistance had some moments of exception. For example the period when I let myself to the music of Jean-Michel Jarre. If sometimes that seemed facinating, it is also a risk to skid on other side, I realized that when, after recording pieces which I liked, some of his and some more traditional ones, I listened to them the ones after the others, I could see the contrast and note the gap of way of being that it involves. Also, there was once, at secondary school (end of the year) where all the class came for a party and everyone could bring pieces of music which we they liked, I brought my cassette of classical music. Of course I did not have the right to pass it at the beginning, I had to stand horrors for perhaps an hour or two, at first, I hated that, Then, it seemed all right, and then at the end I started to like it. At this point I finally got the right to pass my cassette. What's that ? It is completely null! There must be a mistake... I did not recognize my music which I liked so much. I just had the brain washed, I had lost all my musical sense.
Enough spoken about music, let us see other aspects. There are many other possible originalities that one can have, leading to insulation. Any thorough field of knowledge or culture, in fact, from its specialized character, involves an insulation from other people as concerns centers of interest. As some caricature presented, the only possibly universal feature in man is his stupidity, wildness, or any other gregarious practices. To be able to cultivate human originality and creativity, requires to develop a flexibility and a mobility of society, away from the common "republican" pot of passive arbitrary local grouping (which the school system claims to impose), for allowing individuals from various geographical horizons, to meet similar minded people and share common interests together.
But among characters, let us draw the attention to timidity. It is
often said to be a defect, so that the timid are this way somehow
accused of what they are, which is a vicious circle. It is seen as a
trouble whose only victim is the one who has it. It can be a handicap
for meeting others. Occasionally, shy persons are encouraged to leave
their timidity and to force themselves to open to the others and
their activities, because it seems to be only this way, that they
will be able to meet the soul mate.
However, there is more precisely another phenomenon which I was not warned of on time when I was young: timidity is not really a handicap for a good girl to meet people, as if she is beautiful she will always be approached by boys. On the other hand, when a boy is timid, he is much more likely to remain alone because it is a much less usual practice for a girl to go to approach a boy.
But let us return to the argumentation. There is behind this encouragement, a confusion of two ideas:
On the one hand, the opinion of the extroverts who make a success of their life, who see it good to be extrovert and who encourage shy persons or introverts to open themselves, according to an approach like that this is the way to feel well. This sort of suggestion would be well-intended and harmless if only if was only a sort of open and tolerant suggestion in no way imperative, but it suffers of a lack of attention towards the deep of the problem.
On the other hand, a vulgar strategic discussion on the most effective material means to manage in this cruel world to target a given vital goal, which has no other relation with its means than this rawly material causality relation: the crude goal to catch one's meat, no matter any kind of moral or spiritual consideration.
The extroverts thus, whether they are like this in an innate or
acquired way, would say, just because they are extroverts themselves,
anyone else could be the same; and those who are not, it is because
they choosed so, or did not make the right choice to become
extroverts yet. They implicitly assume that things are well done, as
the dating problem is the chance to explain to the shy persons that
is good to make the effort leave their timidity. Thus, this
problem is a good trial which leads them to be cured of their
timidity; and those who do not get through, it is that they do not
want to. Then they say to the shy persons: leave your
timidity, open yourself ! Because in any case it is a good
thing. You must do it. It is the morals of
destiny, the virtue of the things such as they are. The world
is perfect, and it is up to each one to understand it and to conform
But here is the problem: those who say that, have the word easy and ensured, believing in their superficial knowledge of what they say. But those to which they are giving such advice, precisely as they are timid, have troubles to express the reality of their situation, their right to be what they are, and the fact it is not worse than something else, and not a fault anyway. It is quite hard for them to contradict those who speak to them with insurance. Even more because « they have a problem » to find love, and those who speak to them do not have this problem but are nicely offering their kindness and a solution. Well, certainly there can be cases where this « solution » would be reasonable and work, but we have no guarantee for this. It is easy then to tell those for which that did not work, that they did not want it. The problem, indiscible, is repressed.
But the problem can also be considered the other way round: if somebody is timid, it is because the external world is or seems to be hostile to him; a love relationship can then be a good means of not remaining locked up on oneself, a chance to no more be ashamed of oneself, to understand someone else, to open oneself, to learn how to develop considerations for others in one's life. Consequently, the act of giving shy persons the means to find love before they do open to social relations, may be in fact, contrary to some assumptions, the only effective incentive to open oneself afterwards, away from any doom of loneliness and closeness. And, would not a love of shy people be something beautiful ?
To analyze more precisely the source of timidity, one can see it
as being tied to morality, the fear to do a wrong move. This
fear is first related to what one believes to be a wrong move, still
being influenced by what the others see as being wrong moves.
But, what does the world condemn? When one hears the news and other things, one can retain that the principal fault which the society denounces as regards love are all these stories of rapes and sexual harrassments. However these crimes find their source in the natural desires, and the risk to confuse these crimes with these desires is not far. Moreover, this somewhat distant misinformation is found again in other less extreme but nevertheless much more concrete forms, in everyday life : the natural desires can hardly be expressed without some risk of scandal or some kind of mockery. The romantic literature and other cinema films which flatter the natural desires, are way too carefully reserved to the world of fiction and lonely privacy to counterbalance this fact in practice. The desires are seen as good in the dreams but bad in reality. The practical understanding of what is moral and what is not is far from clear, especially for young shy minds.
Admittedly, beyond the wishful thinking and other good words, it is quite difficult to give a practical reality to the right to love. In order to provide a practical solution it would first be necessary to stop making all this parasitic fiction and, on the one hand to seek to really expose the problems by anonymous web forums for example, on the other hand to found openly, by not-for-profit associations open to individual initiative, networks of clubs and online dating. To find and implement a way to replace fiction by practice, here is the problem. First because it is very difficult to invent a method which is really practical and not just a new fiction which while claiming to promote love would in fact for some people just subject them to an additional Tantalum torment.
But, even if it was possible, another obstacle is that some people would be upset of it in that it would put them in front of their responsibilities instead of letting them continue claiming their holy nonsense. Indeed, this way, all the marvelous poetry for the glory of God or any other very nice advice would be revealed to be no more than a pure hypocrisy when faced to reality. And this true work of taking care of reality may precisely seem very unnatural decisions at first sight. Hey, fiction is much sexier than practical solutions: it makes it possible to justify oneself very cheaply by innocently making pretty dream promises to everyone...
To paraphrase the maxim "If privacy is outlawed, then only outlaws will have pivacy" (Phil Zimmermann), I would say: when love is seen as immoral, only immoral people will feel free to enjoy it. In fact, it often happens that where this problem does not arise, it is that it is taken with fun, selfishness and derision, in the do-it-yourself way, in a way not motivated by any consideration of serious research of the good, justice and morals. From there, together with the pitiless dictature of chance promoted as a funny game or as the will of God, comes a reinforcement of the idea that love is not a serious trick for pure and idealistic people but rather a trick of people without scruples, or even perverse. If you add to this the idealist hope for the perfect chance, and consider piously waiting for years until the plan of God is achieved instead of being involved in these idiotic games, you will find oneself a day awaking to the necessities of life, finally isolated in your loneliness, at an age where the best potential mates are already taken.
Let's discuss the assumed distinction
between "natural" situations for which nobody is
responsible, and artificially and politically caused situations.
I remember one philosophy lesson in high school, where the question was discussed of the definition of the "natural" man, considered separately from any social and cultural influences and determinations. The answer was that this question has no sense, because the nature of man is precisely to have and transmit a culture; that a characteristic of man is to live not in an environment but in a world, in a civilized society.
Thus, I would remark moreover that, precisely, there is nothing more anti-natural for man than to live subjected to the risks of starvation depending on climatic risks, and to plunderings (as man almost always lived in fact). It is anti-natural to be in the need and to have only the practice of plundering within reach under hand to survive, and it is even more anti-natural to be plundered. The fact it was so often practised during millenia up to feeling the resignation that it will be always like that, does not make it something natural or inevitable, and even less something good. Humanity evolved, even more quickly since centuries in particular, gradually managing and resolving more aspects of its environment or its own social organization which had always been regarded as natural and unchangeable up to that point.
If an additional effort of social organization and adjustment of other fields of life would be necessary for stopping another destroying cruelty, then the resignation not to make this effort, with the excuse that no solution is known yet, amounts blocking the evolution of humanity at the stage where it is now. It would be one of the most absurd, artificial, arbitrary and machiavelic decision, hidden under a mask of hypocrisy.
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