Forward, backward and everything in between (including greed, for good measure)
It’s been a while since my last post, the only viable reasons being that I’m lazy and a lot has happened in the last 3 weeks. The being lazy bit can be attributed to my lack of identity, my superego overriding my id or some other external force negatively influencing me. At least, that’s the explanation which has been once more pounded into my already fed-up post-toasties lack-of-identity psyche. (The phrase ‘post-toasties’ denotes anything post-modern, post-identity, post-psychology, post-truth etc ad nauseam, and was coined by the Jedi Master of lecturers, Professor Walters.) Now for those who know me, do not be alarmed, I won’t rant about good ol’ President Obama till you’re bored to death – I’ll just dedicate a whole word to him in the title of this post.
Kidding. Right, to business then. The Leader of the People has decided that he needs something suitably socialist to indicate the way in which he wants to drag the USA – Forward. Deciding that people might just be waking up to smell the distinctly burnt coffee along with the long-dead roses, the mantra is no longer ‘Hope’ but rather ‘Forward’. You see, it’s not about what the people want – they have to be told what they want. Naturally, Americans throughout the decades have been incapable of doing anything on their own, of making money, of raising their children, of building the freest society the world has ever known; they need a man with a vision not nearly as dim and idiotic as their own, a man who knows all the variables of every single individual and has decided to thrown them under the vegetable-oil powered leviathan lovingly termed ‘Forward’. Of course, if you didn’t know already, man is evil, along with the countless innovations he has managed to somehow squeeze out of his selfish being, and the planet is being torn asunder as a result. One cannot accuse El Presidente of being illogical; he is pro-enviro-statist, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-immigrants, pro-China, pro-despising his own country etc – all of these views of course just happen to coincide with an election year.
America the Free is being subverted – it is being changed, mangled and shaped to suit the utopian ideals of one man, one man whose very mantra is eerily reminiscent of Stalin’s Five Year Plans and Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Of course, everyone knows how well those particular endeavors turned out to be and how many millions perished for the utopian/communist ideal. America’s founding, the Civil War, and World War II were epic and, at times, seemingly insurmountable wars of liberty against tyranny, which would have destroyed the civil society had they been lost. The challenge today is in many ways more complicated, because the “soft tyranny” comes from within and utilizes the nation’s instrumentalities against itself. How’s about a quote from a man who actually, dare I say it, searched for truth? C.S. Lewis wrote, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” I stand astounded at the fact that Obama and his kin are trying to set themselves up as the parents of America. Indeed, it went as far as his government closing down an ice-cream stand the other day. Why? Because it does not fit with what they want. Because they know what is best for all. The false promises along with the utopian-Marxist ideal must surely have become obvious to millions of thinking Americans by now right? But then again, they’re all unthinking drones and I’m just a white, Afrikaans, capitalist, Imperialist man in Africa. What the heck do I know? I am arguing against the Liberal/Statist agenda embodied in Obama’s policies, and I must therefore be racist, Imperialist and a silly, irrational Conservative.
Closer to home though, I get the feeling that students really are viewed as idiots. Are we not repeatedly told that we are worthless beings? Selfish, one-dimensional, profit-seeking, shallow and all the rest of it? How dare you desire to make money? To produce? To innovate? For you to do something ‘good’, you are not allowed to make one cent out of it. As long as your contribution to society is all that you are, you are a good person. You are to be told what you are and what your place in society is. We are all unknown, all of our souls are the same – we cannot know ourselves, everything is a construct, reality is unknowable and therefore why should we strive? Why dream if your dreams are only premised on the desire for power? That is what your lecturers and professors tell you, so naturally they must be right. Who are we, as 21-year old students, to make claims of truth? To stand for something? To not bend over backwards in order to accommodate everyone else? The ideal of a socialist utopia is to be worshiped, not questioned. I find it ridiculously idiotic when people point to capitalism and democracy, the West, and state that those are the things which make us conform and take away our humanity. All the millions who were lifted out of the Statist wars of the past century, and the countless millions who were freed from servitude to a lord in feudal Europe – they are all forgotten. What is it that freed them?
Commerce and money. Yes, that evil word. Money. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Why would one want to stifle people’s individual drive to achieve? To quote the irrepressible Ayn Rand: “Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it. Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun” (Atlas Shrugged). Just think about that quote, think about its constituent parts and get back to me.
Time for me to, shock horror, talk about something I disagree with. Contrary to popular belief reason and rationality are possible if one applies one’s mind. Actually, it can be much easier than that. Because these days, the easiest thing appears to be the most appealing option to people. The socialists tell us that they can build the perfect society. We are told that having sex with whomever you might want to is fine because it is too difficult to remain faithful to one person. Why bother searching for the truth, any objective truth, if we cannot know ourselves, if we cannot know anything? There is no progress in this thinking. But of course, ‘progress’ is an evil thing, a concept used by the Imperialist Europeans to control the world. Funny how Communist China is trying to incorporate elements of capitalism and free-market methods because their society is becoming stagnant. Interesting how India, that jewel of the British Imperial Crown, has embraced liberal democracy and made it its own, flourishing and growing as a result. Perhaps the constant strife in Africa is preferable? Or how about we go back to the days of feudal Europe and the time of being beholden to a man who claimed dominion over others by birthright.
Consider the following: “We know that we know nothing,” they chatter, blanking out the fact that they are claiming knowledge – “There are no absolutes,” they chatter, blanking out the fact that they are uttering an absolute – “You cannot prove that you exist or that you’re conscious,” they chatter, blanking out the fact that proof presupposes existence, consciousness and a complex chain of knowledge: the existence of something to know, of a consciousness able to know it, and of a knowledge that has learned to distinguish between such concepts as the proved and the unproved.” This quote is from a collection of excerpts from the works of Rand, entitled For The New Intellectual. You see, the so-called intellectuals are those most easily seduced by unreason – post-modernism, collectivism, uniformity and anything non-Western – as long as you agree with any of these things, you are good and right. Just one example: anything American is evil, Imperialist and evil. Never mind that America is the one country which keeps on giving aid to Africa. “Anti-Americanism seems to imply an element of irrationalism and resistance to facts that may run counter to prejudices. To hate a whole nation is a clear symptom of hysteria. It is an unfocused and largely irrational, often visceral aversion toward the United States, its government, domestic institutions, foreign policies, prevailing values, culture and people” (America Embattled).
How’s about that old adage that capitalism is the worst evil ever perpetuated on human beings? Quite the fashionable belief don’t you think? These days one’s brilliance and the clarity of your arguments is dependent on how much you rant and rave about how bad capitalism is. How’s about some dissent hey? How’s about me being a greedy, selfish bastard for once? If any of my friends can point to me and say “He exploits others for his selfish profit!,” let him stand up and say it. If I do not care for my fellow human beings, tell me. I dare you. “Capitalism provides many with the opportunity to display initiative. While the rigidity of a status society enjoins on everybody the unvarying performance of routine and does not tolerate any deviation from traditional patterns of conduct, capitalism encourages the innovator. Profit is the prize of successful deviation from customary types of procedure; loss is the penalty of those who sluggishly cling to obsolete methods. The individual is free to show what he can do in a better way than other people. However, this freedom of the individual is limited. It is an outcome of the democracy of the market and therefore depends on the appreciation of the individual’s achievements on the part of the sovereign consumers. What pays on the market is not the good performance as such, but the performance recognized as good by a sufficient number of customers. If the buying public is too dull to appreciate duly the worth of a product, however excellent, all the trouble and expense were spent in vain. Capitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses. It pours a horn of plenty upon the common man. It has raised the average standard of living to a height never dreamed of in earlier ages. It has made accessible to millions of people enjoyments which a few generations ago were only within the reach of a small elite. The outstanding example is provided by the evolution of a broad market for all kinds of literature. Literature – in the widest sense of the term – is today a commodity asked for by millions” (The Anti-Capitalist Mentality).
Changes in human conditions are brought about by the pioneering of the most clever and most energetic men. They take the lead and the rest of mankind follows them little by little. The innovation is first a luxury of only a few people, until by degrees it comes into the reach of the many. It is not a sensible objection to the use of shoes or of forks that they spread only slowly and that even today millions do without them. The dainty ladies and gentlemen who first began to use soap were the harbingers of the big-scale production of soap for the common man. Of course there are those who blame capitalism for the degeneration of art. They cannot help admitting that capitalism has the tendency to improve the material conditions of mankind. But, they say, it has diverted men from the higher and nobler pursuits. It feeds the bodies, but it starves the souls and the minds. It has brought about a decay of the arts. Gone are the days of the great poets, painters, sculptors and architects. Our age produces merely trash. Yet, they claim that the judgement about the merits of a work of art is entirely subjective and here they defeat themselves. Some people praise what others disdain. There is no yardstick to measure the aesthetic worth of a poem or of a building. Those who are delighted by the Cathedral of Chartres and the Meninas of Velasquez may think that those who remain unaffected by these marvels are boors. Many students are bored to death when the school forces them to read Hamlet. Only people who are endowed with a spark of the artistic mentality are fit to appreciate and to enjoy the work of an artist. Among those who make pretense to the appellation of educated men there is much hypocrisy. They put on an air of connoisseurship and feign enthusiasm for the art of the past and artists passed away long ago. They show no similar sympathy for the contemporary artist who still fights for recognition. They know best and who are we to produce and desire our own things? Our dreams made real? Naturally, your dreams are invalid if you make money out of making your dream a reality.
Of course, it is all capitalism’s fault. Because capitalism is guided by the whims of the few. The age of capitalism has abolished all vestiges of slavery and serfdom. It has put an end to cruel punishments and has reduced the penalty for crimes committed to the minimum indispensable for discouraging offenders. It has done away with torture and other objectionable methods of dealing with suspects and law breakers. It has repealed all privileges and promulgated equality of all men under the law. It has transformed the subjects of tyranny into free citizens. If you hate capitalism, make sure you understand the concept, because you might just be hating crony capitalism. If you understand, we are on the same page. If not, good luck in the world which you are building.
To finish off, some more Rand for you. “Capitalism cannot work with slave labor. It was the agrarian, feudal South that maintained slavery. It was the industrial, capitalistic North that wiped it out—as capitalism wiped out slavery and serfdom in the whole civilized world of the nineteenth century” (Writing on the South and North in the USA before the Civil War – yes, evil America engaged in a Civil War for the rights of African-Americans. Who would’ve thought). If you want class division, racism, slavery, collectivism, communism and destruction, continue on your path. That is, dare I use the phrase, your decision.