Tag Archives: specialization

I’m Smart. I’m Special. I’m Saved.

Why would anyone be opposed to making their own choices in life?

Because making decisions for yourself is lonely… and it leaves you with no one else to blame should something go wrong.

For years I’ve wondered what the resistance was to Free Markets. Once a person has taken the time to understand what voluntary exchange and free-market capitalism really is, how can they not like it? How can an individual not appreciate the power over their own lives and freedom to choose what’s right for them?

Because, while it makes you feel powerful… it doesn’t make you feel powerful enough.

Seems counter-intuitive, I know.

But, if everyone is expected to take care of themselves then what role is left for those who feel they should be making decisions for you?

In other words, if we all take responsibility for ourselves, what work is left for those who want to do the “telling”?  What would “The Deciders” do?

First you must understand who the people are that want to do the “telling” and who are the people who want to be “told”.

These are the same two groups who support the goal of “collective’ rights.

The First group is made up primarily of those people who believe they are smarter than you in every way.

They associate their self-proclaimed omnipotent intelligence to being highly specialized.  They could be a doctor, lawyer or politician. You can even find them working at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

They are found to associate intelligence to geography, such as living in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Vermont, the other side of the railroad tracks, river, etc.

Bear in mind, it does not mean they make particularly good decisions when it comes to their own lives… but that is not a requirement to their self-assigned superiority.

The Second group is a product of our public education system, more or less.

They have been told they are special. In fact they have been taught that there is nothing more important in life than being special, Over and over and over…   And, when you’re “special” you shouldn’t have to do anything.  You should have stuff given to you.  Thus, these people gladly accept what they are “entitled” to.  As long as those who do the “telling” repeat endlessly how wonderful they are, while also giving them other people’s money in the form of government “entitlements”, they will remain placated… and vote accordingly.

So it is not difficult to see how a system of trade and government that does not make them feel this way is so repulsive to them.  It’s easy to see how people like me are a turn off.  Anyone who genuinely promotes self-sufficiency and personal responsibility will find no friends in either group.  While Capitalism gives you supreme power over yourself, your power is small when looking at the world as a whole.  While I would argue this is as it should be… it can be incredibly frightening to many when they realize the Universe doesn’t necessarily need them.

True Capitalism would make the First group feel unimportant… and at the same time depress the Second group.

Unimportant and Depressed…  it sounds like something most of us deal with very early in our lives once we figure out the Universe does not revolve around us.  This should be the healthy maturation process of our species…  yet… we are all contributing tax dollars to keep the paradigm of parent and child alive after the age of majority.

But just when you though it was easy to understand… There is a subgroup which also exists.

A number of people try to be both, and will neglect all aspects of taking care of themselves in order to “help” others so they can feel special.  This behavior is a uniquely destructive phenomenon.  The irony is they have now made themselves a burden on everyone else, thus helping no-one.  This fact misses them entirely.  So much so that if you present them with this truth they will adopt a blank stare.  The rational escapes these folks… helping one person at the expense of two others is not a winning formula.  This group can be the most dangerous… much like a drowning man.  Reason will always escape them.

All three groups genuinely feel we should be Forced to “help” each other… but never Forced to “help” ourselves.

These are the people who subscribe to the Communal theory of government, dividing all of us into permanent classes of the helpers and the helped.

I believe they adopt this point of view, and vote accordingly, because it’s easier than accepting the alternative outlined above.  But there is also a Sinister type of Self-Interest at work.

The First group achieves the Power over others they so crave, the Second Group achieves nothing, but they’re paid for it. The Third group achieves what they believe is Salvation… which, in their minds, elevates them above all others.

(In the end, looking at all of these groups, what is the difference between them and the relationship of the Drug Dealer and the Drug Addicted?  The dynamics are similar in ways we should all find disturbing.)

For the rest of us, all we can do is keep doing our best to meet our needs at our own expense.  We must continue to thrive while trying to drag the above groups along with us into the light of self-reliance.  We must Restore the Stigma that used to be associated with taking other people’s money from the government.  We must be Loud in our disdain.  What choice do we have?

At the same time, we must always resist The Deciders efforts to drag us down into their Social Utopian world of Dependency and Entitlement.


Mr. Carl Pham

I stole this off of Jonah Goldberg’s site from the comments section.  Mr. Pham was replying to a great article Jonah wrote regarding Confirmation Bias.  I thought this Individuals reply was clear and concise… easy to understand. And it goes a long way in explaining what has puzzled me for years, how can otherwise intelligent people subscribe to the Demonstrably worst Governing Theory the Planet has ever known?

I introduce you to Mr. Pham:

Carl Pham • 2 days ago (041214)

“Well, the problem with the leftist ideology is that even experts are likely to be more right than amateurs in very narrow circumstances. Id est, your car mechanic is more likely than you to know what that funny noise in the axle might be. But he is not more likely to know the best car for the money, or how to drive safely, or even whether this or that style of driving will make the engine last longer. (The engineer who built it will know that, but, conversely, probably not be tip-tip at diagnosing faults from signs and symptoms.)

Similarly, your English teacher can tell you whether your sentences are grammatically correct, but she probably has no clue whether your writing will sell. The mechanical engineer who designed a bridge can tell you whether it will stand up to X cars per day — but won’t be any smarter than you about whether there’ll be more or fewer cars following a three-day holiday.

And so on. The fact is, there’s no substance to the leftist prescription, because it’s only in very narrow circumstances that an expert’s opinion can be relied upon to be much better than a random concerned person, and you can’t stitch together all those narrow circumstances to come up with general guidance — it’d be like the old joke of five blind men who each touched a part of the elephant trying to describe the whole animal.

Of course, experts, like ordinary people, are very inclined to think they know more than they really do, so it is certainly possible to stitch together the advice of experts to get general guidance. That is the basis of the lefty religion.

It’s also what gave us global cooling in the 70s and warming in the 90s, the advice that butter was bad for you and margarine good, now reversed, and all the many other examples where expert consensus has been upended. It’s not that expert opinion isn’t reliable, it’s that the outer boundaries of its area of reliability are considerably smaller, as a rule, than the expert thinks.”

I have little to add here but Thanks to Mr. Carl Pham for his explanation.

Jonah’s full Article can be found here.  And, for full disclosure Jonah is one of my favorite authors… whether he is posting at National Review or Writing Incredibly insightful books.