Alan Stevens - AWAH - Libertarianism, Freedom.
Libertarians, Loneliness and a Tree in Chile
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Many people feel a little down about their place in the world sometimes - libertarians as much as anyone. But we are by no means alone.
Many people feel a little down about their place in the world sometimes - libertarians as much as anyone. But we are by no means alone. And being well adapted to the current order of things doesn’t always work out so well. Take a leaf out of a Chilean tree’s book.
The world can be a perplexing place, especially for people whose take on life doesn’t seem to fit with most people’s assumptions. A lot of people would be cheered up if they accepted that what has happened to them in life is mostly the result of dumb luck (see Nicolas Taleb’s excellent ‘Fooled by Randomness’) and of the way they are made. Of course, you have to make an effort to prosper to benefit from either luck or temperament. But yes, assuming you are in earnest, what actually happens to you is a lot down to luck and genetic make-up. Don’t take it out on yourself. If you don’t feel well adapted to the world as it currently is, you may just be right.
Bear in mind that survival isn’t just about prospering under today’s conditions in a debt fueled Democratic Socialist playground. Especially as those are fast becoming yesterday’s conditions anyway. The thing is, every group needs diversity to cope with sudden changes. There need to be people who can step up to the mark in radically changed circumstances. You may be the diversity someone else is going to need.
Well that’s what libertarians hope. We are certainly a minority though not so alone as we may seem. We think we see the world more clearly than most. We would like proper peace and prosperity. The kind that comes from living in societies where all human predation is unlawful. We just don’t understand why most people seem to prefer it when the predators can legally rob and coerce the productive. They seem to want to bend over and take it up the tailpipe, to paraphrase Jim Carrey in the brilliant car pound scene in ‘Liar, Liar’. Maybe they all think they benefit? But predation is a less than zero sum game, so they must mostly be wrong.
Inevitability we libertarians ponder the possibility that we are just weird, maybe some kind of mutation. Often, we conclude that we are indeed ‘different’. But it is in a good way, mostly. We are misunderstood sweeties who don’t want anyone to be bullied anymore. Apparently most other people think state sanctioned bullying is just dandy or even, bizarrely, indispensable. And they think we are weird! We just consider that some people living apparently peacefully alongside us are members of predatory, criminal rackets. Most people don’t get it. Maybe they should see John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’?
We are clearly not brainwashed into accepting the fallacies of Democratic Socialism. Propaganda disguised as state sponsored education and as MSM (Mainstream Media) ‘news’ bounces off us. Not coincidentally the intense and evidently pre-planned mendacious propaganda (but I repeat myself) about this bad winter flu season also leaves us unconvinced. Most people will wake up from this deliberately induced mass hysteria. We didn’t buy a word of it. They will need us to explain how their lives have been impoverished by incompetent but ruthless power grabbers. Such people are just petty versions of Lord Voldemort, with more smiles but less style. Time to stand up to these people before they make their next big mistake.
Anyway, I digress. What about the tree in Chile? There is indeed an unusual tree species in Chile. For years scientists were perplexed by these trees. Well, at least the handful of researchers who even knew they existed were at a loss. The trees live quietly on hillsides in the tectonically active Andean foothills. All around them are hundreds of other confident looking trees doing normal tree things; going to college, getting married, getting a mortgage… Well may be not that, but certainly they do have kids. They reproduce with arboreal aplomb. Every year a lot of fruit, nuts and seeds are produced. Seedlings duly emerge and fight the good fight for their own place in the sun. Many are weeded out but enough survive. Big old patriarchal trees can gaze lovingly over stands of their own flourishing descendants.
What about our misfit? Well it just mooches around playing the tree equivalent of computer games, but at least getting much more sun. It just doesn’t fit. Maybe it lacks self-esteem. Every year it seems to go through the motions of making more versions of its rather low-key self. It does manage to throw out some rather substantial, over-engineered seeds. This is just another flop. Year after year all the seeds fail completely in the race to stake out viable real estate on the hillside. For our increasingly isolated tree, there are no flourishing stands of descendants waving in the breeze to comfort it in its old age. Its not looking good for our underwhelming tree friend.
But then, good news! Disaster strikes the hillside. It takes the form of a big earthquake of the kind that a man and, it seems, our tree, would expect in Chile at least once every hundred years. In the blink of an eye the hillside is largely cleared of most of the other trees. Much of the mortgage, one and a half kids and a ‘safe’ job brigade become lumber clogging the valley bottom. This is through no fault of their own, by the way. It’s just that you can’t actually eliminate radical risk in life. But more resilient ways of dealing with it can evolve if allowed to do so.
On the suddenly empty but ever so sunny and well-watered hillside in Chile, our tree’s seeds, unlike the other tree’s seedlings, have survived the fall. They are going to be just fine. May be not such a failure after all. Time for another computer game maybe. There may be a lot of time to kill before the next earthquake.
Ah sweet! Back to libertarians being alone. In fact, it ain’t necessarily so. But you wouldn’t know it listening to MSM propaganda. As Luna Lovegood says to Harry Potter ‘I don’t think it is true [that you are alone]. [Voldemort] wants you to feel that you are. That way you are less of a threat’ (from the film ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’). If you include everyone who is basically sceptical about the state in some degree, then perhaps 20% of the US population appears to be in some degree ‘libertarian’. They don’t vote much but they do keep up.
Overlapping with this category are social conservatives who believe in old-fashioned things like taking responsibility, fair dealing, being productive and getting on with setting up house and having a family. There really are a lot of them. They have been willing to put up with state intervention. But this willingness is being whittled away by aggressive political correctness, and by states’ growing, destructive incompetence. While it is true that people of all persuasions and none would be free in a libertarian society to live their lives as they see fit, Libertarianism is really not a Progressivist cause. For more on this, see Hans Hermann Hoppe’s ‘Getting Libertarianism Right’, or ‘A Short History of Man’. So some social conservatives are potential allies in the making.
So somewhere in here is a potential pro-freedom bloc amounting to a third or more of some populations in the West. Perhaps contrary to popular belief, it seems to be motivated minorities that drive societal change. For over a century the dominant minority has been the progressive (in US terms) or socialist tendency. They have won nearly every battle. But they are right out of attractive ideas now.
For any that want to see the world from an alternative viewpoint, I would suggest the following websites (some are not at all libertarian): The Ron Paul Institute, The Mises Institute - and Lew Rockwell, Zerohedge (an aggregated mix of the sound and the unsound), Goldmoney, Antiwar.com, and the IEA and Civitas in the UK. On a paying subscription basis, I follow David Stockman (excellent on the fake pandemic, and on fiscal and monetary matters in the US) and, a particular favorite, Tom Luongo over at Gold Goats ‘n Guns. All are fans of freedom in their various ways.