Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
There are three things of which I am most grateful in life, and one of these is my liberation from the notion that violence has any place in the social order; self-defense is justified only in that it affirms this rejection of violence in human affairs.
For some reason or reasons, intelligence level surely not being primary among these, I have managed to see through statism and find in it only social regression. It seems that such an orientation has little to do with the crafting of strong arguments, as much as it has to do with psychology and the apt use of different parts of the brain according to specific situations.
FOLLOWING AND WILLING ― TWO SEPARATE MENTAL PHENOMENA
When I am guided by the directions of a passenger while driving, it is much more difficult for me to use my discretion in changing lanes or turning at intersections. So if the passenger is incompetent as a direction giver, my driving suffers, and it would have been better had I been of the mind to look at road signs for directions, or to use my memory, instead.
And when I am copying another’s writings, even for things I know about, it would be much more difficult for me to use my knowledge to correct any mistakes of the one I’m copying. If I am aware beforehand that such notes are wrong, I would rather stick to using my knowledge so as to write accurate facts.
It seems that I use different parts of the brain when following, and when actively choosing. For this intent and purpose, we could say that one has a ‘following’ personality distinct from their ‘willing’ personality.
I think this explains the difficulty of people’s acceptance of the idea of free markets. Most are predisposed to follow, to trust in the judgment of ‘the government,’ or the vague ‘they,’ whomever ‘they’ are. If one is not of the mindset to make their own decisions and be self-responsible, or to see individuals as capable of making such decisions, it is that much harder to shift one’s manner of action and one’s attitude regarding official and unofficial institutions, in favor of freedom.
Granted, the ‘following’ personality has its practical purpose in the absence of complete knowledge of this world (we rely on the knowledge of people of various specialties in acquiring information, whether this is about the capital of Peru or if a stock is a good buy), it becomes a hindrance to self-growth and thus society’s well-being when one’s volition is surrendered to the state, which is no more enlightened, even less so, than the individual members of a community. Hayek’s ‘spontaneous order’ rightly places economic decisions with the individual, and this is an arrangement found to be beneficial and thus followed by free society.
A lot of the efforts made towards political reform will have to focus not so much on intellectual arguments, but on understanding people’s manner of thinking so as to effectively sway them towards libertarianism.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Last night, I hung out with some of my former co-worker friends who are now spread out among various Cabinet offices of the present administration. So forgive me if I sound especially generous in giving props to our incumbent leader, KALBO (Kris Aquino’s Lone Brother Overlord).
I’m not sure how much of the current corruption exposés going on at the moment are due to increased diligence of this administration compared to the last, but we have to appreciate it din naman, regardless of the motive of such ‘revelations’ (pogi points, revenge versus Gloria, etc.).
WELL, IT’S NOT THAT EXPLOSIVELY NOVEL
We also have to take into consideration that there have been whistleblows in the past (ZTE, fertilizer fund scam, etc.) and the corresponding media frenzy and congressional hearings, so we also have to be hesitant in giving Noynoy! Noynoy! Noynoy! a fist bump just yet. No one is denying that such corruption exists, or that it is so deeply entrenched in the bureaucracy. What people want to know is what is being done to change course apart from these sissy squealings to the media.
With our President appearing as the hero and fulfiller of his ‘KWCWM’ (‘Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’; in English, ‘If there is no one corrupt, there is no one poor’) boast even without any convictions or actual improvements in Filipinos’ living conditions yet, it is quite natural to be concerned that KALBO’s going to rest on his laurels and maintain just the minimal amount of corruption exposés to keep his ratings up. I don’t think he’s going to do so intentionally, but he does have to keep his focus in all this.
WE WANT MORE!
What I am doubtful of is that KALBO and his staff will be able to direct their attentions to other more relevant mischief going on in the bureaucracy. Case in point, ease of doing business. Apart from removing much red tape, we have yet to see even a plan of overhauling (and nothing but an overhaul will do) the whole Customs office and mandate.
Instead, we will be subject to misguided efforts to apprehend tax evaders and smugglers in the hopes of raising the government’s income by which to fund anti-poverty programs (the same programs that are revealed years later to be scams).