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Old 09-04-2012, 07:51 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 401
Default Responsibility

While this mood is on me, it seems to me there is something frivolous, even puerile, about most accounts of polyamory.

While this mood is on me, it seems to me poly could only have arisen in the late twentieth century, in a culture so fragmented, so commercialized, so decadent that only disconnected, rootless, aimless consumers remain, consumers who think their only responsibility is to satisfy their dear selves, to follow their f#%&ing bliss.

While this mood is on me, I'm inclined to respond to the enticements of polyamory - the insistence that I should pursue the delusion of boundless love - that, really, it isn't all about me. My aim should be not - or not merely - to see what I can get out of life, how much happiness or pleasure I can derive, but to contribute what I can to whatever is left of human civilization, to take up and shoulder my responsibilities to others and to society itself.

While this mood is on me, I will declare that autonomy, true human freedom, does not consist in doing what you want. If you are doing what you want, the great theorists of autonomy might say, then you are a slave to what you want.

In this moment, I have responsibilities, and I need to focus on them, not because they bring me immediate pleasure, but because they are my responsibilities. They have their satisfactions, even their moments of joy, but they require discipline, focus, time, and energy - which are finite.

I have responsibilities to my wife and children, to our household. This includes the responsibility of creating conditions in which we can move our household, preferably intact, to a healthier setting. This redoubles my already-growing responsibilities a work, where I have a broader responsibility to foster excellence in teaching and research in my field. I have chosen to take on responsibilities in a particular community of those who love a particular form of dance and its music, activities I judge to be of value for broader cultural reasons.

That's quite a lot to be going on with.

While this mood is on me, I note that sometimes carrying my responsibilities is a stone drag, and that sometimes duty is all I have to keep me moving, and that's just the way it is, sometimes.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin

"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 09-04-2012 at 08:18 PM.
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