“I have come to realize that men are not born to be free. Liberty is a need felt by a small class of people whom nature has endowed with nobler minds than the mass of men.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)
As a young man of 36 in 1986 (April 1st) I had broken free of the business world, and was self-employed. I was worried about making a living, of course, but slowly over time began to notice that I had time to do things I wanted to do rather than dancing like a monkey for some organ grinder. I did not know it, but that freedom made me unemployable, that is, no boss would ever again subdue my thoughts or demand all my time save those two precious weeks a year I was allowed before.
The question is, then: What is our natural state? In bondage? Or as free human beings? If Napoleon above is right, it is both – that most of us are born to be soldiers and waitresses, while a few rise above it all.
If that is the case, I must then sound like an arrogant jerk. Maybe I am.
Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts while I do other stuff, as always, but the topic has been education. Driving to and from Montana last week we passed countless truck drivers, and I tried to look at them, to see the eyes, to see what a man’s face looks like as he is engaged in the most boring possible activity. Of course, the face tells me nothing. But I had to think that our eduction system, with our countless hours of boredom am mindless repetition and regurgitation, prepares them well for that occupation – or to be soldiers, clerks, drivers, insurance agents, sales people, teachers … but not free human beings.
And I wonder about the chicken and the egg – does our education system produce zombies, or merely nurture them?
I do no know.