A letter to my sister-in-law,
My intention is not to offend, simply to declare facts. A circa late 20th century postmodern multi-culturalist socialist university education and watching mainstream media news coverge and punditry is simply not sufficient to give one a proper objective education and comprehensive understanding of today’s political culture. An objective view of history, particularly philosophy’s influence on culture and politics along with rigorous adherence to logic and reason and empirical reality is the only path to seeing our world more clearly. This means literally. For, if we use metaphor as a replacement for basic principles, our orientation is necessarily, at least partially, directed away from reality. The only thing every body shares is objective reality and our individualistic nature. We are entities within and part of the objective universe. This universe operates according to physical laws, which are predictable and reproducible. And by our physical structure as human beings, our brains function similarly, in that every action we make is a result of neuronal processes that cannot be shared. We are autonomous organic machines. There is no collective brain, not literally. Metaphorically, sure. It is always through this individualistic nature that we relate to each other. And proper government is the necessary protection from one monopolizing bully to ensure we are left capable of taking care of ourselves and our decisions. Individuals function as such, by our nature, and liberty is being left free to do as you wish as long as someone bigger and stronger doesn’t infringe on your autonomy.
“The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty or action of any of their number is self protection.”
---On Liberty, John Stuart Mills, 1859
There is only one thing that you can interfere with or limit the liberty of someone for, one goal, one value gives you the right to interfere and it is self protection. Nothing else besides protecting yourself, not getting your kids a good education, not getting the government to build you a road to get to work, not anything except protecting you from bodily harm. This is the only principle that allows you to interfere with another’s autonomy. To justify doing something to someone else, of harm, you must prove that their actions were going to cause direct harm to another. Being free means being able to act in your own self-interest except if we are going to hurt someone. I should not be able to get money from someone I don’t know, who doesn’t need an education for my children, or a road near my house or healthcare my doctor gives me to pay for it from the money he or she earned, that money which is necessary to sustain their life.
And as for altruism, hogwash. Tricking the masses of humans into believing self-sacrifice is good is one of the greatest evils of religion and theology (the study of one particular metaphor) that there is. Every decision every human being makes is always, every time, one based on, at least perceived, self-interest. Sustained sacrifice of an individual would necessarily result in their demise. People do good for others because it is in their perceived self-interest.
Agreeing that we all share in each other’s individuality is what socialism, of any kind and percentage, is suggesting. It is irrational and results in slavery. Every good thing that happens in the economy does so because of the individuals that did the work, not because of governmental oversight and restriction. The one necessary monopolizer of retaliatory force has no business in the lives of individuals, except to protect them from impingements on their liberty.
At dinner the other night, a point you were concerned about was over the details of local governance in a tax-free system. What if my neighbor did not want protection from the fire department and their house was burning down. Who pays? Do we just let them die? What if their house starts my house on fire? Well, all good questions, I think. I believe that a local system based on individual rights could be figured out and dealt with more easily and morally than the one we’ve got now where everybody pays exorbitant amounts of their earnings, by force, for stuff power-corrupted special interest-indebted leaders that supposedly represent the mob’s, or the day’s culture at large, decide to spend it on.
Also at dinner, my brother was concerned about being “talked at”, I know, but I think a point he made was that philosophers should write books instead of talk to their close family members about changing things in their daily life. His attitude sounds defeatist, I think. Just because the proper moral way to live is difficult to achive from where we are now or that it is not the status quo, it should not be sought after. I am concerned when it is clear to me that Democrats and Republicans are essentially, not completely, but essentially very similar when it comes to governmental impingements on my and your personal individual liberties. And you guys not only give money and vote for these institutions, but also condone and support the philosophical principles that allow this corrupt system to function. You are doing it to me, yourselves and everybody else. Metaphorically speaking, you are pointing the gun. My own family would have me be a slave. And mostly because you simply don't know any better. And do not care and/or are afraid to find out, lest your precious mysticism be challenged. That is why I get a bit frustrated while trying to enlighten you guys. It's one thing to be dragged down by the uneducated welfare state dependent masses, but if you guys who are educated, by society's standards, very intelligent and productive members of society don't get it yet, boy, have we got a long way to go. Hopefully, not back to the dark ages, but forward to a better society, like the one envisioned by Franklin, Jefferson and Adams.
This post was thought up and written while watching an excellent new video series by Youtuber Mr. Cropper, entitled, John Stewart Mills "On Liberty". I suggest you watch it. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeSltodPpZE&videos=1Fi2YJZ9Ff8