The number of Indian families earning about $4500 to $22000 (Rs2,00000, Rs10,00000) per anum, which constitutes the middle class as per the World Bank’s definition of middle class in 1995-96 was 4.5 million, the number of such households grew to 0.7 million in 2001-02. Now India has 28.4 million such families by 2009-10. One can say that the Indian families are growing rich, from poor or deprived families; they are traversing towards the middle income group range. Irrespective of the higher inflation rates, one can justifiably state that the number of high-income households in India has exceeded the number of low-income households and similar is the assertion of National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).1
Can India achieve richness?
The first issue is about the term India, how can a geographical region grow rich? Individuals in that region may surely gain prosperity but the region in itself is not able to achieve richness. Another issue is, even if India represents its people and not the geographical region, then how can a group or collective society or state grow rich? To grow rich is a Human Action,and a Human Action can be performed only by individual actors, only individuals possess ends and goals and the means to achieve those goals. A group or a collective society or a state cannot act, it even cannot decide. In fact a society cannot exist without the actions of individual members2 .” This certainly means that “India growing Rich” is a metaphor. India cannot grow rich, it cannot be poor, what is being said is that the number of individual families that are now in a richly or prosperous state is increasing. Obviously, it has nothing to do with the society or state or country that is represented by India. Yet, it certainly has a lot to do with the freedom individuals have in the Indian society and how is it influencing their person conditions.
This follows that although a society cannot exist independently without the actions of Individuals, the individuals and their actions can be affected by the society, state or country. That is, if a person in India or his family is growing rich, it is but obvious the result of his hard work and talent, but if a person is living in dire conditions, one of the many reason behind it can be the restrictions or the influence of the society or country he is living in. But how can a country restrict anybody from being rich or poor? Since country cannot act, it cannot restrict, nor can a society restrict. Yet, the “government” representing a society or community or country can surely restrict the individuals it represents. Yet again, what is government? It is a group of some individuals that take decisions and enforces their decisions and policies over the population of their state. When someone says that “government act” what he means is to say that certain individuals are in a certain relationship with other individuals and act in a way that they and the other individuals recognize as “governmental’3 .” The issue is very important to understand. To explain it further, take the issue of tobacco. Indian government pays farmers to grow tobacco; on the other hand, it forces all the companies selling tobacco products to include anti-smoking, anti-tobacco-chewing advertisements on their products. Both actions are contradictory, one may say government should make up their mind and take a consistent action. The thing is, government has no mind, it cannot think, it cannot act. Rather, there are individuals, politicians, judges, bureaucrats, etc. who thinks and take actions.
Thus, even a government cannot act; ultimately the individuals only can take actions; only individuals can have ends and the means to achieve those ends.
Is India really growing rich?
While talking about NCAER results, Martin Ravallion suggest that all these estimates by NCAER far exceed the likely number of people in India who are not poor by US standards. At the start, he simply ignores the importance of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and blatantly states that “I will not say that someone has entered the Western middle class until the person has reached the US poverty line”4 . Obviously it is not so easy to understand that a person cannot buy a Reynolds’s ball pen in Rs 5 (approximately $0.1) but one can buy the same ball pen in India at that price. Irrespective of that fact, one cannot say that NCAER’s research is free of errors.
Why India is growing rich?
Now when I have explained that India cannot grow rich, Individuals and their families certainly can grow rich if government (some other ‘individuals’) may not restrict them, I should talk about the current phase of change in the status of individuals in Indian sub-continent. Why are Indian individuals enjoying this progress? Are the new generation of India much better, intelligent or harder working then the individuals of subcontinent before 1991? What has caused this economic progress? Is it the government (the group of ‘ruling individuals’) that has brought this progress?
The fact that India (Indian government, a few individuals who thought they could decide the fate of all individuals in India and who did) deprived itself of many free market benefits for more than 40 years during the Cold War while it flirted with political “neutrality” between East and West, but sought to build much closer economic ties with the Soviet Union. It is only since the collapse of the U.S.S.R. that Indian government started realizing its failure and allowing individuals to act for their prosperity by their own.
The question is, if government is allowing individuals to act for their own prosperity, is it doing any good? Or was it bad when government (or the group of some individuals) restricted individuals to pursue their prosperity and happiness? It is undeniable fact that with the emergence of free market and libertarian approach in Indian sub-continent, Indian individuals are now much freer to think about their ends and to act to achieve those ends. Since they can think for their prosperity and they can act to achieve it too, they are becoming rich.
Is Government Facilitating this Prosperity?
All the welfare and redistribution attempts of Indian government failed in 1991 and it accepted the defeat of Nehru’s centralized socialistic system. After 1991, India accepted the path of decentralization and government started shedding the so-called responsibility of making Indians prosperous and rich. Privatization is the name of mantra; freedom is the message of prosperity.
Obviously, a government (set of ruling individuals) can hinder the progress of individuals, they can legally and coercively ban, restrict and punish individuals from trying to get rich by legislating some senseless national laws, social contracts etc. But when a government realizes its failure and starts decentralizing, allowing individuals to live at their own, then one cannot say that it is the government which is facilitating the prosperity of individuals.
Individuals in Indian sub-continent are certainly growing rich, they are now freer and hence more able to grab the opportunities to use their mind and act to pursue their goals, their happiness and hence they are rich. No governmental group or political party can take the fame of making Indians rich. On the other hand, Indian government should be blamed for keeping Indian individuals under poverty for so long. With the current pace of anti-state trend in Indian sub-continent, as India will enjoy more privatization, decentralization, free market, economic, religious and political freedom, Indian individuals will attain more freedom.
These facts strongly suggest that all the welfare and income redistribution talks of Indian socialistic groups are futile. Lesser governmental control on individuals means lesser poverty, No governmental control over Individuals means No Poverty. Poverty will vanish in a no-government-state.
- Times of India, August 1, 2010, India has more rich people than poor now [↩]
- Murray Rothbard, “Man, Economy, and State”, Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2004, pp. 2–3. [↩]
- Murray Rothbard, “Man, Economy, and State”, Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2004, pp. 2–3. [↩]
- Martin Ravallion, January 2009, The Developing World’s Bulging (but Vulnerable) Middle Class, The World Bank Development Research Group [↩]
As I understand more and more economics(by Economics I mean Austrian Economics, the real kind, not mathematical model of calculating how much you prefer your kids studying theory of evolution vs intelligent design and calculating National Patriotic Index), I realize more and more how easy is it to show the problems with theory of Socialism.
One of the things I realized early on was that a purely voluntary socialist worker’s union would be completely feasible in a capitalist society. If a bunch of men want to create a worker’s co-operative where profits are distributed equally among everybody, essentially it is the same thing as a company fully and equally owned by its workers. Just do not allow any individual who does not work in the company to own the capital goods(means of production).
I have eventually understood ‘capital’ to be nothing but deferred consumption. That means whenever you delay your present smaller consumption for the future larger consumption, that deferred consumption is essentially your capital. For example, if you have a bag of wheat, which you do not consume today but instead plant it a field so that a few months from now they will grow into wheat fields and you will now be able to reap a lot more wheat out of it. You in this case have deferred your present consumption 1 bag of wheat for 3 months where you hope to make 7-8 bags of wheat out of it. I have used the example of wheat because I can explain it only with the help of one actor. Generally though you defer your consumption and hand it to someone else who needs it in present more than in future. For example you may give away 100 cattle to someone today so that 5 years from now they return 200 cattle to you.
Capitalist is a deferred consumptionist
This explanation of capital as ‘deferred consumption’ opens up a plethora of new insights to things. For example, if capital is deferred consumption then capitalist must be the guy who defers his present consumption. This clearly explains to any individual who fails to see what a capitalist’s work actually involves, or why does he deserve profits from any venture.
Warren Buffet is technically the largest deferred consumptionist in US. This means he could consume so many things in present(billions and billions of dollars worth of goods) but he choses to not consume them, and instead he defers it for later consumption(which he probably will never do).
Utility of deferring your present consumption
You may now ask what utility does anyone delaying their present consumption may offer to the society as a whole, because this clearly sounds like a very selfish thing to do. The answer is really simple, almost no human action which does not directly satisfies the end we are looking for requires delaying our present consumption. For example, if you are hungry and you want to eat a pizza then the action of eating that pizza directly satisfies your want, therefore it is not deferred consumption because its an act of consumption itself.
On the other hand if you now have to make that pizza, now the series of actions to satisfy your desire are:
a) You bake the pizza
b) You eat the pizza
The first action involves deferring(albeit a really less amount considering it will take you only 20 mins to do it) your present consumption of raw pizza, or any other food, for later more satisfying consumption of cooked pizza.
You may ask now, that just because in this example I had to wait for 20 mins for pizza to be cooked doesn’t mean that I always have to defer my consumption, for example I could drive to a pizza shop and just buy the pizza without waiting for it to be cooked. My point is simple, someone at that point has already done the job of deferring the present consumption for the future consumption, someone has waited 20 minutes for you so that you can get it immediately and in return you have rewarded them with money(which is their larger future consumption). Of course lets also not forget that making a pizza requires flour, vegetables, cheese, chicken etc. So the total time taken to delay consumption for full making a pizza would be time required to grow wheat, make flour, grow vegetables, make cheese out of a cow you raised, and raising chickens. That means if you were living on an island with no civilization then to make a pizza you will require growing wheat, and vegetables for months, and capturing and raising cow and chicken for months before you are in position to make that pizza. Thankfully in any modern society someone has already done the job of deferring the present consumption so that you now can simply walk into a supermarket and buy all those things, or take even more shorter route and buy the cooked pizza from the pizzaria.
As you realize now that our society and civilization would be impossible if not for deferred consumption or capital. Essentially a capitalist society is a society where production of large operations is planned through deferred consumption of private individuals. This begs the next question.
Who defers their present consumption in Socialism?
This is now the most important question any socialist must answer. If you have read the article till now, you realize that its impossible to get rid of the capital from any society. The only capital-less society would be a highly primitive society where almost every action is aimed at direct consumption, this means the primitive men who created tools to help in hunting, actually ended up creating the first capitalist society of the world. In fact only animals do not perform indirect actions to achieve their ends. The only real world example in this case is a monkey recently in a zoo who planned to throw stones at visitors by collecting them in advance. Coming to think of it, even dogs hide bones for a later date.
The point here is that it is really impossible to eliminate capital from a society, so any claims made by the socialists of creating a new man who is not capitalist are ridiculously wrong. This generally eliminates that last claim and results in socialists making a more smarter claim, that in a socialist society, only the indirectly deferred consumption will not be allowed. For example, any individual can sow his bag of wheat to create 7 bags out of them 3 months later, but no individual is allowed to give his bag of wheat to another and hope to receive 7 bags three months later. This will completely stop a capitalist from ‘exploiting’ workers.
If a socialist makes this claim then it means he at least acknowledges why a capitalist deserves his profits. If in a shoe manufacturing factory, workers from start(homesteading the land, making bricks, concrete, sand, constructing the building, raising animals for leather), to the end(manufacturing the shoes, packaging them bringing them to the market), then they truly deserve the profits proportional to their role in the manufacturing process, but the fact is that this kind of action would be highly inefficient and ardous, and it would be much better of these workers defer their consumption in other ways(like saving money), or allow somenoe else who has delayed a lot of present consumption over time(capitalist) to invest in their venture and allow him to make profits.
This is why even the most hardworking socialist society is poor
The fact is that even in a socialist society someone must defer their present consumption, any socialist who claims that he envisions a society with no capital does not know what is he talking about. A smarter socialist might say that in his system the state will do the job of reallocating the deferring of present consumption equally among people, but that still leaves the big question about a socialist society and that is, if my deferring of present consumption does not lead in increased larger future consumption, then why should I delay my present consumption?
You may reward your workers proportional to what they have worked that day, sure people will work 18 hours a day to catch fish with their hands, but nobody will eat less fish of what they caught that day, just so that they can save enough fish to eventually build a net and be able to catch 10 times more fish than they can with merely using hands, and for a society to become prosperous deferred consumption is the single most important requirement.
If you are a socialist and you have thought of a socialist paradise, to be realistic you must not envision an advanced society, a truly realistic socialist society would be a society of primitive men who hunt animals and gather berries without using any kinds of tools.
Of course this brings us to a whole another set of issues with the so-called modern ‘capitalist’ societies such as US and UK, where the state depletes the deferred consumption of a society with the help of fiat currency, fractional reserve banking, central banks, and taxation. Not to mention the so called ‘free market magicians’, such as Milton Friedman and Chicago school who supports a Capitalist society, yet fails miserably in understanding what is really happening when a market crashes or how capital plans production, but that’s for another article.
My conclusion is simple, if you consider yourself as a Socialist(or any other leftist ideology where you are going to get rid of economic calculation and private ownership of wealth), you must explain me who in your system would be the deferred consumptionist. Who will reduce his present consumption for the future larger consumption. Sure socialists do talk about larger future consumption to be distributed equally among all its people, but what they fail to explain is who will be the person who will SAVE enough for the future date when nobody can work to do something else.
Global warming or climate change is a worldwide disquiet that needs to be addressed in a proper way. Scientific studies have regularly provided enough evidences regarding the regarding the human activities that harms the natural balance of our planet by producing large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), most notably Carbon Di Oxide (CO2) by burning fuels. Now when it is established that global warming is a real concern, why is it that the world’s leading power, the United States is not able to legislate enough stern laws to check the pollution, emission of greenhouse gases, human activities that are causing global warming and to provide better greener ways to lead the world. The United States is the biggest contributor of green house gases, specifically the Carbon Di Oxide emission from coal based power plants, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of U.S reports that the United States’ Greenhouse Gas emission grew by 12% between 1990 and 2001. The global warming has already raised the average global sea level by four to eight inches during the last 100 years. Scientists believe that the increasing levels of GHGs may cause acute climatic and health impacts on humanity. Despite of all these known facts, the government of United States under the leadership of President George W. Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and refused to sign the agreement that required United States to reduce its GHGs emission rate to 5% to 8% below their average level of 1990 by 2008 to 2012. On the other hand, Bush supported the idea of voluntary research and efforts at enhancing energy efficiency. In 2002 at Climate Action Report to the United Nations, Bush administration accepted the risks from global warming and informed that the GHGs emission of United States will increase by almost 43 per cent between 2002 and 2020 if the US government does not take stern actions to reduce GHGs emission1 In July 2004, Bush administration again accepted in their report to Congress on U.S. Climate Change Science Program that that the most probable explanation for global warming since 1950 is the increasing levels of carbon dioxide from human activities. However, Bush administration maintained their position to not to opt for any compulsory policies to reduce the emission of GHGs until more conclusive evidences about global warming are not produced. Global warming is affecting everybody on the earth and it is the cause of serious damages to all. Yet, no country initiates to take stern steps to reduce their reduction of GHGs. In his journal regarding Global Warming and its affect, Bradford Mank raises the question “Is Injury to All Injury to None?”2 The idea is simple, since global warming is definitely hurting everybody, yet, the prevention requires immediate actions that may prove to be commercially unviable, hence the governments throughout the world and specially the US government hesitate to bring about any concrete change in their policies to reduce emission of GHGs. Maybe, the injury to all is nobody’s concern.
On January 20th, 2009, when Barack Obama took charge as the 44th president of US, everybody hoped for better involvement of United States government and Congress in the bid to reduce the emission of GHGs worldwide3
Yet, apart from some policy changes, the new administration of US also failed to take any concrete and defining step to face the dangers of global warming and to resolve to reduce the emission of GHGs significantly.
Federal/National Climate Policy
The Copenhagen Climate Summit failed4 to impress anybody and despite all the hopes attached with Obama, no significant change was visible. Obviously, Obama administration had a great deal of immediate problems to tackle with including the recession period of 2009, the huge stimulus and highly increasing national debt along with the socialistic burdensome programs like healthcare reforms. However, a change was visible in the attitude of administration and on January 26, 2009, the House of Representatives of US Energy Independence and Climate Legislation, the Congress also passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, both the legislations were meant to encourage renewable energy usage and increase energy efficiency. The Cash for Clunker program suggested the US administration’s initiative towards the greener options, the Cap Carbon Trade plan showed positive approach towards greener US, and US government also started trying to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to create greener jobs.5 . The Clean Energy Job and American Power Act provided many programs that will raise funds from government to invest in the inventions and development of greener options for electricity requirements and will provide huge opportunity of green jobs.6 Yet, on bigger plan, there is no strict path towards achieving and implementing some policies that would lead US to reduce the emission of GHGs to about 5% to 8% below the level of 1990′s.
Not only that, all these positive steps towards clean air, green surroundings, clear atmosphere and cooler globe faced opposition within the senate in the form of The Dirty Air Act. The Dirty Air Act attacks the Clean Air Act directly. Many big oil companies and some senators along with their lobbyists claimed that Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) statement about the dangers of carbon pollution does not show any major threat to public health or welfare. If the Dirty Air Act passes, the US consumption of foreign and domestic oil will increase further and that will undo all the positive steps taken towards greener USA.7
One of the main reason behind the inability of the Congress of US is the powerful US corporate that funds in electoral campaigns. The business partnerships of US provide a space of such political forum where the motives of big enterprises cannot be ignored. Obviously, the big conglomerate like BP America, DuPont, and General Electric etc cannot afford to let Congress restrict their source of profits. Furthermore, no government would like to hurt the economy of the nation by almost destroying the leading industries of the country. The big oil companies deny accepting Clean Air Act, or any other proposal to reduce the carbon consumption.
William R. Cline in his book The Economics of Global Warming explained the expected economic damages that may be caused by global warming. He suggested that if the damages caused by global warming are smaller than the costs of reduction of emissions from fossil fuels, deforestation and other sources, than the attempt to discourage usage of carbon or fossil fuels is irrational.8
Self-interest is the main motive of any person that drives him to take rational decisions and implement them properly. Thus, if it is shown that the economic losses due to global warming are much more than the losses one will face by reducing carbon consumption, than naturally, the person will opt to reduce carbon consumption because that will be lesser loss for him or her and it will be healthier option too. Thus, it is easier for individuals to opt for greener options while it is difficult for the government or Congress to resolve and adopt policies to control carbon footprints. The reason being, as a collective, Congress or US government cannot think for individual losses, they will only think for the better profits of maintaining relations with big conglomerates, big oil companies and industries like GE, DuPont etc. The evil nexus of government and corporate will never let the greener options establish themselves in the market because the government will keep stimulating the conglomerates. Yet, an individual by himself can opt for greener, hybrid cars, which will consumer lesser fuel, the individual as a consumer may rift the market towards the greener options available in the market. The key to the trouble of global warming is consumerism. Consumerism is the principle of Free Market, which states, “free choice of consumer should rule the market, or, the consumer decides the economic structure of the society”.9
As it is clear that the public realizes the dangers of global warming much better than the Congress or US government, the citizens should opt for the free market principle rather than waiting for government to take proper actions. If the consumers prefers and demand green alternatives, clearer energy resources, fuel efficient cars, energy efficient appliances, renewable energy resources and other appliances to reduce their individual carbon fingerprints, than the producer, manufacturers and providers will be forced to provide environmental friendly alternatives for the society. Consumerism is the boon for human development (Reason for Liberty, 2010), and hence, if the individuals, the consumers consider that global warming is greater loss and hence they should opt for greener options, than the entrepreneurs, innovators and manufacturers will themselves be heralded towards providing greener options because that will be the more profitable execution for them. Once the big conglomerate start producing greener alternatives, the government will also feel no objection to provide greener policies, also, when consumers themselves will demand green market, green goods, green services and lesser carbon fingerprints, then the role of government will be minimal in case of improving the conditions of global temperatures.
Performance of States on global warming platform
Stephen Lacey reports that some of the states are moving faster towards green renewable energy options than the federal government or Congress. California, New Jersey, New York, Arizona and Ohio are not only proving to be great market for renewable energy resources like solar energy and wind energy, the state governments are also promoting the renewable energy options to far extent. Recently, Texas got rid of its eight coal power plants.10 Texas not only opted for nuclear alternative, but the Texas government approved plans to supply 35 per cent of power needs through renewable energy resources.
Stephen Lacey further reveal that the interference of state government in market through the SREC program is benefitting few large companies at the expense of many small companies.11 The picture clarifies the reason why the state governments are running faster towards greener US with lesser carbon footprints. The federal government deals with higher degree of market interference and hence, the Congress remains in effect of big business to create corrupt nexus that cannot decide for better greener options. State governments on the other hand have lesser power to interfere with the market, hence they are a little faster, yet, if somehow the government is decentralized and restricted from interfering the market, that is, if the market is left free, then the market will force the entrepreneurs, manufacturers, producers and business conglomerates to provide better, greener options to reduce the GHGs emission and ease the acute global warming conditions, the reason being, consumers demand “green” solutions to the global warming crisis. The demand of green alternatives by consumers will prompt the free market to create green jobs and will incentivize the entrepreneurs and energy industries to innovate better energy efficient renewable energy resources extraction.
Conclusion: The Actual Way to Improve Climate
It is quite clear that the US congress and federal government is lacking will and strong leadership to bring about any significant change in the policies to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases emission. The nexus between politicians, big business conglomerates and oil companies seems to be evil enough to thwart any possible change in the attitude of Congress towards the acute need of reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emission. It is evident that if nothing would be done to prevent or slow down global warming, there can be disastrous consequences on whole world. US federal government and Congress find it self unable to deal with the situation because the Congress cannot afford the economic turmoil if it breaks relations with the big business conglomerates and oil companies. Instead of taking firm and stern actions to compel the big industries to reduce their carbon footprints, Congress tries to cajole them to agree with a cap on carbon. Pete DuPont stated clearly that “global warming looks like neither the alarmists’ serious threat, nor an immediate crisis that requires governmental control of America’s economy to reduce it”, He suggested that Congress should consider the costs before passing policies on Global Warming.12 In such a scenario, it is difficult to believe that the big conglomerates like BP America, DuPont, and General Electric etc will accept the necessity of time so easily. Yet, there is a hope to save the earth against the ill-human activities. The individual citizens of U.S and whole round the world can force the conglomerates, politicians and governments too by denying their interference and monopoly in market and by demanding better, greener and feasible energy options.
Once the consumers themselves decide to reduce their own carbon footprints, the big companies will be forced to follow the suit. Congress, federal government and state government meanwhile should stop interfering with the market and let the new players, competitors, entrepreneurs and innovators provide better and efficient energy solutions so that the big conglomerate of US may also feel compelled to work towards a greener future. The key for a better, greener and safer world against the glooming danger of global warming is in the hands of consumer and in the policies of free market. The nexus between government, politicians and big business need to relieve the market to create greener world.
- Climate Action Report, 2002, Ratification of Kyoto Aside: How International Law and Market Uncertainty Obviate the Current U.S. Approach to Climate Change Emissions [↩]
- Bradford Mank, 2005, Standing and Global Warming; Environmental Law, Vol. 35 [↩]
- Oliver A. Houck, 2009, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility [↩]
- BBC News, 2009, Why Did Copenhagen fail to deliver a climate deal? BBC News, 22nd December, 2009 [↩]
- Legislation, Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee of US, 2010 [↩]
- Clean Energy Job and American Power Act, 2009 [↩]
- Dirty Air Act round up, 2010 [↩]
- William R. Cline, 1992, The Economics of Global Warming, Institute for International Economics Washington DC [↩]
- Reason for Liberty, 2010, Consumerism is a Boon for Human Development, Reason for Liberty, April 19th,2010 [↩]
- Stephen Lacey, 2008, U.S State Solar Debate: Will SRECs Create Unhealthy Market Concentration? New Hampshire, United States [↩]
- Stephen Lacey, 2008, U.S State Solar Debate: Will SRECs Create Unhealthy Market Concentration? New Hampshire, United States [↩]
- Pete DuPont, 2009, Time for Inaction on Global Warming, Congress should consider the costs before passing “cap and trade” The Wall Street Journal [↩]
Defining recession is not an easy issue specially when there is no widely approved definition for recession. Newspapers and popular business tabloids suggest that recession is a period of general economic decline that causes and results in decline in the Gross Domestic Product of a country for two or more consecutive economic quarters of a financial year. The conventional associated indicators, causes or results of recession are considered to be a decline in stock market figures, dropping realty sector prices, and a steep rise in unemployment rate. Yet, the definition does not emphasize on any such consequences and hence it cannot be termed as a universal definition of recession. Furthermore, with this definition of recession that depends on two quarters of financial year, it is very difficult to mention the exact point of time of the beginning of recession and it is impossible to suggest what was the actual cause of recession. That is, recession remains a mystery.
Right since January 2008, a liquidity crunch was experienced by the non-financial companies and individuals and that resulted in job cuts. The average job loss of USA for the eight months was 81,900 job cuts per month by September 2008, during the last four months, it was 483,500 per month. Unemployment rate caused consumer spending to fell by 3.8% in the three quarters of 2008 and in fourth quarter it fell by 36% below the final quarter of 2007.Hence, the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee declared that the US economy is in recession since January 20081 .
The mainstream economists and media pundits suggest that the cause of a recession is the tight money policies and raised interest rates by the Central government that results in liquidity crunch and causes job cuts, declining consumer spending and hence a recession2 . They thus support that stimulating the economy with easy money, governmental loans, huge stimulus packages and lowering interest rates may help the economy in bringing the boom again. The idea suggests that the Market cycles of Boom and Burst originates from the central bank action of expanding the money flow in the market and contracting it. They suggest that proper stimulus packages and government spending over the common welfare programs can easily sooth the situation by allowing more currency to float in the market. Plus, they suggest that such common welfare spending also help in improving the life of standards of common populace.
Failure of Obama’s Stimulus Packages
The idea of mainstream economists is absolutely flawed and this can be easily seen with the failure of the economic stimulus given by the Bush government and supported by the new government of Obama.
It should be clear that a Burst or a recession occurs because there was a boom in market. A boom obviously is the period when an economic sector is unnecessarily provided easy loans, higher profits and more support by the authorities and central government to cause high rise in prices that creates a false demand in the market and causes inflation. That is, the downturn, or the depression or the recession is exactly because of the Central bank, not because it started tightening the financial sources, rather it is because of malinvestment initiated by previously created credit resulting from central bank3 . Mainstream economists also suggest that the market will recover and the prices will inflate again if further easy money is provided through government spending, ridiculously huge stimulus packages and other similar tactics. They believe that by doing so, the stock market will again start rising high. Yet, with all economic stimulus provided, stocks as a broad group are down since last ten years4 . That is, economic stimulus and credit policies of Central bank failed since last 10 years.
It is also important to understand the reason of liquidity crunch. A liquidity crunch occurs only when the present amount of money in the market, which is nothing but a means of exchange, is malinvested in those sectors that are facing false demand or boom. Since the money was malinvested in supplying the false demand, it gets trapped. Lenders don’t get their loan back and they suffer liquidity crunch. Thus, the reason of a recession is the easy credit policies by the government and central bank that causes Boom in the market. When the wrong policies of the government and central bank fail, the market suffers recession.
Recession is not the problem, it is the cure of the problems of Malinvestment
Thus, recession can be defined as a cure to the ill-policies of government and central bank that caused boom in certain sectors such as housing market. Because of that boom, easy credit policies, subsidies, easy lending and many other government and central bank caused factors, the prices soars to extreme high and causes inflation and money gets trapped in malinvestment. As the recession acts as a cure to this situation of extreme falsehood, it starts decreasing the extent of false demand and tries to bring the market to its actual true situation. The prices start declining and the economy starts recuperating from the illness of false heights.
Since recession itself is the cure of problems of malinvestment that were caused by the government and central bank’s ill easy money and credit policies, it cannot be cured by further stimulus. The stimulus will only sustain the recession for longer periods until all the malinvestment is not neutralised and the economy comes in a situation to achieve sustainable growth5 . The idea can also be substantiated with the expectations of Housing economists who expect that over the next 10 or 20 years, the prices in realty sector may start rising again on an average, but that rise won’t be as much as the average rise was during the past decade6 . Obviously, because of easy money and mislead credit policies caused a boom in housing market and created a false demand that consequently resulted in unsustainable boom. As a neutralising phenomenon, the market forces caused liquidity crunch to cure the malinvestment. Until the malinvestment will not neutralise, market will not gain sustainable growth. Stimulus package can only delay the time for achieving the sustainable growth. The stimulus also failed to provide any help in improving the job market, the unemployment rate is still 9.7% in the month of May 20107 , while it was 6.9% in 20088 .
Now with the problems of liquidity crunch still persisting, even the retirees are looking forward to find jobs9 . The situation shows that expensive stimulus may also push US towards the same fate that the Greece government and public are suffering right now.
Robert Lucas supported the idea of Ben Bernanke to reduce the interest rates10 . Every sane minded person will support the idea. In fact, the government or the central bank should not have the power to decide or dictate the interest rates. Interest rates should be decided by the free market proponents freely as per the time requires and permits. Yet, till how long will the central bank and government let the market enjoy the falsehood of stability on the basis of stimulus, what will happen when the central bank and Obama administration will look forward to take the stimulus back? Only then the market will again step forward towards curing the malinvestment caused by bad credit policies and only after that cure the market will be in a position to attain a sustainable growth.
- William A. Strauss, 2009, Economic Outlook Symposium: Summary of 2008 results and forecasts for 2009, Chicago Fed Letter [↩]
- John P. Cochran, Austrian Business Cycles, Plucking Models, and Real Business Cycles, Austrian Schollar Conference, Auburn, Alabama [↩]
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This is a theory I have been pushing forward for some time now but I rarely get support on it from libertarians despite of the fact that it is really promising and has huge positive consequences in a consistent libertarian theory.
Let me just straightaway come to the point. In a society of pure liberty, if an individual hires an assassin to kill someone, is this individual guilty of murder?
Yes we all know that the assassin is definitely guilty of murder, but the way we have grown up in the statist mindset it just sounds unjust to not punish the guy who is hiring people to murder others. Allow me to make my case on why its not consistent with the principles of individualism and liberty to hold the contractee guilty of murder.
Libertarianism is about Individualism
The fact is that Libertarian philosphy relies heavily on individual, and individual action. Numerous times this question is asked me, and this question is the single question which will determine if you are truly libertarian or not.
If you can save 100,000 individuals by killing one individual(who is not guilty of murder), is it ok to kill him to save 100K other individuals?
If you answered the above question as no, its not ok to kill one to save 100 thousand other individuals, then congratulations you are a libertarian. If not then you are possibly liberty-curious, statist, left-libertarian, Fascist-libertarian and every other possible flavor of libertarianism, but just not libertarian.
I don’t have a lot of space to explain a big answer to this question, but a short defense is, that if you truly are facing the delimma of killing one to save 100K others, you got more problems to worry about than if you should stick to libertarianism or not.
Libertarian philosophy differs from other philosophies because it is the only philosophy which values individual so highly. Every other philosophy is essentially some or the other form of collectivist ideology. This distinction is very important because almost every mainstream ideology in US can claim to be ‘libertarian’, because liberty is a very seductive word in America.
Once you establish this unique identifier about liberty, the most logical question which arises in the debate above is, if you are so much for individual responsiblity and actions, how can you not see that the person who gave the contract merely offerred a choice to the assassin. The choice was:
a) Take $100K from him and kill his wife
b) Do not take $100K and not kill his wife
Remember, a choice is a choice, not a compulsion. If contractee has compelled the assassin in some or the other way that is he left him no choice, and by that I mean if he was coerced to commit the assassination then the assassin is not guilty of murder here the guilt lies completely with the contractee. But offerring money to someone isn’t coercion. If someone offers you money for doing something wrong, no matter how much that money is, this is in no way coercion.
If the assassin wanted, he could have not accepted the money and not committed the crime. The person who offerred him the money merely made a proposition to him.
“But wouldn’t this promote a lot of contract killings?”
One may argue that if we let the people hiring assassins get off the hook wouldn’t this create a huge market for assassins and assassinations? First of all this is a utilitarian argument, so the answer must be utilitarian too. The fact is that since people who hire assassins are getting off the hook, they have absolutely no incentive to keep their mouth shut about the murder. The individuals hiring the assassins(if they don’t feer ostrecization) can now go on the television and claim who killed person X. This essentially reduces the supply of assassins to the market. They are much more in trouble now because they will be solely responsible for the murder now, where as their employer for whom this job was done walks free even blabbering about the crime.
So yeah even though there is more incentive for people to higher assassins, there is much less incentives for assassins to be assassins. Like everything else in utilitarianism we just cannot measure what will be what. Therefore we must rely on the principle, and that clearly dictates that if a person had a choice to not do that act of aggression then we expect him to not do that act of aggression.
In a society of pure liberty as an individual its your responsibility to not aggress against other individuals, and if someone convinces you otherwise then its only your fault, nobody else in the world will be responsible for actions you committed.
Someone may make a point now that although they agree that the person who commits the crime must be responsible for his actions, but why are we not holding the person who caused the crime, responsible? Isn’t his crime in this case “Creating the situation which caused the death of an individual”?? The answer is very simple, you are just describing his action into the most guilty way possible, but all this individual did, when broken down to it, was to offer a choice to another individual. That was his action, and unless providing choices to individuals is a crime in your viewpoint, this guy is not guilty of anything.
“What if I hold a gun on your head and make you commit murder?”
This is a very valid question, if someone holds guns on your head, you do not have a choice in this case, as you were coerced to do that action. Here the person who held the gun on your head is the guilty and responsible party for the murder. To solve this issue, the courts should follow something which I call as ‘weapon doctrine’, if you have no free choice then you were merely a weapon of the crime, not the criminal himself.
* If someone holds a gun on your head and make you do murder, you are weapon.
* If someone holds a gun on your wife’s head, and makes you commit murder, again its a bit difficult to determine if you are a weapon or not but the chances are you are.
* If someone mixes poison in your food and instead of giving you anti-dote asks you to commit a murder, you are a weapon.
* If you consume poison somehow, or someone gives you the poison but the person giving you the antidote and asking you to commit a murder in exchange has nothing to do with you getting poisoned then you choosing to kill, is only your responsibility, not theirs. In this case you are not the weapon.
* If your boss asks you to kill someone otherwise get fired, and you do it, then you are not the weapon.
There cannot be a state or state like entity in a society of pure liberty
The last point above opens up a pandora’s box in terms of the consequences of this principle. You killing someone because you were ordered to do so, or you were merely doing your job, is now a non-sequitor, because it doesn’t matter who gave you the order, they are just not sharing the fault here with you. The biggest concern here is, “If the person who gave the orders is not responsible in any way for the action his employee committed then that means you will let Hitler walk free?”, well the answer isn’t simple because I am sure Hitler would be guilty of a lot of actions he actually did do, but simply speaking, yes Hitler will not be held responsible for the actions his soldiers committed.
This maybe be appalling to many people(and possibly the reason why its so hard to convince libertarians on this issue), but the truth is, by establishing this level of atomic guilt, you are ensuring that Hitler will find it impossible to get soldiers to work for him who are simply rationalizing all their henious acts as ‘I was just doing my job’.
This isn’t even the last of the arguments, this simple principle guarantees that the basic structure of any private defense organization(PDO) in a free society would be such that its the individual responsibility of each employee that the orders given to him are just orders and are not aggressing against any individual.
For example: You are a PDO employee whose task is to apprehend criminals, you get an order that a guy named John Marshton has killed someone and he must be arrested for it, and if he resists then you can use deadly force because he deserves to die for that crime.
Your problem: If this guy turns out to be innocent, your boss is in no way in any problem, its you and only you who will get punished. Since your boss doesn’t share the guilt in this possible act, he may not be so careful with his decision.
Your solution: You now must personally make sure that there is enough evidence against this guy and he did commit that murder. So you do not just get ‘orders’ from your employer, but you get the full case file, you get the verdict of the trial, the whole proceedings and you find out that the guy under all definition of the word ‘guilty’, is actually guilty.
This assuring of the guilt is emulated in our current system as ‘arrest warrant’, the police officers cannot randomly start arresting people, a judge issues an arrest warrant against an individual after looking at the evidence and reasons against him and police officer then relies on it to arrest someone. Although the similarities end there. Arrest warrants can be issued for anything, and it still isn’t the same thing as the document or file detailing all the evidence against the individual. The only reason I made this parallel so that those who are worried about the lack of the ‘greatness’ of a our current legal system where there are arrest warrants and search warrants.
Anarchist Search Warrant
Here is the interesting part of the article, many people ask me the question, ‘In a free society if an individual runs and hides to a property(or his own property) where you are not allowed to enter, or any PDO is not allowed to enter, how will this guy be captured?’
Many people envision a statist kind of solution that somehow PDO’s will be allowed to enter a property, otherwise it would cause a lot of lawlessness in the society. But this solution breaks down really fast, because it isn’t really a libertarian thing. Its really a very simple question to answer, that is if you strictly adhere to the above mentioned principle of extreme atomic guilt theory(EAGT), then you will realize that no individual would want to aggress upon another indivdual merely because it was his job or he received orders from someone else.
Basically each individual who works for the PDO, for him to possibly aggress against another individual, he must ensure it himself that its not an initiation of aggression. For example, if your PDO has rendered the verdict that person X is guilty of murder and you have seen the whole proceedings and agreed with the conclusion then you can pursue the guilty individual with the use of deadly force.
The reason why any PDO would want to go through this way because if that individual turns out to be not guilty and he has been aggressed upon then the PDO employee would be held liable for all crime of initiation of aggression and (most probably) by contract PDO would be required to pay for restitution. A search warrant or an arrest warrant essentially in this case is a release document from the insurance organization claiming that all individuals involved in this act of aggression have seen through all the evidence and testimonies and concluded that the individual is guilty. Remember this overseeing of the case and trial isn’t the same thing as the trial itself(well I am hoping that this is more expeditated and faster than a trial), its merely going through the evidences and arguments and concluding that the verdict was accurate. If they do not feel it was accurate they have a right to excuse themselves.
This insurance requirement ensures that the least amount of property rights violation is done by the company, and least amount of damage payment is required.
In case of a false documents and testimonies, it will be liability of the individual who created the false documents and testimonies, for example if a person testified that he saw X enter that building, and this testimony becomes the basis for a verdict which renders X guilty, but later it turns out that he perjured, then in this case the actual individual who committed the act of aggression ended up being only the weapon of the crime and the crime was committed by the person who perjured.
Similarly if the judge took the bribe and falsifies the proceedings to alter the verdict to be guilty(or otherwise), will be the solely guilty individual for the aggression committed over the falsely convicted individual, not the PDO enforcer who looked at the records and proceedings and like any just man agreed with the judge’s conclusion.
No state or state like entities can be created
The biggest concern of people who consider Anarchy as an option is that in a free society the best private defense organization will rise and end up becoming a monopoly which is essentially a state-like entity. The truth is that a society of pure liberty, which follows this principle will realize that the formation of state or state-like private defense organizations is not possible, because we have eliminated the concept of soldiers. If you join a private defense organization which asks you to take away property of an individual because he stole it, then its your responsibility to ensure that its really stolen, and not blindly follow their orders.
Imagine this scenario, you join a Private Defense Organization which aims to act as a government, they already have 85% of the market share because they were so good at their job. Your boss, now asks you to go and raid a warehouse owned by your biggest competitor, you now must ask the question to him about why should you do such a thing. If he shows you the proof that the warehouse contains stolen property, and like any rational and just man you are unable to consider that proof to be sufficient to consider it as a stolen property then you must not follow the orders. If you do follow the orders then when the justice will be served only you will be held guilty for that action, not your boss will go free.
So think again, even if you want to joing an organization and become the state, why would you want to be the foot soldiers, nobody who is not a foot soldier or doing the actual acts of aggression in your organization will ever be punished.
The implications of this are huge, organizations who aim to become an entity like state will find it impossible to get people who would commit acts of aggression for them. Some people would still be willing to do it but their fees would be really, really high.
Just to be thorough, lets imagine an organization which is fully comprised of individuals who are willing to follow the orders about initiating aggression against others, after all its possible. What is not possible in this society is for this organization to become as big and powerful as we earlier expected the best PDO to become.
Finally, if an PDO who has a share of 85% of the market suddenly gets a change of conscience one day and realizes that they must now become the government, will soon find out that they may be the most powerful militant organization, but they do not have that 85% market share anymore, and it will be reduced massively as soon as people realize that this PDO is willing to commit aggression against them. The remaining honest private defense organizations will get an influx of new subscribers, and new money to expand their operations. In the stock market the prices of the rogue PDO will plummit, and the honest PDOs will rise.
This may still not be sufficient to completely defeat the rogue PDO but if we follow the extreme atomic guilt principle we will find that the chances of above scenario happening are really low, so low that we can even say that a society of pure liberty which follows true and pure principle of individual responsibility will find that principle acting as a deterrent against the formation of state or state like private organizations.
What would it mean to live in a completely free society? In dealing with personal sovereignty, which takes precedence: freedom of association or property rights? At first glance, we know that these two are tied together into one idea through self-ownership but when looked at more deeply, they can conflict.
There are Two Constructions of Libertarianism as set up by Chandran Kukathas in Libertarian Papers Vol 1, 11 (2009). One of these is a world in which there is complete freedom of association—the right to give up your libertarian right for the moment to whatever is yours in order to live in a statist or communal society, which can end up a world where we have many property rights violations, like those born into such communities who are not shown the way. The other is authoritarian propertarianism–self-ownership protected against those who would take it from you; meaning immoral agents barricading the knowledge of your libertarian rights from you.
The second one, which Kukathas calls the “Union of Liberty” would require a codification of Voluntaryist law, or, what it means to actually live within the framework of libertarianism. There are a lot of obvious problems with this construction, namely, that we are talking pretty much about giving a sovereign rule making body search warrant powers over the whole of the society in order to protect property rights, possibly routine or based on anonymous claims. This can turn into a lobbying opportunity for people who would like to force their definition of Liberty onto others.
The more metaphysically bankrupt side of this proposition though rests in its misunderstanding of language. To have a group of people, the Commission on Standards for Liberty, usurp the most intimate part of us: our brains and as a social species: our form of communication, in the name of the principle of self-ownership is beyond comprehension and lacks an understanding of language, the mind, and I believe some fundamentals about what spontaneous order really means.
As we have seen it said a thousand times before, one thing that freedom means is the freedom to make mistakes, to mess up and learn from them, but to do it on your own terms. Understanding the Rothbardian idea that selling yourself into slavery is literally impossible, there is nothing within a non-free community that lives within a larger free society that is actual immoral or a negation of self-ownership. For as we do not believe in positive rights, we cannot say that people have a right to understand their autonomy or a right to know their other options anymore than we can say that people have a right to good housing or health care. Ideas as such are not an economic goods because they are in super abundance and their content can be duplicated ad infinitum without taking away from the original “owner.” This means any person is free to them at any time, but this does not mean there is a moral obligation to present the ideas to somebody to evaluate them by their own standards.
So, there is a two-fold problem with this literal monopolization of defining the term liberty as in, a certain firm will be barring others from entering into the service that they provide, which is interpreting the word that the whole of society rests on.
First, we see a demand made on every individual about the way in which they have to spend their time and empty the contents of their brain: if you are a communist and you have a child, it will be “mandated” that you give them full knowledge of the other politoco-economic social structures that they can be a part of.
Secondly, that it is also telling people how to use language. Language, being the most essential social and mental tool, is one of the main things we need to safeguard against any attempt at one agency having ultimate control over. The easiest way to demonstrate how individualized language is would be to use a strong word: LOVE. Many people will look at this and think of Hollywood romantic, others their family, other people will think about a real, knowledgeable love and still others just think pain.
Another case in point about how language can be used to manipulate us is from what some people consider one of the highest philosophical “social contracts” that have ever been created: the US Constitution. Trying to put limitations on a government through the use of words is a futile attempt because like every part of the Universe, words are a constantly evolving constructions and because almost anything in this world can be used for good or for bad, it will move towards whichever we allow it to. As in all things, the diversification allowed for in the individualized method is what leads to great competition and cooperation and the least infringement on one’s personhood.
So, on the other side of the coin, why is it that it is more “libertarian” to allow for unfree societies to exist in a free world?
If there is one thing that propagates the state more than anything else, it is the compulsory schooling that we have, that teaches children how to become good citizens instead of good people. Why is this so damaging? Because what they are doing is taking away the children’s ability to think for themselves which is so very essential to our soft-bodied species.
If there is one force fighting against the state, then that is people’s ability to obtain the information that they want and need even though the state doesn’t want them to have it. There is a wealth of people who want this information because if your spirit is not broken, you are born with the ability and the craving for self-direction.
If anarchocapitalism is based on the idea that men are more good than bad, and that we have the ability to control ourselves and weigh out the cost benefit of any situation that is within our control–that is, having to do with ourselves and our property–then to dictate that people must learn this or that thing, that people must believe in things this way and be saved from their own ignorance, is a total 180 from what it is that we are supposed to stand for from a moral perspective.
We trust in markets because we trust people to do what is best for them. To say that people must be given this information in order to choose what is right for them instead of allowing them to follow their true hearts and minds, to not trust people to know what is right for them even in the face of adversity and oppression, is in absolute opposition with stated principles. The only way we can have a libertarian society come to fruition is to educate those who will listen, reach out to those that haven’t a clue, and to accept when people do not agree with the position. We do not force our position, we do not demand it be followed.
I would also muse that whatever technology a non-capitalist society came up with to block the incoming of information, capitalists could overcome that because of the greater organization and the profit motive.
As long as other communities are not aggressing against us, there is absolutely no moral or logical justification for enforcing our interpretation of liberty on them.
As libertarians, one of the reasons that we crave the salvation that comes with a stateless society is because we believe that within humans is the same need that we see in every living thing and even every subatomic particle that exists in the Universe–this is the ability to allow for autonomy, self-direction and the respect that should come with this responsibility. Even if something is an unthinking atom, a beautiful lantana flower, or a large beast like the blue whale, what we can say for sure is that the only thing obstructing their paths in doing what they so please and dealing with these consequences are the regularities of nature and the interspecies and intraspecies competition that comes with being part of a dynamic Universe and thriving world. I want to go over the correlation that we see between such passion in the political sphere and how it could and should extend to our personal lives.
If this is the truth, if what we so crave is freedom from oppression that comes with somebody trying to usurp your self-ownership–which can never, in fact, be done because you always have ultimate control over your own body–then what sort of deductions can we make from this on a more micro-level. Is there a way we can look at the concrete relationships that we involve ourselves in and see the mirror image of the sort of ignorant conceit that we get so uppity over the state for claiming wherein they can direct our lives instead of ourselves?
In any life form, there is a balance between competition and cooperations. As human beings, we know that the division of labor and the benefit and amount of productivity that comes with doing this is of immense benefit; we know that in order to get somebody to enter into an economic transaction with us without the use of the force, we have to offer them something not only that they want but something that they value more highly than whatever it is we want out of the trade. I believe this in our romantic, friend and our familial relationships, we need to demand the same of ourselves and of the people with whom we associate. This is an idea that has been most flushed out by Stefan Molyneux.
Ask yourself how often you look at a statist and think, how do they not see that these things are harmful to their well-being and also hurt those around them? Why in the world would any rational person accept the sort of abuse that comes from this coercive mechanism in which you have no say as to whether or not you are interested in buying, or whether you are interested in selling, as in eminent domain? How in the world has nearly the whole of humanity decided that instead of having love and respect for one another, we should constantly have ourselves split divisively by theft, by being told you may not enter into what voluntary associations that you will, by being told that your idea for a product is unsafe, by having it adjucated that your feeling of anxiety or injustice are illegitimate when done a disservice by either the State or the corporations with whom they are in cohorts? How did we get into this sad affair and why do people continue accepting it?
Now, again, I ask yourself to look around at the personal relationships that you involve yourself in. When you are in a conversation with your parents or any of your loved ones, it is important to make sure that when they voice a complaint you give that completely autonomous person the respect and thought that they deserve because their feelings are not invalid, and you should ask the same of all of those that you associate with. Why? Because we learn to accept our place in the world through not the completely abstract notion of the state but in our day-to-day doings.
As children, we are taught pretty young that we are not autonomous, that our wants and needs shall be subjucated to the wants and needs and others. That is, “you have to share,” something when you were just told it was yours, and then we are told that they didn’t really mean it was yours but it was on lease to you until the gift-giver decides that you do not have the exclusive right to use and dispose of. We ask ourselves over and over again–isn’t the philosophy of ownership so very obvious? Where have we gone wrong? It starts here. It starts with children who are given something to call their own but then they are deemed “selfish” and “mean-spirited” when they would like to use something that they were told was their own. They must share.
Delving into this selfishness more, what a blessing it would be to grow up in an environment where you are told that looking out for your own interests isn’t something to be viewed as evil, it isn’t something to be viewed as an affront to your fellow man. Man is supposed to denote the most rational being that there is, that we can possibly know of, at least, at this point in our technological development. If we are ever to truly respect other creatures including those with whom we share a species, one thing is completely and absolutely necessary to recognize: it cannot possibly be wrong to look out for your own well being. Every animal in the world is built to do it, to take fight or flight when they are in danger, to gather food, call it their own, to sustain their bodies, to mark the boundaries of their territory through chemical trails or other markers, to protect their young. If they fail to make the proper decisions, there is a possibility if they are a pack animals–as humans are, but in a different sense–that they will be lucky enough to have those with whom they are intimately involved lend them a helping hand. So, why, if everything down from ants and all of the way up to orcas have figured out this need for self-direction can we, who are oh so very proud at our ability to defeat the natural world, still so out of tune with its obviously lesson of spontaneous order and self-direction? We grow up and we hear our desire and need to look out for our own well-being is selfish; but who else will do it? When nobody is around, do we not eat because another may need the food? How far does the idea that we owe our lives to others really extend?
But then, we do not get any better at this when we are older. Our parents didn’t know so they never taught us, so we need to make it our absolute duty to take and understand the gravity of the responsibility of being a self-owner and respecting others with volition and a life to live. If we speak to our friends and tell them that this life decision is wrong, not only as a helping hand to show them the right way to go but making them feel bad about their thought process, about their own rationality which they have to use to navigate through the world, are we not seeing this same sort of abusive mentality that we receive from the state? We are telling our friends when we do not just say “perhaps there is a better course to take if you think about it like X, Y, and Z” but instead say “that is stupid. I cannot believe your so retarded that you think that is a good idea” we are reinforcing this same idea of impotency in grasping and taking control of your own personal world that we so hate to see in our government.
Another thing that we see and these two go hand in hand is the idea that you have to live at the service of others and that there are a lot of possible things that you can pursue in your life that are what you will be told is “impractical” for whatever myriad of reasons can be coughed up–because, what purpose do they serve? Who do they serve and maybe even as far as how will that service you financially. There is the stereotype of somebody going to art school when their parents wanted them to be a doctor. Where do we leave people when we tell them that their goals, the things that give them the most purpose in life, the most fulfilling feeling, are not fit to be lived?
When you look at your relationships in this way, if we look at our relationships in the way that we view the state, we can see that this is these are the exact sorts of things we are infuriated by.
There are a lot of theories about how to Smash the State (before it Smashes You). I have argued before that the way to go about this is person by person, case by case. To show a person from their point of view and their concerns how it is that the state is the antithesis of life and change so essential to the Universe, is the proper way to go about it. We need to do not only that but have it reflected in our treatment of the person, personally. This does not mean only believing you can have an honest, thoughtful relationship with those who hold your same views. For all we know, this can be a two way path. If we show people what it means to be respected as a individual with their own goals, their own thoughts and believe that they are worth pursuing for that individual, and they recognize how fulfilling it is, perhaps it will be easier for them to see how the State violates this right.