Tools of Equality

A meditation on weakness as a relative state, and what can be done about that. What can be done, the author argues, is to carry a weapon. For many, the only weapon that equalizes is a handgun.

The foil here is Henry Rollins, a man of some good and some bad ideas. His devotion to personal strength as a source of self-actualization is worth hearing out. He wrote it down once, as a motivational speech, and here it is performed by someone else:

It turns out the argument isn't as simple as 'strong is better than weak.' The two authors have the same concerns. They are both concerned about attaining independence, overcoming fear, and being your own person in spite of others' violence and intimidation.

These are both the tools of equality, guns and weights. They are both ways of attaining different kinds of equality. The gun can make the small person equally capable of violence as the big one, and thus autonomous because they can no longer be pushed around. The weights bring autonomy by helping you to maximize your internal potential, which brings with it the confidence that you can survive and overcome challenges. It also brings a lot of practical independence: growing stronger makes you capable of carrying your own problems in very many ways.

My recommendation is to pursue both things.

'Bear arms, but also bare arms.'

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