Sunday, November 6, 2022

Feeling Good?

June 5, 2009

But I ain't feeling good. My sense is that our liberty is being taken away from us at an accelerating rate (along with anything we have tried to build or save.)

So why does it even occur to me that I should be feeling good at all? Well, I have been a libertarian since I was twenty years old. And up until, oh, say, about five years ago, I was dogged by the prevailing ignorance of what libertarianism stands for.

This has definitely changed of late.

Other than my friends, or rather, those who had remained so despite my persistent badgering about the malignancy of the state, about 98% of the people I knew, or met, would respond in identical fashion whenever the conversation resulted in me declaring that I was a "Libertarian."

"Libber what?" was the standard refrain.

Well, more people are at least pretending to know what libertarianism means these days, so I guess I should feel good about that. What I feel bad about is that we are still so overwhelmingly outnumbered. Hostility toward liberty still prevails.

I was having a conversation this evening with a cab driver friend of mine which turned rather acrimonious. He accused me of being too pessimistic or lacking in sense of humour or some such thing to which I replied, more or less, "Man, if you aren't pessimistic right now you must be drunk, sleeping or dead."

Now this guy told me he shared my disgust with government, however, based on other statements I have heard him make from time to time, I didn't really believe him. So the debate devolved to a point where each of us challenged the other to provide an example of a politician who didn't absolutely reek of moral hypocrisy.

I told him that, in my opinion all politicians are moral degenerates. He strenuously disagreed. It was like a game of chess at this point. He had opened himself up for me to move in for the kill. I challenged him to name one elected politician who, in his opinion, actually cared about people. And I even betted him that once he told me why he thought so, I would be able to succinctly describe why his nominee was nothing but a fraud.

He did not disappoint me.

His example of a "good politician," was Daniel Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Now, I don't read newspapers, so I am pretty much ill-informed about stuff. And Daniel Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, is someone I have never heard of.

I was not interested so much in what Daniel Williams actually stands for as to how my friend would explain, in his own words, why he thought Daniel Williams was somehow different from other politicians.

Well, as I interpret his response, it went something like this:

Some women experienced injustice in their dealings with the Newfoundland socialist medicare program and decided to sue the government. They apparently had some difficulty in launching their suit, so Daniel Williams came to the rescue.

Again, I was not so much interested in the minute details of Daniel William's alleged political heroism as I was in my friend's interpretation of said heroism.

I think I may have responded to his example in an impolite manner. I think I laughed out loud. My response, (from a failing memory,) was something like ha ha ha, the best you can come up with is a guy who is willing to blow taxpayer money, (money someone else earned,) because he cares so much about these old ladies? Excuse me if such deep sentiment does not emotionally touch me. (It doesn't.)

And again, the conversation devolved even further into accusations about whether I cared about the victims of Katrina etc.

And hence lies the key to my enduring pessimism.

Too many people are willing to surrender too much power to the political classes. The idea that government, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, can somehow solve problems at the point of their most basic tool, the gun or any of its progeny, is manifestly ridiculous. The gun can only procure, via threat of its employment, that which has *already* been created via freedom! (at the same time that their power and scope expands along with the proliferation of problems to the extent that they even have to manufacture problems, like man made CO2 generation,)

Let me try to put this another way. Evil businessmen in a free country see a problem, like homelessness, or hunger, or lack of mobility, or a perceived need to address the human condition of body odour or providing mindless entertainment to a population no longer encumbered by the need to work from dawn to dusk for the mere basics of survival. What do these evil profit motivated people do?

Well, to address homelessness, they build housing. To address hunger, they produce food. To address the human yearning for mobility, they produce cars. And so on.

Real Problems. Real solutions.

Clearly they have an incentive to keep on doing what they do. A free people will always be willing to exchange whatever they have worked to produce for that which the businessmen have worked to produce.

Now when we get to politicians... I have one simple question.... what if there were no problems? Where would *their* market be? How would they eek out a profit in a problem free world?

Timothy Leary made a statement years ago which I really liked. "The function of government should be to put itself out of business." Does anyone alive today seriously believe that government would want to follow this advice?

Well, yes. Libertarians think so. But we're outnumbered.

So instead we can look for the production of ever more "problems," for our governments to solve.

Talk about a recession proof business!

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