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What Cost
Published on April 10, 2016 By Phil Osborn In Philosophy
I find myself thinking in terms of Les Miserables a lot recently.  Odd the twists and turns of the mind.

Imagine, if you will, the following scenario:  Our protagonist suddenly recalls committing a string of unrelated crimes of whim a long time ago - when he was a young precocious sociopath by default, his even younger childhood consisting of a series of betrayals and false accusations that ultimately overwhelm his innocence.  

Note that as an adult, he has fastidiously kept to high moral standards.   But one or two of these crimes keep jogging his guilty soul, and he has always justified not taking action such as attempted restitution on the basis that only with the freedom to generate the necessary assets could he plausibly make a stab at setting things right.  Every once in a while, however, he comes to the realization that this may only be an excuse, similar to the radicals among us who think to justify otherwise criminal behavior on the basis of past institutional crimes against some economic, ethnic or racial class or other.
 
 
 
One crime in particular haunts him. As an adolescent he injured - or very likely injured - an innocent person.  He was acting out, swept away with a day that had been nearly perfect, nearly hysterical with overdriven excitement.  It could not be sustained, and he felt a hunger for more, even at the edge of exhaustion, a hunger of the kind that an extravagantly successful throw of the dice might engender, causing the gambler to waste it all on just one more throw, and then another - guaranteed disaster.

But nothing so rare to the pre-teen mind.  Overbalanced with knowledge and expectation, underballasted with experience, destruction so easy to grasp. 

Out of time for now... More later, as usual...

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