Passive Tolerance of Whatever

Back when I identified as an anarchist, I would look for ways to get revenge upon my enemies. For example, if someone gave out inferior candy at Halloween, they were sure to get their mailbox smashed. Or if someone was so stupid as to announce they were voting against a politician offering us all free stuff, those campaign stickers for the wrong candidate on their car or house were just begging for their property to be vandalized.

With time I mellowed into detached pacification that ignored other people instead of teaching them important lessons. Even in a nice neighborhood where people don’t engage in conflict, you realize your neighbors are probably enemies working against your goals, and civilization broadly. They are just quiet about how they fight you when you aren’t watching.

Maturity taught me it wasn’t worth dealing with them. Plus everyone had cameras so you might get caught unless wearing black bloc. Better to let kids and losers do the destructive work to bring about equality, as the penalties wouldn’t matter much to them. There are whole armies of homeless or squatter activists for whom a few years in jail would be a dramatic lifestyle improvement, plus they’d learn good skills for more effective crimes in the future. It’s hard to argue their lives will ever really amount to anything that matters, so best they make the tough sacrifices that benefit the movement and its leaders.

One morning I saw a SUV pull out of a side road and accelerate quickly toward the road where I was walking. Someone was in a hurry! They had left some notepads and papers on the roof and now they were just about to liftoff and go airborne. They probably worked for days and spent many long nights putting together their report, only to be exhausted and frazzled on the final morning before presentation and make a mistake that would threaten all their effort.

I could have easily signaled the driver and attracted their attention, but fellow citizens are not likely to share any ideals or values. Why should I care? It’s fair to assume they are your opposition and to therefore be coldly indifferent to their situation. Rather than punish them, I tolerate them punishing themselves while watching events unfold predictably with obvious consequences coming to fruition. Let them enjoy the chaos of life when they figure it out later. It’s not my job to instill order and protect random people from the ills they cause themselves.

We have hard lives, especially when we have to go alone because there’s no foundation of trust. It’s natural to look aside and let people bear the brunt of events without any help, no matter how costly it is to them.

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