Statists Want You to Believe You’re Stupid

Statists want you to believe you aren’t smart enough to know how to solve problems. They say you have to trust the president or congress or the city council to do what’s necessary because you can’t possibly understand the issues. You don’t see “The Big Picture”* and don’t understand “how these things work”.

How convenient for them.

Erich Fromm had something to say about this vulgar lie:

“One kind of smokescreen is that the problems are too complicated for the average individual to grasp. On the contrary it would seem that many of the basic issues of individual and social life are very simple, so simple. in fact, that everyone should be expected to understand them. To let them appear to be so enormously complicated that only a “specialist” can understand them, and he only in his limited field, actually– and often intentionally– tends to discourage people from trusting their own capacity to think about those problems that really matter. The individual feels hopelessly caught in a chaotic mass of data and with pathetic patience waits until the specialists have found out what to do and where to go.” — Escape from Freedom

I see statists use this tactic all the time.

  • You can’t understand why it’s not a good idea to get rid of all anti-gun “laws” because you don’t have the wisdom and experience of the police unions, the BATFEces, the FBI, or federal judges. It’s simplistic to believe you can be responsible for yourself and that an armed populace would deter archation.
  • You can’t understand the nuances of “border security” because you aren’t an expert. You can’t just respect all property rights (including ending all welfare) and respect the right of defense– it would be chaos.
  • You’re not a scientist so you can’t understand the data pointing to Climate Change. Trust the experts to tell you what you’ll have to do to avoid this disaster they say is coming.

Statists need to make you believe the world is too complicated for individuals to understand. Otherwise, you might realize you don’t need their god to save you. So they constantly order you to “leave it to the professionals who know best“. They constantly insult you and your intelligence. They get paternalistic and condescending as they assure you “government knows best”.

Don’t be so uppity as to notice that their “professionals” and “experts” are always on the side of violating YOUR natural human rights and imposing more control over YOUR life.

Yeah, the world is complex. But if the average human can’t understand it, clumping sub-average humans together in a gang you call “government” isn’t going to magically give them superhuman abilities. Quite the opposite. I’ll trust the spontaneous order arising from the self-interested actions of free individuals before I trust the “wisdom” of monopolistic government being imposed on everyone.

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*I once worked for a business that I saw doing really dumb, self-destructive things on orders from the manager. Being a good employee who wanted to see the business thrive, I told this manager what I thought and his standard response was that I didn’t see “The Big Picture” that only he could see.

I swear I didn’t say “I told you so” every time the things I warned him of came to pass.

But I sure did think it a lot.

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Statists Defend Their God

The storm threatening New Orleans led to a discussion of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina wherein I pointed out how much worse government (and foolish reliance on government) made the disaster.

A statist in the conversation tried to paint government employees as good-intentioned but crippled by the bad behavior of the storm’s victims.

  • If the people had evacuated when told to, government gangs wouldn’t have been “forced” to go around kicking in their doors, beating them up, stealing their guns, and kidnapping them to be imprisoned in the Superdome.
  • This was a noble thing to do, and the only reason the Superdome turned into a nightmare is that there weren’t enough cops there to control the inmates who were forced inside and trapped. Disarming the good guys so as to leave them vulnerable to the bad guys was the right thing to do, under the circumstances, to keep things from getting “worse”.
  • It was OK to forcibly prevent people (who probably had bad intentions) from crossing that bridge to leave because maybe no one on the other side of the bridge wanted them or could “handle” the numbers of them. Obviously, the people on the bridge were the bad guys. (This is the borderist argument, too.)

No matter what I brought up, the government goons were excused because it was the fault of someone else. If the state and local government (governor, mayor, police) did something bad, it was the fault of the disobedient population (and maybe the feds). If the feds did something bad it was the fault of the disobedient population (and maybe the state and local government). I tested my hypothesis on how the justifications would go from different angles. It was always the same. Government good; people bad.

Because government is staffed by Angels, doncha know. They are better than us disobedient people.

I didn’t even get into how the charitable shipments of drinking water and other necessities were turned away by government heroes and other abominable acts of that nature.

Statists will defend their god ’til the bitter end. It can’t ever be wrong, and if it looks like it is wrong, it’s because of someone else.

This person I was talking with is deeply infected with the superstition of “authority” anyway. I was discovering just how deep it goes. And it’s scary.

These are the people who don’t believe you have a right to defend yourself from anyone with a badge or a government position, no matter what is being done to you.

These are the people who say “If you don’t want a police officer to shoot you, obey immediately. You can take him to court later if you think he’s wrong“.

These are the people who will report you to the cops for doing something they don’t like.

These people are a huge part of the problem in society.

They are “why we can’t have nice things“– at least until we cut them out of the equation and see them for the silly superstitious people they are.

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The Census and “The Citizenship Question”

I realize the census is authorized, or required, by the Constitution. I also recognize why it is– to apportion “taxation” and “representation“, two things I have zero use for.

didn’t respond to the census last time; I plan to ignore it again next time.

The census is “allowed” by the Constitution to ask one question: “How many people live here?” That’s it. Period.

It isn’t allowed to ask anything else, including whether those who are responding are slaves to the US State… I mean, “citizens of the US”.

It doesn’t matter who wants to ask additional questions. It doesn’t matter how the additional questions are excused or justified.

If you value the Constitution you know the questions aren’t permitted. If, like me, you know the Constitution is only good for showing how far America has fallen, you probably feel no obligation to answer the census anyway.

The “citizenship question” is a red herring.

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Illegitimate Laws Poison Society

One way you can tell laws are not legitimate, ethically or morally, is in the way they vary from place to place.

Those of us who live near an arbitrary political line — a state line or a national border — have the opportunity to notice this more easily than others might.

Something that is legal on one side of the line becomes illegal once you cross it. Without otherwise changing your behavior in the slightest you can go from law-abiding to criminal, by law, simply by pacing back and forth across this imaginary line.

Laws against actual wrongs like murder are less variable. You can’t take someone on a road trip to find a place where killing them for a reason other than self-defense is legal. These types of laws are legitimate … and unnecessary. A law forbidding murder doesn’t need to exist before you to have the natural human right to fight back and stop someone from committing murder.

A good illustration of the arbitrary nature of laws are the various laws concerning guns.

There is no such thing as an illegal gun or a legitimate anti-gun law according to the clear language of the U. S. Constitution. You’d never know this by looking at the thousands of laws that have been passed and are being enforced by the national, state, and local political class. These illegitimate gun laws create an arbitrary patchwork for travelers to navigate in a fruitless attempt to try to stay legal as they travel.

Laws concerning the substances commonly called “drugs” are the same way. Depending on which side of a line you find yourself, you might be law-abiding or you might be a criminal.

Even kids’ lemonade stands are subjected to laws. They remain legal, without permits, in only 15 states. This is so ridiculous that one thoughtful lemonade mix company has set up a program to help kids pay fines and license fees.

Yet some people still seem to believe if something is illegal it’s automatically wrong. This has never been true.

While most laws are illegitimate, you can’t safely ignore them. Every law, no matter how seemingly trivial, is a threat to kill you if you are caught ignoring it. This threat isn’t usually carried out immediately; those enforcing the law must normally escalate their enforcement attempts a few times before that happens. Yet it does happen.

Do you see the problem? Illegitimate laws poison society. They get in the way of telling right from wrong.

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“Never again!” The Fireworks Stand

I spent the past couple of weeks working a fireworks stand. It was hot, dusty, boring work– except on the 3rd and 4th when it was frequently crazy.

And it wasn’t hot, dusty, or boring the two times it rained and the leaky fireworks stand threatened to drown all the fireworks. Only by great effort did I save all but a couple from the water.

The stand wasn’t in the best shape. The electrical wiring was all wrong and tried to electrocute my dad during the first rain. The lights wouldn’t all work and even after an electrician came and put it all in order, there still wasn’t enough power to run my parents’ RV A/Cs. This meant some of the less hardy individuals working the stand demanded the RV generator be run during the day, costing a lot of gas.

The phone line for the credit card machine had been ripped out since it was last used. The phone company had assigned the stand’s phone number to someone else, and the credit card machine was messed up and wouldn’t work even after the phone situation got solved– until after a 2-hour phone call got it cleared and ready to go.

The stand was inside the city limits by about 20 feet (the other side of the street directly behind the stand) so we couldn’t sell anything which would launch or explode. This lost us about half our potential customers– they were looking for bottle rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers, “ladybugs”, and artillery shells, none of which we were allowed to sell.

Since we were in a different state than most of the company’s stands, there was confusion over “permits” and such. My dad had to go wait for hours to get a couple of permits the company was supposed to have already taken care of for us. Have I mentioned how stupid permits and licenses are?

The fireworks market was also saturated– there were at least 7 fireworks stands within a quarter mile of us. And I think this isn’t counting the small independent stand in a family’s front yard.

The first week there I stayed awake all night watching the stand. Unfortunately, I could only manage to sleep 3 or 4 hours during the day, so I would go ahead and sit in the stand the rest of the time. The second week I had a baby monitor inside the stand with the other end in the RV so I could nap at night, and sit in the stand during the day. That was better.

We had a 160-mile round trip to get the opening inventory, then we had a 110-mile round trip to turn in the unsold inventory.

Sadly, it was “the worst year for fireworks sales in 30 years” according to the people who convinced us to sell fireworks. If I clear $5 per day I’ll be shocked. It might be a lot less… if I end up getting anything.

I have already put my foot down and said “Never again!” to a family fireworks stand. It was probably unnecessary since no one seems inclined to do it again next year.

But, I guess some people pay hundreds of dollars to go to camps which provide hardship experiences to “build character” and this at least didn’t cost me anything. I feel it didn’t work; my character may have eroded a little due to the experience.

Most of the customers were great, though. They were fun. My daughter got chummy with some of them and their bikes. I’m grateful she didn’t decide to run away with them. The temptation would have crossed my mind.

We only had one customer who was bad; he cheated us out of some money. A cop. He paid, went out and sat in his car, and then came back and told the person who waited on him that she had made a mistake. He had bought a whole box of smoke bombs (oops– “smoke balls”, can’t say “bombs” I guess) and claimed they were supposed to be “buy one, get one free“. They weren’t, but the intimidated cashier refunded half the price anyway. I wish she’d called me over during the “discussion”. But, it was a cop; what else would you expect?

There was no wifi at the site, so I had to get things ready to post during my quick daily run home (14 miles one way) for a shower. I’m so far behind on everything, including my writing, it feels like I’ll never get caught up. Please be patient while I try.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m exhausted.

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