"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!" ~ Ludwig von Mises
Exclusive to STR
November 6, 2008
The colossal stupidity of the American people is on grand display today. Some people are bubbling over with elation while others have been trampled by a mighty political hangover, neither group seeing that they were in fact making a non-choice and lending their support to a quantifiably meaningless charade that enhances the power of the state at their own expense.
Since we live in a world of cause and effect, it is certain that this will all come to a kind of karmic completion; those who participate deserve no more or less than to get the full value of what they asked for. The sooner they get it, the better.
If this display is not proof that the greater population is inimical towards liberty, what is going to remove your blinders? Liberty is an impossibility among people who demand to be led. They believe logical absurdities with a religious conviction that is unshakable. This is the state's greatest accomplishment. Spreading delusions in the West used to be the domain of the church; now the state has taken a leading role. Not only this, it has destroyed the forces that could pose a challenge to its existence.
Individuals with imaginations that see the possibility of life without a state are too rare to make a difference. So are logical minds that conclude the state is an illegitimate, unethical, and parasitic organization. The schooling of most people has been so shallow that they are unaware that 99% of human history occurred without a single state on the planet. So overwhelming is their desire to conform, consume, be comfortable, safe, busy, and distracted that introspection, thinking, questioning, and acting without permission have become suspicious activities. This is fertile ground for a police state, not for liberty, and look at what we have.
Orwell correctly anticipated that states would upset the meaning of language to their benefit. The Land of the Free is now filled with proles conditioned to receive orders. Whenever the state declares 'you must' ' a violation of a man's right to live as he sees fit ' there is a corresponding 'you must not' that also violates his right to protect himself against the violation. His instincts to act against aggressors are thwarted and confused. This is the effect of positive law. Unable to think clearly, the result is a culture where the victims harbor growing passive-aggressive resentment toward others within their society instead of the instigator of the disharmony. The entire system is one that fragments individuals and gives strength only to those who align with preferred groups.
Realizing that there is no way to work within the system, we have no alternative but to look outside. With the state, there is no going half-way. There's no point to having a state if there's nothing to plunder, but as soon as people raise themselves above subsistence, there is incentive for some to bum their living off others. Unfortunately, the more productive society is, the greater the incentive becomes.
If there is a state in our midst, increasing prosperity is, in fact, fuel for its growth. As our material well-being increases, we are sure to become less free under any state. Societies, then, are faced with choices: stateless nomadic poverty that humans lived with for the vast majority of their history, limited prosperity with diminishing freedom under a state, or increasing prosperity and freedom without a state. How difficult a choice is this?
For those who voted, they made their choice. Let them reap the rewards. For those people who went about their business yesterday like any other, those who are neither excited at Our Savior's election, nor upset by Mr. McAngry's defeat, those who observe the strange behaviors of your fellow man from a prudent distance, you are among the secessionists.
It is an affront and an abomination to have anyone, but especially a bunch of stupid people, presume the authority to run your life. Not to withdraw your consent is an act of gratuitous self-contempt. Creating liberty is just the opposite. Liberty in your lifetime is not just possible, it's the ultimate do-it-yourself project. Here are some places to start.