‘I thought they were more into restoring democracy’
‘Yeah, for now, though I don’t know how democratic it all feels when the partisans roll into town and call a meeting. But for the long run, when the Sheenisov have conquered the world -’ we share a laugh ‘- their theories advocate the weirdest kind of communism I’ve ever heard of: everybody owns nothing, or everything.’
‘Sounds like every dingbat communist since Munzer -’
‘No, no – every individual owns everything. The whole goddamn universe.’
‘Including every other individual?’
‘Only to the extent that you can.’
‘Nice if you can get it. I just want to be princess of the galaxy.’
‘Modest of you, my sweet. But that’s the catch – the universe is yours to take if you can.’
‘So what’s to stop me?’
‘Only the other contenders, and your possibly reluctant subjects. And the size of the universe. If you can get around all that – go for it, gal!’
‘Oh. I see. And there was me thinking that eating people is wrong.’
Tony does glance at me sideways, now. ‘Eating people is wasteful…but seriously, if you think it’s wrong, fine. I entirely agree. So do something about it. Arm the prey! Set up taboos. Give them teeth! Just don’t think that announcing you moral convictions affects any part of the universe further than your voice can reach.’
‘And they want to base communism on this…this unlimited selfishness? What’s to stop it all degenerating into a war of all against all?
Tony shrugs. ‘No doubt they expect we’d come to some kind of an arrangement.’
The Cassini Division
This is really the most important point that people miss when they begin playing around the edges of moral nihilism. No matter which way you choose, moral or amoral, you will still need to deal with practical necessity in the end.
“You are free to do whatever is in your power, and if you want to survive and thrive you had better do whatever is in your interests.”
Most actions traditionally considered criminal or immoral across a range of cultures have come to be considered so because they carry serious potential side effects. Emotional, medical, social and financial side effects. That doesn’t mean that they’re wrong, necessarily, just risky.
Some actions are risky to the self, some to others. Actions that are risky to others always end up being risky to the self, too, if only in a round-about way.
Some actions are so risky they ought to be classified as downright stupid!
On the other hand, there are many traditional moral injunctions, in our culture and in others, that just don’t make any sense. It’s when you run into one of these that you need to seriously start questioning your morality and where it comes from. And once you start pulling on that thread…oh boy!
Which leads us back to our starting point…While I have become quite convinced that all morality is a lie, I have also come to believe that ethics are extremely important. Ethics are derived from the practical necessity of dealing with other human beings. It’s only when we turn away from the twisted lie that is morality, and begin exploring practical frameworks for getting along with each other, that we can ever hope to begin making real progress towards a peaceful, enlightened and civil society.
Of course, that’s all assuming you consider a peaceful, enlightened and civil society important. It’s OK either way by me. I like to fight.
Hail Chaos! Viva Loki! Aum Wotan!