Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Liberty And Consequences

A professor once related to me a hypothetical where a man puts a gun to your head and makes you do something that you don’t want to do.  He said that if you refuse to do whatever you were being told to do and decided to accept the consequences of such an act, then you were truly free.  In other words, a truly free man accepts the consequences of his actions and decisions without complaint or cowering.

The current state of affairs in our nation is to not accept the consequences of our choices.  This kind of attitude has largely lead to a decadent society without foresight or forward-thinking.  Instead, much of our decision-making has been outsourced to the authorities in the mistaken belief that they know better.

In essence, we are not free as a people, but subservient to our own desires and living in the present rather than living for the future.  Now, I am not opposed to people getting what they want, but many people do so without regard for the possible consequences that could entail later on.  For example, you could buy a nice, lavish dinner date on your credit card or you could suck it up and go to a much cheaper place.  Now, with the earlier case, you may get laid, but you’ll also be paying interest on your credit for it, which probably means it wasn’t worth it.  And if a woman won’t put out because you didn’t take her to a really nice restaurant, she probably isn’t worth it in the long-run anyway.

What I just did there was illustrate a real-world situation of which I am sure many men have fallen victim to.  In many cases, we fall victim to ourselves and our inability to have foresight and wisdom.  Much of economic calculation involves understanding and following the nature of cause and effect.

There is no such thing as perfect knowledge of any given situation (and if you read the Bible thoroughly, you’d notice that not even God had perfect knowledge) for any one individual.  This is why I oppose central planning in all its forms because in reality, it merely forcibly diverts the resources of the community away from what they probably wanted in the first place.  It is not leadership I oppose but pride and arrogance on the part of our leaders who presume to be gods among us.

The rising liberty movement in America (and across the world if the news reports are accurate) tends to suggest that the young are fighting against the oligarchs in a much different manner than our former generation did back in the 1960s.  They are diversifying their views and at the same time keeping core principles in place which apparently include the non-aggression principle.  And while I applaud such movements and wish them luck, I cannot count myself as one of them because I believe they do not think about the consequences of liberty and all that it entails.  Most of them appear to only understand that our leaders are tyrants but beyond that, they have no real vision for future beyond Utopian dreams (which is all that they are).

I caution those who support liberty to understand that if you succeed in massive deregulation and downsizing the government, that things will not get easier in the short-term for many things and in the long term for a few things.  While I am not saying that I do not want the government, at all levels, to cut its spending by at least 2/3 of what it does now, keep in mind that I am ready to accept a world without massive government regulation even though I know what that will probably entail and be preceded by.

I will be happy when the benefits dry up and the government defaults on its loans.  And given the failure of the Tea Party Republicans, the regular Republicans, and the Democrats to even try to balance the budget, all indications are that the gravy train is over and that the Baby Boomers will end up dying in a ditch rather than in a comfortable home surround by appreciative friends and family.

I know that all of that seems harsh, but it is a harsh reality that must be faced.  Liberty, it seems, will come not from any movement but from the failure of the old institutions to maintain themselves after decades of sloth, greed, and decadence.  And these institutions will not go down without a fight because there is too much power and money at stake.  That is why I do not trust any government at any level to truly reform itself even if a Ron Paul-type were to take over all of them.  Alex Jones and so many others have done a good job of reporting on the increasing militarization of the police, which could only be for one purpose: putting down an angry and belligerent citizenry.

Unfortunately, I see no alternative to these events because of the ardent refusal of so many voters to openly accept the consequences of their actions and move toward a better future where individual responsibility and a self-fulfilling career are held up as virtues.  Instead, we see the irrational self-interest of hedonism and sloth among the dumb masses while the elites feed on them by throwing their table scraps at them and feasting on the glut of the productive.  But when that all comes crashing down, as more and more people give in to hedonism and sloth, the elites will come to realize that there is no more glut and then they themselves will be devoured by the very people they sought to contain.

And in the aftermath, the liberty-minded people of this country must be ready to bring about a better world.  Not a Utopia where all of society’s ills are solved through some strange set of ideas but one in which people are able to manage their own affairs and not give in to the lies that come from the mouths of narcissistic windbags whose empty promises bring destruction.

Be ready for when that comes to pass.  Accept that there will be times of hardship for many people and that they will not be so forgiving when they find that the money has run out.  Be ready to accept less support and help from the government and from others.  And most importantly of all, be ready to educate those who do not listen now.