My wife and I had this great conversation tonight and I wanted to get it down in a short summary. We noticed an overarching theme I hadn’t quite seen before – one of a waning age of statism and the rebirth of the individual.
In more primitive times, people were completely responsible for themselves. They were responsible for their money – they decided what to accept and how to handle it. They were responsible for education – they learned new skills, apprenticed, taught their children useful skills to create value. They were responsible for health. They ate real food – vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, seeds. They grew it, cultivated it, knew what was edible and what wasn’t. In the event of illness individuals did their best to treat and cope. They were responsible for their own business. They dealt with other individuals, deciding who to trade with and how to do it. They were responsible for their mental wellbeing.
Of course there were problems. Put that aside for the moment. Regardless of outcomes, for better or worse, the underlying idea in acts of daily life was of people being in charge of their lives, and making their own decisions for themselves. Yes they had to deal with kings and priests and thieves – but in general, individuals were their own authority in life’s most important matters.
And with that, I think the control, death, destruction, and centralization of the last 150 years or so (i.e. modern statism) will go down in history as a small blip in human existence.
We had the rising of nation states, bureaucracies, central banks, permits, laws, regulations, licensing, fiat money, government schools, modern treatment based medicine, psychiatry, and more. And we simultaneously had a movement towards putting our trust in some authority; the government, the military, social workers, politicians, public health officials, doctors, bankers, a licensed specialist for all things, the food pyramid, the FDA, the USDA, the FED, public teachers, etc. And with modern technology, companies were more than willing to meet peoples’ desires for this new way of life – microwaves, frozen dinners, processed food, pills and drugs for everything, and of course a government program to cure every ill.
Many think it was these things that gave rise to everything we have today – that these things make modern life possible. But they are wrong. It was science, personal empowerment, freedom, trade, and a movement towards reason and away from mysticism that has gotten us to where we are today. These are the forces underlying human growth. All that other stuff above are contraptions the power hungry rig up to gain and maintain power.
People gave up their autonomy; relinquished their individualism; shrugged off the responsibility of the old days in favor of authority figures telling them how to live. So now we come full circle, literally. I think people, in many different ways, are re-discovering their own authority, autonomy, and individualism. We rightfully no longer trust various authorities – and for the first time in human history – we have the knowledge and technology to do something about it – to take back responsibility, become self empowered, and each set our own course in life.
We’re reclaiming the monopoly on thought. The internet has of course made this possible. Today for free, we can learn more than any university taught PHD. I can discover and learn anything I want to. I can collaborate and communicate in the world marketplace. So we don’t have to go to teachers, administrators, professors, newspapers, and television news for information. We can seek the information. We are reclaiming the monopoly on health. People forgot how to take care of themselves. They eat crap that causes health issues, then take more crap to fix those issues, while just making it all worse. Today we can rediscover what to eat. People are looking to see what is in the ingredient lists, and companies are slowly responding with more simplified products, back to the basics. We are learning the dangers of all this stuff we were told to eat. We are learning the dangers of all the “medicines” we were told to take. And we are rediscovering how to actually be healthy with diets our bodies were meant to eat, and by avoiding chemicals, processed foods, and synthetic substances. After decades we’re waking up and no longer want chemicals dumped in the water, and no longer want toxins injected in our bodies. So, our reliance on the FDA, health “experts”, government food charts, our drug pushing doctors, and pharmaceutical companies is slowly dwindling. We’re rediscovering natural, peaceful ways of taking care of ourselves and our kids, decreasing our reliance on psychiatrists and government school teachers; with peaceful parenting, unschooling, self knowledge, etc. People are interested again in growing their own food, and again to make that happen – the internet. People can learn any skill or craft they want with a few clicks and a little time. People are distrustful of the military and beginning to question its motives and reasons. We are rediscovering peace, not in some generic wishy washy sense – but in a principled, philosophical sense; through the non-aggression principle. We are taking ourselves back from their apparatus of control, from the military industrial complex. Everyday we are rediscovering how to get along with each other, how to resolve disputes, how to deal with conflicts through private arbitration, and strong ideas moving, if very slowly, towards a private law society – and away from government courts, police, and “laws”. People are taking back control of money. Money is not something that was ever meant to be controlled and monopolized in the hands of a few. Money is a tool of exchange. The world is rediscovering tools of exchange like silver and gold, and in the age of the internet – we have another answer in crypto-currencies. The fiat money system, the world over, is collapsing, and the people see it. Slowly people are waking up from that fog, and realizing that things aren’t right, and that something isn’t money because a government merely says it is. We as individual human beings, every person on the planet, is slowly but surely getting back in touch with their own finances. We don’t need to rely on banks, advisors, central bankers, and string pullers the world over anymore. As of today, a person can buy and sell goods and services with bitcoin, invest in bitcoin denominated investments, loan out bitcoins through p2p lending, and so much more – with no sources of control or authority. We are in charge of the course of our lives again. Its been a long sleep, but things are changing.
We can be excited for all of these innovations and developments on their own. But when we examine the broader picture, we see this was sort of inevitable. We’re not just doing great things in the world, we’re actually going back in a way, though in modern times, with modern technology, to reclaim ourselves. Having giant nation states, and a whole series of other “authorities” decide how to live is not the natural state of human existence. All of these forces of authority and control came, lurking like some sinister monster from the depths, and I think they will be slowly crawling back and retrenching to wait for another age, and another people to lure with promises, cures, quick fixes, eternal peace, and so on. I think the individual has returned, each man, woman, and child ready to conquer nothing but their own lives – slowly, but surely giving way to a truly free society, based on personal decision making, voluntary interactions, peace, and the primacy of the individual.
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