Trade War, War on Trade, and War for Trade

There is no such thing as a “trade war”, since trade is by definition a peaceful, mutually beneficial activity. However, there is such a thing as the war on trade – that is, the war on the entrepreneurial ethos, cheap and high-quality goods, and peaceful international relations. Fortunately, there is also such a thing as the war for trade – that is, the war on the institutionalized stupidity and malevolence known as politics – and it is a duty of conscience for all people of good will to incessantly and effectively wage the latter in order to avoid the ruinous consequences of the former. No less than global peace and prosperity are at stake.

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The Befuddling Orwellian Slogan of “Hate Speech”

The notion of so-called “hate speech” is totalitarian newspeak at its finest. Everyone has an inalienable right to hate whomever he pleases and be vocal about it. On the other hand, no one has a right to threaten others with physical aggression. However, it is perfectly possible to do the former without doing the latter – even extreme and extremely conspicuous emotional dislike does not logically imply issuing threats of aggression against the object of hatred. The Orwellian project at work here is to blur the crucial distinction between the two and to make the term “hate speech” sufficiently ambiguous to mean one or the other, depending on political expediency.

Thus, accusations of “hate speech” should be ignored by default, and punitive actions based on them should be condemned by default. This appears to me to be the best way to ridicule this term into oblivion, thereby neutralizing its obfuscatory and propagandistic influence. Otherwise we might find out that politically-mandated corporate censorship can do as well as old-fashioned political censorship, and that the more capacious the Orwellian bag of “hate speech” grows, the more brazenly arbitrary this new “soft” censorship will become.

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With Great Blessings Come Great Challenges

The most important lesson of the age of abundance is that unprecedented wealth goes together with unprecedented ingratitude. The most important lesson of the age of mobility is that unprecedented opportunity goes together with unprecedented idleness. The most important lesson of the age of information is that unprecedented access to knowledge goes together with unprecedented exposure to stupidity. And the most important lesson of the age of comfort is that nothing is as uncomfortable as comfort seen as the ultimate goal.

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Liberty, Vice, Virtue, and Self-Discipline

If your liberty makes you lustful, gluttonous, greedy, indolent, angry, envious or boastful, then the problem is with you, not with liberty. It is not the fault of your tools that you break them, and it is not the fault of your gifts that you waste them. The role of liberty is not to make you good, but to allow you to be good: you can be free and bad, but you cannot be unfree and good. So, by all means, fight against your vices, but never be so unreasonable as to attack the very thing that allows you to confront them in the first place.

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Individualism, Liberalism, and Verbal Accuracy

If you value liberty and morality, please do not misuse the word “individualism” by suggesting that it has anything to do with anti-social behavior, and do not misuse the word “liberalism” by suggesting that it has anything to do with libertinism or welfare statism. Individualism – that is, the primacy of the individual over any collective – is a necessary precondition of social cooperation, and (classical) liberalism – that is, unconditional respect for individual liberty and private property – is a necessary precondition of a dignified and virtuous life.

The destruction of civilization starts with the destruction of meaning, so if you value civilization, do not play into the hands of its enemies by adopting their language. Individualism and liberalism are good – to realize this, it suffices to notice that their opposites are not community and self-discipline (those are their extensions), but conformism and enslavement. Know your friends, so that you do not unwittingly join your enemies.

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Man is a Social, not a Tribalistic Creature

Man is not a tribal creature – or, worse still, a tribalistic creature – but a social creature. It is in his nature to undertake collective endeavors, but it is not in his nature to submit to collectivist enslavement. His natural urge is to cooperate, not to serve, and all of his specifically human accomplishments bear the clear mark of individual will, not of herd instinct.

Tribalism and collectivism may be alluring and addictive – as evil things usually are – but they are unnatural in the sense that they diminish our humanity and stifle its potential. They are a caricature of human coexistence, not its natural form, and it is crucial to bear this in mind whenever power-hungry swindlers equate what is popular with what is natural. Society is a harmony of individual desires – it is only the mob that is a cacophony of animalistic lusts. If we want to belong to the former and never fall victim to the latter, it is imperative to remember that they couldn’t be further apart, and that the human mind needs to be stupefied if it is to forget this fact.

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