Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Doin' Right Ain't Got No End"

I've had a little ... situation ... in my life recently. This situation made me wonder why government pokes its fingers into our lives so much. Long story short, I found this web page after doing a little internet surfing recently. Consider it a variation on a theme, similar to C.S. Lewis' quote on tyranny (which I posted back in September 2010).

From UncleBob's Treehouse, back in 2007:
"The Outlaw Josey Wales: 'Doin' Right Ain't Got No End'" by Bob Wallace

"I consider movies to be modern-day myths, and like all great myths, they tell us great truths."

And one of those great truths comes from "The Outlaw Josey Wales": "Doin' Right Ain't Got No End"

Governments everywhere and for all time trample basic human rights. Even when they think they're trying to help us.  I'm just going to quote from Bob Wallace, and from the movie, here:
Josey: Governments don't live together. People live together. Governments don't give you a fair word or a fair fight. I've come here to give you either one. Or get either one from you... I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another...

Ten Bears: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double-tongues.

"Governments are chiefed by the double-tongues." A world of truth in seven words. They should be taught in kindergarten, engraved on stone tablets in town squares! They should be added to the Bible, taught in church!

Another scene that has stayed with me is the discussion between Fletcher and the mass-murdering leader of the Kansas Redlegs, Terrill, who is the Union officer who killed Wales' family -- even though neither Josey nor his family ever owned slaves. Both of them are hunting Josey, who, after his tragedy, turned Missouri Confederate (I suspect from the Ozarks, because I hang out in that area and know what it's like):

Fletcher: We get [kill] Josey Wales and it ends.

Terrill: Doin' right ain't got no end.

"Doin' right ain't got no end." That cold-blooded sentence is the motto of every tyrant -- indeed of most rulers -- in the world. That belief is ancient: both Jesus and Aesop noticed that tyrants always call themselves benefactors. As it is with rulers (who are the most prolific killers of all), it is with murderers: all must justify what they do, rationalize it to themselves. Murderers do their crimes for their own selves; rulers always claim it is for the greater good. "I'm from the government," goes the old but scarily true joke, "and I'm here to help you." You may think you are, but, no, you're not!

The story of The Outlaw Josey Wales is a simple but well-known one: a man who wishes to live peaceably with his family sees them slaughtered by agents of the government. So he seeks violent revenge. (By the way, does anyone in the government understand how that eternal truth applies to Iraq? Hello? Hello? Anyone?)
Well put, Bob.