Balanced Imagination

There are people who have no imagination. They can’t imagine anything but what is right in front of them right now.

Then there are those with overactive imaginations. They imagine– or fall for– everything, regardless of whether it’s possible or realistic.

And many people exhibit both conditions simultaneously, but it depends on what you’re talking about at the moment.

Statists can’t imagine any way beyond how it’s done now. Or how they mistakenly believe it is done now. “Who will build the roads?” is just one example of this trait.

Statists also have overactive imaginations– they imagine that government actually builds those roads for example.

They imagine just about anything is permissible if it is “legal”.

They imagine “taxation” can be ethical.

They imagine that warlords are lurking under every bush, and they imagine the government they support is somehow different than these imagined warlords in an important way.

As with all things, there’s a proper balance. You need to have enough imagination to see beyond what is to what could be. Otherwise, you’ll stagnate and die.

But your “could be” needs to be based on what’s possible. I know some statists will argue that it’s “not possible” to get rid of institutional archation… but that’s just a lie. Of course it’s possible, but you’ve got to exercise your imagination to find ways which could work without doing wrong to anyone’s liberty, then test them. A lack of balanced imagination could make you give up or seek unicorns.

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Kent McManigal

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