The last days of the republic?

Damien Grant's picture
Submitted by Damien Grant on Sun, 2012-07-22 08:18

There is a sense of doom about this forum. As if we are in the last days of the republic, the forces of oppression lie somewhere south of the Rubicon on their relentless march to the Forum.

I am not so certain.

The history of man is a long way from being over and as I cast my eye over the commercial landscape, certainly the landscape that I live in, the options for the new John Galts of this world are many and varied.

Income is increasingly divorced from territory, the long arm of the state must press ever firmer against those transactions that it can control but the ingenuity of those seeking to evade the taxman’s clutches make life increasingly difficult for our friends at the world’s respective Inland Revenues.

There is an ongoing arms race between the state and those who seek to avoid her embrace. I do think at the moment that we are seeing a high watermark of state control although, although this control is, compared to previous incarnations of the state, more efficient but, happily, less violent.

What is unclear is if this high water mark is just that, if it will rise further, or if it will recede.

Every tool that the state has to record and monitor the activity that forms her tax base there are other tools that can be used to obfuscate. The talent of those working to evade the state is usually higher than the talent working for it and the international mobility of people, money and ideas create challenges for regimes.

To me, it seems like a never ending struggle. First between the tyranny of the minority and the masses desire for democracy, and once successful a second against the tyranny of the majority.

Because we appear to be losing this fight does not mean that this fight is lost. The fight is never truly lost and it will never be truly won. The battle is a never ending one, like that poor Greek fellow the gods condemned to forever pushing the rock up the mountain.

That is our fate. We should embrace it. I for one enjoy it, it gives clarity of purpose, even if I must do so with Richard Goode by my side and I am comforted by the knowledge that the courage I need to fight the good fight is a fraction of those who have fought and died before me.


sisyphus

Rick Giles's picture

That is our fate. We should embrace it. I for one enjoy it, it gives clarity of purpose, even if I must do so with Richard Goode by my side and I am comforted by the knowledge that the courage I need to fight the good fight is a fraction of those who have fought and died before me.

Think you're only trying here to convince yourself, Damien.

Those who worship the Greek God sisyphus throw their energy down the well, know the emptiness of black dog depression, and end up a pissed off old wrath. Ebenezer Gollum Scrooge.

Eternal vigilance is a con to sap our energy from having effect in the world. If we accept the premise that there is no victory, no win, just endless toil then we will throw all our world-changing passion into a bottomless pit instead of against statists.

On a rational level you know this. I know you know this. When there's a blood-sucking leech on your body the answer is not eternal vigilance. When there's killer lion prowling the answer is not to be eternally wired up and stoic about collateral damage; It is not eternal vigilance.

Set the rock on the mountain. Kill the parasite. Slay the lion.

Since I'm sure you get that, rationally, what unconscious urge has you saying otherwise? Did you adapt your mental resignations to some childhood gulag in the past? Seriously, here or in private message, that's got to be the story you need to tell somebody who will listen.

A friend of ours (12yo kid) told his mother he was bored yesterday (as in the depression mentioned above which I'm sure you must know too.) Her response was to give him a never ending list of North Canterbury farm animals to feed. That's Sisyphus.
And I bet he thinks twice before confiding his moods to her again too.

Scene from 'The Last Castle' had Robert Redford hauling rocks from one end of the prison yard to the other in the hot sun while Tony Soprano watches on. When he actually manages it he is sadistically instructed to put them all back again. That's Sisyphus.
The effect is to break your spirit and internalise eternal vigilance.

These things that happened and laid down a framework that impacted the way history unfolded were not achieved by people who had submitted to having been broken thusly.

I do not count...

Damien Grant's picture

I’m excluding Indians, Nigerians and the French. That should get me a billion.

Seven billion

Richard Goode's picture

There are six billion of us

Seven billion.

God is a benevolent dictator

Richard Goode's picture

Jeremiah 29:11

Damien

Richard Goode's picture

if you start out from the non-initiation of force premise and use it for not just politics but business and personal affairs ...

... then you're a libertarian. You're one of us. Welcome to the club. Smiling

God is not a libertarian

Damien Grant's picture

Jeremiah 29:11

The Prism

Damien Grant's picture

Two things, Master Hubbard.

One: A prism to guide one’s own actions. If you lack religion it helps to replace it with some moral compass. I think that humans need that, it is why the religion meme is so pervasive and I'm human.

So, if you look at the world through a libertarian mind-set it makes things clear, it gives you a basis for looking at the world.

I am not libertarian in all things but if you start out from the non-initiation of force premise and use it for not just politics but business and personal affairs as well it creates a compass for making decisions. And if you deviate from this axiom then you know you need a justification for doing so.

I have the same thinking about neo-classical economics, which to my thinking is simply putting maths around economic concepts, not a philosophy in itself. You can use neo-classical economics to make socialism work better if you wanted to; it just depends on the assumptions that lie behind the maths.

Two: History’s DNA

I look back at history. The Magna Carta, Jesus Christ, Latin, Adam Smith, Lenin, Aristotle. These things happened and laid down a framework that impacted the way history unfolded.

In my mind the history of mankind might be immeasurably long and the twist and turns of it could be so vast that the issues we face today will be of no consequence in themselves but cumulatively they are important because today we are creating the framework for tomorrow.

There are six billion of us, in a million years there may be planets of humans scattered over the cosmos, or we may blow ourselves up or cook the planet, but if it is the former then what we are doing today is going to matter in the same was as what happened at Pharsalus has shaped how we live and think today.

But: In a few short years I shall be dust, so I shall enjoy life under the statist regime, give the wife some loving, rail against the status quo and look forward to my next pint of larger.

What's the purpose, according

Mark Hubbard's picture

What's the purpose, according to you, Damien?

Galtaians 19:57

Richard Goode's picture

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.

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