A Driven who is not in charge of something important to him will be disruptive – and eventually destructive.
To be rational is to be rational about everything – including oneself. I am very Driven, and much of the advice I give amounts to Drivenism – how to work harder, how to lose weight, how to think and feel better by adopting Driven habits of mind. But I am too much aware of the dark side of the Driven state of mind addressed in that quote: Leadership is the amplification of one man’s will, and, accordingly, Driven people build amazingly well – but they also destroy amazingly well.
The headline of this post is a shorter statement of this very short statement:
1. Marxism is the temporary and catastrophic mutiny of the Cautious over the Driven.
2. Islam is the enduring but persistently failed mutiny of the Cautious over the Driven.
3. History is what happens when the Driven wake (or sober) up.
The Driven are never not leading, even when they’re putatively out of power. If they’re not leading people toward their own ideals, they’re leading them away from yours – or simply leading each other to their own destruction.
The whole world is a Runaway Minivan by now – and if the Driven won’t drive, nobody’s going anywhere – except backwards. But while it’s good news for a family when Dad takes back the wheel, when the Driven put down a mutiny, rivers run red.
The Hellenism of the Hoplite Greeks creates peace by being continuously prepared for war. But the foreign policy of the ancient Greeks and Romans – still very much the foreign policy of The West – consists of negligence punctuated by exterminations. Multiculturalism is Act I in a story for which Monoculturalism is Act III.
If you want to avoid the extermination of the people the suddenly-diligent West will exhort you to kill, share Hoplite civilization now, by your affectionate displays. Our way of thriving is immensely better, while the victims of Marxism and Islam may not even know that they are being led to their own self-slavery.
Looked at that way, they’re not as much enemies of civilization as brain-washed prisoners of anti-civilization. Accordingly, the best thing The West could do, in its own defense, would be to cut government in every possible way. By definition, people who spend all their time striving to get richer are the middle class. If you’re making money, you’re not making mischief.
Hold your breath waiting for that to happen, but there is more than one currency in your treasury. The wealth of The West is as simple as our everyday cleanliness and as stunningly rich as our representational art, but the best wealth we own is the affectionate display that says “Yes, we’re open – come on in!” versus “No trespassing! Keep out!” The richest gift we can offer to anyone is the smile that asks, “How can we learn to love each other even better?”
Rancorous transactions do not recur, so to make recurring transactions work, I must give you what you want – but you must give me what I want, too. The abdication of the Driven is what makes this temporary Cautious tyranny possible. That negligence is atrocious, but the restoration of diligence could result in millions (even billions) of atrocities.
We can do better than that.