As represented by our cinema and other media, Western society expects too much of masks. In the public’s mind, the still-legitimate use of masks for source control has gone off-label; masks are thought to prevent infection. From here, another problem arises: because surgical masks are thought to protect against infection in the community setting, people wearing masks for legitimate purposes (those who have a cough in a hospital, say) form part of the larger misperception and act to reinforce it. Even this proper use of surgical masks is incorporated into a larger improper use in the era of pandemic fear, especially in Asia, where such fear is high.1 The widespread misconception about the use of surgical masks — that wearing a mask protects against the transmission of virus — is a problem of the kind theorized by German sociologist Ulrich Beck.
The surgical mask communicates risk. For most, risk is perceived as the potential loss of something of value, but there is another side to risk, memorably formulated by Beck in his Risk Society.2 Beck states that risk society is “a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernisation itself.”2 For Beck, risk occurs not only in the form of threat and possible loss, but also in society’s organized management and response to these risks, which create a forwarding of present risk into the future. Furthermore, Beck writes of the “symptoms and symbols of risks” that combine in populations to create a “cosmetics of risk.” He suggests that people living in the present moment conceive of risk in terms of the physical tools used to mitigate risk while still “maintaining the source of the filth.”
Jefferson did not define what constitutes “happiness”. Consistent with his vision of individual liberty, he purposefully left this as the responsibility of each person. Individual happiness is not a political matter. It is not something that governments should prescribe, nor is it something that others should define for us. It is a matter of personal conscience and mission. It is precisely the kind of matter that our other social institutions, such as families and churches, should aid each of us in defining without leaning on any political mandate.
Yet despite not defining happiness, and despite excluding it from the domain of government to prescribe or to provide, Jefferson included “the pursuit of happiness” as a linchpin in our national vision. This implies that it has tremendous significance.
It does. Life requires meaning and motivation to serve as a frame of reference for all action, or else there would be no action. Why would anyone do anything at all if there is no purpose? Jefferson knew that dissertations about revolutions, rights, and constitutions are pointless if life itself has no meaning. The Declaration would have been just airy poetry if it wasn’t anchored to something transcendent.
Jefferson did not define what happiness should be for each person, because defining meaning for others is an impossible task and trying to do so violates the very essence of freedom. But his inclusion of the phrase “pursuit of happiness” with the other unalienable rights is a clear assertion that pursuing meaning is as fundamental to humanity as is life and liberty.
Jefferson rightly understood that the political and the metaphysical must at some point intersect, because the meaning of life and the proper structure of government are necessarily entangled. That is why the unusual phrase “the pursuit of happiness” is the Rosetta Stone of the Declaration and the foundation of the concept of America.
The Declaration is not a metaphysical document, except for that one phrase, but that one phrase is more than sufficient to establish the basis for an enduring politics of peace and non-coercion. The phrase does not express a religious truth, but it grants freedom for all spiritual pursuits. It does not express a psychological truth, but it grants freedom for all intellectual pursuits. It does not express a transcendent truth, but it grants freedom for the pursuit of meaning and purpose.
Source: The Pursuit of Happiness | James Keena
Another instant classic! JP nails it again. Watch and share before our overseers remove the video (for our own good).
For anyone not yet convinced of the dangers to civil society posed by divisive “isms” and ideologies, including religious dogma and the murderous results of forsaking the sovereignty of the individual, this book is a must read.
James Keena calls into question the notion that our society simply swings indefinitely like a pendulum between the political right and political left. He makes the case that allegiance to either faction will eventually lead to tyranny, oppression and death.
And that the solution always returns to individual sovereignty; not Darwinian rugged individualism. It starts with a true understanding that entropy is always fought at the individual level. No one can escape that responsibility; to do otherwise unfairly burdens others with your obligation.
Karma is not a boomerang, but a seed that either bears good fruit or poisons the tree. And the bonds made between individuals, families and friends which are based on love & respect & benevolence cannot be scaled to apply between millions of strangers.
The only way to ensure the reproducibility of peaceful collaboration on a large scale is for society to be based on the bedrock principle that the only just law is one that protects individual sanctity and does not tolerate coercion. We should not coerce or allow ourselves or others to be coerced.
I think you might like this book – “2084: American Apocalypse (The Pathless Land Series Book 1)” by James Keena.
Start reading it for free: https://a.co/6mBr6gE
[In late 1968]…the Hong Kong Flu was sweeping through the country, eventually killing around 100,000 Americans, most of them over the age of 65, at a time when the United States had more than 100 million fewer people than it does today.
Life went on as usual. Schools, churches, and businesses remained open. Neighbors held backyard barbeques, Scout troops continued meeting, we shook hands and shared hugs
When we compare ourselves to the British who endured the torments of the Blitz or to the Americans who seemed almost oblivious to the Hong Kong Flu, why are we so terrified of this virus?
I ask these questions sincerely and without rancor, and have no real answers, only conjecture.
Perhaps our 24-hour news cycle has inflamed our apprehensions.
Another humorous but insightful perspective from J.P. Sears