Thursday, January 17, 2019

To What Do The Three Peoples Subordinate Themselves?

One of the delicious things about my reductive Three Peoples theory, that there are three kinds of people -- People of the Subordinate Self, People of the Responsible Self, and People of the Creative Self -- is that it makes me think.

For instance, the whole point of the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants, is that they consciously subordinate themselves to some loving -- or not so loving -- lord. If you are a peasant you hope that the landowner from who you rent your land, or whose serf you are, will protect you from the usual looters and plunderers that range across the fertile plains you farm.

But will he come to your aid when you do call him? Obviously, he will come -- if it makes sense to him. But what if he does not? What recourse do you, a lowly peasant, have to ensure that he protects you? It is pretty obvious that the serf only gets protection from his loving lord if the mood takes him.

What about the workers? Same thing. Their employers tend to make all kinds of comforting promises in their employee manuals. But when the profits turn to losses, then the bosses will start cutting costs, doing the tough job of management that maybe they had been neglecting in the fat years. Yeah! But what about the labor union? Yes indeed. The union does make a difference; it makes it much more difficult for the management to manage and make hard decisions about laying off the workers. But the result of that difficulty is that the employer will fail to take tough action until his back is up against the wall. So probably the whole enterprise will go down in one big implosion and bankruptcy. And instead of a trickle of workers getting laid off over a period of time, they will all be laid off together, making it much more difficult for them to get a job.

OK, so the People of the Subordinate Self are screwed, any way you look at it, because they have trusted themselves to employers and union leaders that cannot protect them when the going gets tough. I have memorialized the unenviable position subordinate people with my notion of "Little Darlings."

What about the People of the Responsible Self? They experience themselves as individuals, responsible for their lives. So, strictly speaking they should be wary of landlords, knowing that the landlord doesn't care about them, but only about his rents. They should be wary of employers, knowing that employers are going to save the corporation, not the workers, when the going gets tough.

It seems to me that the responsible person must subordinate himself to the will of the market. Let us just think in terms of work skills. If our responsible worker sees his wages increasing that is a sign that the labor market is bidding up the wages of people like him. But if he sees that his wages are stagnant, that is a warning signal. Look out, pal: Red light ahead. And so our responsible person would set about improving skills, or maybe acquiring new skills.

The point is that the responsible person does not imagine that anyone cares about people like him. All they care about is that he can do the job, and does his work to benefit the company.

Now we come to our friends the People of the Creative Self. They experience themselves, as Nietzsche pointed out, as the √úbermensch, the "overman," or "superman," or however you want to translate the untranslatable word from the German.

Then there is Joseph Campbell and his Hero's Journey, where the hero, if he is up to scratch, returns sadder and wiser from his journey into the underworld of his unconscious to deliver a boon to mankind. Or if we prefer, we can use the concepts from Jung, lately popularized by Jordan Peterson, and see the creative person as the Sacrificial Hero exploring the boundary between Order and Chaos.

It seems to me that the creative person, the truly creative person, surrenders himself to the creative process, knowing that, in making the journey into the unconscious, into the exploration of the boundary between Chaos and Order, the chances are he will never come back. Because in creativity, many are called and few are chosen.

I think that one of the great facts of our current era is that many people that think of themselves as evolved and creative are not really willing to make the sacrifice needed. They want their cake and eat it too. They want to be creative, but at the same time strut their stuff as if they were already returned from the Hero's Journey with that creative boon to mankind. Sorry Charlie. If you want to be a true creative, you must surrender yourself to the creative process, and accept that you will probably disappear into the trackless waste of the underworld of your unconscious, never to return.

Now, this does not exhaust the possibilities. What about people that are living on the borderlands between the Three Peoples? What about the people, for instance, that are half way between being People of the Subordinate Self and People of the Responsible Self.

It is my notion that the whole point of religion since the Axial Age is to guide people that are making the perilous journey from subordination to responsibility. That is the whole point of the Divine Lord with his Divine Law and his Divine Justice and his Divine Love. He is saying, go forth into the world and take up the Cross of responsibility. Here are the Rules you need to guide you. And know that, as you struggle in the world, my Divine Love is there to keep your spirits up. But don't think you can run off the road into the weeds, because at the end of the day, St. Peter and I will be judging your life from the Book of Divine Justice at the Gates of Paradise. The person on the border between subordination and responsibility is subordinating himself to God, and also to his representative on Earth, the priest whose job it is to make the Divine comprehensible.

OK, what about the folks living on the border between responsibility and creativity? How should they live?

In my view this question is the Big Question we are all struggling with. I think that the Big Error is to think that a life of creativity replaces the life of responsibility. This is the Big Error of the left, from Marxists to intersectionalists and safe spacers. They are saying that there is only subordination and victimhood on the one hand and creative activism on the other. Do you see what they are missing out of the equation? Yep: The Big "R."

I think that the creative life can only be lived in humble acceptance of the responsibility of the creative person. To borrow the environmentalists' notion of the Precautionary Principle: don't impose anything new on the rest of society unless you know that it is not going to make things worse. Funny how our lefty friends never apply this principle to their activism and their government programs and subsidies and confident predictions of the End of the World unless we act now.

Yes, on the border between responsibility and creativity, the watchword is that the creative process can only succeed if the creative ego accepts the awful responsibility of creating something new. The creative person must live a life of tolerance for those who choose to be merely subordinate, and those who choose to be merely responsible.

And the Great Fact about our era is that our lefty friends do not get it, that every creative person must practice tolerance for the merely responsible.

Because what our lefty friends have been carefully taught is to hate and to fear is people that merely live lives of conventional responsibility, as responsible workers, heterosexual husbands and wives and parents, and as responsible citizens.

And that is a monumental error.

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