Saturday, March 12, 2011

Authoritarianism is the lazy man's path

Why do the vast majority of people settle into an authoritarian comfort zone, whether "right" or "left"? I have a theory: People are lazy. Including me- I readily admit it.

People prefer the path of least resistance. Unless there is a fairly powerful incentive to do more work, they won't. That makes sense.

It takes more work to resist settling into the low-energy valley of authoritarianism. Maintaining a libertarian outlook takes constant effort at first; it is standing on the peak while the winds buffet you, trying to get you to fall. The extra effort is not really a huge amount once you start being aware, but it's enough that it is hard for people to take those first few steps along that path. It's just easier to go along with the false "right/left" authoritarian crowd.

So why would anyone ever choose to be libertarian? Because people also have a tendency to complicate their lives in some way. It might be through destructive relationships, or substance abuse, or by choosing liberty when it might be easier to follow the herd off the cliffs of statism. It is almost as if they save their energy in most areas of their lives by choosing the easy path so they will have the energy available for the extra effort it takes to pursue the one or two highwires they choose to walk. It sounds crazy, I know.

Libertarianism just happens to be one of my chosen "difficult paths", and the only one that is really worth the effort.

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