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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
584, August 22, 2010

"The United States of America are in trouble"


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Follow Principles, Not People
by Bob Wallace
ProfessorBigBrains@gmail.com

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Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

I sometimes idly entertain myself with fantasies that it should be legal to kill politicians for any reason. I personally like the idea of carrying a katana, like in the "Kill Bill" movies. After all, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty (can I even use that word anymore?) it is either us or them.

Most politicians can't be considered "human" the way most people are. Nearly all are narcissists or psychopaths, and psychopaths are closer to monsters than people. After all, Sauron, with his lust to rule the world, wasn't a human being—he was a monster.

In the 20th Century alone it's been estimated that in between 177 million and 200 million people died in wars started by politicians. This is one of the reasons I gape when people tell me the government can give us universal health care. To them, we're just checkers to be moved around.

Imagine if someone had killed Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Mao or Roosevelt before they got us into wars? It'd be a better world.

Yet the problem, ultimately, is not the politicians, as non-human as they are. The problem is that people consistently support them.

One of the most firmly established principles in psychology is that people will follow a leader just as sheep follow a leader—and sheep will follow their leader right over a cliff!

People are herd animals, social, imitative, and stupid. Look at all the simpletons who voted for Obama with his "hope and change" and were shocked to find he's nothing more than a corrupt, dull-witted Chicago politician who never had a job in his life. Or the brain-dead at FreeRepublic who used to refer to the couldn't-cut-soft-butter-with-my-forehead George Bush as "my President."

Even intelligent people fall into the trap of following leaders. It'd be funny if it weren't tragic, the number of women who followed the pronouncements of left-wing loons such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, and found out their lives didn't work out as planned.

What does work, then? Following principles, not leaders. The only principles that work are those of political and economic liberty. And rulers, generally, believe in the exact opposite (not for them, just for their followers).

If people—which means the cultures and societies that comprise them—would just consistently follow the principles of political and economic liberty, we'd only have a vanishingly small fraction of the problems we have now.

The writer Richard Maybury was able to come up with two simple principles that are the basis of every successful society: "Do all that you have agreed to do" and "Do not encroach on persons or their property." Amazing! Even someone with an IQ of 85 can understand those two concepts!

Humans have evolved wrong. We might be better off if we had evolved from cats (could be worse, I suppose—could have been wolverines). But at least we have that gigantic neocortex sitting on top of the rest of our primitive brains. So at least there's some hope for us—if we'd just use the brains we have.


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