I will here set out a few of my opinions in a fairly plain form; it
is my wish that they may someday be of some small service to
To start with, what can be done to correct the modern world? Now, that
is a very tricky question because there are two problems with the
modern world. For one, it's too conformist. Secondly, it's too chaotic.
We must promote individuality and order. This sounds like a
contradiction but really it isn't at all. An orderly society is
necessary to promote the highest forms of individuality. Creativity
must be expressed within the framework of a community.
And a successful community must have rules and these rules must have
teeth! I was just in downtown Ashland waiting for a walk signal. And
this girl across from me looked, saw that it was clear and crossed.
This is fine everybody thinks. But I had to move out of her way to let
her onto the sidewalk and the walk signal appeared during this shuffle.
I started to step out but a turning car, thinking no one was walking,
nearly hit me. My point is that small infractions of rules are not
okay! Systems need rules in order to function; any violation deserves
And you have to understand that I'm speaking in a philosophical sense.
I'm not calling for harsher enforcement of our laws. Our laws, like our
society, are morally bankrupt. No, I'm talking about how things should
be done in a good society.
Now, having moved past order, let's address ambition. Ambition is a
great evil. If I were a religous man, I would believe that the devil
planted it in us to tempt us to destruction. When planning our society,
we should always just plan for secure survival. Our world is too
unpredictable to warrant humans taking chances. For instance, take
genetic engineering. We have this great dream of creating new crops and
great new wealth. Now, that's all fine and someday it may work. But we
are leaping into it, virtually untested. Now, evolution is an
incredibly complex system. Again, we are not respecting systems. We are
making small violations and thinking that they will be allright.
Basically, we're altering genetic codes to make changes we desire
without a full understanding of how these systems work. Take this as a
metaphor for our whole society, not a specific commentary on genetic
Thirdly, as for what is called for, I have to say a fair degree of
ruthlesness. I too, in many ways am still a democratic thinker, a
believer in egalitarianism, free speech, etc. But after years and years
of reflection, I've relieved that the great march of liberal progress
has taken us somewhere rather undesirable.
The masses, in their current form, are very far from being able to
rule themselves. Power must be put back into the hands of some form of
A more difficult problem is that our population is way too high and we
are paving the earth. This is not acceptable. It's better to kill off
two thirds of humanity than to let this go on. Again, we're making
changes in a system without understanding it. We didn't evolve on a
paved earth; we have no reason to think that we should continue to
survive on one.
Finally, I wish to get to my more abstract philosophy, that which I
laid out in "This is This" and other poems. My personal philosopy is a
sort of minimalism. I've done so much reading and come across so many
ideas. And the flaw that I see in most of them is too much generality.
When we talk, we use words like egalitarianism, existence, government,
law, democracy, etc. These words are too general to have much meaning.
We live in a very specific world. So when we talk, it's better to speak
specifically. Talk about length, width, color, etc. Beware of
abstractions, metaphors, and comprehensive logic. These things, though
valuable from the most profound thinkers, are very dangerous and can
greatly mislead you.
Lastly, and most importantly, I've come to trust my emotions. I've
lived most of my life trying to reason everything out. But you can't,
reason is only a small part of our natures. It is far better to trust
in intuition and emotion. There is "sometimes a great notion" but I
have yet to come across a great thought. I know that I'm on the right
track when, as now, there are no thoughts in my head and my words come
from somewhere else.