Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 500, January 4, 2009

"We jump-start the Libertarian Revolution"

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Humans as Livestock
by Paul Bonneau
1.paulbx1 -+at+-

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Stefan Molyneux has put out a remarkable video that takes a look at the human condition. It explains why many of us have been feeling like we are being treated like livestock lately. Human society is a farm, with the ruling class as the farmers and the rest of us as cattle.

Outside of a quibble about his treatment of religion, I think he has hit the nail on the head. The ruling class may well look at us as cattle; but on the other hand, we look at the ruling class as parasites, don't we? Too bad the ruling class owns the indoctrination centers (government schools); but different ways of looking at the world still leak out, particularly today with the Internet, as Molyneux' video demonstrates. Please propagate it further.

We can take the farm analogy a little further. My wife owns a herd of horses for her dude ranch; but not a single stallion, because a stallion is too much trouble, too wild, impossible to derive income from. The farm/ranch has various tools to turn stallions into geldings, which are then much easier to control. What are the corresponding tools in human society, for emasculating us, dehorning us, etc? Government schools are the primary example (replacing simple enforced ignorance, a livestock management tool used previously). Gun control is another.

Farms have fences, corrals and chutes, to keep animals in, keep them out of certain areas, direct them into certain places and hold them. The human equivalent? Laws and jails. And the equivalent of a farm fencing crew is the legislature.

Another form of fencing is personal debt.

Of course analogies break down at some point. A real fencing crew does the minimum possible (due to cost and effort) to control animals, and even removes fences occasionally; while the legislature seems to have little natural disincentive to produce ever more laws.

A good farmer tries to inspect and keep his animals healthy, so as to maximize their productivity. And we see the same behavior in the ruling class with their silly seatbelt laws, smoking bans, "war on some drugs", TSA groping, road blocks and so forth.

Strangely though, the ruling class is also the largest waster of human life, through wars and internal police predation. How to reconcile this urge they have to "care" for us with their tendency to waste our lives? Well, maybe it is "culling the herd", getting rid of troublemakers, and so forth. Perhaps, in wars, we are used for sport as well; just as animals may be so used. The main connection between these two tendencies of the ruling class, though, is that they own us.

As Molyneux points out, knowledge of the way the world works is a good antidote to this control. Another I would recommend is simple lawbreaking.

Now, everybody does this to some extent; for example, exceeding the speed limit. But these freedom muscles need more exercise than that. Why is it, for example, that the first thing new homeschoolers want to do, is register with the state—the same entity they are escaping from? This is plain silly.

Everyone needs to find some laws to ignore—and it's not as if there is not a vast array of immoral or unconstitutional or just plain perverse laws to choose from. This course not without risk, but often the risk is quite minimal. Just as the farmer counts on the cow's cooperation to stay inside the fence (few fences could stand against a determined cow), the ruling class depends on the cooperation of human cattle to stay within narrowly defined bounds, so they can most efficiently parasitize us. Well then, stop cooperating. The fences start to have larger and larger holes in them, that the fencing crews cannot keep up with.

There was an animated movie years ago called Chicken Run, where one chicken named Ginger tries to organize a mass escape from the farm. A line in that movie has stayed with me. It's when Ginger is trying to talk her reluctant compatriots into escaping. She says, "You know what the problem is. The fences aren't just 'round the farm. They're up here—in your heads."


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