Politics

We’ll leave it to the history books of the future to decide whether the events in Charlottesville, VA in August of 2017 were a clear demarcation of events, indicating the start of a dangerous civil unrest. For the first time, clashes between rioters from the extreme left and those from the extreme right ended in a tragic loss of life. Regardless of protesters’ political views, lethal violence should never be the answer, but somehow when dealing with politics, it is.

Yet in the free market, fans of products don’t come to blows. Have you ever seen a frequent diner at Panera come up to a Subway aficionado and give them a knuckle sandwich? Has a Ford guy ever made it clear to a Chevy guy he is cruising for a bruising? When did a lover of Ella Fitzgerald’s music and an admirer of John Coltrane duke it out over who’s better? GE and Philips employees don’t punch each others’ lights out, nor do Colgate and Crest users come at each other armed to the teeth, and I can’t recall when an iRobot and a Dyson owner ever had a dust up.
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Popular Culture

Politics is downstream from culture, as Andrew Breitbart used to say. Think what you want of the outfit that now bears his name, which has morphed greatly from what he had left behind before his death, but Andrew Breitbart was very astute in understanding that if you change the cultural narrative you can alter the political landscape as a consequence.

This phrase confirms another sentiment expressed by many libertarians over the years regarding the nature of a democratic government: politicians need to get re-elected. They will tend not to act upon something that is unpopular or if it is not accepted within their culture. Therefore an ideology must have already achieved critical mass in the hearts of the people before legislation can be passed to set it in stone. Continue reading “Popular Culture”

Democracy

As I was getting acquainted with the ideas of liberty I read many e-books and listened to many audio books courtesy of the Mises Institute. Almost every topic that came up went through the same process:

  1. Hey, Daniel! Here’s something you know about!
  2. Wha…? Wait! What’s going on? What are you saying about this topic that I am very familiar with and have strong, (supposedly) well-informed and grounded opinions on?
  3. Worldview shattered.

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Anti-individualism

Sadly, where there is light, there must be shadow and the topics you’d find in this category pertain to the darker parts of human existence. I’ve included some books that espouse such ideals, for instance various communist treatises, books that advocate various forms of socialism, or those that hail democracy as some crowning achievement of mankind.

I, for one, feel that it is important to know the arguments of the opposing side to strengthen your understanding of your own position. There is much in favor of purposefully exposing yourself to material with which you viscerally and intellectually disagree. But if you do buy these books and enrich the authors or their publishers, please use our affiliate links so that at least a liberty-loving outfit such as mine would gain a buck or two out of this deal…

Aside from a few books that support such views, the majority of the titles tagged with the above topics are there to shine light on, and provide a critique of these views.

Other anti-individualist topics include: the seemingly benign bureaucracy that makes the State inefficient; the deceptive egalitarianism and the nanny state, a path paved with good intentions that we all know where it leads (hint: may include redistribution of wealth and slavery); the outright evil in ideologies such as Fascism and Marxism that lead to despotism, dictatorship, tyranny and totalitarianism; and crony capitalism (corporatism) and its predecessor mercantilism, which masquerades as capitalism in most people’s minds and leads to anti-capitalist views.

So what say you? Are you ready for the dark side? Browse through the books on both sides of the argument and you will increase your chances of either finding common ground or predicting your opponents’ objections. And as always, thank you for reading!