One of the underlying premises of debate is the concept of agreement: that we can convince others to take our position, or at least convince them to compromise somewhat in their own.
I received an email today from a man who said, in response to one of my statements about monarchy: “I don’t agree with you, and I don’t think most people will [ever agree with you either].”
It isn’t my job to convince you of anything. I can HOPE that I do. My job, and the job of others like me in the libertarian movement, is simply to understand what leads to the most peaceful, prosperous, healthy society for the members of society.
This is to understand what it is that people CAN do, or MUST do. What they choose to do is something very different. We all choose to do foolish things. We all prefer something good now to the chance for something better later. We all choose to privatize wins and socialize losses. We all develop philosophies of power or weakness depending upon how we see our current position in life. There are dozens of things we do and do not do.
There is a chance that I can prove to you that human minds require technologies in order to make comparisons. I can perhaps explain to you that calculation is a form of comparison, and perhaps that language, logic, mathematics, and science – even literature, myths, and fables – are methods of making comparisons, calculations, estimations, and forecasts that we could not make without them.
There is a chance that I can help you understand that humans cannot cooperate in large numbers without these tools. I might convince you that some of these tools are things that we do not like – such as money, prices, insurance, banking, and accounting – simply because they are difficult to understand, impersonal, or because we believe that they dehumanize us, despite the fact that they are the human technologies that make our existence, health, and prosperity possible.
There is a chance that I could show you that democracy cannot tolerate these institutions and technologies, although it might be the hardest thing to do, because it would rely on collecting data or estimates of human psychology that are difficult to obtain.
We seem to have failed. Libertarians failed yet again. We failed for very simple reasons, but we failed. Our job is no longer to convince people of anything. It is to create a path out of chaos and tyranny: the tyranny of the mob or the tyranny of the state, it doesn’t matter.
I am not trying to help you. You don’t want my help. I only talk to you so that I can get better at explaining why what we are doing doesn’t work, so that I can more easily explain, to whomever desires, why a different solution to political economy does work.
Some people do not like it when I write like this, but it doesn’t mean that I love anyone on earth any less. It means that I am conscious of the psychology that operates in populations. This is something that history does teach us.
We need a way of looking at the world once we understand that democracy failed, that it always has and always will fail. It is part of the process of devolution. It is a temporary flare of consumption as a civilization burns itself out – consuming what it has made over centuries.
That’s our job: to produce an answer BEFORE we need it so that, should some enterprising group of people actually seek a solution, at the right moment in time and where they can, for some reason, choose from the multitude of models of the past or choose from new models yet untried, they will choose one of ours.
It may seem like a thin hope, but that depends entirely on your view of the conditions and ambitions of the people in that unknown future.