In the spirit of being politically correct, it might be kindest to stop referring to actions as “failures.” They did not fail; they merely inverted triumph. That is, they achieved its opposite, but that too is an equal choice and should be tolerated in the spirit of inclusion.
On April 7, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt took the first step toward ending Prohibition and signed a law that allowed people to brew and sell beer, in the United States, as long as it remained below 4.0% alcohol by volume (ABV). Beer drinkers celebrated and were happy to be able to purchase beer again for the first time in thirteen years.
Our research found this day was created as National Beer Day by Justin Smith, a Richmond, Virginia Craft Beer Examiner, and his friend Mike Connolly from Liverpool, England. April 7th was chosen because the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law and became effective on this day.
Past history suggests that government would be less destructive if its workers drank so much beer that they were incapacitated, at which point the few functional humans would resume directing the others toward productive activity instead of fighting eternal human weaknesses with even weaker laws.
“We need to stop these elderly voters from living alone, starving by eating cat food, and unable to get around!” bellowed the Senator triumphantly, hoping this desperate gambit would save his career. Otherwise, he’d be the one eating cat food alone in a one-room apartment, waiting for visits from the products of his terrible parenting who would never arrive.
In the way of democracy, the other politicians in the room panicked. To approve this measure opened a can of financial and regulatory worms, but to deny it was to appear to hate the elderly, which meant that they would all be voted out of office. Retired people have nothing to look forward to but (1) “early bird” specials at Luby’s and (2) going to the voting booth with fire and vengeance in their bleary eyes. Politicians offend this demographic at their peril.
So the law hit the books: government would provide health insurance and benefits for the retired who needed them. Like rewards for minorities, the poor and wayward immigrants, this new form of welfare would cost a huge amount of money at first, and a lot more later. But there were ripple effects too.
First was its hidden cost to government. Introduce a new program like that, and you have to hire many thousands to administer it. Then there are many lawyers who now become expert in it, and many more lawsuits. Everybody gets rich. But then, every government agency and every company out there has to hire its own bureaucrats and lawyers to deal with this new program. If you have workers, you are part of the program now… or if you deal with workers, or rent to workers, or sell to workers… because at some point, they will be retired. That’s legalistic thinking for you.
Employers reacted too. If Uncle Sam is paying retirement benefits, the company benefits are no longer achieving their goal, which is as a bargaining chip to bring talented labor into the company. So those go. And then, because of raised costs, other things go too. They need to streamline to hire all those lawyers and bureaucrats.
But now the real fight begins. Everyone wants to be qualified under the new program. But because the law has to be limited, some are not. In come the lawyers, and the media with sob stories, and the outside consultants. Soon the program is many times its original size. So the politicians come up with a “good” idea, which is to make lots of rules. They put out a rulebook with 30,000 pages of regulations on every conceivable topic.
Of course, they forgot that rules are like coral reefs to lawyers and bureaucrats. The more lines in that rulebook, the more exceptions there are and the more ways there are to make money off the system. This means more court cases and lawsuits, and more going back to the negotiating table for politicians. It’s money for everyone, they think.
Down in the “Anteroom to Heaven,” otherwise known as retirement paradise Florida, a guy and his nephew — who is a lawyer — look over the new rules. The rules list twenty conditions under which people can purchase motorized scooters. But these guys zoom in on just two: they must have “mobility issues” and be “under medical care.”
The lawyer shrugs. “Sounds to me like anyone who has any trouble getting around, and who gets a note from their doctor, can get one of these. We’d better incorporate that scooter business now.”
They do that, and then they go around to all the retirement homes. They hand out fliers. They do free consultations. They sign up two million people for motorized scooters within a decade, make a fortune, and sell the business so they can retire. About this time someone in Washington, D.C. finally notices the vast hemorrhaging of money, which has happened because Uncle Sam pays first, then asks for the money back if you did it wrong.
Members of Congress say the ads lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary spending by Medicare, which is only supposed to pay for scooters when seniors are unable to use a cane, walker or regular wheelchair. Government inspectors say up to 80 percent of the scooters and power wheelchairs Medicare buys go to people who don’t meet the requirements. And doctors say more than money is at stake: Seniors who use scooters unnecessarily can become sedentary, which can exacerbate obesity and other disorders.
Nobody wins. And yet nobody is going to criticize this process, because to do so is to implicate democracy itself. At every step of the process, the logic of democracy was present: pandering to the victim group, writing the vague law, creating a labyrinth of byzantine regulations that ended up favoring the bad guys. This is not an exceptional case; it’s business as usual, and they did it on your dime.
This reminds us that not only are government officials just following orders and applying standard procedure, they feel no need for any of it to make sense. This is appropriate for a society that expects senseless actions and employs no tolerance policies mandating rigid responses that remove reason and judgment from determining appropriate handling for any situation.
In a reason-based society, you should be able to interrupt an official performing a mandated task and receive a satisfactory answer when asking them what they expect that task will accomplish. If they don’t know, or don’t think it will accomplish anything, they should not mindlessly perform their duty.
Some Luddites have warned us that the technology that promised to make our lives easier has instead enslaved us to an avalanche of email, texts, and links we need to check for and click on. Just as we have turned humans into procedural robots that work for the needs of computers that should function on our behalf, we have likewise inverted our relationship with rules by creating binding directives at odds with our goals.
Our system of rules is in constant expansion and is assumed sensible and benign only because this was previously the case. With reason increasingly banished from society and rational scrutiny considered offensive and antisocial, we may have reached the limits our of ability to design governing systems.
Surveying the chain of derailment shows us we got lost with successive waves of revolution against reality, accelerated most recently from 1950-1970 with waves of beatniks, hippies, and feminists who proposed compelling fantasies of flower-power, equality, trigger warnings and peace through surrender, despite significant conflict necessitating actual resolution.
This set the stage for political correctness, which ushered in microaggressions, pretending to feel threatened because alternative ideas are communicated, and identifying as whatever characteristics one wished themselves to possess. Surely future methods of crafting fantasies will continue to disconnect further from the real world.
We should consider simplifying all this by returning to a world that makes sense.
Our coddled First World Problems students at the universities, like all leftists, are children of privilege.
We did not have leftists in the West until the French made life so much better for the poor that those r-strategists outbred their superiors so greatly that revolution was sure to follow as soon as a crisis occurred that could be blamed on leadership and not merely overpopulation. Leftists follow this model: superior forces create and stabilize, leftists breed like yeast, then blame their superiors and take over. Classic rebellious child with too much free time scenario.
Humans do not like to face reality. That is in fact the primary challenge of life itself: learn reality. Deal with what is actually there, instead of your thoughts about it, your interpretive dance, your blogs or excuses. Politics falls mostly into the latter camp of “excuses.” Excuses for the lower echelons of society and their low performance. Excuses for those who act in criminal ways. This disguises the fundamental psychology of the leftist, which is excuses for himself.
Leftism demands equality but what it actually wants is state-sponsored individualism. Or: I don’t have to discipline my inner monkey. I can be as useless as I want to be, so long as I tip-toe around the rules and don’t get caught, but I do not have to participate in any kind of plan, social standards or even measures of competence. I am perfect, just the way I am, and no one can tell me “no” — in fact, the rest of you should get out of my way because I am the original Precious Snowflake.
If you want to know why Leftism is eternally popular, it is this attitude. Like Mr. Rogers, it tells people they are OK just as they are. There is no need to discipline themselves to stop their inner monkey from raging, or to shape their minds to understand reality outside of them, or even to worry about the consequences of their actions and be accountable through them, which occurs before those actions through a mental process we call “morality.” They just need to be. They’re beautiful just for being humans and doing the monkeyshines that humans all can do because they’re lowest common denominator: dancing, making “art,” copulating, chatting, getting drunk, eating and posting to Tumblr.
This is what conservatism is up against: inertia. Liberalism validates human behaviors that are useless by declaring them “equal” — just as important as — heroic acts, essential acts and exceptional acts. Liberalism is the anti-Darwin. It argues that people do not need to improve themselves at all, but most be easy on themselves. It is anaesthesia for a dying species. It says don’t worry about the obvious failure that we are undergoing, just bend over and think of England.
The conservative impulse toward religiosity comes from this realization. We see life as a moral battle for mental clarity. We recognize that most people are still monkeys, and by most we mean 98.6% or so. They live through their impulses, are in denial about realities, and their agenda is wholly based in a fascination with their own appetites, lusts, shopping and desires. As a result, they have abdicated the higher mental functions that allow planning and creation, including of civilization itself.
Zen Buddhism bases much of its approach on the same idea. To a Zen Buddhist, the problem of life is that most people are mentally undisciplined monkeys who are destructive by the very nature of their careless, solipsistic, self-obsessed and oblivious behavior. This is the essence of the Zen master slap: “Wake up! Reality is out here, not in there, inside your head! Your life is illusion and you have no idea what you’re doing!”
In the West we refer to this tradition as esotericism. An initiate, usually a teenage boy, is put to a quest as part of his study. On that quest, he has to snap out of the umbilical sac of solipsism and start looking at life not just as real, but through a critical eye. What are the actual motivations of others, despite what they say? What are the strategic positions people take and what are they protecting? What does this tell us about them? You may notice that the same questions arise in the analysis of religious texts, or in a good literature degree, which you can still get in some rare places. They call it critical thinking there.
The point of this is that the appeal of liberalism is entirely a lie. It justifies ignoring the essential task of life and replacing it with an easier task. This appeals to idiots, lower castes, and neurotics, and these types will never stop pushing this agenda. In sensible societies, those in power are aware of this and constantly exile such people. You cannot do that with the rule of law; you need the rule of exceptional and far-sighted men. If you stop, the insane people build up and then they overthrow you with superior numbers, since oblivious people think they are immortal — after all, they’re solipsists — anyway and so are prone to attack in thoughtless groups.
With this in mind, the last thing we want on a college campus or anywhere else is a “safe space.” Safe spaces are solipsism bubble zones where people can go if they fear someone might mention reality. In safe spaces, people can bloviate on about their ideological ideas without being contradicted by someone who has noticed flaws in their narrative, i.e. reality peeking through the carefully-constructed artifice. Safe spaces are designed to blot our reality and replace it with a giant neurotic and morally flatulent human mind. They are the triumph of narcissism, fear and intolerance (of reality!) over common sense, logic and survival. They are suicide cults.
Bashing college kids for this is like swatting a piñata or shooting fish in a barrel. We all know they are delusional; they’re kids with no experience of the world. They are simply acting out the stuff their professors taught them, and in this case, their professors are neurotic Generation X-ers re-enacting what their neurotic Me Generation parents taught them happened in 1968. But looking past this easy game, we should think about safe spaces in general, and the tendency of societies to make them.
The first people to found a society are conquerors, which means both warriors and nerds. The warriors clear away the other monkeys who will steal, sabotage and subvert — they call this genocide sometimes, but it’s the same reason that American settlers killed Indians and Israelis blew away Palestinians — and the nerds start putting together irrigation, sanitation, libraries and other essential things for civilization. At some point they both look at each other and shrug. The basics are done. Now all that is left is to improve what is there. And here is where the problem enters.
When a society is first minted, it has a goal: push back against that which holds it back, including nature and ignorance. This is a forward moving task. After it loses that simplicity, it needs a new task. The most obvious is to try to protect its people from the dangers of life. This is a backward moving mentality, and it always takes the form of looking at who is hurt or gets hurt and trying to “fix” situations that are the consequence of these people’s inabilities or solipsism. This is the start of the idea of safe spaces; society itself is the safe space.
I say we undo all of it. Abolish the FDA; take whatever drugs you want and if you die, we throw you in a ditch. Remove the warning tags from mattresses. Get rid of speed limits, DUI laws, handicapped parking, movie ratings, the lot of it. Those things create a mentality that destroys civilizations because they create an intermediary in place of reality. People no longer worry about the consequences of their actions, but whether those actions are legal. Get rid of all of it. 99% of our laws need to go into the dumpster with the rest of the “think of the children!”-style neurotic rule-making.
We need a society where for every action, the person making it is thinking, “What will happen when I do this?” Not lost in a fog of assurances about how the government would ban it if it weren’t safe, or how he has guaranteed health care, or how his friends think and that might make him a YouTube star. Have him thinking solely about the results of his actions. Don’t give him a forest of laws and nagging nanny moral codes so he can attempt to justify what he is doing. Measure it all by the outcome. If you try to shoot Hitler and you blow a hole in an orphan instead, it really is not different from killing that orphan any other way. Reality matters. Consequences matter. And in the end, you either helped a situation or hurt it — but helping can be hurting, if it enables weakness, stupidity and solipsism to thrive.
I remember the rise of the administrative state back in the 1980s. Suddenly there were warning labels on everything. As a result, people stopped thinking about the consequences of their activities. They just looked for the warning label and, if they didn’t see one, went ahead. If things went wrong, they blamed the government: “There should have been a warning label!” Government gladly paid the fines from these lawsuits because it saw an unstoppable, infinite way to justify increases in its power. All they had to do was find some poor idiot who couldn’t figure out that pulling the pin on a hand grenade and inserting it in his rectum was a bad idea, and boom! another 400 bureaucrats and cops were hired, another 10,000 lines of regulations and twenty federal laws were added, and the great leech-off-society parasitic jobs program called Government could continue.
What encouraged them further was the fact that people — who are basically monkeys — liked this condition. It meant there was always someone else to blame for their own stupid acts, and they could “save face” by blaming the government or some poor manufacturer for whatever stupid thing they did with a product. If the mattress does not tell you not to light it on fire and ride it into a pool of gasoline, your life-changing injuries are certainly not your fault, Mr. Plaintiff!
I’m sure the original intent behind these laws was to protect the poor and stupid from destroying their lives, but like any true evil, the laws took on a life of their own (like a cancer, come to think of it). The dumbing-down of our society really began at that moment. No one was any longer accountable for understanding reality and making the moral decision to ensure their actions did not end in bad results. Nope: there was a warning to read, and someone to blame if it went badly, and because Government was now running the show, there was always some kind of benefit to apply for when you maimed yourself and could no longer work.
No consequences for anyone. That’s what a safe space is, and that’s why all of them should be abolished.
The recent hiccup with China has made everyone nervous, not so much for its immediate effects but in the worry that this is the first of a series of events. A big crash will make the world’s interconnected economies fall like dominoes, and often those smashups are preceded by a pattern of small crises.
Even if this blows over, it has made people nervous because it presages another inevitable event: the collapse of Western debt. Since the Second World War, the West has been able to borrow on the basis of its historical wealth and power, and its role as the only man standing among the industrial economies after that war. This gave it a momentum, or a trajectory zooming across economic skies, that has still not lost inertia.
Debt is only worth something if others will purchase it based on the presumed future value of the assets that support that debt. It used to be that the West could point to thriving economies, happy people and relatively few of the chronic social problems that plague most societies on earth. Now, none of this is as true, meaning that it is fading. Investments on a downward trajectory are worth less than others.
China discovered this because, having borrowed to oblivion, it became unstable economically. This was not an issue in times of growth, which are what liberal leaders excel at, but as the market corrects it shows how short-sighted those decisions — like those of Clinton and Obama in the USA — were. As Pravda-on-the-Hudson relates, the source of this crash was excessive Chinese debt:
How much debt remains an open question, given the opacity of China’s market. The country’s debt load rose from $7 trillion in 2007 to $28 trillion by mid-2014, according to a report published earlier this year by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, China. “At 282 percent of G.D.P., China’s debt as a share of G.D.P., while manageable, is larger than that of the United States or Germany,” said the McKinsey study. “Several factors are worrisome: Half of loans are linked directly or indirectly to China’s real estate market, unregulated shadow banking accounts for nearly half of new lending, and the debt of many local governments is likely unsustainable.”
What has people worried is not China itself, but that the debt loads of modern nations will lead to disaster. In particular, the introspection that the West deflects with political correctness has finally appeared, and under the lens, while not as bad as China, our debt and instability appear shaky as well. And what made this debt? Since the 1950s, our budgets have more than doubled through the contributions of a single source: social justice, or civil rights and welfare, programs. In Europe and the USA, governments have spent themselves silly buying votes and now, the first inklings of fear that the gig is up are coming our way.
Without social programs, our government spending would be more than halved. Our economy, without such rigid regulation, could grow in a more natural way than the goldrush free-for-all created by liberal economic programs. While we could no longer prop up our economy by dumping money into ghettos and trailer parks for people to buy iPhones, we could build value over time by basing it in not consumerism, but the production of industry and agriculture. This would provide less growth than the liberal program of easy loans and “pump priming” the economy with federal spending, but would provide a more stable longer-term platform for us that does not require radical growth.
For those who can read the tea leaves of history, this suggests a shocking realization awaits the West: we cannot afford — and never could — our “social justice” and welfare programs. We cannot afford governments swollen to more than twice a reasonable size by leftist-style spending on citizens. As China is discovering, that path leads to misery and a series of hiccups culminating in one, big ugly downfall.
While most media commentators have focused on the gay in “gay marriage,” the real issue is invisible: that the gay marriage crusade represents domination of symbol over substance, in the name of a tiny group forcing the majority to humble itself for the benefit of centralized control. As Nietzsche and other critics of the modern State have observed, democracies tend to go out this way, demanding symbolic obedience as a means of keeping together a population that long ago lost any desire to actually work together.
In fact, to a historian, the gay marriage debacle may seem indicative of the ideological conformist actions that generally accompany the ends of empires when obedience becomes more important than competence. The Soviets, Romans, Aztecs and even Greeks went out this way. As the clich&ecaute; goes, history repeats itself, and when we choose the same path that has failed before we have committed ourselves to the same failure. When forcing people to follow an ideology is more important than the health of the nation as an organic, living and breathing whole, the writing is on the wall for the end.
Even more, looking at gay marriage on a practical level, we see the danger in symbolic realities. Gays are a minority, perhaps 3% of the population on a good day (although over-represented in media and government). Not all of those want to get married; in fact, if history shows us anything, it is that legalized gay marriage shows us how few gays want to be married. Without the commitment to biological reproduction, there is simply not as much motivation to commit to a lifetime of sexual exclusivity, despite the media tales of dying people on their deathbeds whose life-long partners were excluded from the hospital room. In other words, this issue affects very few people, but is being used to whip the rest of them into submission by government.
When you enter the age of symbolic issues, the first casualty is not truth per se but reality. Laws, rules, regulations, goals and morals are no longer reality-referential, but socially-deferential. That means whatever grabs the attention of the people out there immediately becomes issue number one, which is another way of saying that there are no eyes on the road and no hands on the wheel. Your elites have found a way to control you that allows them to keep running the country into the ground because their goal is to consume it: destroy its resistance, sell its assets and pocket the cash on a plane for the Bahamas. All parasites behave the same way, and our elites — the Cathedral — are parasites of the most common kind, just unusually successful ones that got MBAs and JDs and clawed their way to the top of a heap of other liars.
Taking this further, gay marriage gave them consent. They have successfully pacified the electorate to the point where it votes by what it is afraid of being accused of, not by what it wants to achieve. Most people, as is the nature of majorities, want us to keep on truckin’ with the good times they see in their jobs, their local communities and their families. In the time-honored tradition of stupidity, they define morality as a personal thing only, where it obviously exists on a civilization level. Like the ostrich with its head stuck in the ground, they do not see evils on their commute to work so they pretend these do not exist. Just keep your head down, work hard and take care of your family and everything will be alright — said every dying population ever.
All of this leads us to an unseemly revelation. The “good feelings” and pleasant illusions that our leaders preach to us are lies and they know it. This means for us to live in anything but an evil country, we need to immediately replace them; we are not so naïve to assume that at the leadership level a middle ground exists between nurturing health and parasitism. Further it means that, as predicted by the Greeks and Romans, democracy has yet again failed because groups of people vote with their emotions and greed, not their brains, assuming that the majority of them could even understand the issues at hand. Finally it shows that the USA as concept and reality has self-exterminated and that all sane and good people need to start planning now for what must replace it.
In AD 2015, government has failed. All of human innovation in politics since the middle ages has turned into a dysfunctional bureaucracy which borrows money it can never pay back, creates social chaos and worst of all, seems to endanger the best among us while letting the worst run unchecked.
I submit a modest proposal: this year, let us free ourselves from Society.
For too long we have suffered under the notion that Society can tell us what to do, for our best interests. The result is that all of us are forced into the same institutional programs that not only fail to achieve the results they intend, but create total havoc in their wake.
Instead, let us combine the best traditions of the past: anarchy, or total independence from the plans of others, and monarchy, or the tradition of picking our best leaders on the basis of their leadership ability alone.
Leadership is a complex thing. It shows up at every level of humanity and consists of the ability to make decisions intelligently while considering all that needs to be considered. Very few do it well, which is why most of human activity is disorganized and mediocre. To be a good leader, one must be able to balance many competing needs in the mind and to think of the long-term as well as the short-term. Bad leaders create rigid rules that are essentially knee-jerk reactions, but good leaders plan to bring out the best possible outcome and then keep improving on it incrementally through a process the Japanese call kaizen.
I propose a simple revolution in how we lead ourselves:
Restore the Althing. The Althing was the Scandinavian parliament which functioned in a way different than any other government: members got together and argued a point to its conclusion. There was no pulling away early and relying on a mechanism, like a vote, to solve what was fundamentally a need to gain clarity. Local communities sent their leaders — usually aristocrats — to the Althing, and chose those leaders however the local community felt was necessary.
Get rid of all non-collective benefits. Government can bribe its citizens when it benefits them using the collected wealth of the group; for this reason, any such action should be verboten. Benefits that help us all, like repairing infrastructure or having an army, are good and fine; any act which benefits only a specific group of citizens is wrong, no matter how pitiable that group may be.
Replace laws with courts. One reason our courts are so abusive is that they have been displaced from their original function. We have thousands if not millions of criminal laws and crime is rising, although under-reported. Instead of trying to use laws, let people come into the courts and say, “X person did Y thing to me, causing Z damage.” Let them state their case in plain language and show the harm. Laws, under the guise of addressing problems, mostly just restrict what can be made illegal. Instead, make all harm a cause of bringing someone into court. Why is lying legal? Why is cheating legal? Let people have real justice, instead of this elaborate cat-and-mouse game of laws.
Wise elders. Every local area needs some leader in charge, but also needs its memory and judgment facility, which is the elders of the society. These are people who have done notable things and are now retired, but still have all of the knowledge of what they have learned over their long lives. Get a group of these together to inform on decisions, offer advice, and listen to citizens’ general complaints.
We’re not all in this together. Allow communities to refuse membership to anyone they want. This way, people who contribute nothing cannot simply move wherever they want and begin taking what others have made. Instead of wasting billions of dollars moving people around, we can let those people who are doing the right thing get away from people who are not, whether for political, social, criminal or economic reasons. Allow natural selection to take her course and allow people to group together with others like them. There will be a community for everyone, and we will see how well those work out.
You will note that the above is not a system. Systems exist when we decide it is too hard to choose what is correct, or choose the best people to rule us, and so instead we set up a whole bunch of rules and procedures to do it for us. This makes the same mistake as those who confuse cruise control with an autopilot, in that systems help society keep the same pace but do not give it guidance.
This is more than even a change of government; it is an attitude shift toward the method of government. Instead of forced collaboration, it is willing cooperation, with those who can work together toward the good able to separate themselves from the rest. The rest must then take responsibility for their own futures and figure it out or perish. As human quality has plummeted during the past two centuries, this fixes that problem — yet another of the many that government cannot solve.
The real problem that we face in governing ourselves is that “systems” favor wishful thinking, or us deciding what “should” be true and voting for that instead of a realistic response. Realism requires us to both be aware of our world, and to have a goal other than the immediate, like an aspiration or transcendent purpose. Most people are afraid of that choice because it defines them by quality and ability, and there is no faking it. Good people choose good things in any of a million varieties, while bad people choose infinite variations of the same actual goals, which are always parasitic, perverse or deceptively predatory. These people deny life itself, and rage against it, desiring power so that they can alter in appearance the reality that offends them, and from that, conclude that they were right all along. This giant confirmation bias self-ratifying circle is what lies behind “progress,” which is the idea of pretending that reality is other than it is so that humans feel comfortable because they are no longer challenged to rise above what they are. “Progress” is a path to doom because in the process of denying appearances in reality, it also denies the inherent patterns of reality, and sets itself up for inevitable collision when those manifest in ways that conflict with progressive behavior.
What is most different about this modest proposal is that it does not center on method, or ways we can keep ourselves in line without purpose, but in the discovery of purpose. We do not need systems, dogmas, ideologies and symbolic victories. We need to concentrate on reality and the decisions we make within it, fully aware that doing so will force us to decide what we really want out of life and that this will separate us into different striations based on our degree of aspiration. And yet, this allows us to be free of the parasite of Society while encouraging the best among us so that our future is one of improvement, not “progress.”
The last time Republicans forced a shutdown of the government of the United States, life improved. Those who depend on entitlements for their existence tended to stay away, leaving society to those who are fully participating.
Many of us have a simple rule: if I must go to work, and pay taxes, so must you. We do not care if life has handed you a weak hand at the poker table, because although we do not talk about it, all of us have had to overcome some difficulty and find none to be truly insurmountable.
We also have seen how this country has swelled with people who quite simply do nothing but take. They demand the handouts, and if they do not get as much as others, they demand more. They feel they are owed these for various reasons related to their sense of being victims of the rest of us, but are unwilling to do anything to fix this situation. We now have a permanent class of dependents who will take anything they can get and are oblivious to the consequences.
Our elites do not notice because to them, the additional taxes represent a less significant chunk of their actual income, since their needs are met at a much lower level than what they take in. A man who makes $40,000 a year will feel more taxes acutely, but someone who makes $200,000 and needs $80,000 to live will not notice as much when taxes take a bigger bite. The man making less, who lives among those that government supports, will more acutely feel the pain of seeing others do as well as he does for doing nothing. Soon he will join them, unless he stubbornly insists on making his way alone for reasons of pride.
Government and its allies among the dependents has made itself rich and powerful on the backs of the middle classes. They are the cash cow which gives it power, and which it has now milked to the point of dryness. Once we had extra money, in part because our society functioned so well that we did not need every cent possible to buy insurance, private security, private medicine and private schooling to keep our families away from the dystopic chaos. Now, thanks to government incentives, our basic services are rotted away and we need every cent we have.
John Boehner thinks it a terrible idea to defund government and as a result shut it down. He could not be more wrong: the source of all of our problems originates in the ability of government to justify itself using humanitarian concerns, take whatever it wants, and then make itself more powerful. Shutting down government would savage the dependents and make the ordinary person who does the right thing more powerful. We might even make alternatives for everything that government does, at which point paying taxes becomes irrelevant. We can simply let the diseased and broken government die and create a new society based not on subsidizing the entitlement dependents, but on protecting those who do the right thing.
If we remove funds from government, its hold over us diminishes. Our problem now is not a lack of laws, but too many laws and no purpose and no sanity. Let us remove the bad laws, and the entitlement state which controls us, forcing our society to renew itself by reclaiming its institutions from this cancer.
In the beginning, communities recognize common interests and form small governments to accomplish shared needs more efficiently than each person individually performing them.
Communities contribute resources to build a strong policing force, deterring bad behavior more effectively than ad hoc gatherings of friends and family to brutalize miscreants after unwelcome acts have left their mark.
While the community and government are small, it is a bargain to contribute towards a sustainable and inexpensive system that serves the interests of many.
As government grows, it is increasingly able to unchain itself from the concerns of the community. Soon it establishes laws mandating citizens fund its arbitrary initiatives, and then government can thrive independently under threats of jail and property confiscation. At this point, government becomes a self-interested force much like a large corporation or special interest group.
The latest data show that a big portion of the federal income tax burden is shouldered by a small group of the very richest Americans. The wealthiest 1 percent of the population earn 19 per cent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 68 percent of the tab. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent — those below the median income level — now earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of the taxes. – AEI
Mature government institutions are unelected, unreviewed, and not subject to any standards. As self-serving entities without responsibility to the public, each desires expanding their size, power, and control over the citizens that serve it and are forced to sponsor its complex system that extracts their income and takes what it can without concern for the actual cost of services used. Government becomes a 50% tithing scheme, no longer a modest cost-saving servant acting on behalf of the community.
Under a large government, schools no longer attempt to educate, but rather to make children allegiant to the tax collecting state and agree with the worldview that large organizations rightfully govern a person’s life. Schools once taught the essential facts of the world and familiarity with the great works of civilization, but now indoctrinate and teach obedience to fashionable values convenient to the state. Basic skills drop, yet returning to earlier ideas and methods of teaching with proven success is forbidden.
Once government dominates society in such a fashion, mentioning the extent of its control becomes taboo. This creates a number of ripple effects as other types of market actors follow the pattern that government has instituted.
Our religions long ago gathered to provide spiritual insight, pause for sacred considerations, and foster togetherness on our mutual destiny, but now only gather masses to fleece them of money.
We previously had media that informed the community about important events and took care to truthfully and insightfully convey their broader meaning. People took this orientation for granted and soon factual content was replaced with triviality, celebrity drama, superficial and semi-fictional depictions of events to enforce ideological beliefs and maximize paralysis so readers and viewers can be shown profitable advertisements.
With our foundations devastated, we would likely do better starting our institutions anew, this time remembering that they either serve the needs of the community or mutate into aggressive and selfish parasites acting against our interests.
Everyone recognizes the gross violation when a guy is driving a car that bellows smoke like a mobile chimney. His car isn’t maintained and he knows it, but does nothing about it. His life is likely the same mess of moving wreckage everywhere he goes.
Politicians recognize the specific offense of pollution, as if it is unusual and isolated from a mindset and spirit, rather than the general problem of disorganization and its wider consequences. They then attempt to limit its harm by winnowing the population through mandated periodic emissions tests administered at the time of vehicle registration renewal.
Offenders aren’t even 1% of the population, but everyone else becomes engulfed in a dragnet of implied guilt that requires all to prove that even new and well maintained cars are innocent of pollution. This process involves going to a service station to pay a worker to inspect and approve the car, and then visiting a government office to wait among a large crowd to eventually pay for a sticker proving lack of violation. Everyone is required to waste hours of waiting in order to be legal, and then repeat this dreadful process every year or two.
Garages are pleased to have state mandated emission inspections. They are guaranteed a generous fee for a few minutes of work, and can open garages that run exclusively on the long lines of people who need to be certified as innocent of pollution. When run efficiently, a single garage bay can earn several hundred dollars an hour. The emission tests can be easily faked and their steps skipped to maximize the number of cars processed. If your car is in violation, you can pass with a small bribe.
Citizens just want to get through the exam. They see it as ludicrous and don’t care if the check is faked and skipped. They want to minimize the amount of their time wasted by government policies.
Garages want to take advantage of government policies that guarantee them customers and healthy margins. Individual garage employees see how the mandate annoys citizens and that bribes to speed the process and pass defective vehicles are a good way to earn a side income.
Governments don’t care about the practical costs of their policies or their lack of correspondence with stated purpose. They earn money from mandatory obedience, expand their breadth of authority, and can claim to have solved the problem despite it continuing to appear.
By not going after observed offenders and instead creating a thoughtless system mandating everyone prove compliance, government has created a gap so distant from reality that it was almost immediately filled by innovative bribe takers and resentful citizens, somewhat reducing the new imposition on their lives but utterly failing to solve the original problem.
So it is with democratic policies decided upon by diverse committees seeking popular appeal and not actual solutions. Those who had a hand in the law will use it to promote themselves in the next election as protectors of the people and the fragile earth.
They would be best remembered as big talking hucksters who promised to fix problems, weren’t sufficiently concerned or smart enough to figure them out, and instead left behind a maze of new obstacles and a cloud of smoke as the next snake oil salesman took the stage with a warm smile and an assortment of new offerings crafted for a credulous public.