Bob Is Wrong! You Aren’t Necessarily Going To Have to Serve Somebody!

Posted on May 28, 2010

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Let me apologize in advance. Philosophy, like the clap, flares up when I least expect it.

Question: Is it true, as Bob Dylan claims, that you’re going to have to serve somebody?

I’m not sure what Bob means exactly by “to serve somebody” but I will define it as “to comply with the commands or demands of another person or persons.”

Key Fact / Assumption: You are unable or unwilling to sustain your existence independently.

One response: cooperate.

  • You can try to secure your wants or needs by exchanging services and resources with others.
  • In this option, however, it seems you will be required to comply with some commands or demands of some people because it’s unlikely that you will secure all the services and resources you want by exchanging only those services and resources you want to exchange.

The other response: dominate.

  • You can try to secure your wants or needs by physically or psychologically coercing others.
  • In this option, it also seems you will be required to comply with some commands or demands of some persons because different persons are dominated differently and some persons may be dominated only by means that you prefer not to employ.
  • There’s also no reason to believe that the people you are capable of dominating will also be able to provide all the services and resources you want and need.

Fables of Freedom and the Dreams They Inspire.

  • The Fable of the Generous Market: it’s always possible for you to identify a person or persons who will exchange with you as many services and resources as you want for whatever services and resources you want to offer.
  • The Fable of the Fulfilled Tyrant: it’s always possible for you to identify a person or persons who will be dominated exactly in the fashion you wish to dominate him / her / them and who will also provide you with all the services and resources you want.
  • The Fable of the Great Artist: it’s always possible for you to identify or be identified by a person or persons who will exchange with you as many services and resources as you want for whatever services and resources you want to create.
  • The Fable of Unconditional Love / Total Solidarity: it’s always possible for you to identify or be identified by a person or persons who will provide you with as many services and resources as you want regardless of what you want to provide in return.
  • The Fable of the Happy Homesteader / the Garden of Eden: it’s always possible for you to identify an environment that will provide you with as many services and resources as you want however you want to live in it.
  • The Fable of the Child: it’s always possible for you to identify or be identified by a person or persons who will give you as many services and resources as you want regardless of what you do or don’t do.

Is it Possible To Live Without Necessarily Serving Somebody?

  • The Ascetic Hypothesis: by reducing your wants and needs, you will require the services and resources of fewer people. As a consequence, it becomes more likely you will be able to identify a sufficient number of persons who will exchange with you as many services and resources as you want for whatever services and resources you want to provide.
  • The Rasputin Hypothesis: if you dominate a person with sufficient discretionary wealth (that is, wealth which s/he can distribute based solely on his or her judgement), it is conceivable that s/he could provide you with as many resources and services as you want and need whenever you want and need it.
  • The Unconditional Patron Hypothesis: if you secure the unconditional favor of a person with sufficient discretionary wealth, it is conceivable s/he could provide you with all the resources and services you want whenever you want it.
  • The Bohemian Market Hypothesis: if the wants and needs of most people drive down the cost of the services and resources you want and need but also drive up the costs of services and resources you want to provide, it increases the possibility that you could satisfy all your wants and needs by offering only the services and resources you want to provide.

Conclusion: Bob is wrong. You aren’t necessarily going to have to serve somebody!

  • It is possible for you to meet your wants and needs to by exchanging only those services and resources you want to exchange / provide / create.
  • There are no guarantees, but it is possible.

An Unexpected Conclusion!

  • When I first jotted down the notes which inspired this post, I originally concluded that Bob is correct and that I, you, and we are going to have to serve somebody.
  • Now, after thinking and writing about it in greater detail, I draw a different conclusion: you aren’t necessarily going to have serve somebody!

If you’ve made it this far, I reward you with the official video for the song that I hope is now running around your head. Enjoy!

Posted in: Philosophy