Originally posted on Facebook Notes
Q: Do ‘you’ support socialist reforms?
On a number of occasions recently I have found myself explaining various choices in my life that for lack of a better way of putting it have been akin to the ‘Life of Galt”. Even true fans of Rand will still point out to me that “it’s simply a work of fiction”, to which I explain that they were choices I was making even before reading the book.
What kinds of things am I talking about? Well here’s a short list of examples:
- I have not watched more than 30 minutes of ‘network’ television or purchased a mainstream newspaper in going on 4 years
- I no longer have any bank accounts or credit cards. My money is tied up in either tangible assets, utility based assets and a couple of money market accounts (not run by ‘banks’). I do have debit-cards tied to the money markets but seldom use them.
- I only purchased one ‘new’ vehicle in my life time and probably never will again. I take my time when I need a new car, buy used and pay cash.
There are plenty of other items I could list, but I just want to set a basis for what I am about to address.
OK, so what?
A lot of folks that could be classified in the ‘hard working’ and ‘honest’ category of life complain about government, socialist reforms, taxes, etc. They should! They work hard for what they earn and people with political power are taking increasing portions of it. The current complaint is about increasing social welfare or, in essence, socialization of America. It is important, however, to examine the cause.
Ideas like socialism don’t exist because poor people want what belongs to the rich. “Crime” exists because poor people want what belongs to the rich. Socialism is proliferating because rich and powerful people either allow it or promote it – and the two are distinct and separate groups (the allowers vs the promoters). Then, in turn, socialist reforms ‘succeed’ in gaining support for the obvious reason: the poor like how it sounds… “Free stuff!”
When making arguments against socialist reforms, the ‘hard working’ folk implore the beneficiaries (welfare recipients, etc.) to ‘do for themselves’. If the implication is that the recipients of social welfare are lazy, then would it not stand to reason that ‘working’ to them would be tantamount to a ‘sacrifice’? If you don’t like work, and someone is handing you free stuff… why work???
But guess what, free stuff isn’t free. It has to be paid for.
And who’s paying for it? The hard working folks!
And why do you work hard? Any number of reasons;
- to get what you need or want,
- for the sense of achievement,
- to achieve specific goals or gain respect,
- to achieve enough wages and goods to feel more secure
any or all which equate to “it is of value to you to earn for yourself”. So why are you upset? Because another beyond your control is taking what you find of value. Did you ever stop to think that maybe a lazy person in some twisted or subconscious way finds value in their laziness?
For right or for wrong, therefore, asking them to ‘work for themselves’ is asking them to give up their value to seek your value in ‘working for yourself.’ It just makes sense right? OK, so why then are you are not willing to give up your value (the sense of achievement, security, property, etc.) to stand for what you believe as well?
I may not be the best at communicating this concept, but it just strikes me as odd that the achievers are asking (rightfully so) for those in the position of receiving social welfare to do what can amount to a ‘lot’ (overcoming various hardships, social stigmas, adverse circumstances and simple ingrained patterns of behavior) to arrive at their (the achievers) ideal… but at the same time the achievers will just blindly accept being enslaved to support policies they abhor just to maintain their own sense of right.
Does this sound extreme? In essence it is saying ‘stop achieving!’ Most would not think of it – it goes against all they believe. Or does it?
Has anything else you have tried done anything to achieve your desired ideal? Complaining about it has done little to slow the growth and support of social reforms as the last century or more can attest. More and more people are gaining an ‘entitlement’ mentality. Going to the voting booth hasn’t seemed to slow it either.
The reality is, those that ‘achieve’, support the growth of socialist policies! And whatever power(s) they have left are doing little to abate the growth of further social reforms.
Would it not make more sense to re-examine your ideals, re-visit the realities of this growing movement, consider your own role as it’s enabler and then figure out how you can make ‘personal sacrifices’ (free choices) as not to be it’s willing participant?
If weeds are growing out of control in your garden because you put down fertilizer to feed your plants, would you continue to fertilize the whole thing (and thereby promote more weeds) or would you find a way to kill the weeds first?
Think about it! Any man (or woman) that is resourceful enough to excel in art, science, business, etc. should be able to find more than enough creative ways to not allow the ‘system’ that is growing out of control to make them a willing participant.
When the greek god Atlas challenged the status quo of the gods of Olympus, he was relegated to use his strength to support the entirety of the heavens and the universe at the behest of Zeus. Rather than continuing to defy the gods, he accepted his fate carrying the burden of all existence on his shoulders.
But what if Atlas had merely shrugged?
(see also: “I’ve been workin’ on the railroad“)