Ben Franklin on 2021


“I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavors to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent.”

– Benjamin Franklin

How Moses Got the Ten Commandments

God went to the Arabs and said, ‘I have Commandments for you that will make your lives better.’ The Arabs asked, ‘What are Commandments?’ And the Lord said, ‘They are rules for living.’ ‘Can you give us an example?’ ‘Thou shall not kill.’ ‘Not kill? We’re not interested..’

So He went to the Africans and said, ‘I have Commandments.’ Africans wanted an example, and the Lord said, ‘Honour thy Father and Mother.’ ‘Father? We don’t know who our fathers are. We’re not interested.’

Then He went to the Mexicans and said, ‘I have Commandments.’ The Mexicans also wanted an example, and the Lord said, ‘Thou shall not steal.’ ‘Not steal? We’re not interested.’

Then He went to the French and said, ‘I have Commandments.’ The French too wanted an example and the Lord said, ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’ ‘Sacre bleu!!! Not commit adultery. We’re not interested.’

Finally, He went to the Jews and said,’ I have Commandments.’ ‘Commandments?’ They said, ‘How much are they?’ ‘They’re free.’ ‘We’ll take 10.’

Anonymous

“Woke” Virtue-Signalers Cannot Conquer Us

Virtue-signaling, posturing, posing … these actions all scream, “Look at me. I am a GOOD person.” That’s what all these corporations and people making sure others believe they’re “woke” are basically implying. What they’re really saying is, “Please like me. I get my sense of self-worth from other people liking me. I know that if I adopt the woke and correct positions on things, that I’ll be part of the pack — that you’ll like me. That’s all that matters. It’s the only way I can survive.”

This is why woke-ism cannot win. It’s built on a foundation of cotton candy for character; and mashed potatoes for brains. It relies upon the very worst, the least mature in people — the absolute weakest within a person’s soul — in order to conquer. That’s a glaring contradiction. It can’t work. A strong, confident and actually worthwhile person is incapable of virtue-signaling, or posing, or any of the things we’re seeing on a truly pathological scale today. Virtue-signaling and conforming are, in fact, the polar OPPOSITE of character. It’s for precisely these situations — where objective value, actual justice, and rational truth all conflict with the growls of the pack — that character was designed! You either have character, or you don’t.

That’s one of the better attributes of these times. You can often quickly tell who has character; and who does not. Think of the people still walking around with masks. THEY are your conquerors? Remember that. If you’re a rational and freedom-loving person, your adversaries are so, so weak and pitiful, at the core. Even if they win, their victory will never mean anything — not even to them. And in the end, they can never win.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

THE RINO FACTION OF THE GOP IS DEAD AND IT’S TIME TO BURY IT: HERE’S THE PROOF

Donald Trump was so effective at being president the deep state literally had to steal his reelection to get him out of office.

They couldn’t afford to have some political first-timer, an outsider, come in and upset their sweet, back-scratching, self-enriching set-up that took a century to install.

No. Trump had to go, come hell or high water, and if it took destroying our electoral system in the process, so be it.

The RINO faction of the GOP was involved in ‘Operation Dump Trump’ as well, don’t think for a moment they weren’t.

They were being self-enriched and empowered by the ‘old system’ just fine. They didn’t want to see it end, either. But it did the moment Trump won the GOP nomination in 2016.

And now that faction is gone. For good.

Trump was too effective at being a patriot and delivering for our country and all of our people. And Republicans, by and large, don’t want to see him go.

A just-released poll proves the point, per USA Features News:

A new survey of Republican voters found that while most like former Vice President Mike Pence, they nevertheless still prefer former President Donald Trump and his policies more.

According to Rasmussen Reports, 69% of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of the former VP.

But asked who the Republican Party should most be ‘like,’ 64% of GOP voters said Trump, while 24% chose Pence.

It’s among the first surveys to gauge the potential 2024 presidential primary between the two former running mates ahead of the next general election cycle.

Both men have recently emerged back into the political limelight but neither has said definitively whether they will run.

While Republican patriots still have the garbage Marxist deep state to deal with, it’s obvious we won’t have to worry much anymore about the RINOs.

We want Trump and more importantly, Trumpism. We’ve seen its benefits. We’ve seen a glimpse of the promise of our founders and the potential greatness of our nation birthed in liberty.

And we want more of it.

RINOs can’t — and won’t — deliver on that promise. They never did, and they never will.

Duncan Smith

Building Back Better Requires Free-Markets, Not Socialist Interventions

As the end of the pandemic finally seems to be in sight in many parts of the world, governments are starting to shift their focus from “stopping the virus” to recovering the economy that their lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions were strangulating.

In the United States and Canada in particular, the federal governments are seeing the aftermath of the pandemic as an opportunity to “build back better.” In their language, “better” means a society where income inequities will be erased.

The governments both in the U.S. and Canada are planning to spend their way to economic recovery and a more equitable society while at the same time increasing the cost of energy (by banning fossil fuels to avert a climate “catastrophe” that is predicted by the same modelers who claimed that millions would die of COVID-19 in the U.S. alone). That spending will be funded, not only by debt and deficits but also by proposed steep tax hikes, particularly to the wealthy and to corporations.

In the United States, the Biden Administration has proposed trillions of dollars worth of new taxes, including raising the top marginal tax rate and hiking the corporate tax rate by 33% (to 28%). This is in addition to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was already approved.

In Canada, the federal government has ratcheted up its borrowing and has shied away from announcing big tax increases until after the next election, expected in the fall. However, as Jack Mintz observes in a recent Financial Post editorial, total taxes and fees collected in Canada have increased by a fifth (from $800 billion to $1 trillion) since the Liberal government took power in 2015.

Many take the government handouts (such as the pandemic relief checks) for granted and see taxes merely as a necessary payment for the “benefits” that the government provides, during, and outside of, pandemics. Few question whether the government should be providing benefits such as social security, infrastructure, health care, or education.

Perhaps more people should question taxes. As Mintz points out:

“…taxation is a form of servitude. A good chunk of our working time goes toward paying our income, payroll, property, and sales taxes. And when taxes rise, that means we spend more time working for the government.”

Mintz makes a case against tax increases based on pragmatism: We are already “pretty heavily” taxed; trying to squeeze out more money from taxpayers by making them work even more time for the government is impractical.

But his observation of taxation as a form of forced labor contains the crux of the argument against using taxes to try to make the economy recover (although Mintz does not make it explicit). Taxes are a form of coercion, and coercion is not conducive to productivity—which is needed for economic growth, prosperity, and human flourishing.

Coercion (including coercive taxation) is evil because it severely limits, or makes impossible, our ability to survive and flourish.

What productivity and its beneficent consequences require is freedom: protection of the rights to liberty and property.

The historical record on this is clear. The freest countries have also been the most productive and prosperous, such as America in the past, and the countries that top the various freedom indices today: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland. Even partial increases in freedom, such as Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the 1980s in China, have raised prosperity (although not overall flourishing because China has otherwise remained an oppressive totalitarian regime).

The connection between freedom and prosperity becomes even clearer when we compare the freest countries to the least free—those where the rights to liberty and property don’t exist, such as the Soviet Union in the past, and Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela today.

The rights to liberty and property lay the foundation for productivity. When they are not violated through coercion but protected by the government, people are incentivized to think, innovate, create businesses, and produce and trade material values, for their own benefit, which also benefits others.

If the governments want the economy to recover and grow, they should drastically scale back (and over time, give up entirely) their economic interference and focus solely on the protection of the rights to liberty and property and other individual rights of their citizens. That would be the only sustainable way to ensure economic growth, higher prosperity for all, and innovative solutions to problems, from reliable energy to accessible health care and education that develops independent thinkers.

Jaana Woiceshyn teaches business ethics and competitive strategy at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Canada. How to Be Profitable and Moral” is her first solo-authored book. Visit her website at profitableandmoral.com.

How to Rise Above the Dishonesty & Sociopathy of our Age

The single worst thing about today is the dishonesty. You can’t think rationally, because you have no way of knowing what’s true. The media is overwhelmingly biased and appallingly dishonest. Consequently, as we have seen, we only get facts (or falsehoods) that suit their preconceived narratives and ideologies. Social media platforms only permit us to see or read what fits their narratives. Top officials in the government are brazen liars, even sociopaths. As with all liars, you never know when they’re being truthful, or when they’re not.

If you cannot know what’s true, you’re unable to proceed rationally, productively and with serenity. In my mental health practice, I am encountering more people with panic disorder than ever before, in 33 years of being a therapist. People don’t know how to plan their lives, their futures or anything, because they can’t trust anyone, other than their loved ones (if they’re fortunate). Individuals are said to have “nervous breakdowns” when they reach the last straw, or the tipping point. I sense that as very close at hand for this once eminently sane, innovative, creative and even fearless society. I am so sad to see this happen to America.

It need not stay this way. We have free will, and we can change at any time. Shed the corrupt and toxic media, and it will be an amazing opportunity to begin anew. Stop listening to the liars and the corrupt. Resist, question, challenge, think and disobey: that’s what they fear the most. If millions stood up for themselves, and stopped worrying about offending others, the transformation could be truly inspiring.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Nietzsche and the Herd-Instinct: Why We Conform and Obey

Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. Let him follow his conscience, which cries out to him: “Be yourself! All that you are now doing, thinking, desiring, all that is not you.

Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations

We exist within the tension of numerous dualities. One of these dualities consists of two competing impulses: our impulse to conform and our impulse to individuate. Our impulse to individuate drives us to become what the philosopher Spinoza called “our own god”; to affirm our uniqueness and special talents, take control of our destiny and to stand out from the crowd. Our impulse to conform motivates us to merge with the group, mimic the behavior and appearance of others and conform our mind to the status-quo. One of the tasks of life is to find healthy balance between these two impulses. Too much individuation can make us feel lonely and disconnected from the social world. Too much conformity can alienate us from our authenticity and stimulate the guilt that arises when we fail to self-actualize. For most of us, too much conformity is more of a problem than too much individuation. Following the crowd and mimicking the masses is far easier than tapping into the powers inherent in our unique potential. In this video, drawing on Nietzsche’s insights, we are going to investigate the motives behind our impulse to conform as such knowledge may help us tip the scales toward a healthier dose of individuation.

According to Nietzsche, the primary reason why most of us conform far more than we individuate is due to the existence of a “herd instinct” – a vestige of our evolutionary past. Neither especially strong nor fleet footed, it was our ancestors’ capacity to cooperate in groups which enabled survival and allowed for the human species to propagate across the earth. The tribes and communities formed by our distant ancestors were not egalitarian – not every individual in them was of equal status. Rather, they were structured hierarchically. Typically there was one chief or a small council of leaders who were granted the powers of rule. The more numerous individuals, those at the bottom of the hierarchy, were expected to obey the commands of the leaders else face the threat of exile and an almost certain death.

“For as long as there have been people,” wrote Nietzsche “there have been herds of people as well (racial groups, communities, tribes, folk, states, churches), and a very large number of people who obey compared to relatively few who command. So, considering the fact that humanity has been the best and most long-standing breeding ground for the cultivation of obedience so far, it is reasonable to suppose that the average person has an innate need to obey as a type of formal conscience that commands: “Thou shalt unconditionally do something, unconditionally not do something,” in short: “Thou shalt.”…The oddly limited character of human development – its hesitancy and lengthiness, its frequent regressions and reversals – is due to the fact that the herd instinct of obedience is inherited the best and at the cost of the art of commanding.”

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Given the existence of the herd instinct, the healthy development of a child requires the presence of educators who act as his liberators. The child needs role models who encourage him to balance his innate need to obey with healthy doses of individualism and anti-authoritarianism. Unfortunately, in our most formative years we are thrown into an institution designed to breed collectivized and obedient workers, not individuated individuals. Like Pavlov’s dogs, our behavior is conditioned by whistles and bells. We are rewarded for regurgitating information, for standing in line when commanded and for affirming the status quo. Day in and day out, our schooling feeds our herd instinct and starves our impulse for independence, and so when we emerge into adulthood we lack the cognitive resources required to individuate and go our own way. When forced to determine a life-path, a career, or an identity, our early experience conditions us to obey. We choose the career our parents desire, we forge an identity based on who others want us to be, and we perceive life through the lens of whatever worldview our society deems natural and sane. We do not assume the role of the hero in our drama, but that of the non-playable character passively observing the passing of days. As Ernest Becker wrote:

“Take the average man who has to stage in his own way the life drama of his own worth and significance. As a youth he, like everyone else, feels that deep down he has a special talent, an indefinable but real something to contribute to the richness and success of life in the universe. But, like almost everyone else, he doesn’t seem to hit on the unfolding of this special something; his life takes on the character of a series of accidents and encounters that carry him along, willy-nilly, into new experiences and responsibilities. Career, marriage, family, approaching old age – all these happen to him, he doesn’t command them. Instead of his staging the drama of his own significance, he himself is staged, programmed by the standard scenario laid down by his society.”

Ernest Becker, Angel in Armor

In allowing ourselves to be programmed by society, Nietzsche hesitates to decide which motive is more fundamental: fear or laziness. On the one hand, we fear that if we individuate we will evoke the evil eye and envy of others. We intuitively know that one of the best ways to alienate ourselves from our social group is to take command of our life and to make something significant out of it, and so we are afraid of standing out and pursuing our own greatness. But on the other hand, we are lazy creatures who shun responsibility; our greatest passion is idleness. We possess strong inner resistances that inhibit us from doing the inner work needed to become the master of our soul.

“A traveler who had seen many countries, peoples and several of the earth’s continents was asked what attribute he had found in men everywhere. He said: “They have a propensity for laziness.” To others, it seems that he should have said: “They are all fearful. They hide themselves behind customs and opinions.” In his heart every man knows quite well that, being unique, he will be in the world only once and that there will be no second chance for his oneness to coalesce from the strangely variegated assortment that he is: he knows it but hides it like a bad conscience–why?”

Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations

Rather than hiding behind customs and opinions and evading responsibility for our unique fate, we should strive to balance our impulse to conform with increased doses of individuation. We should try to sculpt the raw material of our being into something particular and worthwhile. We should obey others less, and command ourselves more. We should engage in bold creative projects that sharpen our talents and test our persistence and strength of will. We should live dangerously by taking risks, embracing uncertainty and pursuing adventure. We should dare to speak the truth, even if it means making ourselves the target of the mob. Yet as we do, Nietzsche warned that the herd instinct will be our greatest danger. “Who do you think you are to remove your mental chains and go your individual way?”, the herd instinct will whisper from within. “You were born a sheep, not a wolf!”. With temptations and tricks, our herd instinct will try to lure us back into our old ways of obedience. “Why are you making life difficult for yourself?”, it will ask. “It is safer and easier to be like the others, find comfort in mediocrity and the anonymity of the crowd!”

Do we have the strength to resist the voice of the herd which emanates from within? Can we bear the responsibility and burdens of individuation? Do we have the courage to cast off our role of the non-playable character, and become the hero of our life’s play?

“He who seeks, easily gets lost. All loneliness is guilt”—thus speaks the herd. And you have long belonged to the herd. The voice of the herd will still be audible in you. And when you will say, “I no longer have a common conscience with you,” it will be a lament and an agony. Behold, this agony itself was born of the common conscience, and the last glimmer of that conscience still glows on your affliction. But do you want to go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength and a new right? A first movement? A self-propelled wheel? Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you? 

Friedrich Nietzsche

Biden Regime: Null and Void

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a proposed rule Monday that will designate certain AR-pistols as “short barreled rifles” and place them under the purview of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Another brazen violation of the Bill of Rights/2nd Amendment by the Joe Biden regime? Of course. But it’s also something else: An opportunity to nullify.

“Nullify” means: State governments (in red states) can refuse to enforce this unconstitutional edict. So can county and city governments (even within blue states). So can local sheriff’s offices. Think about it. Morally and Constitutionally, the Bill of Rights overrides the Biden regime. The Constitution trumps swamp creatures imposing their will in a lawless, arbitrary way. The rights of man supercede everything.
It’s time for us to stop thinking, feeling and acting like victims. Yes, we are victims of certain things; and yes, totalitarians are always victimizers, by definition. But we don’t have to sit and take it. We can demand that our state, county and other local governments start nullification. A lot of them, throughout the sea of red on the electoral map, are more than eager to comply. Not just with guns — but with all kinds of violations.

If we don’t, what’s the alternative? Send the tyrants a message that it’s OK to arbitrarily invoke an old law from 1934 to change and expand that law (without legislative action) in 2021? Once we’ve sent that message, we have sent them a green light to do the same with other guns — and with ALL guns. At that point, nobody will own guns except for violent criminals and the federal government. At that point, the two will be one and the same.

People keep asking, “What can we do?” Well, this is something we can do. Start treating each and every violation of the Biden regime as an opportunity to nullify.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason