Onward, Collectivist Soldiers

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As I contemplate where I fit in my current relation to the State and its politically-correct and uptight sycophants, I realize not much has changed since Catholic school. If I benefited at all from the tutelage of nuns, it’s in being able to identify when I’m being indoctrinated or hoodwinked.

The first few years of my scholastic career were spent at a Catholic school in New Jersey. It was there that I, along with other kids with last names like O’Dowd, Vigliotti, Rispoli, and Gomez, were first introduced to the doctrine of original sin.

Sister Nazarene told us a sin was whenever a person did something wrong. God would not like it if we sinned, and if we sinned, he would damn well know all about it. You couldn’t hide from God. Apparently, a really long time ago this guy Adam and this broad Eve did something so bad that we, the first grade class of St. Francis Albert of Hoboken School, were guilty of it too.

As unreasonable as this seemed at the time, we were taught to understand that God was really pissed off. And touchy. 

You see, before the beginning of time, God spent a whole summer making this place called the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve. Eden was this groovy resort where people could just relax forever and ever, just as long as they behaved. By and by, good ol’ human imperfection had its way, and Adam and Eve goofed up. God was so hurt and insulted that he decided from that moment on that every Vigliotti, O’Dowd and Ferrara, as well as the Changs, Goldbergs and Patels, would be culpable for what those two Biblical miscreants did. Forever and fucking anon. He was God, after all. 

Do you know what the transgression was? What Adam and Eve did that was so damned bad? They ate an apple. Not just any apple, but a super apple that had magic powers. Some wiseguy who looked like a snake called Satan told them to do it. He beguiled them. Sister Nazarene said that to beguile someone was like tricking them. As I recall, many us felt at that moment that we were being beguiled too. But God help ya if you asked any questions, or wanted clarification. You’d get a smack on the knuckles with a ruler faster than you can say Galileo Galilei. 

Anyway, after they ate it — the apple, that is — Adam and Eve became smart. Turns out, God didn’t like smart people. Folks like that might want to find a meaning for things. They might find joy and fulfillment in intellectual pursuits, or in the labor of their discoveries. They might want to build stuff, make tools and what not, and shape the world according to their needs, according to their vision.  

“Bullshit,” said God. “That’s my department. Who in the Hell do you bipedal monkeys think you are, muscling in on my action? From now on, your lives will be hard and mean and your kids will have it hard too. Now get out of here and don’t come back!”

This was called the expulsion from paradise. God did not like competition. When we would grow up, we would find out that most people don’t like competition either.

As we matriculated — that is to say once we got to the second, and then third grade — some of us Catholic kids started to think that all this original sin jazz was nothing but a bunch of malarkey. We looked for a Garden of Eden on the globe in our classroom and found none. We read up on snakes. They can’t talk, let alone beguile. Apples, while having some nutritional value, can’t make you any smarter than a rap on the head with a ball peen hammer. 

Then, somewhere along the way, we were taught that this other guy, Jesus, died for all of our sins, lock, stock and fucking barrel. 

“What gives?” we wondered. “How can there be original sin and Jesus too?” 

We had a lot of trouble wrangling with this paradox. Mrs. Alverone, our third grade teacher, said a paradox was when something didn’t really make sense. And how!

Eventually, due to either boredom or mental exhaustion, all of us kids gave up our pursuit for the truth in favor of more lofty pastimes like dodge ball, smear the queer, and pouring salt on slugs. Halcyon days! 

Still, it bothered me: being guilty of, and then having to atone for, things I didn’t do, couldn’t do, wouldn’t do, and had nothing to do with. A few months later I broached the subject again with my pals.  

“Maybe original sin is just a way to remind us all that people are imperfect beings,” Crazy Dominick said while burning some ants with a magnifying glass.  

“Well, shit,” I said. “You don’t need Biblical scripture to teach you that. Just look at how Fat Arnie swings a whiffle ball bat: just like a girl. And what about Jackie Smith dropping that pass in the end zone during the Super Bowl? And just look at how corny M*A*S*H has gotten since Alan Alda took over.”

Indeed it was a world fraught with imperfection. All we kids could do was observe, contemplate, and avoid the wrath of the nuns by never getting caught doing anything fun.

More and more it began to dawn on me that teaching us that we were all born guilty was just another way for the church to keep folks in line. 

Think about it: if you’re constantly apologizing, you’ll never have time to do much of anything else, especially disobey, think critically, or pursue your life’s ambitions. I guess I was a late bloomer, but by the time I was ten years old I came to the grim realization that people like holding dominion over one another, especially with vague concepts, opaque language, and moral absurdities. And if those methods won’t work, brute force and violence will do the trick just fine. “Miracle, Mystery and Authority,” as Dostoyevsky once put it. 

It goes without saying that aside from those obligatory funerals and weddings that pop up from time to time, I haven’t willingly stepped into a church since Jimmy Carter cured cancer. The way I saw it, you should stay away from people who want you to feel bad. Little did I know, assholes abound.

Now listen: if you think that living in a world that has begun to cast aside archaic concepts from the early Mesozoic era will free you and me from the efforts of dimwits to encroach on your sovereignty through didactic chicanery, think again, tough guy. Plunderers of the spirit will always seek new and improved ways to turn their contempt for joy into a moral crusade. Why? Because people like fucking with other people, and the best way to fuck with someone is to defame them from up on high in the lofty strata reserved for those with a knack for judgment and a lack of self-awareness.

Nowadays, when I observe the world and the myriad discussions, arguments, diatribes, and commentaries that our fancy-pants, interconnected culture is heir to, I see new versions of the old skullduggery popping up all the time. And so do you.

Aren’t terms like “privilege”, “cis-gendered”, “patriarchy”, “carbon footprint”, “intolerance”, “unfairly disadvantaged”, “triggering” and the like, bandied about by people claiming a moral authority steeped in victimhood, just as sanctimonious and illegitimate as that of the church and its so-called divine morality? I’m not saying that all of those terms are inherently bad in and of themselves; a just and fair world is a thing to aspire to, just like a world free of sin and talking snakes is. If annoying, PC bromides help the cause, so be it. They won’t, but hey, don’t progressives need something to do too? 

Where the trouble starts is when an elite class of people, the heads of civic organizations, the clergy, media dolts, or politicians throw condemnatory terms about in an arbitrary and self-serving manner to stifle anyone who disagrees with or challenges them, all in the name of righteousness.  They think that by forcing dissenters into a posture of constant apology and atonement for intangible transgressions they can either alienate or eliminate them without the trouble of firing squads, cattle cars, inquisitions and re-education camps. Meet the new douchebags, same as the old douchebags. They’re just less blood-thirsty and well, kinda, wimpy.

In the world of the collectivist headcase, the collective is the Garden of Eden, and being met with the collective’s disapproval for things he may or may not have done, or advantages that he may or may not have, is akin to the expulsion from Paradise. But who told them we wanted to be part of their world anyway? 

It wasn’t okay when the church thrust upon us their ecclesiastic version of a full nelson and it’s equally offensive when modern-day demagogues do the same with their new-fangled concepts of original sin. But I don’t blame stupid people for using shortcuts to thinking; that’s what dummies do. And I don’t blame connivers for selling snake oil. What pisses me off is when people who know better allow themselves to be pushed around by these turds and their lexicon of defeatism. 

The bottom line: don’t let anybody make you feel guilty for your own life. Especially if the shame being thrust upon you is the last ditch tactic of an inferior mind that wishes to hold sway over you because their own existence is so damn uncompelling to them. That there is some bullshit.   

As writing this article has now become a tedious affair, and in order to avoid being redundant, I have provided below a post-modern to Biblical translator. Those of you with even a modicum of parochial education will find it helpful… but if your parents were jerk-offs and you went to a Montessori school, then not so much. As it is incomplete, feel free to add your own variables and expressions. I hope this helps out. Extrapolate and deduce as you will, big shots.

Privilege = Original Sin

Reduce your carbon footprint = The Ten Commandments

Cis-gendered = Lust

Patriarchy = Sloth

Intolerance = Pride

Non-Vegan = Gluttony

Trigger = Wrath

Global Warming = The Flood

Climate Change = The Rapture

Bruce Jenner = Jesus

Oprah = God

Michael Moore = John the Baptist

Jordon Peterson = Satan

Individualist/Libertarian = Heretic 

Bill Maher = Doubting Thomas

Ron Paul = Nebuchadnezzar

California = The Promised Land

Corey Booker = Moses

Taxes = Acts of Contrition 

This article represents the views of the author, and not those of Being Libertarian LLC.

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Joe Ferrara claims no affiliation to any political, religious or socio-economic institution. Like most of you he has no idea exactly what a libertarian is, and doubts if he even is one. Shot out of non-existence during the Nixon administration, he is the very archetype of the Doc Marten wearing, Gen-X misanthrope that suffers from occasional pangs of unease and rage at the ever proliferating tides of bullshit that plague modern life. Being neither a technophile nor a Luddite, he couldn't give two beans about the ever-changing face of society in the wake of human progress. He does, however, find the prospect of living in a world that is rapidly becoming more and more monoculturistic as abysmal as a David Hasselhoff rendition of "Dead Skin Mask." Joe has never "spoken out" on any "issues," has never campaigned for anyone running for public office, and has never endorsed any of the utopian agendas that so many of his more naive contemporaries have championed. What he does is write, record and perform music of various divergent styles under numerous guises. Some of his musical projects have included the NYC indie band FATHER DIVINE, avant-rockers THE ANDRETTI, 90s weirdo metal enfants terrible NAKED, as well as his own 18-piece jazz big band. When he's not creating music most people find vexatious, Joe enjoys hanging out with his wife and cat, doing not much at all. It is at the behest of his pal, Dillon Eliassen, that Joe has submitted this essay, otherwise he wouldn't have even bothered.

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