Website owner:  James Miller

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Some people have the ability to see dangers in situations --- others do not

   Some people seem to have the ability to see dangers in 
   situations much more than others.  A person who is very 
   cautious and one who is very security conscious are examples 
   of the types of people who tend to be more aware of the dangers 
   in situations than other people.  Perhaps what is behind it is 
   the gift of foresight or thinking ahead.  They are like the 
   squirrel who stores up nuts and food for the coming winter.  It 
   is true that the person who gives no thought for the future or 
   the person who gives no thought to danger often does OK.  
   Providence often does take care of him. But is not the very 
   essence of wisdom and prudence to take thought of the future 
   and to take notice of danger?  Is not failure to take thought 
   for the future or failure to see the danger of a situation the 
   best sign of a foolish man?  

   Why have I always put so much emphasis on saving money?  Why am 
   I so uncomfortable in any situation where I am under someone 
   else's thumb, such as being an employee under the authority of 
   a boss or a student under the authority of a teacher?  Why do I 
   look so askance at life in a highly industrialized, highly 
   technical, highly complicated society where everyone is so 
   highly interdependent on everyone else, where everyone is 
   "under the thumb" of someone else?  Why do I see the ideal 
   lifestyle as being the independent, self-sufficient life in 
   which you are your own boss and have no-one over you (as in 
   life on a homestead out in the country where you grow your own 
   food, supply most of your own needs, and are not dependent on 
   others)?  Answer?  I see the potential for real harm in these 
   situations where everyone is so dependent on someone else.  
   Whenever you are in the employ of someone else, whenever your 
   bread comes from another, you are at his mercy.  Your whole 
   livelihood, the entire structure of your life, is in his hands.  
   You are at the mercy of his feelings, whims and prejudices.  
   You are at the mercy of his integrity, goodness, patience, 
   understanding and fairness (or lack of these qualities). 

   The power of most authority is very great.  Most people can be 
   made to do the will of whoever holds power over them --- 
   whatever that may be, good or bad.  That is how Hitler in 
   Germany and Stalin in Russia were able to get away with such 
   atrocities.  Most people are not willing to resist authority 
   and power.  They are not willing to fight "the system".  They 
   know that it would be useless and futile and they won't try.

   I do fear the potential for harm, the potential for abuse and 
   evil, inherent in authority.  I do not trust authority.  I do 
   not trust it to be fair and just.  Some people seem to be 
   comfortable and content with authority.  I am not.  Why the 
   difference?  I think the answer has a lot to do with the way 
   different people appraise human nature.  Some people are very 
   pessimistic about human nature; others are very optimistic.  
   Some people think that the heart of man is deceitful, selfish 
   and bad; others think that it is trustworthy and good.  The 
   ones who are optimistic about human nature think that man is 
   basically good, that he will usually do the right thing, and 
   that he can be trusted.  I am afraid I belong to the group that 
   takes the pessimistic view.  I do not believe that man can be 
   trusted to do the right thing.  The Prince of this World simply 
   holds too much power in this world and he is generally able to 
   induce man to do his bidding. 

   Apr 1984

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