Robert Pirsig on crime and freedom

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From ‘Lila:’

“What the Metaphysics of Quality indicates is that the 20th century intellectual faith in man’s basic goodness as spontaneous and natural is disastrously naive. The ideal of a harmonious society in which everyone without coercion cooperates happily with everyone else for the mutual good of all is a devastating fiction. It isn’t consistent with scientific fact…Primitive tribes such as the American Indians have no record of sweetness and cooperations with other tribes. They ambushed them, tortured them, dashed their children’s brains out on rocks. If man is basically good, than maybe it’s man’s basic goodness which invented social institutions to repress this kind of biological savagery in the first place…”

…We must understand that when a society undermines intellectual freedom for its own purposes it is absolutely morally bad, but when it represses biological
freedom for its own purposes it is absolutely morally good. The destructive sympathy of intellectuals lawlessness in the sixties and since is derived,
no doubt, from what is perceived to be a common enemy, the social system. But the Metaphysics of Quality that this sympathy was really stupid.”

The idea that biological crimes can be ended by intellect alone, that you can talk crime to death, doesn’t work…Only social patterns can control
biological patterns, and the instrument of conversation between society and biology is not words. The instrument of of conversation between society and
biology has always been a policeman or a soldier and his gun. All the laws of history, all the arguments, all the Constitutions and the Bills of Rights and
Declarations of Independence are nothing more than instructions to the military and the police.”

A culture that supports the dominance of social values over biological values is an absolutely superior culture one that does not, and a culture that supports the dominance of intellectual values over social values is absolutely superior to one that does not.”

Where biological values are undermining social values, intellectuals must identify social behavior, no matter what its ethnic connection, and support it all the way without restraint. Intellectuals must find biological behavior, no matter what its ethical connection, and limit or destroy destructive biological patterns with complete moral ruthlessness, the way a doctor destroys germs, before those biological patterns destroy civilization itself.”