24 - 29/Apr/2021
The C Word
I've been thinking a lot about culture lately.
Wikipedia defines culture as "the social behavior and norms found in human societies", which is perfect because that's exactly what I think is the problem with the world today.
For example, when did it become normal to not hold one another accountable for not doing one's job, or being good parents, or even being honest and respectful? These days it feels like we let everyone get a pass. At the same time, it also feels as if it's become normal for people to try and force their ideas on you, or to get you cancelled just for disagreeing with their view of the world.
My hope is that this isn't going to be the permanent state of our society from now on, or that it's going to take some apocalyptic scenario to wake people up. What I'm hoping is that the current situation is merely a dictatorship of the small minority, where it's really only a small but loud percentage of the population dictating their preferences onto a silent majority who have been taken for a ride without realizing where they were headed.
In the world of Bitcoin, there's a solution to these types of situations through the power of forking. Unfortunately, this is not really possible in the real world. For better or worse, most of us are stuck with one another.
So the question is, what kind of culture do I want to raise my children in?
For me it's one where I'm free to work and make a living doing what I want so long as I'm not hurting others. A world built on a free market that isn't controlled by any central authority but allowed to properly act as an efficient price discovery mechanism so that good investments, those that add value to the world, are profitable, while bad investments are not. I want a world where everyone's private property rights are respected, not by a state with a monopoly on violence, but by the community at large because it is part of the culture. A culture that doesn't use force to take from each according to his ability in order to give to those in need, but properly incentivizes people to use their skills to contribute to society.
To me these are the foundations upon which a great culture is built. I believe that we as humans are driven by incentives. Whether it's money, fame, family, power, or an overwhelming desire to do good in the world. We'd be no different from the animals if all we cared about was survival. What makes us human is our desire and ability to do more than just eat, sleep, and procreate.
Without the proper incentives, I believe we would have nothing to keep pushing us forward into the future, and that's exactly the kind of world we seem to be heading towards. A world where our freedoms are being taken away from us little by little. Where we are no longer free to say what we want, or spend our money how we want, or even associate with who we want.
A world without freedom means one of control, and you can't have control without someone doing the controlling. How would you like to live in a world where instead of letting the free market decide on what's best, it's left up to a small group of people to make those decisions for everyone. Instead of letting people compete to produce the best food, the best cars, the best spaceships, or the best money, you let some central authority plan everything.
I can't help but be concerned by the increasing amounts of regulation that seems to be becoming increasingly prevalent, not just by the state, but by the cancel mob. And while I can understand arguments from those who say there should be consequences for being an asshole, it's gotten to the point where we're cancelling people simply for having a different opinion.
I want a world where we're free to think what we want and to express our opinions without threat of violence or damage to your private property. I want a world where we try to influence others not by force but through voluntary means. I would never try and impose my views on someone by throwing tantrums or with threats to physically or financially hurt others, but by reasoning with them and using rational arguments to try and persuade, not coerce.
I understand people wanting to help the poor and the needy, but I disagree that the best way to help them is through welfare programs or higher taxes. That's what you get with a central planner.
The reality is that the world isn't perfect. There will always be people who are unhappy, or less fortunate than others, but I believe it's possible to do a whole lot better than we're doing now, and I believe that free-market capitalism can provide the necessary solutions.
But first we need to fix the culture. We need to live in a society that allows the free flow of ideas so that the best ideas can be heard by all in order to reach proper consensus. At the moment, what I'm finding is that it's some of the worst ideas that are being taught in our schools and spread on social media while any voices that oppose them are being censored or swept under the rug.
As I said, we may not have the ability to fork away from our neighbors, but what we do have is the power to stand up for what we believe in rather than cowering to the mob. Because only by standing firm will your ideas have any chance to propagate to the rest of the network known as the human race.