A paraphrased version of one of the best lines from Gran Torino. I could easily write twenty posts using various Clint Eastwood one-liners for titles – or at least some paraphrased version of same. I suspect I have done so once or twice before, but I really don’t recall.
I hope most of you recognize that I will sometimes use extreme examples to make a point – a point that might take a shock to be made…at least for some members of the audience. Some get it; some don’t.
You have been warned. For those with delicate eyes, read no further.
From the peanut gallery they chant: “NAP, NAP, NAP. All we need is the NAP. Anyone who respects the NAP is fine by me.” Suggest anything more than the NAP and you have introduced communism under Stalin and Mao combined.
So, call me Mao Tse-Uncle Joe.
Because I have the audacity to suggest that it takes something more than the NAP to make community; because I dare suggest that applying the thinnest definition of the NAP as the only condition for a peaceful society is ludicrous; because it is clear that it takes something more than the NAP to maintain a society that comes close to resembling the NAP.
Next thing you know, I will induce the starvation of six million Ukrainians by stealing their crops and selling these overseas in exchange for military hardware while I am taking a great leap forward or something.
There are dozens of examples I could offer of behaviors not in violation of the NAP that are certain to bring about calls for extreme violations of the NAP. Children can wish this fact away, but not those who wish to think more than they write.
The NAP allows me to do pretty much anything I want to do on my property, as long as my action does not initiate aggression against another. For example, I can fire my Dragunov on my property, as long as I am not aiming at the head of my neighbor while he is watering his fatsia polycarpa while standing on his property.
An extreme example, I know. But hopefully you get the point.
So, what does this have to getting off on my lawn?
I live in a neighborhood of single family homes. Many of these homes are occupied by families with children of all ages. They play in the street, they run back and forth to each other’s house; in other words, the children are out a lot.
Most of these families go to church on Sunday; the Harrisons three doors down host a Bible-study every Wednesday evening. And the Friday night neighborhood pot-lucks are to die for.
No problem for me – they stay off my lawn. It is a beautiful front lawn.
You know, I like inviting friends over. Some of these friends are rather…how can I say this delicately…promiscuous. They are also rather uninhibited. Mmmm…they are also exhibitionists. I think that about covers it. Or, maybe, un-covers it is more accurate.
Let’s just say that they enjoy my front lawn. They describe it as “plush…soft on the skin.” Please don’t make me describe this in more explicit terms. Some readers have delicate…eyes.
Have I or my friends violated the NAP? I do not see it.
But my, oh, my…what will the neighbors say? More important and to the point: what will the neighbors do?
Is it possible that they will take action that violates the NAP?
Is it possible that they will demand that someone does something about the…mmm…activities on my lawn?
It is highly likely that they will, don’t you think? This isn’t a trick question. Just use some common sense and apply it to your understanding of human nature within such a setting.
Needless to say, the Harrisons no longer host that Wednesday evening Bible study. And I am no longer invited to the neighborhood pot-luck.
Oh, yeah…my point…. The NAP isn’t enough if one’s objective is a relatively peaceful society – one that generally respects the NAP.
Culture. It is social.
Humans. They are social, too.