Inception

I watched the movie the other night.  It’s silly in a lot of ways, but it is interesting, not least because I once woke up from a dream after I realized I was dreaming, but it then turned out I was still dreaming.  I “awoke” right where I should be– right there on the couch where I’d fallen asleep, looked around, and got up.  “Wow, that was a weird dream” I thought.  What tipped me off was that I started floating up from the floor after I got up to go to the bathroom.  That’s a dead giveaway right there, see.  I could identify with the story in a way.  But this post isn’t about that.


An inception the way it was used in the movie, is the seed of an idea that, once it’s planted, cannot be stopped.  It sprouts, takes root, grows and eventually bears fruit.


I remember quite clearly an inception experience I had during my dark days of believing in leftist garbage.  I had what I’ve since referred to as the “Default Mentality”.  It was natural.  Everyone had it.  It was just the way things were.  School teachers, professors, friends, the talking heads on NPR and PBS– everyone thought that way but for a few idiots dredged up and brought in just to make the discussion more interesting and prove to us that we were the smart ones.  I was listening to a crazy, extremist right wing talk show (to see just how stupid it was, and gloat over it) and one of the callers gave his definition of a “liberal”; “The kind of person who will give you the shirt off of someone else’s back.”  I could not refute that.  Hmm.  That set the snowball in motion, though it had already been building on top of the hill by that time.


There was another one that happened long before.  A girl (yes, girl– we were in our tweens) I was dating just set it out there all by itself; “About the only things the federal government should be doing are commanding the military and maintaining the interstates.”  I guffawed, naturally, and she let it be, but that inception of an idea never left me.  Now I question why they should be involved in the interstates (if we need some way to get around, we’ll come up with the solution without being forced by someone else).  Obviously she was a Progressive.


The left has used seed planting for generations.  It’s why they’ve always used “rights” to describe coercive redistribution, “regulation” to describe coercive restrictions, “democracy” as though it is synonymous with freedom, “hope and change” to describe communist revolution, and so on, redefining all the important words and concepts.  Just the misuse of one little word– one single word over here, another little word slipped in over there while you weren’t paying attention, to reverse the meaning of life itself.  Eventually the students are rioting in the streets and taking over the campus, and the Jonestown inhabitants are all dead– men, women and children.  The untimate in “shared sacrifice”.  Why, don’t the good Christians believe in sharing?  Don’t they believe in sacrifice?  Of course they do.  Shared sacrifice can be wonderful.  But see how it was turned around into something ghastly.


We have it much better though, because we have reality on our side.  My challenge to you who advocate the American Principles of Liberty is to plant seeds of your own.  It’s very easy.  Seeds are very small, light, and very compact.  Here’s one that I think just qualifies;


Gun restrictions are not only an affront to the ideal of liberty; they are counterproductive in practice.


Simpler yet; substitute “gun restrictions” with “prohibitions”.  Same thing, you see, but it’s a bit lighter.


Redistribution and restriction do not equal freedom.


Freedom means one thing– the protection of rights.


It isn’t a right if it demands something of someone else.


You know? People, when left alone, are capable of some really cool things…


Try to take it from there if you like.  This is somewhat new to me, and I’m sure others can do better at it.  There are perhaps thousands of them you could come up with– Simple, very small, resilient ideas that can sit around until the conditions are right.  Find some soil and plant them.  Scatter them to the wind and they’ll sprout if they find the right conditions.  Too often we’re tempted to try to convert someone with a protracted back and forth argument until we’re out of breath.  If the conditions for that little seed aren’t right, don’t flood it with more and more water and wash it away.  Just plant it and let it sit there.  You don’t pound seeds into the ground.  You just sort of drop them there, and wait.  When things warm up after the snow melts, when the next rain comes in springtime, they will germinate.

6 thoughts on “Inception

  1. I love this post, Lyle, and I think you speak to a deep and enduring truth. There isn’t a lot of point trying to pound those seeds into barren, rocky soil, either–we have to move on and sow somewhere else, and wait for the raindrops to erode the rock into soil in their own sweet time.

  2. And that is why, in part, I’m a teacher (or at least, trying to be one – currently mostly unemployed on a full-time basis).

  3. Great post! I am a teacher and I try to plant seeds daily. Your post put it into tighter perspective. Freedom!

  4. Brilliant in its simplicity.

    The left got where they are today largely by planting little ideas, letting them take root and building on them over the course of decades. The path back will likely be by the same route.

  5. It isn’t a right if it demands something of someone else.

    That’s probably the most important one. Most – if not all – of the others spring from this one truth.

    I might also add “Not all violence is evil, only aggressive violence.”

  6. “Not all violence is evil, only aggressive violence.”
    That’s a good one. The difference between the initiation of an attack, and the defense against it, has been largely erased. To ignore the difference (saying, “Violence is never the answer”, etc) is to wipe out the very concept of rights. That distinction is beginning to be revived, but the concept of what is and what is not a right has to be cemented before it can make any sense. Otherwise you have people rioting for their “right” to free stuff and free services. What a tangled knot we have to unwind, but a few simple ideas can make all the difference.

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