Quotes to Ponder: From Parasite to Victim

From one of my favorite free-market economists, Dr. Thomas Sowell, the master of poignancy:

“Few skills are so well rewarded as the ability to convince parasites that they are vicitms.” -Thomas Sowell

It is amazing how so few correct words can drive at the heart of any system of statism, where political clout thrives in victimhood.

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Interview with Rajshree Agarwal: From India to America

If you are truly interested in individual freedom and capitalism, this is a must-see, fabulous, and insightful video interview of Dr. Rajshree Agarwal by Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report on Youtube. From cultural traditions to mixed-economies, they discuss how such factors can interfere with, and stifle, individual freedom. I found the discussion regarding traditions versus individual freedom most illuminating. The honest question that each of us ought to ask ourselves: aside from government intrusion into my life, how much do I personally let cultural, family, gender, religious, or ethnic traditions get in the way of my own freedom and stop me from achieving personal values and happiness?

For other great interviews by Dave Rubin, visit The Rubin Report

All about Dr. Rajshree Agarwal at rajshreeagarwal.com
Professor, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Director, The Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets
Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Quotes to Ponder

“Fascism and communism are not two opposites, but two rival gangs fighting over the same territory . . . both are variants of statism, based on the collectivist principle that man is the rightless slave of the state.”
– Ayn Rand, from her article “Extremism,” or The Art of Smearing

Also from the same article regarding mixed-economies:

“The notion of compromise as the supreme virtue superseding all else, is the moral imperative, the moral precondition of a mixed economy. A mixed economy is an explosive, untenable mixture of two opposite elements, which cannot remain stable, but must ultimately go one way or the other; it is a mixture of freedom and controls, which means: not of fascism and communism, but of capitalism and statism (including all its variants). [bold emphasis mine] Those who wish to support the un-supportable, disintegrating status quo, are screaming in panic that it can be prolonged by eliminating the two “extremes” of its basic components; but the two extremes are: capitalism or total dictatorship.”
– Ayn Rand

See my own comments regarding mixed-economies at
A Brief Word about Mixed-Economies on this site.

Envy – A Seed of Statism

Envy: Hatred of the Good for Being the Good.

This video is so relevant to today’s world that is has to be shared. The impact is so convincing that it is creepy. Do you envy the good for being the good?

Also see

Envy – Hatred of the Good for Being the Good, and

The Age of Envy – Interview with Ayn Rand

The Seed of Envy starts with each of us as individuals. Therefore, we must each first change ourselves fundamentally as individuals to root the evil of envy out of our psyche and our being. Learn to love individual freedom, individual achievement. Learn to love Capitalism.

 

Starting with Fundamentals

By John E. Dick © 2017

In truly understanding any concept, especially the more complicated concepts such as Capitalism or Statism (and how they are actually applied in the world), one must start with the fundamentals that are essential to that concept. In this regard, I wish to share an insightful blog article by Dr. Jerry Kirkpatrick regarding the fundamentals of statism, and why statism continues to attract followers and power-lusting-hungry political thugs and despots. At the start, he acknowledges the originator of the idea exposing the true fundamental that drives statism: “The answer is still Ayn Rand’s.

Quoting further from Dr. Kirkpatrick’s article: “Why does statism continue to thrive? Continued support of the doctrine of self-sacrifice and hesitancy, or outright refusal to defend a morality of self-interest… Capitalism and the free society rest on and require a foundation of rational egoism. Altruism and its statist political manifestations are acts of enslavement and destruction.” [emphasis added]

Please take a moment to read The Meaning of Sacrifice and the Staying Power of Statism by Dr. Kirkpatrick.

Like the structure of my blog here, after reading this article, you – personally – will have to make the decision that it is either essential to accept and support the idea that it is moral that all men and women, individually, must be able to live in individual freedom with individual rights, including property rights, and to live individual lives of self-interests (whether you like those interests or not), and that these rights and freedoms must be protected, OR you support the idea that it is morally okay to force enslavement to the state upon your fellow man, neighbor, countrymen, and any other individual, and force them to live in a world of altruism and self-sacrifice.

It is either living in a world of rational egoism and self-interest, a world of peace and prosperity, i.e., Capitalism, or it is living in a world of forced altruism and self-sacrifice, a world of chaos and destruction, i.e., Statism.

Self-interest versus Self-sacrifice. Capitalism versus Statism. Freedom versus Force. These are the fundamental choices, individually and politically, that we must all make.

 

Thanksgiving Lessons

© 2017 John Dick

The Thanksgiving Holiday has always been a favorite time of year for me. Most harvesting is over, the leaves on trees have turned full color, the air is cool and crisp, most people look forward to both preparing and eating a wonderful meal feast either at home or elsewhere, with friends and family, and melodic Christmas music begins to appear everywhere. And, for many, it is a great time for relaxation and vacation.

Yet, and “thankfully” for all of us, Thanksgiving (including the Christmas Holidays) also means a great boom for many businesses and their employees, a time of great prosperity and profit – profit to keep these businesses going, surviving, and employing millions of individuals throughout the following year. As a capitalist myself, Thanksgiving has also been a time when I give thanks to all those millions of individuals who have the great courage to start businesses and exerting the effort to keep them going whatever their trade may be.

Thanksgiving is also a good opportunity to learn poignant and essential lessons about the importance of private property, and to educate ourselves in understanding how a capitalist social system really works in favor of us all. In that spirit, I wish to share two recent and timely published articles, one by economist Walter E. Williams, another by commentator John Stossel. Enjoy!

“Ignorance Versus Stupidity” by Walter E. Williams

“Thankful for Property” by John Stossel

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! –JD

 

“Atlas Shrugged” and Psychology, Part 2

By John Dick © 2017

Recently, regarding my last pondering post “Atlas Shrugged, Psychology, and 60 Years,” someone asked me that while the literary and fictional psychological examples from Atlas Shrugged are very poignant, what about real life, especially in the contemporary United States?

If you need current proof of taking our psychologies with us throughout life, individually or in totality as a country, and what the consequences can be, one need look no further than most of the Hollywood, media, political, and educational arenas, where many of these individuals clearly have not moved beyond the emotional and psychological states of most teenagers; where they were, and are still, taught that emotions have equal standing with reason and facts in understanding the world and events. In fact, they are taught that emotions have greater value than reason, logic, facts, and science.

There are thousands of “emotionally driven” examples of untruths and bias from the above mentioned arenas: the Hollywood crowd and their films (The Day After Tomorrow or Deepwater Horizon); the media with its biased, twisted editorialized or fake news (no fact checking, anonymous sources, or lying by newsman Brian Williams at NBC); our politicians with their collective-statist thinking and central-government “protective” overreach and control into our lives with oppressive taxes, irrational laws (drug or gun control), and regulations (EPA); and worst of all, our totally corrupted public school systems turning out thousands of emotional toadies ready to march at any irrational order (Antifa) while spending millions on extravagant architectural monuments.

But, these particular societal areas including progressives and the political left, are not the only current cultural segments affected. I dare say that much of the political right and most religious people also fall into this category of favoring emotion and feelings over reason and facts, and also act accordingly, focusing on their own agendas, religious ideas, fears, and biases (such as anti-abortion, the wars on drugs and poverty, or faith-based public education).

Either way, acting on emotion over reason accounts for most of the violations and intrusions on individual lives, individual rights and freedoms, including property rights, from both the left and right ideological sides, and the economic and cultural mess that the United States finds itself in today.

If your emotions and feelings override reason and logic, then any number of horrible destructions and persecutions are possible against free individuals, and then rationalized, based on your “feelings,” to drive your personal and political agendas for the expedient moment, or because you “feel” it is the “right thing to do.”

Thus, besides all the irrational crap we are forced to deal with daily in the United States, we could easily end up in a tyranny such as an Environmental (Climate Change) Dictatorship or a Theocracy of sorts. I also dare say that if Americans do not eventually discover the intellectual, moral, and psychological fortitude and courage to choose reason and facts, over their out-of-control emotions and feelings, then we could easily face another type of horror: an Islamic Overrule of America.

All because we chose to value emotion over reason, feelings over facts, and force over freedom.

I quote Ayn Rand regarding her novel Atlas Shrugged: “Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course.”

If we choose to change our course. Individual volition exercised by millions of individuals. But, we must first choose to value reason, facts, and individual freedom to change our course.