Walt Disney vs. Uncle Sam
I hope the UC will not get sucked into this argument of a mixed economy where there is a mixture of capitalism and socialism. The welfare state is not the third way. The ideal world needs the world to be 99% privately owned. I imagine the ideal world to be like a global Disney World -- a world where private enterprise makes sure no one gets hurt and families can always have fun. The Disney corporation has been around for a long time. They have transported millions of people year after year throughout their magic kingdoms, and no one dies or gets injured. You feel safe because you are safe. They built their transportation system privately with billions of dollars obtained voluntarily. This is capitalism. Who is in charge of the roads you drive on? Socialist centralized government monopoly. Did they get there money voluntarily? A staggering 50,000 people die horrible deaths every year for decades and millions more are injured and crippled. Do you know anybody who has been hurt or had property damaged on public roads? Who hasn't? How many people do you think would die every year if all roads were owned and managed privately by capitalists? Of course, it would be less than the grotesque number of 50,000 a year. If any business killed that many people they would be shut down, and it's owners would be imprisoned for life. Disney is big business. So what? The president of the company is a millionaire. So what? Are public roads a monopoly? Yes. And yet the passionate fear of socialists is that somehow evil capitalists like Walt Disney will rule with monopolies and hurt us. All socialist theories can be, and have been, crushed by Hayek and others, but most people just don't know about libertarian thought or just can't get it when they hear it. People hear the Principle and often can't understand it.
If I didn't fight and just went off and became a businessman and lived happily with my traditional values, the ideal world will come. Eventually, everyone will see the truth. My conscience doesn't let me do this. I'm a fanatic to help people see the wonderful truth that has set me free of ignorance. I want my kids and future descendants to live in the ideal world just as soon as possible. Nations have to change their economics so wealth can come and children can be fed. Everything I write about are laws of the universe. I have been hurt by teachings that told my wife to work, and that I did not have the final say in my home. I died inside and didn't know why. Now I feel like a man who can have big dreams and teach my boys to become no limit men. I've learned from Tocqueville what happened to me. He uses the word democracy in the next quote but substitute the word capitalism instead: "Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." John Stuart Mill in On Liberty said, "A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes -- will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished."
The debate between capitalists and socialists has been around for thousands of years. Plato was for socialism. And Aristotle was for private property. Aristotle criticized Plato. Aristotle said in his book, Politics, "what should be our arrangements about property: should the citizens of the perfect state have their possessions in common or not?" Aristotle says Plato is wrong and "there is always difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property." He explains how men love things they own: "how immeasurably greater is the pleasure, when a man feels a thing to be his own; for surely the love of self is a feeling implanted by nature and not given in vain, although selfishness is rightly censured; this, however, is not the mere love of self, but the love of self in excess, like the miser's love of money; for all, or almost all, men love money and other such objects in measure." And "For that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it .... everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfil." In modern day language Milton Friedman says in Free to Choose,"When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition." In the former USSR farming was collectivized and people would have starved if it wasn't for their little plots of ground that produced a tremendous amount of food as compared to the vast acres of public land. Meanwhile in America only 3% of the population are farmers and there is so much produce the social engineers in Washington D.C. pay farmers not to grow as much as they could. Aristotle explains that without having property a person cannot show kindness to others: "And further, there is the greatest pleasure in doing a kindness or service to friends and guests or companions, which can only be rendered when a man has private property. These advantages are lost by excessive unification of the state."
Government is coersion, not persuasion
P.J. O'Rourke in Parliament of Whores writes, "The federal government of the United States of America takes away between a fifth and a quarter of all our money every year. That is eight times the Islamic zakat, the almsgiving required of believers by the Koran; it is double the tithe of the medieval church and twice the royal tribute that the prophet Samuel warned the Israelites against when they wanted to anoint a ruler."
"All tax revenue is the result of holding a gun to somebody's head. Not paying taxes is against the law. If you don't pay your taxes, you'll be fined. If you don't pay the fine, you'll be jailed. If you try to escape from jail, you'll be shot."
In "Why I Believe What I Believe" he writes, "When those who are against conservative policies don't have sufficient opposition arguments, they call the love of freedom selfish. Of course it is -- in the sense that breathing's selfish."
"Charity is one of the great responsibilities of freedom .... But that responsibility must proceed from the bottom up, from the individual outward, never from the top down .... You have to take care of yourself to the best of your ability to do so. Your family has to take care of you. Friends have to take care of your family. Neighbors have to take care of those friends. And a community has to take care of its neighbors. Government, with its power of coercion, red tape and inevitable unfamiliarity with the specifics of the case, is a last and desperate resort."
"There is no virtue in compulsory government charity. And no virtue in advocating it."
"When government...becomes the principal source of aid and assistance in our society, it is proof that we're jerks, since we've decided that politicians are wiser, kinder and more honest than we are and that they, not we, should control the dispensation of eleemosynary goods and services."
Some people are beginning to take a look again at why it was so much better a century ago in so many areas of life. Covey is one of those. His best-sellers are simply a rehash of Victorian culture in modern language. People are hungry for it. One of the Victorian virtues he emphasizes is the principle that if you feed a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life.
It is a sacred duty of religious people, especially women, to help the poor as women did in the 19th century. Sisters have so much to do that they can't possibly find time to go out and make money. Women's nature is more homey and intimate and personal. There are so many hurting people in Sister's own neighborhoods.
Johnson's War on Poverty
President Johnson tried to inspire the nation with his "War on Poverty" and ended up making things much worse after wasting billions of tax payers money. Johnson lost the war on poverty because he didn't believe in grass roots. He thought he was better than the average person. He was arrogant. He demoralized the nation and our young men in the military fighting in Vietnam because he couldn't articulate why we were there. Leadership's job is to motivate people to win. To do that they have to understand the laws of success. Johnson didn't have a clue. Usually government doesn't.