Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,054, January 19, 2020

“I told you so!”

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Power and Wealth
by Sarah A. Hoyt

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

The problem with power and wealth…. yes, yes, is that I don’t have any. Right. The jokes write themselves. Don’t forget to buy your waitress (she’s a robot) and tip the fish (he bets on the ponies and is always looking for a tip.)

Now being serious, for a moment, the problem with power and wealth is that they’re inseparable. And no, not just as our Marxist brethren have been taught, in “a capitalist society.” Actually if there’s any hope of separating them it’s a true free market society. Not that we have that.

Even under monarchies, those who financed the king usually got power in return (also placed themselves in danger. If my research is correct some ancestors were that bloody stupid. Ah, well.) And at any rate, people with money (or other exchange. After all money is a proxy for goods and services you can’t just carry around in your wallet, right?) can by definition buy the allegiance, obedience or labor of others. In any society. Which means if you have money, you’ll soon have power.

The thing our Marxist brethren (or mentally-impaired little cousins, whatever. Every family has one, right?) forget is that the equation works the other way too.

If you have power, money will follow. Because people want to appropriate some of that power to themselves, so they will buy you dinner, give you material goods, find jobs for your ne’er do well cocaine addicted Hunter Biden son, give you amazing book deals that any professional working writer knows will never earn out (even if you were as fascinating as your crazed followers, who think you’re sort of a god, believe), or other make believe Netflix advising jobs taking advantage of your non-existent talent and brilliance that people keep trying to wish into being. If nothing else, if you have power of the government kind, you can make money the old-fashioned way. By stealing it, or getting bribed to sell uranium to Russia sell/give away national assets.

Power might be an easier route to money than money is a route to power.

Not the least of it, because if you have made money through some other means we know that at least once in your life you had to regard other human beings as autonomous units with wants and needs.

Sure what you sold to get there might be vapor ware of some sort, including stories, but you still had to think of “What are other people likely to wish to buy” and “What’s in their head that I can slot into as a way of making money?”

Note as someone who is supposed to make her living selling brain gleanings to other human beings, I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what un-examined things are in other people’s heads; what they like; what they assume; what I can sell them that will slot into those two.

And I, alas, am not nearly successful enough to make money (Working on it, okay, guys? Expect big changes this year. Again, year of go big or go home) that will allow me to buy any power at all.

The people who make it at that level, in a free market. Yeah. They spent some time thinking about what to sell, how to sell it, how to create it for maximum appeal, etc etc etc. These things don’t happen by accident. They can happen by luck, sure, but most of the time “luck is that with which people explain the feats of genius” or something like that (I don’t remember Heinlein’s words exactly.)

They can, of course also happen by rigging, nepotism and other forms of interference.

Which brings us around to the other side: power.

The left has power—near dang absolute—over certain fields. And their thirst for more and eternal power leads them to favor and push things that no free market, ever, would reward with money. For illustration, look at most TV programming and most movies. There is no rational explanation for those projects even getting made, much less funded.

And while a lot of individuals are making tidy fortunes by slotting into the system and working it from the lefty-power angle, i.e mouthing all the right (left) words, and claiming all the right (left) beliefs, the system itself starts losing money when the takeover is complete.

Because those “successes” and wealth come from the side of power becoming wealth, these people have never spent three seconds together thinking of what other people want or—possibly—of other people as humans. If they think of those who disagree with them at all, they see them as worthy of re-education camps. (BTW some of the Chinese work camps do have conjugal visits. No, that doesn’t make them better. I hate to say it, but hearing Bernie’s staffer I kept thinking the Democrat party is a con game created and designed for the purpose of getting their slaves back once more.) Mostly, though, they think of us as stereotypes. “Those uneducated, stupid rednecks.”

They don’t bother knowing anything of the real world because, who cares? In fact, it could be dangerous. Their wealth comes from kow towing to those in power and believing the right (very left) things. If they start having ideas that challenge that, then they’ll lose both power and wealth. (In case you wonder why skinsuited institutions become more and more rigid echo chambers.)

Which means that, people who come in through power into wealth, tend to have bizarre ideas of what the rest of humanity is like and what they do. They are more likely to believe the stories that brought them power and wealth, because, well, they are what they were taught in college and have given them great advantage. Among other things, they will believe if only we were “more educated” we’d believe as they do, they believe humans are infinitely malleable, and they believe a lot of things that just ain’t so, including that their degree in whatever field or their superior intelligence (well they believe what all the “smart” people believe, right?) means they know everything and can improve manufacturing processes, make the economy more “just” and/or design cities and improve agriculture.

To be absolutely blunt this is how you end up with wheat planted in Siberia in Winter. It’s how you end up with famines. It’s how you end up with Venezuela, a land of untold natural riches where people are starving to death.

Which brings us to the other side of this: when your system grants power for things other than competence and (well, it’s impossible to keep that out) wealth, what you’re doing is privileging power games over getting the job done.

The people who prefer to acquire wealth through power; the people who want power over everything and anything else, tend to be the sort who’d rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. And “serve” includes selling ANYTHING that those unwashed deplorables will want to buy.

You’ve met their kind, and so have I. They come into an otherwise perfectly functioning office or work environment and set about empire-building. Sometimes it’s not even political. Sometimes—though not always, and I hate to ascribe everything to childhood trauma—it’s some kind of flaw that makes them feel unsafe, and they “need” to acquire enough power to finally feel safe. Sometimes (perhaps often) it’s being conscious of not being particularly confident, and wanting to make their position so powerful that no one else can dislodge them no matter how much they f*ck up.

They will gossip, lie, slander, steal other people’s work, put on airs, and do whatever it takes to get ahead and get power over others. Weirdly this rarely has anything to do with actually doing the job in front of them. You know, the one they were arguably hired to do. In fact, even when they are otherwise competent, they’re so busy playing f*ck-f*ck games (I could tell you stories and how) that the job not only suffers, but becomes distorted by their game playing.

This is not always political, as I said. In fact, at a certain level it is by definition non-political. However, the higher you go in a corrupt hierarchy of a field taken over by the left, the more likely these people are actual convinced Marxists.

But whatever they are, and whatever they believe, power-oriented people make horrible employees and worse bosses. Mostly because the job and the potential wealth it might or might not generate have absolutely nothing to do with their path to power. And their path to power is all important.

I’d guess, from my and friends’ experiences that at least 50% of what goes on in companies (and much more in some) is contrary to what is needed for that company to survive and make money. It’s all in the service of someone’s games and power acquisition.

So, what does all this mean? One of the things it means is that government needs to be a lot less powerful. It is better to have businessmen by power than to have the powerful politicians be bribed with wealth. Because at least the first have some idea of other people existing and wanting things, beyond what’s in the businessman’s head (because if the businessman is that clueless he’ll go bankrupt and stay bankrupt.) Right now our federal government attracts people who crave power like sh*t attracts flies. Which means it is increasingly a corrupt money-sink that does nothing anyone wants of it.

Government being a necessary evil, let the overarching branch of it have the least power and let power devolve ever down, till the most power is with the individual human being himself. Yes, I know it will take a miracle. Miracles sometimes do happen.

Part of making this one happen is the culture. Marxists have succeeded to a bizarre degree in making normal, every day businessmen, those who seek wealth and yep will acquire power, into the villains.

Now, businessmen aren’t saints. No class or type of person is. Once they become big and powerful enough, the temptation is to use that power to knock out business rivals. That’s just humans being humans. And yep, it will require vigilance, as well as a government where people actually believe in equality before the law and don’t try to use—say—tax law to favor their big donors and stomp down start up rivals.

However, businessmen in general are more likely to be rational and moral than any politician ever, and certainly than any powerful (but hidden) unelected bureaucrat in the machinery of government.

The fact that our books, movies, etc. sell it the other way around, representing apparatchiks as selfless paragons of virtue and every person who makes his wealth by selling or running a company that makes something as evil and crooked is one of the reasons we’re in this mess.

It’s time to turn it around. It’s time to blow that stereotype sky high.

Politics is downstream from culture. Stop pouring sludge into the stream, and start cleaning.

In the end we win, they lose, but let’s not make it harder than it has to be. And let’s try not to make it the work of the next generation. I have maybe 30 years left, if I’m lucky. I hope to see at least the first glimmers of the turn around.

Get it done.


Reprinted from According to Hoyt

for January 17, 2020

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