Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anarchy and Capitialism

or Anarchy from a Capitalist's Mind and Musings

Last month I had one of those truly enlightening conversations. You know the kind. We were up into the wee hours of the morning and I had multiple thoughts and ideas that seemed to converge to make sense of years of study and research. One of them was about the role of the government.

Governments make and enforce laws and laws restrict freedoms in exchange for safety. The thing that governments do best is restrict freedom. And we as citizens of ANY government are trading in our freedoms and our agency for safety and security. It is my opinion that there are things far less valuable that I could be exchanging for safety - like money. Are you with me? Of all the things that government provides, is there anything that cannot be provided by private enterprise? I challenge you to think of one.

So as someone who holds her personal freedom and agency as the greatest (and only everlasting) thing I have, I find it the most valuable thing I have to trade and the only thing that I can't ever truly give up. It is sacrosanct.

So the conclusion was thus: Any government aside from self-government is evil and corrupt.*

Alas, as I know of no John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia, or Ragnar Danneskjöld who have built or are building a society free from oppression and hidden from the evils of the world, I find myself living in this one and grateful to have seen the polarity of the issue.

*Please don't misunderstand me. I fully recognize that we live in an era that requires government. I am in no way saying that I support the complete overthrow of ANY government. People need structure and boundaries and many are unable to create and adhere to boundaries of their own design. (For example, no matter how many times I give up cupcakes for the greater good of my waistline, I still find myself faced with the decision of how many I will eat when they are anywhere near me.) So, government is a necessary evil. I just wish the concept of personal freedom was one our law makers and government officials held in higher regard.

Friday, January 29, 2010

In A Way, It's A Penance

Nearly 8 years ago a cousin of mine said something to me that has stuck with me ever since. I'm not going to tell you what it was, because it was something that I judged him pretty harshly for. In fact, I've spent most of my life with a strong dislike for this family member of mine. I was never close with him even though we are only months apart in age. He always rubbed me the wrong way. Even when we were little he would tease me until I cried. And as adults, in our limited interactions with each other it seemed that we always disagreed and disapproved of each other. I've tried not to give it much thought and I've just brushed our mutual dislike for each other aside. But even though I haven't seen or talked to this cousin in years and probably won't have the opportunity to see or talk to him for many more years (unless my brother decides to get married - there's a slim chance I would see him then), I do think about him every now and then. Last night was one of those times. I thought back to this stupid thing he said to me almost a decade ago and realized that he was right. And for a moment I wanted to see him and talk to him again and tell him that after all this time, I finally got it. I now see exactly what he was talking about. But I'd also tell him that he's still a jackass.