Original blog can be found HERE
The week has passed, the week that precedes the Super Bowl, perhaps the oddest week on the Amerikan calendar. Commercials and rich athletes and lip-synching songstresses are celebrated, culminating in an overly-jingoistic and contrived five hour ad for Viagra with a football game thrown in the middle. Who knows what the Obama government did this week while the sheeple were distracted.
On to the feedback…
I’m sure you learned in school that nature abhors a vacuum. No one doubts this in physical realities. However, I think anarchist-leaning libertarians tend to forget about power vacuums. I’d love to see a world where no one ruled anyone else, where all governments had faded into history. But the moment one set of power-wielders disappears, another will leap into the power vacuum to assert their control.
Our (or my) forefathers did their level best to provide a constitutional republic where no one could grab power, and look what happened to it — the sorry mess of a police state we are suffering now. I’m afraid that as long as human nature doesn’t change, and it’s not likely to in the next several milenia, we are stuck with a situation where another power-group will immediately follow whatever power-group falls from center stage. I can see several waiting in the wings for the current one to fail. I hope someone somewhere can figure out how to keep that from happening.
Your friend, Old Texas Cowgirl
PS: How could you leave your beautiful island? I visited there with my brother 10 or 12 years ago, and had to be nearly dragged back to “civilization.”
TC, this is the same sort of argument that you would have heard when abolitionists were arguing that treating African humans as chattel property was wrong, to wit, “But the African simply doesn’t have the brainpower or moral fiber to survive in society outside of the slave system. It’s the white man’s burden to take care of these people as a firm parent would, not sparing the rod… to Christianize and civilize them, keep them from acting on their base desires and to make them productive and useful.”
But this is not to say you don’t have a point. The thing is, most of humanity are essentially horribly abused children who have grown up being beaten by a hypocritical and violent foster “parent”. This parent is actually a kidnapper who has convinced humanity from childhood that it is nothing without the kidnapper, that it owes everything to the kidnapper, even as the kidnapper regularly holds a gun to the kidnapped children’s heads and physically molests them. Is it any wonder that these children grow into adults who think in terms only of violence and coercion? That they spend their entire lives seeing others as potential abusers with whom they must hold tense negotiations with guns drawn?
Doesn’t surprise me a bit that even “small, responsible government” type libertarians and conservatives want to keep having an abuser with whom to negotiate, that they can’t imagine a life in which the vast majority of people really don’t want to abuse each other…that there is really is no power vacuum waiting for another armed, kidnapping molester to fill it…that there’s just a tiny, tiny minority of psychopaths with guns who have the rest of us brainwashed because they got into our heads when we were young and defenseless.
Our forefathers’ level best has been construed by the anarcho-capitalist grand daddy Murray Rothbard as a centralizing power grab that was bound to grow into the mess we currently have. Governments can’t help but produce negative outcomes because they are at core nothing more than coercion, congealed violence, guns legitimized by collective brainwashing and pointed at the head of everyone in an arbitrary geographical designation. They have us all asking about phantasms of worry like “Who would build the roads? Who would educate the children? Who would take care of the truly unfortunate? Who would protect us from bullies?”…All the while hoping we don’t notice that the markets would give us better roads for less money, better and much more diverse kinds of education for less money, better charity that didn’t result in grinding intergenerational poverty and dependence, and much less violence since the most charming and effective psychopaths woul be disarmed.
So I understand what you’re saying. But it isn’t human nature that needs to be changed. We just need to stop handing our children over for brainwashing, stop letting our seed pass through the fires of Moloch, as it were, so that they don’t keep supporting the tiny minority of natural criminals who need for us to believe that we have to let them run our lives.
The belief in the need for centralized political violence, for the state, is nothing more than the same illogical reflex that had entire cultures sacrificing to imagined, bloodthirsty sky gods. Like any religious belief, it only needs to be applied early enough and it will misguide the individual about reality for the rest of his life. But break the cycle of brainwashing and any human would see the state for what it is and will want no part of it.
And words are servants, not our masters. So we must beware of those cute sayings that “everybody knows are true.” We often hear about nature abhoring a vacuum…but most of nature is pretty much a vacuum…
…A whole lot of nothing with litte clusters of something here and there.
And about my “tropical paradise”. Everyone has different tastes. My country isn’t as bad off as Haiti, but it’s still not what I have when I picture myself as happy. In my mind, Third World sweltering tropical islands run by socialists are places to flee in search of opportunity elsewhere. A lot of my countrymen believe the same thing, hence the sky-high emigration rate. I was born in St. Vincent, but I came to New York with my family when I was two years old. So I’ve come to like seasons and snow. Fall is hands down my favorite mode of existance. When I picture my ideal place, I picture it with a lot of snow.
For those of you who have something warmer in mind when you think of your ideal place, then let me direct you to the exciting things TDV is making happen in Chile. Click here to learn more.
FREEING THE MINDS OF THE ENSLAVED
I have been into precious metals, Austrian/Keynesian economics, liberty, TDV, etc. for a number of years now. Learning more every day and loving it. I express these ideas to my whole family, parents, and brother (I’m 24, brother is 20). My parents are a lost cause, but I have been able to get my brothers attention with different issues and to put 15% of his investing capital into PMs, but that’s about it. Although everyone is different and this line of thinking and living may not be for him he won’t know until he tries it.
The question is how do I get a young person, 20, Canadian, who is a bit interested but not chomping at the bit, to read, learn, and grow? He needs to see life is not this North American List of Tasks to Complete including: education, certain type of job, et cetera, et cetera, et-fuckin-cetera. Once he does he will live each day happier and freer. He’s heard different stories and knows what I read but really does not have a grasp of the central themes that are expressed in TDV, Casey Research, ZH, and other libertarian and anarchist hubs.
Any ideas? I will keep talking to him and showing him things but he needs to want it for himself, and I want that for him.
In response to your question, I wish to convey a bit of wisdom that has taken me decades to understand. It can be summarized in one sentence: you can’t actually help anybody. Least of all, family members. All people are on their own path and there is really only one way to learn… to have their faults shown to them by the market. By actually trying to shield the majority of people from their own incorrect beliefs (and that is assuming that we know what is correct… a big assumption) all we are doing, like with welfare, is not allowing them to learn for themselves.
They simply won’t listen until the cold hard truth is right in their face. People either won’t take your help by not listening, or they’ll resent you for showing that they’re thinking or doing the wrong thing. Or you’ll simply have your good deeds backfire and come back to bite you… I’ll give you just one example of this from the dozens of times I’ve tried to help people.
In Mexico, one of hundreds of my wife’s cousins was showing great potential. She was a beautiful young woman and was working two jobs to put herself through school – a dramatic shift from most of her family who don’t try too hard to further themselves in life. But, every time I saw her I would wince. She had an absolutely atrocious dental situation. Crooked, crammed teeth… and one tooth had even started turning yellow/green as it was dying. Thinking I would “help” her, I discretely paid for her to get dental care and braces.
Smugly sitting at home, feeling like such a good person, I was surprised when the phones started ringing off the hook. I understand Spanish but don’t understand “costeno” (street) heated language very well so I was confused. My wife was yelling at everyone who called. Finally a few hours later she slumped into a chair, exhausted from fighting with dozens of people.
“What happened??” I asked, totally confused. She went on to relay to me how most of Acapulco was in an uproar. I must be getting her braces to sell her into human slavery, they thought!
The nice part of this story is that she now has the braces off and has moved on in her life… and I still haven’t sold her into slavery.
To summarize, just remember, no good deed goes unpunished. All that we can and should do is to continually improve ourselves and, if things get really crazy, we will be in a position to help those who deserve some help climb from underneath the wreckage. But even then, think twice before extending a hand. Extended hands tend to get bitten.
Regarding the following sentence structure: “Rates vary widely depending on which canton we’re dealing with.” Never end a sentence with a preposition. Invert the phrases here to read as follows: “Depending on which canton we’re dealing with tax rates can vary widely.”
Further down: ” “Individual cantons may impose an inherentance tax, but the…” Correct spelling is INHERITANCE. Most people with wealth want their international documents to be correct and precise.
Bruce Lerner a regular reader in north Florida
p.s. You can pay me for proof reading by sending me a passport to someplace with an advanced civilization.
I turned this one over to TDV editor Gary Gibson who said:
Actually, that’s not quite right about the preposition. It’s not the sentence that can’t end with a preposition; it’s the clause. To be correct you would have to create a prepositional phrase:
“Depending on which canton with which you’re dealing, rates vary.”
“Rates vary depending on which canton with which you’re dealing.”
It can sound like you’re trying to hard if you are completely correct, i.e.: “It’s I” or “Amn’t I?” where most people just say the outrageously incorrect “It’s me” or “Aren’t I?”
The misspelling of inheritance was just a plain old line editing miss. Sorry about that.
And what’s this about places with an advanced civilization? I’m going to have to assume you mean a country in the Western world. But the Western world is collapsing and falling backward because of all the nanny state nonsense, and in the case of the US, all the imperialist overreach. It may not be so obvious to everyone right now…but in a generation or two, the West from Greece to Canada will be seen as a poor, chaotic collection of repressive backwaters…while places in Asia and Latin America will be the sources of freedom, wealth and progress.
Chile at #7 currently already ranks above the #10 US.
The reality is the US deserves a far lower ranking (the US steals about 50% of its subjects’ money) and this list will reflect that in the near future. Along with a citizenship from a less intrusive government, we also urge readers to stake their claim in Galt’s Gulch, Chile as part of a plan to live a freer life and keep most or even all of what they rightfully earn. Click here to learn more about the exciting developments in a wonderful, warm country with a booming economy, high quality of life and low cost of living.