Friday, October 08, 2010

Only ignorance justifies socialism

Only ignorance justifies socialism

I'm still mulling over recent thoughts. I understand that "the majority" in America, "conservatives" and "liberals", now support socialism, although they deny it is socialism. Popularity or acceptance doesn't make something right. Property rights are inconvenient if they would get in the way of the imaginary collective's wishes. So, for one example, we have property "codes". Living on stolen property is acceptable as long as you call the stolen goods "social security" or "farm subsidies". Or "a paycheck" if you work for the government in any capacity. I try really hard to understand.

I can understand supporting socialism- theft and coercion excused by "the common good"- as long as you don't know any better. Ignorance is a legitimate excuse. Perhaps you have never really thought about it. That's understandable. Life throws a lot of things your way that must be thought about and considered immediately for survival. Philosophy- right and wrong- gets put on the back burner or a religion gets substituted for real thought. I've been there.

However, once someone has pointed out the truth you must make a choice. Pretending you don't have to make a choice is the same as making the choice for socialism. You must either admit you approve of theft and coercion as long as it benefits you personally, and is perhaps done by a clown in a government costume, or you have to turn from things you now know to be wrong. And if you approve or accept theft and coercion in these supposedly limited circumstances, how can you really condemn them in "other" circumstances that are really not as different as you pretend?

You do have a choice to make, if you haven't already made it, and your choice shows what kind of person you truly are. Your choice and your consistency in living that choice will determine the future of Albuquerque (or your town, wherever that may be) and the world. If you accept theft and coercion, knowing what you know, even if you have a different opinion about it, then at least be honest enough to admit where you stand so the rest of us will know you are a potential threat and can watch you closely. But maybe you will be brave enough, adult enough, and generous enough to embrace liberty. Will you stand up for liberty even if it is inconvenient?

Let's spread liberty around the globe. Nothing happens that doesn't happen one individual at a time.



Consistency. Staying true to the principles you claim to value. It is a rare thing anymore. Consistency doesn't necessarily mean you are right; you be can perfectly consistently wrong.
However, if you are inconsistent, you are obviously wrong somewhere.

Saying you love liberty, but then supporting "laws" that destroy liberty for some other people who are not harming anyone is not consistent. Looking down on a welfare mom while collecting your own farm subsidies or Social Security is not consistent. Saying that people should be "free to choose", until they choose things that offend or scare you, is not consistent.

Yet, while I have met people who seem consistently "libertarian" (something that can be done without much effort, as long as you overcome your conditioning and think matters through), I have yet to find anyone who is a completely consistent "authoritarian". They always make exceptions for themselves, and often for their friends. This is how you can tell that they are wrong somewhere, and that deep down they know it.

The inconsistencies that make a person take on authoritarian attributes confuse me. I respect consistency. I may hate a person's stance on a particular issue, but if they are completely consistent, I can at least respect the fact that they are not a hypocrite.

This doesn't mean that everyone who claims the label "libertarian" is consistent, just that it is more obvious and glaringly ridiculous when they aren't. All rights for everyone, everywhere, for all times without exception. That's where consistency dwells. Any "but" shows the flaws that are still present in the person's thinking.

*Note: This was previously published in The State Line Tribune a while back.

Clinging to their favorite crisis and avoiding solutions

Clinging to their favorite crisis and avoiding solutions

I am sometimes surprised that when offered a real, workable solution to problems which have been worried about for years, people pretend the solution was never offered. They don't even skip a beat in their continued hand-wringing over their favorite "crisis".

Here in my little town the school superintendant is upset over the utter failure of public schools and is asking people to contact the legislators to get them to implement some symbolic gesture that will solve nothing. He wants to make the legislators proclaim public education, and funding those "schools", to be a priority. I have brought up the point in the local paper that socialist schools are the problem, and getting government out of the mix is the solution. I know he reads the paper. He pretends there is no viable solution other than more of the same.

Here in my little town there is a sudden new emphasis on "code enforcement" (because a new enforcer was hired and something must be found for it to do), which I have pointed out is collectivist-speak for "Violating your property rights for 'the common good' using the threat of force". I do more to help clean up around this town than the vast majority of the residents combined, and can prove it to any doubters. I care how this town looks. But I use no force or coercion. In my latest column in the local paper I stated "Do not enforce 'codes' against my neighbors on my behalf". The police chief countered with some drivel about how without code enforcement, our town would be ugly and dangerous and no place anyone would want to live. In fact, he completely glossed over or ignored my point that "the common good" (or "the general welfare" as it is sometimes called) is at the very heart of all socialism and that nothing but socialism can come from it.

Every day I address the problems of Albuquerque in this column and offer solutions that would make those problems a thing of the past. I would be surprised if my opinions didn't get lost in the noise of such a big city, but here in my little town there is no excuse.

I realize I am working from a false premise. I assume that people are more like me than they really are. I assume they see a problem and want to actually solve it. Yet, I have known this isn't the case for many years. People fear or ignore solutions because they enjoy keeping the crisis around for entertainment. It gives them a purpose. They enjoy complaining and suggesting band-aid "fixes" that will only make the problem worse in the long run. It keeps providing them with crisis fodder in a way that a real solution would not.

So, I have a question with regard to this little town where I reside: Do I continue to point out the previously-offered solution again and again to counter each new collectivist whine, or do I rest content in the knowledge that the solution has been offered if they care to open their eyes and look, and move on to the next issue?