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.