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Friday, October 07, 2005

Disciple

Libertarianism is about self discipline. Sure, the end result of our philosophical wrangling is that marijuana should be legalized, but that is in no way an endorsement of drugs.

Particularly since manslaughter can be punishable by death. Drive drunk, hit some idiot teenagers in a VW, and I don't think there is a libertarian who would lift a finger for you.

The key idea here is that we want to reduce the power the robber baro- I mean the government has over us. If they don't keep people in line with endless regulation and suffocating enslavement of the mind, then who will?

Why, without the government to tell us which extension cords are safe to use and how to pay for insurance, we would be responsible for our own actions! The horror!

When you think of the early American frontier, do you think of dependent welfare mothers sitting in their log cabins waiting for government checks? No.

That is a tired stereotype, but I bring it up for a reason. One reason women have husbands is so that it is economical to have children. The government has taken away this incentive, so fewer women are married. Cause => effect. Ultimately, it is their responsibility to look out for their own moral/emotional/economic welfare, but really...

I'm not under the impression that the vast majority of them could understand the vocabulary in this post, let alone have any conception of supply's and demand's effects on their own lives. If they did, would it make a difference?

But self discipline is lacking. When not used, it atrophies. We no longer need to excercise caution with, ah, romantic interludes. Science has freed us of the need to pull out early. We no longer need to worry about wild animals, because they've been eliminated from our neighborhoods. We no longer need to spend wisely, because money is easy enough to come by.

Don't believe me? That is because opulence is built into the cost of living in the USA. Air conditioning, cable, internet access, and the requisite electronics, indoor plumbing in every home, personal service and fine dining, huge machines built of space-age composites that wisk us faster than any horse, in air conditioned comfort, to the local mall where we can buy humorous road signs for the back porch: this is the reality of those slightly above poverty level.

I'm not complaining about the glorious age we hedonise in daily. I'm just sayin', discipline serves almost no purpose. Unless you want to quit smoking. Though starting smoking, despite having a reason to quit later, is a lapse in discipline to begin with.

If I seem to ramble, it is because my points are ill defined.

1) No reason for discipline. See decay of society and easy standard of living.
2) Discipline decays with lack of use.
3) Discipline is needed for libertarian government to exist. -Otherwise, mass death results.
4) Government therefore perpetuates its own power by making us dependent.
5) Dependency breeds servitude.
6) Discipline results in freedom.

I suppose point 4 is not a strikingly original observation, but most people don't understand point 5 that well. I see it often with young adults. They bend to the every whim of their parents, because their parents provide for them. I speak of the 17-25 age bracket.

Oh, yes, they were once considered adults. In an age when even adults are taken care of by the state, is it any wonder that childhood lasts longer?

It is a very important concept that I feel I have difficulty getting across. When you rely on someone else, they have power over you. They buy your allegiance. Me, I prefer not to sell.

Example: My transmission went out. I was stuck in northern California getting it fixed. I didn't ask anyone for money, but because I don't work for others people tend to assume I don't have any. So my sister's all like, 'Ask Grandpa (who can talk about the great depression from personal experience) to help you.'

My sister's Cajun, so I reckon that's where she gets this idea of family helping each other out. They're big on that. I'm a Texan, of course.

So I'm like, 'Nah, I'm not asking for money.' I'm thinking, I don't want to tell her how much I have, but I think she assumes I can't get 3 or 4 grand in cash on short notice. So she calls the old guy and I call him later and he's trying to influence my actions. 'It would be a good idea to...' 'You should go down to the transmission place and...'

I don't think automatics were invented when he learned to drive.

I think he was confused because I bowed to none of his well meaning suggestions. That must be unusual. Offer someone a lot of money, and they don't bow and scrape? Huh. Of course, the worst that coulda happened is no free money for Will.

The point is, self discipline leads to freedom. I did precisely what I wanted when I was 16, because I controlled myself. On the rare occasions when I serve some other entity, it is because I choose to. Financial freedom can be achieved through asceticism.

Most people can't quit their jobs. They have debt. They have children. Children are a rational reason to surrender control over your life; debt is not.

I suppose if you care nothing for freedom, honor, or human dignity, then it makes sense to trap yourself in the current asset cycle.

borrow, spend, Work, repay, borrow... There is no escape. Sad, sad.

Of course, most of these choices I lament are just that: choices. People are free to enter the rat race if they want, and become the flock that feeds the shepherd. I think many would want a little more control, though.

The shepherd eats rats in the above metaphor. Gross.

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