Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I know of no Reason the Gunpowder Treason
Should Ever Be Forgot.
 - traditional English poem

Roundup of Occupy Protests

The last week has seen the Occupy protests becoming less and less civilized.  Arrests in several places, blockades of shipping ports and other disruptive activities have generated much media attention, if not actual change. The protesters continue, as did the Tea Party, to lack a fully-coherent belief set, but are more than compensating with sheer tenacity.  But...given the general unrest and the fact that today is Guy Fawkes Day, commemorating the man who tried to blow up Parliament and has been immortalized in the masks worn by many protesters (yes, I know about V for Vendetta), it is important to realize what is and is not effective for change in this country.

I am a libertarian, and many believe that as such, I am an anarchist.  Not remotely.  I absolutely believe in government.  I even support government oversight.  I simply don't believe that the humans in government will behave more nobly than others, and that yielding to them unrestrained power will necessarily lead to corruption, waste and misery.  Despite maintaining solid purity of principle, I cannot say with 100% truthfulness that I would do any better.

I believe similar situations exist on Wall Street. I don't believe that the "1%" is evil in the slightest...just human. Humans are selfish and self-interested, and generally speaking, do not act altruistically.  Given this assertion, is it so surprising that presented with gobs of largely other peoples' money, the bankers acted irresponsibly?

The solution is not to blow up Parliament, nor is it to link arms, get arrested and swallow tear gas.  We must simply realize that people, absent of supervision, are going to act like matter what their title is.  Many say that libertarianism requires undue trust in others.  Well, I say that libertarians want a system that expects people to act like people.  Does massive government intervention aid people in their quest to be themselves, or hinder them?  I leave it to you to decide.  But leave the mask at home...because pushing the reset button ends the conversation.

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