Ten the Hard Way

by Leonard Pierce

I don’t believe in any organized religion, and I’m against prescriptivism in general, so the Ten Commandments can go pound sand as far as I’m concerned.  But here’s a decalogue I wish I’d taken less time to learn:

I.  Be careful about anyone who says they’re doing something “for your own good”.  It’s one thing when someone tells you they’re only trying to help, but any claim that they’re acting on behalf of your mutual commonwealth is probably a lot more interested in their own convenience than your own good.  Even the most self-destructive people in the world are the leading authority on what they really need, even if they’re not pursuing the best possible agenda; someone who says they know your needs better than you do is almost certainly selling something.  As one of America’s forgotten martyrs put it, “How can you say what my best interest is?”.

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