Monday, January 19, 2015

Self Reliance - The Lost Cultural Artifact

Self-reliance has nearly become unspoken, even maligned to a degree in society at large. Self-reliance is oft times mocked by the left as “anti-government” and promoted by the right to the point where the only things a baby needs are bootstraps. Self-reliance is critical to independence and from independence comes freedom of person, and by extension, freedom of thought. So self-reliance is a gift we can give to all people, a little at first and more as knowledge and resources allow. It is neither to be assumed to be innate or to be assumed to be absent, it is something to nurture, or to acquire in ourselves. The government could be a part of its delivery, too often, however; the quest for power inhibits the extension of self-reliance by the government.

Self-reliance as a cultural artefact has left Canadian society in much the same way as the “pioneer spirit” has. The pioneer spirit, the willingness for a person to enter the wilderness and shape the land by the sweat of their brow into a productive enterprise absent the trappings of civilization, was a large part of the collective Canadian psyche pre-1960. The whole pioneer spirit entity had as large components self-reliance, do it yourself and independence; to be a pioneer has as reality these components by virtue of the physical realities of pioneer life. The local midwife, was the neighbour that rode a horse 15 miles in a snow storm to deliver your baby OR as often as not, was your husband. Pioneers were forced by their chosen life course to find their own solutions, to be self-reliant. The narrative until 1960 supported this pioneering reality as a quality, as a cultural component.

Since 1960 there has been collectivization in Canadian society, granted with some positive outcomes, but at the near annihilation of self-reliance as a cultural artefact. One can contemplate self-reliance as a meam in many ways, a way of "being" passed from one generation to the next.  Self-reliance has been attacked by the migration in the general narrative away from independence as a virtue, to a narrative the increasingly directs people to find a solution from society. The seeking of solution from each other, neighbour helping neighbour is generally a good thing, the relationship is pure functionality, uncorrupted if you will, human by humanity.

The challenge comes, however, when the narrative drives people to self-serving institutions, in main created by or supported by government legislation.  The nature of our political system coupled with the migration to collectivism generates a pernicious circumstance where people become increasingly dependent, and with dependence comes subservience. It is subtle in execution and insidious by nature. Little by little, each year, fewer choices are our own.

You see, the government always has the choice to liberate, to grant self-reliance but rarely does. Contemplate our medical system. Ask yourself, why do we have a shortage of medical services and no government sponsored self-diagnosis websites? Or ask yourself why is the process for getting the 10th same medical prescription the same as the first? Ask yourself, why are we required to have a prescription at all?  When you come up with the quick “obvious“ answer; please ask again.  

Medical care is only one place where there could be more self-reliance, there are many places in society where the extension of more judgment to the individual should exist in the context of personal choice, but more however, more self-direction is needed so that people can exercise themselves in their best interest. 

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