If you are breathing then it is likely you have seen things you perceive as crazy going on around you in the world. Your mind kicks into overdrive as it tries to make sense of these things and to fit them in the world. Many people tend to only view actions from their own motivations. There are those that will attack and make claims about people and due to their inability to put themselves into other people's shoes and IMAGINE they actually end up projecting. Such people tell us a lot about their motivations, and thoughts simply by how they choose to label and attack others. That doesn't mean everyone is doing this. It tends to be from people that are like the proverbial broken record that are doing this. If they are attack, attack, attack and seeing them pause to give concessions in their thoughts or consider different perspectives is not something that happens then that likely means they are narrow minded, tunnel visioned, etc. Such people tend to visualize from their own perceptions and their own beliefs. The attack might be motivated by not liking anything that challenges what they've already decided to be the "truth" about reality.
There are some hot button topics where it is easy to attract such individuals and occasionally you can attract a mass of them that believe similar things and then it is a herd attack. This is becoming more and more common of an experience as our education system forced upon us by the state/government veers further and further from simply giving our youth the tools to survive, grow, and express their individuality and instead seems to be focused more on conformity, and teaching them how to attack anything that challenges what they have been told. It is more indoctrination, and cult like these days than it is an actual education. We are seeing the effects of this on a global scale, with some countries being impacted more than others.
The hot topic buttons usually involve HOW TO FIX THE WORLD be it via politics, "science", or other ideologies. It essentially becomes a battle of ideologies and if the person is a PROJECTIONIST then they likely will be projecting what belief has been built by them over time and a lot of that likely came from the education system, and some sources that sounded good to them at the time. This can actually be worse from intelligent people. I tend to view intelligence and wisdom as two very different things. Intelligence may be the wrong term used here as well. In might actually be more a matter of how WILLFUL they are. What is their force of will? Intelligence combined with a strong Will can often lead to a rather intractable mind that it is very difficult to sway to think in new ways. I speak from experience. My own. Yes, it is anecdotal but in reality all each of us has is our own anecdotal experiences of what we perceive. Those anecdotal experiences can include hearing, reading, or otherwise receiving communication from other people and if we TRUST them we may be swayed to incorporate their ideas into our own world view. The problem is when that world view has built in PROTECTION mechanisms to lash out at those that challenge it. This is a favored technique of religion, but it has also migrated into our education system.
It has also migrated into our "science" and the reason I enclosed science in quotation marks in several places in this stream of consciousness blog was to intentionally emphasize the so-called aspect of it. I very much believe in the tool known as the scientific method. If people use it and follow it then I consider that science. Many so-called scientists these days use it when it is convenient and ignore it when it is not. They are not truly scientists. Today that seems to not really matter as we sling labels around almost as liberally as we breathe. You challenged me? You must be racist, a nazi, a left leaning idiot, a right leaning idiot, a satanist, a luciferian, a sexist, etc. One thing that generally seems to be left out is that I might be an individual and just have my own mind. I consider individualism important and beautiful. I am not a particular fan of herd, group mentality. Present me with some evidence, let me think, let me draw my own conclusions rather than forcing your own upon me.
Now this is an absurdly long build up to why I initially started writing this post. That's how I roll sometimes when I just let my mind flow and churn out whatever happens to be bouncing around in there.
Often the concept of equality will come up. This is not surprising as it is one of the major hot button topics. The bulk of the wealth (though I'm going to call it power) is in the hand of an extremely small minority of people. I don't like to call them the one percent, because they are actually much smaller in number than that when compared to the actual population.
As humans we see this, and most of us are not happy about it. I am not particularly happy about it. So naturally we try to think of solutions. The proposed solutions that people come up with can span a huge gambit. There is an aspect of most of these solutions that I believe largely comes from our narrow mindedness and also our education system.
We are indoctrinated into believing that government is the solution to our woes. "See a problem?" Tell, the government about it. They can fix it. We may go further and tell the government HOW TO FIX IT. Often with the intractable idea that our idea is the solution, and the only way. We'll gleefully attack anyone that says otherwise.
There is a problem here. The problem is put into us from early days. We as children need structure, love, attention, and guides to help us navigate the early years of our life so that we can survive and be prepared to go out on our own. Ideally, we would leave such a process prepared to be individuals and think for ourselves. Somewhere along the line a lot of AUTHORITY FIGURE like rhetoric began to enter parenting, and education. This can come from religion, and it can come from obeying the state/government. Yet, these are ideas that essentially try to extend the parenting for the rest of your life. You are an "individual", but there is an authority that is always superior to your own mind... (and yes if you missed it many of my statements in this document are sarcastic in intent, and I realize that may make this confusing. I apologize)
The problem with this AUTHORITY is it is simply other people. Other individuals. Yet at some point they came to the conclusion they had the right and obligation to tell other people what they should do, how they should think, what is okay, and what is not okay. They begin to transcend the concept that they are individuals. They are people. They are not a god. Yet, many times in history we have elevated such people into a position where they are viewed and treated as a god. It is easy to be sucked into forgetting they are people. Guess what ALL people are wrong more often than they would like to admit. I intentionally used an absolute there with that word all.
So what about government? Well think back to Hammurabi and the early laws in Mesopotamia. We are taught these in school as being when laws entered history. Before then we are to assume it was chaos and madness. Then Hammurabi gave us laws such as "Eye for an eye", and "A thief loses a hand". Over time this has changed yet it still all is born from the concept that someone has the right to dictate how another person lives. We buy into this largely because the earlier and simpler laws initially seem to be common sense based. After all we shouldn't be stealing from each other, and attacking each other so having laws about what is going to happen seems to make a lot of sense as a deterrent for such activities.
Yet it also creates a class system. So you can immediately throw the one percent idea out the door. It creates a class of those who get to dictate these rules. There also seems to be no limitation put on them upon what TYPE of rules they can create. These rules then essentially usually include an enforcement arm that will make people comply, or they'll be "dealt" with in whatever ways have been deemed acceptable by the rule makers. The rule makers will also typically come up with rules for how you can become a rule maker. Sometimes it is hereditary, sometimes it is religious, sometimes it is an election, and there are many varieties.
One thing that historically seems to hold true is that these rule makers are generally not held accountable to the same rules that they impose upon others. They also tend to make rules that insure they remain as the rule makers, and that they can gain further and further POWER over those they "rule". They will usually doe this incrementally making small changes that over time add up to a big change. People will generally push back at big changes, but millennia of trial and error has taught rulers that if they do it small incremental steps at a time they can still get their big change, and people generally will not complain. In fact with some carefully crafted events the people might even DEMAND some of these changes.
The people will forget that they have empowered other people with the right to FORCE other people to do things. So much of this falls back on the concepts of equality and perception of "justice".
Now we get to the original reason I was inspired to write this and yes it took a lot of time. I apparently had a lot to say. Whether it was worth saying or not is irrelevant to me. I just needed to breathe it into words.
So often solutions related to equality will fall on some form of redistribution. There is voluntary redistribution where people make their case and those that have something they can redistribute do so because they think it is a good idea and they do it of their own free will. I am all for that form of redistribution. This is not generally where these redistributionary ideas go. Instead they usually task "government" with the redistribution. Some ideologies convince people that taking it all away and saying it belongs to no one, but in fact belongs to everyone. Yet, this still requires rulers who oversee this and try to make it work. These rulers still play the power game. All that game requires as that some people have rights to dictate what is allowed, or required from other people. Other ideologies convince people that as long as the majority think it is good to redistribute things that belongs to others then it is perceived as just.
I wish to focus on variants of that last one. Essentially it boils down to this. If the majority says it is okay then it is okay to steal. They'll even do some doublethink and their brain will seemingly fall out of their head when you call it stealing. "It is not stealing, it is tax". Somehow we have been conditioned to believe that because a government is doing something that makes it okay. Things that if you, a group, or myself were to do would be considered a crime suddenly is acceptable as long as the government does it.
This is used to do what I consider a great deal of evil. I am not speaking of that from a religious point of view. For me good and evil are very easy to define. Good is living your life, producing, experiencing, and making choices for yourself. Evil is making choices for others and forcing it upon them. The sole exception to this evil is as a guiding nurturing of youth as we are not equipped to survive without our parents. Thus, in parenting there is some forcing and compliance with the wishes of the parent that is required to help our children learn to survive on their own. It should stop at the point that child decides they are going to go out on their own. Sometimes that may be a flawed choice for the child. The key is they made the choice. At the point they choose to leave the proverbial nest and become an individual then at that point the responsibility of their choices falls upon them. A little common sense kicks in. A parent will likely know if letting the child leave the nest at that time is essentially a death sentence or not and should act in relation to that. In otherwords, a five year old throwing a tantrum and saying "I'm running away" should be monitored to let them think they are running away and to keep them out of danger. Likely, they'll change their mind pretty quickly and it becomes a good life lesson. If they don't change their mind and danger rears it's head the parent can swoop in and hopefully save the day.
A great flaw in our thinking (yes, my opinion) is our growing belief that we not only have the right, but the obligation to "protect" everyone from making what we perceive as the wrong choices. We'll go so far as to pass laws making many choices not even an option.
We embrace the belief that we can and should force others to live the way we WANT them to live. We attempt to steal their individuality from them. As you may be noticing this goes much further than taxation.
Taxation is simply an easy one. It is the low hanging fruit.
If a gang decides they need more supplies for tagging in their area and they wander around the neighborhood asking for donations and they allow you to choose to donate or not donate to their cause with no negative repercussions then that is voluntary. If on the other hand they come around and they ask for your donations and strongly imply that bad things will happen if you do not donate then that is coercion. It is force. You will be coerced into doing it out of a sense of survival. With time they may have perfected it. They may actually stop going to you at all. They simply go to your employer. They tell that employer. "Let me see how much you're going to give that person" and your employer through coercion complies. They take some of the money, and hand the remainder back to your employer.
In such a scenario we would see this as a criminal activity. We would most definitely see it as theft.
Yet, when we wrap it up in a nice little neat bow called "government" suddenly we view it as sacrosanct and sacred. It is no longer theft, because the gang has chosen the label "government".
I am all for helping other people. I simply believe we can solve the vast majority of problems (avoiding the use of ALL even though I can't think of an exception at the moment) using voluntary methods.
There is a logical fallacy in critical thinking. It is called an Appeal to Authority Fallacy and it is used widely. It is when someone name drops to try to PROVE a point. "It must be true because famous person X says it is..." This is an appeal to authority fallacy. It is a fallacy, because who believes something does not make something true. Evidence is what makes something true or not true, and new evidence can change what was previously thought to be true to be false.
Why do I mention this?
The largest Appeal To Authority mechanisms I see out there come with two simple labels. Government, and Religion.
Why do people go to government for equality issues?
If the government is stealing from people they don't think is is actually stealing. So while they have learned to recognize the fact that if they themselves STEAL from someone else (aka Robinhood) to give to themselves or someone else that it is a crime and a bad thing, they use the appeal to authority that is implied in government to justify the same actions.
The government does not actually produce anything but rules, war, and waste/corruption. So the government cannot magically give FREE anything to anyone. They don't produce things. They can steal from others and then give it to other people. They can wrap that up in labels such as "free healthcare", "free education", etc. Yet, the teachers still need to get paid, the materials to teach with still need to be purchased, the medications and tools still require payment. Those things don't go away because the government is involved. When they say "FREE" it really means they are going to have to either STEAL MORE, or go further into DEBT which YOU are responsible for paying back.
Essentially in the earlier gang example. People start complaining about "too much tagging". The gang says "We'll make that stop and we'll patrol". They then go to that employer and take just a little bit more of your wages so they can pay the new "patrol" and some of that extra "tax" will potentially go into the ones who make the rules pockets.
The waste/corruption is that anytime a rule is passed there is a chance the rule makers will find a way to benefit themselves or some other agenda by attaching it to that rule. This leads to resources that could be focused on the problem often being diverted or grafted as a form of corruption. This is where things like the $2000 toilet seat, $500 hammer, etc come from. Sure, we'll buy hammers from this "bidder" which obviously was not a low bid, and they in turn will buy thousands of my book, and pay for expensive speaking dinners where I speak. This is corruption.
Now one thing people often like to do is blame money. It is not money that is the problem. It is the problem that we let others dictate how we live. It long ago left the eye for an eye laws.
Back then eye for an eye was simply a warning "You punch me in the face, I'm going to punch you back".
"You steal from me, I'm going to cut off your hand, so don't steal"
It was simple and the consequences were there.
That is much different from "You will pay X percent of your income to me, and I'm going to do things with it. Some of them may help you. Some of them may not. If you don't comply I'll throw you in jail, and if you resist that I'll kill you"
I truly believe we have the technology now to solve most of these problems without the need for a government. I wrote about it in my post on an Optimistic View of the Future.
The problem is that those that seek power are entrenched. They will not willingly give up that power. I wrote a bit about that in my follow up to the optimistic view.
I want to close this post with this. The word Anarchy which has been hijacked to mean some negative things originally meant an-archos. No Rulers. In otherwords, there are not other people that get to make your choices for you.
It does not mean chaos. That is the hijacking to spin it as negative so people will shy away from thinking about whether they really need rulers and whether there might be alternative ways of doing things. These days I tend to use the term voluntary, voluntarism, etc instead of anarchy as then I avoid the land mines they are placing with their propaganda and I shoot straight to the heart of what I believe in with a simple word.
Good Ideas do not require force.EDIT: The Doctor of Common Sense I just watched a few videos from The Doctor of Common Sense on youtube and I wanted to include one that I thought was relevant:
This Isn’t Your Grandparents America Folks: Stealing Is Good Now!