I tend to be opposed to authoritarianism and traditionalism. It seems to me traditionalism gets people stuck in local minimums — something worked once but that’s no argument that we couldn’t come to a better arrangement. And authoritarianism — do it because Dad, or the boss, or the priest or whoever says so — seems to open itself up to abuse. When you give somebody the power to tell somebody else what to do and what to believe you bring out the worst parts of human nature.
Recently though I took a psychological test on “openness to experience” and I came out extremely high. 100 out of 100. I realized that compared to the average, I was much more open to experience.
This caused me to question my philosophy of encouraging people to think for themselves rather than obeying the precepts of the past and the orders of those in authority. Maybe for people who are not open to experience thinking for oneself is difficult and unpleasant. Maybe they will simply refuse to do it. In that case, arguing against tradition and authority is simply going to be ineffective. And it is uncompassionate to boot!
Burdened by self-doubt I sought advice from my friend the Raging Sage who lives in a studio apartment above a used typewriter store on Coney Island Avenue.
“You think tradition and authority are a bad idea?”
“I do, but I’m worried that that’s just cause of my own psychological predispositions. And if that’s true –”
“DON’T BE WORRIED!” he screamed in my ear, flecking my collar with his spittle. “SAY YOUR THING!”
“And then other people will say their thing based upon their emotional and character dispositions and it will all work out.”
“HOW THE FUCK WOULD I KNOW?” screamed the raging sage and threw a cigar box full of quarters at my head.
Sometimes I think I should be also be a raging sage, but honestly, he’s already doing such a good job.