I've always been a glass half empty kinda fella. Some of this may well be down to a sense of predisposed melancholia, which has aroused the attention of many a control freak looking to 'fix' my nature over the years, but then I don't think being a natural pessimist is necessarily a bad thing. Bad news tends not to discomfort someone as much if there was a part of their instinctive psyche that expected it. Moreover, eternal optimists tend to live with their heads either floating in the clouds or lodged deep within their own arses, and from personal experience I tend to find them a damn sight more depressing than those naturally inclined towards the worst case scenario. Anyone remember Mr Motivator? Or Anthea Turner's permanent false smile? I don't know if they made you wanna reach for the shotgun and fucking end it right there and right then, but I've no problem admitting that the sight of Mr Lycra in particular first thing in the morning left me feeling terminally demotivated. I've come across many a 'hooray for everything' specialist in my life and found every last one to be vacuous, pointless and fucking useless. Sincere apologies to anyone who was already feeling depressed...
We're all supposed to be happy aren't we? But how can anyone who believes in personal liberty be happy whether they have a predisposed melancholia or not? Not only are us instinctive liberals in a distinct and marginalised minority, it becomes apparent on a daily basis that Statism has won the battle in so many aspects of our lives. We now have three major political parties all committed to adding their own unique form of Statism to whatever the previous lot managed to inflict upon us. Modern politics seems to be little more than a competition to see which jumped-up shit can take away the most of your life, liberty and property with a single stroke of their pen. Millions of people, either not knowing or refusing to consider that their minds have been conditioned, immediately turn to politicians for a solution to every problem, be it a crisis in healthcare, the peddling of 'hatred' or whatever. I'll come back to those two examples throughout the piece as they're good instances of how the state ruthlessly snatches the personal and constitutional freedom of individuals.
But Statism, like Liberalism, is instinctive, and is therefore not just a political ideology but a way of life. If I could sum up the modus operandi of this poisonous value system in but a few words, they would be "play the game". Do as you are told, be grateful for the little of your hard-earned property that they kindly allowed you to keep, and under no circumstances are you allowed to think or speak for yourself without first receiving the permission of your nanny. I struggle to think of a single area of our lives in which independent thought is even tolerated, let alone encouraged. Kids at school are encouraged to 'discuss' topics but are always reminded at the end that there is a 'right' answer, holding certain contentious opinions is actually illegal and punishable by a spell in chokey, while medium and large sized organisations, be they private or public, have become mini-states of their own where obedience is rewarded, basic aptitude becomes irrelevant and anything resembling initiative is at least discouraged, if not crushed with ruthless efficiency.
When people call for the state to 'step in' on their behalf and 'solve' whatever pressing concern is currently on the radar, there seems to be a failure to recognise precisely what this entails. Statistism is a very devious and manipulative ideology by definition, dependant as it is on establishing certain 'sacred cows' or 'greater goods' and then using them to justify any encroachment into the life, liberty and property of others (I always find this Youtube film useful as a means of explaining what I'm talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I). If you view redistributed wealth as a pot of money, then it essentially involves someone walking up to the pot (with the state pointing a gun at their head), dropping the money in that they have earned themselves, then leaving so someone else can take it. The law of unintended consequences invariably creates some undeserving winners (the terminally idle, teenage breeding machines) along with many unfortunate, sometimes serial sufferers (drinkers, smokers, drivers, the childless, the habitually employed). 'Redistribution' as Statists call it is essentially, as the video points out, theft.
This mass-confiscation of other people's money of course funds the 'sacred cows' of the Statist project, such as the NHS. Once it (of course, wrongly) becomes conventional wisdom that universal healthcare funded by taxation is the only way to prevent corpses rotting in our streets, then the individual wishing to hold on to his or her life, liberty and prosperity is portrayed as someone who is 'selfish', 'irresponsible' or 'does not care'. In the same fashion, if the 'right' of individuals not to be offended in any way is enshrined in law, it follows that the freedom of others to think or express an 'unacceptable' view of the world is immediately compromised, and their objections to the latest bout of tyranny dismissed as 'dangerous extremism'. Of course, Statists love nothing more than cashing in on a fatality in order to advance their cause. Just as the dead of Dublane rapidly became pawns in the pursuit of the banning of handguns, Cameron and his assortment of fucking traffic wardens have wasted no time making capital out of those who tragically lost their lives in Oslo and on Utoya Island.
Another 'crackdown' on 'extremism' will invariably mean the further restriction of opinions deemed 'offensive' by the state. I often wonder if Statists actually celebrate such horrific events since it gives them an excuse to interfere and boss people around in the name of the latest 'greater good' handed to them by what was in reality a pretty unavoidable catastrophe brought about by a deranged lunatic. The draconian anti-gun laws passed after Dunblane did not stop criminals from obtaining them, and merely served as a further restriction on law-abiding people seeking to defend their lives and property. What price that anything done to combat 'extremism' achieves nothing of the sort, and instead leaves the rest of us having to choose our words with ever-increasing care?
The old axis of left and right is long dead, and the true battle lines of politics rest upon this struggle between Statism and Liberalism, over the crucial questions that impact the real lives of real individuals. Who gets to spend your money? Who sets the goals of your life and judges whether or not you have been successful in achieving them? Who decides what you can think, feel, believe and choose to say about any issue either relating to your own life or taking place in the wider world? And the most important issue addressed by the video - who owns your life? To all these questions I would instinctively answer "you do" while a Statist would mumble something about the 'greater good', the 'real world' or the 'bigger picture' before telling you to sit down and do as you're fucking told. That's why the society in which we live, where Statism enslaves and steals from people at every opportunity, leaves me as pissed off as it does.
I guess this is why many of us are here at OutspokenRabbit - to get an alternative view of the world across and hopefully change a few minds. Kudos to Simon and the boys at Libertarian Home - http://libertarianhome.co.uk/, who are involved in encouraging activism and what you might call 'actually doing something' in the name of personal liberty and telling the bullies, manipulators and control freaks to leave us the fuck alone. I've previously mentioned Wirral First - http://wirralfirst.wordpress.com/, the campaign for an independent and instinctively liberal Wirral peninsula, which enjoys the editorial support of this site, and a personal pledge to help them in any way possible. It's a struggle to remain motivated sometimes, and there is no doubt we are up against it from a plethora of different directions, but we're in there pitching, writing, talking, doing. Take care and I'll see you tomorrow...