Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,068, May 17, 2020

America can be free again if we demand it.
Think about Moses and the Pharaoh.
You cannot beg to be set free.

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Us vs. Them
by Paul Bonneau

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

My son, apparently in disapproval, commented to me about Trump egging on the people who are starting to protest the lockdown. I replied, “Good, I like that.”

Of course being an academic, he has caught a small dose of “Trump derangement syndrome”; but I find it interesting how and why there are apparently two sides to every question, and that the main reason that one side supports X, seems to be that the other side opposes X. And vice versa.

Some people think the virus is a nothing burger, and others, looking at the same available sources of information, view it as armageddon.

It occurs to me that we can break these down into two kinds of people. One kind is the “stick with what you know” crowd, and the other kind is the “let’s try something new” crowd, and that both of these types are necessary survival characteristics for the human race to continue. Why? Because sometimes the “stick with what you know” folks are right, and that was the best choice; other times when it makes sense to change, the “stick with what you know” folks are just stuck in a rut with a poor choice. And likewise for the “let’s try something new” crowd. Either way, in any situation, some side has guessed correctly.

I don’t actually think every issue has two and only two possible solutions; but once people start arguing, everything does seem to distill down to two solutions.

Sometimes these two tendencies switch positions on an issue. Back in my youth, what we now call globalism was then called imperialism, and imperialism was identifiably a characteristic of the “stick with what you know” crowd. Now that the same thing is called globalism, it is identifiably a characteristic of the “let’s try something new” crowd. Why this sort of switch happens, is hard to guess; but I suppose back then the “stick with what you know” folks knew conquest, and the evangelism of Americanism around the world, post WWII. And the “let’s try something new” folks wanted peace as the new thing. These days, the “stick with what you know” crowd opposes globalism because they don’t know what one world government would look like and don’t want to know, while the “let’s try something new” folks want to use that one world government they support to indoctrinate everybody and help plunder white people. Or something.

Back 250 years ago the federalists were “stick with what you know” (they knew concentration of power around a central figure like the king), while the anti-federalists were “let’s try something new” (they wanted the new idea of locating power with the people via democracy).

In very many cases the “stick with what you know” folks identify with government and its long-standing institutions—whether that government is called socialist or communists or fascist—doesn’t matter. These folks continue to send their kids to government schools for example, a fact completely beyond all reason, given the absurd extent to which “let’s try something new” is taught there. Buttsex is education?

Robert Heinlein also famously attempted to divide humans into two types:

“Political tags—such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth—are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

Does that attempt correlate at all with mine? It doesn’t seem to. Sometimes those who want people controlled look like “stick with what you know”, and other times they look like “let’s try something new”.

In America, with its long-established gun culture, gun control definitely has a flavor of “let’s try something new” (as in, “try it, you’ll like it, trust me”). In other countries with no such culture, ending gun control would look very radical, or in other words, “let’s try something new”.

As far as the WuFlu is concerned, the lockdown is a pretty new experience to folks, so those who want lockdown should be considered “let’s try something new”. But then, resistance to authority and questioning institutions is also new, so it is hard to say. Maybe the destruction of small business, a current government project, is naturally opposed by the “stick with what you know” crowd, because they know small business. Small businessmen are typically “stick with what you know” as they can normally operate in a wide variety of business climates as long at changes are few.

“Trade and commerce, if they were not made of India rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way; and, if one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions, and not partly by their intentions, they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievous persons who put obstructions on the railroads.”
—Henry David Thoreau

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