Archive for June, 2016

On Benghazi

June 30, 2016

We watched “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” last night.

I don’t need to add much to the story of Benghazi. The Americans who fought and died protecting their own lives and the life of the ambassador are heroes, no matter how you look at it.

The people who attacked the Americans betrayed their own people by hiding among them. There is a reason why we wear uniforms when we fight in wars. It helps the enemy not confuse civilians with soldiers. It also helps us determine who’s on our side and who’s not. I wonder how many people died that night because they weren’t wearing uniforms and weren’t readily identifiable as friend or foe. There’s a reason why we don’t give compassionate treatment to people who fight without marking themselves, such as spies and terrorists.

Next: Where was Obama? What was he doing? We still don’t know.

And: Why didn’t the military do anything? Two scenarios here: One, since the CIA were spies operating outside of the law, the military couldn’t do anything. Two, Obama is an incompetent commander in chief who does not empower his people to do what needs to be done without his explicit authorization. Maybe they are both true. With respect to One, as long as the state department official was still alive, a military response was justified, regardless of the secret CIA base.

The political response from the democrats shows why democrats cannot be trusted with anything anymore. I will not rest until those democrats and the democrats who think like them are all out of work or in prison. Abusing their power that way — shameful!

Finally, the sad note that ends Benghazi is that Libya became a failed state and is now under the control of ISIS. Obama is 100% to blame for the Arab Spring and the aftermath. That is his legacy. He created ISIS. He didn’t stop it. He owns it. We are at war with ISIS, and we will be at war with them for as long as they exist.

Shortly after we gained our independence from Britain, ships flying our flag were attacked by the Barbary Pirates. That’s a fancy name for Muslims, or as we said back then, Musselmen. The response we formed was to form the US Navy and Marine Corps and then invade their territory. And we did, and we beat them, twice. Let’s not forget that. The way to handle Muslims who pick up weapons and shoot at Americans is to send our boys into their homes and to demand their complete surrender. Forget the nation building exercises. Let’s turn the Middle East into American territories, complete with territorial governments approved by congress, and make them pay taxes to Uncle Sam in exchange for our troop presence. It’s not colonialism, it’s securing our best interests.

In the meantime, seal up our borders against any type of muslim who has any kind of ties to muslim extremism and violence. While our troops are there, they will attack us in their own backyard rather than here. As for how to seal the borders, it’s rather simple. Build a solid fence. Make some gates. Patrol the fence and the gates. Allow anyone to pass through the gate as long as they present valid ID and have passed a medical check and are not suspected terrorists or criminals. But people who don’t use the gate get gunned down if they resist arrest.

We are at war, and we’ve been at war at least since the 5th Century. Let’s admit that the world is not safe as long as there are people who think they have a religious duty to kill the infidel and take control of their land.

As for the illegal immigrants, AKA “undocumented workers”: It’s time we called it out for what it is. Illegal immigrants are the new slaves, and their masters are those who tolerate their presence. No one should stay for one minute in our country unless they are convinced they have all the rights and privileges any human deserves. I’m not calling for amnesty, I’m calling for accountability. If you’re not here legally, go home and come back legally. As for myself, I am not by any means a protectionist. I have no problem with millions of people flooding our country legally and taking our jobs. We would all benefit if America was known as the place people go to find real work. We’d have all of our manufacturing jobs back in a minute, and the cost of living would sink like a rock as we experience a glut of labor, making our country competitive with every other country out there. I know that my job is in “danger” but honestly, I also know that the more walls we throw up the more software development happens far away from where I live. I like living here.

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Separation of Powers: Why Many Small States Work

June 25, 2016

People are shocked to see that the UK has decided to leave the EU. It’s not too surprising why they were so eager to leave. After all, the UK was one of the best parts of the EU and they felt like they were putting in more than they got out.

The biggest shock is that some very rich people lost a lot of money. Again, this isn’t surprising. You can’t become very wealthy and maintain that wealth without a strong government to protect it for you. In the free market, changing market conditions, really, the changing tastes in people’s evaluation of the worth of things, means you will not remain wealthy long. Nothing is permanent in this world.

This brings me to a point. Socialists often rag against the fact that there are very wealthy people in the world and that there are very poor people in the world. They see this as a very bad thing, as if a person’s worth is determined entirely by their income or net cash value. Of course, such an idea is plainly silly. Regardless, their proposition to resolve that problem is to give even more power to government. They suggest that if only the government were stronger that the rich would not be rich at all.

It begs the question, though: How did the wealthy get super-rich? Did they get that way by building better products at cheaper prices, innovating and anticipating the needs and wants of consumers? I can’t imagine that people feel bad that companies like Apple and Google are rich since they provide such great value to the average consumer. I am sure they would rather have Google and Apple and the rich who own them than not have them at all.

The other way of getting wealthy is to have government make you rich through crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is another word for socialism. (I thought you knew?) See, socialism is a government style where the government and businesses partner together. It doesn’t matter what reason for, it simply matters that they jump in the same bed together. This is basically crony capitalism. Ah, your business is having problems? Have a bailout. You have a competitor? Let’s write some new regulations. Are you worried that a foreign company might actually be better at your job than you? We’ll put up some trade barriers and tariffs.

Regardless, socialists (AKA crony capitalists AKA the ultra-wealthy who didn’t get that way by making a lot of people very happy) desire above all else a strong government and a big government. The stronger and bigger the better. They aren’t happy to dominate a small government with just a few million serfs, err, citizens. They want more, and they want it now. This is basically the impetus of the EU. It’s also a big reason why the United State doesn’t just dissolve despite the fact no one really wants to be married to the states they don’t like anymore.

The vote in the UK put a stop to that system. No longer can the ultra-wealthy socialist crony capitalist dominate the entire European continent, now they have to dominate two governments.

Imagine what it would be like if there were 50 or 100 small states, fully independent and sovereign, that they had to dominate to maintain their power, err, wealth. It would make their job impossible! And that’s the point.

The Founding Fathers understood this. They understand that there will always be greedy, power-hungry psychopathic people (AKA socialists AKA crony capitalists AKA… you get the idea) trying to dominate the governments. And they understood that they would naturally want all the government power in one giant organization that they could control. By separating the states and giving them extraordinary power, that meant that the greedy psychopaths in one part of the country would be set opposite to the greedy psychopaths in another part of the country, and a healthy balance could be obtained while they waged political warfare on each other. In the meantime, people like us who simply want to raise a family and enjoy the beauty of this world for our few decades can live out our lives without much concern for them. Should they gain too much power or abuse their power in one state, we can always move to another.

I propose we go one step further than the EU. It’s time, I say, that the big Western states, and the populous Eastern states, split. I think states shouldn’t have more than a million people or so, so that means we should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 or so independent states in the US. Imagine that: 400 independent governments that the super-wealthy would have to try and subvert. It would make their heads spin! For Washington State, that would mean about 6 independents states. I can see the dividing line now: The Peninsula, Southern Washington, Central Washington, Eastern Washington, Northern Washington, and Seattle. Oregon would get 4 states, Idaho might stay as one or maybe get 2, and California would split into 40 states.

The EU should go the same way. Strong, small states, a weak federal government. Indeed, since the European states have long existed independent of one another, I propose they continue down that road. Maybe make trade confederations, or maybe make a defensive pact, but beyond that, there’s literally no reason why big states like Germany and France and the UK need to exist anymore. A world with many, small, independent and sovereign states is a world where freedom can flourish, where corrupt and abusive governments cannot long hold their power, and where successful societies will spread. Best of all, each state can explore their own culture and heritage and their own history together.

Rethinking the Spanish Inquisition

June 20, 2016

We all know the story. Catholics, mad with power, decided it was time to use their power to torture their people, so they started the Spanish Inquisition. In it, they needlessly abducted innocent civilians and subjected them to the most cruel torture after which they would burn them to death because they were bored.

Any reasonable person would express shock and horror at the Spanish Inquisition if that is indeed what happened. But the story told above is so nonsensical that I couldn’t believe it, and so I did a little research.

It turns out, the Iberian peninsula was occupied by the Muslims after a long and aggressive Jihad over the span of hundreds of years. Thanks to miraculous victories in Europe, the Muslims were held on the Iberian peninsula. There, the Christians and Jews suffered under their Muslim rulers.

After some time, the Christians started the crusades in response to raids on pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. The pope promised salvation to those knights and lords who would wage war on the Muslims and free Jerusalem from their barbaric rule.

In the West, bit by bit the Christians took land back from the Muslims. This is where Spain came from: a response to the Muslim invasion with the intent to maintain control. The fighting was harsh and bloody, and the methods used by the Christians hardly Christian, yet compared to the times they lived in and the methods of their enemies, perhaps entirely forgivable.

Spain imposed a law saying that all Jews and Muslims must convert to the Catholic faith or leave. At the time, this was not an unreasonable law given the context and circumstances. In response, many Jews and Muslims left, but some converted.

The church started an inquisition of their own, which the Spanish took over in their peninsula. Their goals were simply to ensure that those who converted were sincere and those who were not sincere left.

Yes, horrible things happened. Horrible things always happen when you write a law targeting someone’s beliefs and outlawing certain ideas. See, if people disagree, then you have to enforce that law, and the only way to enforce a law is to kill the offender, since you cannot change their behavior and expect their ideas to change too.

The reason why I bring this up is because we need certain elements of the Spanish Inquisition if we are to remain free and safe in our country. To wit:

  • There is a state religion of the United States. There is a state religion of every country. The state religion is what you must believe in if you are to consider yourself American.
  • There is heterodoxy and orthodoxy when it comes to any religion. Orthodoxy are those teachings which perpetuate the religion, while heterodoxy diminishes it. If the religion is to survive, heterodoxy must be taken seriously and addressed. Heterodoxy believers must know that they do not conform to the orthodoxy, along with everyone else.
  • All religions are in competition one with another. There is the marketplace of ideas, and all religions are contending for the heart, mind, and soul of the people. Foreign religions must be identified, addressed, and isolated appropriately otherwise the competition will lead to open conflict.
  • The “priests” of the state religion is the state itself. They are tasked with identifying and labeling heterodoxy, isolating foreign religions, and maintaining a healthy set of orthodox beliefs. When the time comes to change beliefs, the priests are the ones who do it.

I know this kind of language bothers atheists. (I hear them shouting, “Ban all religions!!1!”) This infantile response is the exact sort of problem with heterodoxy. Heterodoxy is born either of incorrect teachings in the orthodox, or in misunderstandings of the orthodox. Typically, popular opinion morphs into heterodoxy. Sometimes heterodoxy is a good thing, but if it is, it is because it is born of knowledge, not ignorance. Those atheists who do not understand that their religion is just another sort of religion, and cannot pronounce clearly the teachings of their religion, deserve to be ignored.

Now, on to the dirty business.

What is the orthodox religion of the United States of America? Quite simply, it is found in the Declaration of Independence. It is also found in the philosophers who rightly claim a role in that document. If you cannot understand that document, and you do not believe that everything it teaches is the absolute truth, then you are in conflict with the United States of America itself. In short, you are an enemy, a threat to our very existence, our very nature.

Who are the priests of the orthodox religion of the United States? You might be tempted to say it is our government officials, or perhaps the Supreme Court, or some other official. You would be wrong. Read the Declaration carefully and you will see who is authorized to speak on behalf of that religion, and the answer is “Us.” We are the guardians of our own state religion.

This is an important part. Unlike every other country which is top-down, we are bottom-up. We chose to be that way for an important reason: governments are, by nature, corrupt.

Have you taken your job as priest of the American religion seriously? Can you name the fundamental doctrines of our nation, and can you spell out how we are different than every other country on the earth? If not, then what kind of priest are you, and how long will that religion last?

Now, on to other important, relevant topics: What heterodoxies are being taught out there? Can you name the principle challengers? Do you rightly identify them as the enemy of our state, our country, our essence? Jesus spoke of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Who are the wolves in sheep’s clothing in our state? What are they whispering?

The threat of the Muslim invasion of the United States is real. There are people who have determined that they want to change America into a Muslim state, and impose Sharia Law on us. These people actually exist, and they are a real threat. There are other threats just as sinister and just as evil. (Remember, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and so it’s rather easy to readily identify these threats just by the company they take!)

What to do? How do you keep these ideas out of our country? First, you identify the ideas as a threat, and clearly label them. Then you do your own American Inquisition. Obviously, we don’t believe it does any good to kick people out or kill them if they think differently than we do, but we should take material threats very seriously and execute on them accordingly.

But when it comes to ideas, the way we isolate and contain the foreign ideas that threaten our existence is to call them out and point them out. When a wolf is in sheep’s clothing, label that wolf clearly and explicitly. Then when the wolf speaks, you will know what he is truly saying.

Fight

June 15, 2016

I was sitting in one of the countless council meetings our church has throughout the country. Local leaders get together once or twice a month to talk about the issues the church faces and how best to solve the problems in their jurisdiction. Occasional, we get announcements and pronouncements from church HQ regarding policy issues, usually mundane things.

So we had another one. It was quite long. It covered what church members should do when there is a violent person in the area. It started off the way you would expect: (1) Give in to his demands, try to calm him down, (2) run away, (3) Hide. They spent a lot of time describing what kinds of actions are appropriate, even going so far as to tell the leaders to try to evacuate women and children first, and to provide a sort of buffer so that the bad guy can’t see what’s going on.

Then came the fourth thing: If you can’t calm him down, if you can’t run, if you can’t hide, then fight. That’s right, church leaders telling church members when it is time to fight. And they described a bit about how to fight: overwhelm him with decisive action designed to incapacitate him. Use whatever you can get your hands on as a weapon. Don’t hesitate.

It’s not often that you hear someone telling you to fight anymore.

People forget that behind every human face is a monster, a murderous savage beast that could decide to rape, murder and pillage. They forget who we truly are, imagining our fingernails, fists, and teeth are mere decoration, perhaps even a vestigial component of our ancient evolutionary ancestors.

What happened in Orlando should remind us of this critical fact. The same guy that smiles and shakes your hand can shoot you in the face.

We have rules in our society. If you do X, then we’ll do Y. That’s what the rules read like. We forget that the consequence to “If you behave aggressively or violently” is “we will kill you.” That’s the contract. If you value life, you have to be ready to kill. You have to be ready to do nasty things to nastier people.

As a kid, there was a dog who chased us and caused a nuisance. My dad came home from work and heard about it and then he went outside. He asked where the dog was, and we pointed him out. When my dad saw the dog, their eyes locked, and my dad went into what I can only describe as beast mode. He was probably around 40 years old at the time, but he went full-bore berserk on that dog. He wrestled it to the ground and pinned it in a most uncomfortable position. We thought the dog would surely have been crushed to death as he put his full body weight on top of that dog.

In that moment, that dog, pinned underneath him, he whispered something to that dog. After a few more moments, he got up and the dog ran away. We never saw it again.

He understood the Law of the Jungle. He understood that when his kid’s right to roam the neighborhood was threatened, you don’t lock your kids inside. You find the threat and eliminate it. When that dog saw the intent and aggression in my dad’s whole body, the dog knew it wasn’t safe to be around anymore.

When I was a kid, down the street there was a house dealing drugs. My parents didn’t tell me about this until later. Every day, they would write down the license plate numbers and get a good look at the people coming in and going out. And every day, they would report it to the police. It wasn’t a week before they had moved on to some other location. My parents believed the county police were corrupt and told the dealers that this wasn’t a good place to set up shop. I didn’t care. The result was the same. My parents knew what the Law of the Jungle was. You threaten me, I’ll kill you. Their neighborhood had a watchman, and that watchman wasn’t afraid to make people angry.

Dogs mark their territory with their piss. The mark the objects and when they catch another dog encroaching on their territory they have a dog fight. One of the dogs loses and they know not to mark that territory anymore.

There are people in our society who are marking the territory. They are threatening us. The correct response is vicious, unrestrained and tempered action. It is not pacificism, it is strength. As long as enough of us are willing to do vicious and cruel things to people who threaten us, the rest of us can sing about flowers and talk about pacificism.

You who want to live in a peaceful world: Thank God every day for the people who have already done those vicious and cruel things and who are doing it today, in your name, for your safety. You won’t have to shoulder the PTSD that they will. You won’t have to wonder if you’ll go home in a body bag. You won’t worry about whether you’re carrying enough ammo. You won’t have to dedicate years of your life learning how to fight and kill and hunt like wild animals. You won’t have to study the details of those who want to kill you, learning to think like them and even act like them.

The correct response to any threat to our peace and security is not to lock the kids in the house. The correct response is to find the threat and neutralize it with superior force.

I know several ways we can show the violent jihadis we’re not messing around. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what kind of message will make them realize that maybe America isn’t a good place to kill people.

If we can’t do that, then America is done. We don’t have a right to live or the right to speak freely or the right to move around the country anymore. If we aren’t willing to fight, we won’t have any rights at all.

On the mathematical impossibility of evolution (of any kind)

June 12, 2016

I took thermodynamics early on in my physics education. I aced it. It was fun. Surprising, but fun.

One of the key takeaways from thermodynamics is the concept of entropy. Entropy is a difficult topic that sometimes confuses even professors of physics. However, there is a simple rule of thumb that always turns out to be true. That rule is “Total entropy always increases, or at best stays the same.” It is the ratchet of the universe, the thing that gives us a direction in time. It is why we know that the debris from a firecracker going off will never arrange themselves back into a firecracker. We can look at those two states and objectively and positively state that one happened before another.

This rule is enshrined as “The Second Law of Thermodynamics.” When physicists invoke that law, they know exactly what they are talking about.

Where does entropy come from? It comes from the simple fact that when you put a lot of small, random events together, you always end up with a random distribution. If you start off with an unlikely scenario, then you will end up with a more likely scenario as these random processes apply themselves. Entropy is a measure of how likely a given scenario is due to random processes. States of low entropy show high degrees of organization, such as the etchings on a microchip or the streets in a city, painted with distinct lines, with intersections with working stoplights, and cars neatly lined up one after the other, traveling more or less the same speed. States of high entropy don’t have distinct lines and order, and patterns that exist are simply due to the brain trying to hard to find any patterns at all. It’s like hearing voices in static or seeing faces in the snow we used to get in our TVs.

If you could violate the second law, then you have discovered a source of infinite energy. What you’ve done is you’ve found a way to cheat at randomness, to predict the unpredictable. Maxwell’s daemon gives us an example of what that cheating might look like. Suppose there was a chamber of gas divided by a wall. In that wall there was a tiny door that could let one molecule through at a time. A tiny daemon opened and closed that wall such that faster particles would be allowed to travel from right to left, and slower particles from left to right, but otherwise the particles were kept in place. The end result would be that the left side would heat up, and the right side cool. Just by moving this tiny door (which has a net cost of zero energy if you ignore friction) you can create that temperature difference, which can be used to drive a motor. Add in enough daemons and doors and you could create infinite amounts of energy in an instant.

This sounds like a really smart idea, and in today’s age of microchips and nanomachines, it may even seem possible to build one. However, there is the problem that calculating whether to open or close the door takes energy itself, and unfortunately, it has been proven that at no scale will you ever find that the net energy produced would exceed the energy consumed. Nature has a way of ensuring that the Second Law is always in place.

Which gets me to the idea behind evolution. I’m not just talking about the evolution of the diversity of the species or whatnot, but evolution as a general concept. People seem to have this idea that if you let random processes run their course, you will get order. This simply isn’t the case. Things don’t work that way. It doesn’t work in biology, it doesn’t work in economics, and it doesn’t work in any other field. You can never roll dice and somehow find that you start rolling all 6’s.¬† If you did, then there wasn’t any randomness to begin with, just pseudo-randomness like you might find in a computer program. (Pseudo-random means that it is fake random. It looks like random, but it really exhibits structure. This is a huge problem in cryptography because if you can predict random numbers, then you can break¬† encryptions. Since pseudo-random numbers can be predicted, they should not be used for cryptography.)

I ask you to question your own faith in evolution. Why do you believe that random chance can produce order? What mechanism is there that causes this to be? Keep in mind that thermodynamics, a seemingly simple field where we are only interested in how fast thing are moving, physics professors make mistakes all the time regarding randomness. How can you expect to do better?

I implore you to follow your calculations to their logical conclusion. If randomness can bring order, why one particular type of order rather than another? Who’s to say this or that is ordered and those other thing aren’t? How do you measure order or success or whatnot? Why would thing randomly evolve one direction but not randomly evolve a different direction? If there is a sort of ratchet effect, why does it work only one way and why can’t the ratchet ever be reversed?

When you examine a system that claims evolution in detail, I am sure you will find that there is no evolution at all, just randomness, and randomness leads to decay, to the most likely scenario. The most likely scenario is rarely the desired scenario. Sure, for a short time, you may have a less likely scenario, but that will only last for moments, inconsequential in the long run.

If you want order, if you want to move things out of a natural state, you need a Maxwell’s daemon to do that for you. The secret to Maxwell’s daemon is the mind. People who have been indoctrinated in the materialist philosophy seem to think that the mind is a manifestation of physical reality, but this is simply illogical. After all, physical reality is predictable. Even in Quantum Mechanics, even though we can’t predict which precise event will happen, we can predict the likelihood of each possible case. The mind must be beyond physical reality because the mind is inherently unpredictable. You cannot create unpredictable things with predictable things (ask people who are trying to generate actual random numbers for cryptography and they will explain this in great detail.) Either the thing created from the predictable universe is predictable itself (since it is part of the universe), or the universe is not predictable and thus there is nothing to understand or reason about. Physicists chose to remove the mind from the material world and insist that the material world is predictable. If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have modern physics at all, but we would be worshiping the gods of randomness, not unlike the ancient Greeks and Romans did. We would simply say, “That is random chance” and wouldn’t even bother investigating it.

Common Misconceptions about Capitalism

June 4, 2016

Capitalism as an idea was created, or rather given a name, thanks to Karl Marx. Before then, it was simply the way reality worked. Adam Smith didn’t set out to describe a new economic order, he just wanted to make sense of what was already happening.

Marx spends a great deal of time maligning capitalism, and he does so through misrepresentation and misconception. In this article, I am going to make my best attempt to clear up the misconceptions people have.

First, wealth. People confuse wealth with money or property. This is simply wrong. Wealth is people having the things they want to have. Whether it’s Mother Theresa helping the dying in India, someone getting married and having children, or someone simply eating a nice steak dinner, wealth is people obtaining what they want. Obviously, if people value money and property above all else, these things will be what make people wealthy. But if they are a religious sort that value obedience to principles, or peace and quiet, this is also what makes people wealthy.

Next, poverty. If you look at pictures from a hundred years ago, you might think everyone was poor. But they didn’t see themselves as poor. The farmer who had a shack for a house but a hundred acres certainly didn’t feel poor. The city-dweller who landed a factory job even though he lives in a shared apartment didn’t feel poor. Certainly, if you looked at the living conditions of the wealthiest people in the world a thousand years ago and compared it to the average lifestyle of the modern American, you would call them poor.

Poverty is very difficult to define, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is simply a state of mind. Being wealthy or rich means you have everything you want. Being poor means you lack most of the things you want. Another way to think of it is if you are wealthy, you spend less than you earn, and if you are poor, you spend more than you earn, or exactly what you earn.

It’s important that you understand your own biases when evaluating the wealth or poverty of others. Just because they don’t have what you have doesn’t mean they want it.

This brings me to the corresponding point about inequality. Capitalists look at inequality and point out how that is the natural result of the fact that people don’t value the same things. One person wants money more than anything else; another wants to raise a family; another would rather own property far from the city limits. By achieving their goals, they become inequal, and if we put our own value assessment on them, it looks like one person is getting rich and the other poor, and that can’t possibly be fair. If we’re a socialist, we probably value money more than family or property, so we think the guy with the big bank account is the winner and the other losers. It’s important to realize that it is you who is creating the inequality by judging people unfairly. You are not taking into account what people want.

Let me share a story. I became close friends with a couple who lived a completely different lifestyle than myself. They were from the deep south, spoke with a different accent, and just had a completely different way of doing everything. By all of my accounts, they were the poorest of the poor. As we got to know each other, they started to show me how even though I had things, I lacked some things they felt were more important. They had close ties to their friends and family, they had the freedom to up and move wherever they wanted, and they always had the fallback plan of moving back to their hometown and working there for a tiny income that is enough for their cable bill, a roof, and three good meals a day. By my standards, they were poor, but by their standards, I was poor too. I think this is the trap we fall in to when we look at inequality and poverty, and we have got to grow up and stop telling people what should be important to them.

Now let’s look at money. People confuse money with wealth, but this again, is absurd. Money isn’t wealth. Money is simply something that people use to trade with each other. Money that is good keeps its value well, it easily divided, and almost universally accepted. Money that doesn’t work well loses value or spoils, isn’t easily divided, and isn’t universally accepted. In today’s economy, US dollars are great money, especially if you are living in the US. But go to a foreign country, and you’ll find yourself wanting to trade those dollars in for the local currency. You’ll also find that people might use other resources as money. Obviously gold and silver come to mind, but there are other things that are universally accepted that can become money. That said, it seems socialists are consumed with a fascination with money. Capitalists understand it’s just another thing that has its own purpose and value.

Another misconception: Capitalists have no love. Or even, socialists are the ones who love, while capitalists do not. I think this is an absurd notion. Capitalism isn’t really an economic system any more than physics is. Capitalism and capitalists try to understand how people really behave and they try to use that to their advantage. That’s all there is to it. Assigning love or antipathy to a capitalist is rather pointless. Do we care if a physicist loves people or not? Nevertheless, the one critical feature of capitalism is that it accepts people for who they are. We do not try to change people. We simply try to understand them. It is the socialists who want to program people to be different than who they were, who want to disrupt their lifestyle and traditions, and redefine what is important to them. Capitalists accept people and their values and seek to work with that.

Finally, let’s talk about exploitation. This is a charge laid at capitalists feet time and again. The idea is that if someone is rich and powerful, they got that way because they took something from someone poor and weak. This is simply absurd. In a free market system, which capitalists regularly advocate because it will lead to the highest levels of wealth creation, people will come together, find mutual interests, and enter into mutually beneficial arrangements. If you see someone who is making a lot of money, remember that he’s doing so by trading things with other that they were willing to pay for. That is, a billionaire got that way because he created billions of dollars of happiness and wealth. In a free market system, exploitation is impossible. All business relationships are mutual and temporary. When one party wants to break the contract, they are free to do so (although they might have previously agreed to compensation one way or the other for broken promises.)

If you want to see exploitation, loot at non-free market systems where people are not free to choose what business arrangements they want to participate in. Under such a system, people are not free to leave or change their partners. They are bound by law or force to do things they don’t want to do. That’s what exploitation really looks like. In short, when socialists accuse capitalists of exploitation, they are doing so because they don’t understand what wealth is or how it is created, and because they think the only way to help people is by removing from them their freedom to choose. In short, they accuse capitalists of exploitation because they want to do it themselves.

Finally, let me leave you with this thought. Capitalists do not want to change the world. We don’t want things to be different, we just seek to understand the way the world works and use that to benefit us and the people we care about.

The one thing you’ll hear us talk about is free markets. If you asked us, “How do we get to be rich like you?” we’re going to tell you the same thing, time and again: free markets. Free markets are where people are free to enter into and exit voluntary economic arrangements. In order for free markets to work, some degree of regulation is required to keep out bad actors or discourage bad behavior, but that’s about it. Let prices rise and fall naturally. Let people find their own way to contribute. The poorest hick from the Appalachians is born with the same kind of brain that a Wall Street financier has, and is quite capable of figuring out how to get what he wants just as much as anyone else.

PS: What about the poor? I just told you what about the poor above, but it seems you didn’t get it. If you feel so badly about the poor, then go help them yourself. It’s obvious that you value helping the poor, so by helping them yourself, you will become wealthy because you will get the things you want. I’m not being mean, I’m trying to free you from your own limited mind and circumstances. If you really care about the poor as much as you say you do, then you will find the work of running a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter invigorating and satisfying. Or your job will take on new meaning as you donate 10% or more to charity each month. Go help them yourself, and thank me later for how good it feels to get what you want! This is what capitalism teaches us: go get the things you want, and don’t let anyone tell you no.

 

100-year plan

June 3, 2016

Someone brought up a good question on the internets: What would a 100-year plan to restore conservatism look like?

Well, I have a few ideas.

First, whoever wants to be part of such a movement needs to understand for themselves what conservatism is all about. They need to change their lifestyle so that they live in accordance with it, and they need to govern their family likewise. You can’t help anyone when your own life is a disaster, so clean up your own home first.

Next stop, the churches. A revitalization of the conservatism movement would begin from the preacher’s pulpit. That means two things. (1) Getting people in charge who are conservative in all the churches across the land. And (2) getting more people into the churches. I believe you should focus on (1) and not (2) so much. People will come back to churches when churches behave like churches should behave. The reason why people are staying away is because churches see themselves as representing the people, not representing God.

A true revival will be accompanied by an intellectual revival. All the great issues of morality and ethics should be discussed in the congregations, not the universities and halls of government. Moral matters should be settled one heart at a time, not by 9 justices. When we turn back to the churches as the source of moral truth, then we can take on the next step.

The third stop would be the schools. One way or the other, we need to ensure that everyone who works at a school is a religious conservative who exudes moral authority. There can be no compromise here. Having more people come to church and learn about conservative principles through our churches will certainly help here. The future of education seems to be that buildings we call schools will become irrelevant. Instead, people will do all of their learning online. So the natural response is to have conservative, religious people become the best and the brightest in every field, or at least the top educational personalities.

Whether or not we teach conservatism, the students will pick it up. Teachers and professors have an impact on people’s thought patterns, an impact that is as old as humanity itself. People naturally follow their leaders, and there aren’t any leaders higher than teachers.

Once we’ve taken back religion and education, the last stop is government. By this time, however, it will be an inevitable formality, a tidal surge that seems unstoppable.

And it all starts with you, learning the principles of conservatism and applying them in your life and your family.

So get to work.