Respectivism

by Andrea Elizabeth

Respectivism is the name I just came up with for my new political philosophy, which I haven’t quite formulated yet.

This is prompted by reading about Vladimir Lenin this morning. It seems that everyone, or at least successful leaders, success meaning they have people who are willing to be lead by them, comes up with their own ideology. Lenin tweaked Marx, and Stalin tweaked them both, then it went back to Leninism-Marxism. Or Marxism-Leninism. Ayn Rand had Objectivism.

These ideologies are largely formed against something such as monarchyism, capitalism or communism. My new respectivism isn’t an anti movement, unless you want to call it anti anti. It is not a violent polemic, but it may be dialectic in that there is somewhat of an argument going on. Anti violence seems too passive. I think maybe it’s a martial art, in that it is defensive, not offensive in nature. And it’s anti-hyper-defensiveness that gives better than it gets. It doesn’t aim to make anyone sorry. Ah, but isn’t that what repentance is about? Well, there’s something wrong with guilt trips and driving someone by shame. True repentance is freely given. What about Nathan and David? I get the idea that Nathan didn’t want to shame David. He told the story in a round about way that made David examine himself and learn the truth, which he had been squelching. He encouraged him to look at it from the victim’s point of view.

This is the point of view in Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Thomas whose theme is that to know your enemy is to love him and vice versa. Not that there’s no wrong in your enemy, but one needs to lower his own eyes and not get in the others’ face.

I do not like political ideological revolutions, such as ours, the Protestants’, the French’s nor the Russians’. I don’t believe that killing authorities is the way to bring about justice. But what about Normandy? I would argue that that was defensive and that Hitler was not the proper authority in France, and that his authority was not in power long enough to achieve a secondary type of legitimacy described in the last paragraph.

But what about those who say that English authority in America was not rightful to the Indians? No it wasn’t. There were those who dealt fairly with the Indians,who were willing to trade and make space for them before other white people slaughtered them with their advanced technology. Are you anti-technology? I’m against many of the ideas behind it such as greed and lust for power. But I’m not against learning more about the nature of things and constructing artistitic, shall we say, ways to assemble and do things. I am not anti-factory, which seems a necessary evil in that it is a sterile environment, sterile meaning hands-off, because of current populations and affordability. But wouldn’t the Indians have done the same thing if they had the technology, which they demonstrated when they were given guns? There were differences in that Indian territorial ideas were different than the white man’s. It was more fluid and did not have the same ideas of ownership. Current strength was all that mattered and was respected. Not “legal” documents. Blech. So are you anti-legal documents? Not if they are illuminated and have pretty caligraphy and nice paper.

I think borders such as the Berlin wall, the walls around Jerusalem, and the walls between the U.S. and Mexico are bad. But I like the Great Wall of China and Hadrian’s Wall, mainly because they’re made of nice stones and you can climb and cross them now. Barbed wire is very ugly and disrespectful, but it can be nicely displayed on a wall showing all the different kinds. So are you just going to let all your cows and horses wander around willy nilly? No, sometimes it is a necessary evil as a cheap, stop-gap quick fix, but it would be better to make nice split rail or Kentucky thoroughbred fences. Better yet, free roaming buffalo.

So should we revolt against the white man’s ways and re-install, violently or not, the Native man’s? Illigitimacy is a confusing thing. What to do with bastard children? No, we shouldn’t kill white leaders, nor punish them. We have to respect that they are there through wrong actions of their parents and not of their own. A nice, respectable bastard will humbly confess that there were offenses that brought about his existence, and humbly accept niceness and respect from other people. But you can’t make the fact of his birth go away. Sometimes you have to just live with a less than ideal, or respectable background.

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