Re: separatists in america

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 18:31:12 -0500

Spike Jones wrote:

> > Paul Hughes <> wrote:
> > .
> > >America was founded largely by people who felt threatened to believe and
> > >practice their religion as they wanted to. Their need for privacy finally
> > >became so strong the only way they could get to their satisfaction was to
> > >give up everything in attempt to cross the Atlantic and form a new
> > community...
> i suspect the separatists came to america to prevent information from
> *coming into* their society, as much or more than to prevent information about
> themselves from leaking out. each generation would need to carefully block
> information channels to the next generation in order to prevent them from
> becoming
> like the society the separatists so despised. i have seen, first hand,
> information
> control at work still today, in the form of blocking or distorting information
> about science in general and evolution in particular. {8-[ spike

Preventing an inflow is as much a issue of privacy as preventing an outflow. Its all about personal space. Privacy rights are about how inviolate that personal space is to unsolicited intrusions of any kind. Granted, in some societies where people have been bred like lemmings for so long, they have no more concept of personal space outside of the body. If you look at such societies you'll note that it took quite a bit of genocidal culling to get rid of the people who could not handle such a system. However, historically, the concept of borders began with how far a person could swing or reach with their hand, then with a club, etc. This sort of thing has gone on to the point that the 3 mile limit for national borders on a shoreline was created because that was how far the state of the art cannon of the day could throw a projectile in defense of the nation. In colonial days, grants by the King to a settler were made by a curious concept of personal space. A settler could decide where they wished to build their dwelling in an unclaimed area. The grant to the settler would declare all land within line of sight of that dwelling to be the granted property.

Personal space and the sanctity of that personal space in the concept of privacy is innate. Indeed it precedes mankind. It can be seen in the territorial instincts of hundreds if not thousands of species of animals. A squirrel's nuts belong to him and him alone. If someone else eats them then the squirrel's risk of starving during the winter increase. Thus it is an evolutionary advantage for the squirrel to respect personal space and personal property.

While there is a noted variance in an individuals need for privacy, in the extroversion-introversion index, the reference is always on relative amounts of privacy. There is nobody who is an absolute extrovert, because the fact that we lie to ourselves on occasion indicates that we do or think things that we don't even want to admit to ourselves that we do, never mind tell anyone else.

So the question becomes: What is the accepted standard of privacy? Do we go with the least common denominator, i.e. next to no privacy, or just the average desired privacy? With the average desired privacy, there is still half the population feeling like they are being violated. If we are to respect the rights of minorities, in this case the introverted minority, we need to have a standard of privacy which meets the demands of the most introverted person. Anything weaker than such an absolute puts the society as a whole on the slippery slope of popular relativity and tyranny of the media. Only such a high standard of privacy will allow all in the body politic to choose their own acceptable level of privacy.

Mike Lorrey