Safety In Numbers
On the philosophers and the sophists–
Heraclitus: “One man is worth ten thousand if he be the best.”
Jordan Peterson: “Why be a rigorous teacher for three hundred university students when I could be a self-help guru for three million YouTube subscribers!”
The less centralized the state, the more localized the rule. The aim is to approximate as far as possible the natural self-governance of the individual man while securing the basic practical advantages of communal law — but also without drowning those basic advantages, and the individual man along with them, in an unfathomable sea of universality.
“All that is rare for the rare.” (Nietzsche)–
Mass appeal — popularity — is the vetting process of those who lack reason and pride. The rational man, by contrast, knows that in judging others, he is also judging himself. Hence the great value he places in his private discoveries, the diamonds he finds in the deepest earth, the faint signals he alone (or nearly alone) detects from lost worlds, or lost souls.
On living in fear.–
“Safety in numbers” is the slogan of the slaughterhouse or the concentration camp. It is a mantra for those awaiting death and at least vaguely aware that they have no control over the conditions of their extinction. It is the pitiable flipside of “Everyone does it,” the latter being the declaration of moral self-absolution offered by those who live for pleasure but lack the courage of their hedonistic convictions.
The primary “safety” in numbers is the hope that one may hide for a while within the flock — that others will die first.