Beliefs should be dynamic as new information comes into the picture, or more understanding is developed. Plenty of energy is put into making sure this change does not occur in politics, so that the people in power can remain in power. Sometimes they have to change what they say or how they vote in order to keep their voters, while most politicians probably don’t really change their beliefs (most seem to think they were born to be ruling elites). But for the most part, they want to retain the same voting block, and stagnant beliefs are the way to do it. That is why I want to recount my transformation in political beliefs.
I remember my parents voting for Bob Dole, and people saying they would vote for Clinton because Bob Dole would probably die in office. That was when I was in second grade, so it was funny to hear people say the same thing when McCain ran in 2008. Of course, that’s why we have Vice Presidents, but its a catchy reason to justify a vote. I wonder if people will say the say thing about Hillary who will be 69 in 2016, 3 years younger than McCain was in 2008.
Then when I was in 6th grade I remember energetically supporting Bush. From what I knew, if you voted for Republicans, government would shrink, taxes would go down, and there would be more freedom. It would be cute if it wasn’t so sad! But I was 12 years old and that was my understanding. Democrats just wanted to raise taxes, take our guns, and make more laws.
And Republican I remained for many years, registering as one when I turned 18, even though most of my family are independent. Still I grew up being told to never trust government, and generally I thought Republicans would take government out of my life. By this time I understood that there were mysterious creatures called RINOs, Republicans In Name Only. McCain was a RINO because he took away free speech rights when he teamed up with Feingold.
But you gotta vote for the lesser of two evils, right? So I swallowed hard and voted for McCain in 2008 so that Obama couldn’t “spread the wealth around”. And at least McCain was a veteran who loved his country…right?
I was already essentially libertarian in mindset, it just took a while for me to realize Republicans were not. This thing I believed about how Republicans would lower taxes and shrink government, except for a few RINO exceptions… nope. It was vice versa. There were a few good Republicans who fit the definition I believed, which was just libertarian. So I gravitated towards Ron Paul because he was the real deal, wanting to end the Fed, and free the market. Free markets seemed, and still do, so obviously beneficial to me.
And with Ron Paul’s message I continued down the path to a libertarian mindset, beginning to realize the wars we fight overseas are not national defense, they don’t keep us safe, and they are inconsistant. If we are saving oppressed people, well then there were 500 more countries we should invade. If we are keeping America safe, well why is North Korea still around? It didn’t make sense and I began to say, close the bases, bring them home, defend our country. Big Navy, put them on the borders, let the rest of the world see how it does without the U.S.
The military thing was a tough one to let go of, because it is often the main cheer for the Republican team. It was much easier to get on board with things like ending the drug war and gay rights (rather, abolishing the recognition of any marriage by the government, because the less control the better). And with a consistent mindset, I was never confused on an issue, it was simple: does this grow or shrink government? Does this give them more control or less control? Are they intervening in the economy or not?
This came along with Ayn Rand, and the non-agression principle, that you should not initiate force against another. But Ayn Rand still thought you needed some government, and had some justification for it, even though she claimed to believe fully in that no one has the right to initiate force. Except the government, just a little, on a small scale? That didn’t make much sense. But what was the alternative? It must just be a matter of designing the perfect government to remain small. America came close, but if we could just tweak a few things in the Constitution, we would forever be able to limit government… with a piece of paper. In college I even began to design a new government, based on the Constitution but with different mechanisms to keep the voters in control and the government decentralized.
In 2012 I wouldn’t do it again, vote for the lesser of two evil. I voted for Gary Johnson because at least then it was a protest vote, sort of like none of the above (even though I did actually like Gary Johnson). Still a piece of me hoped Romney would win, because at least the country would go downhill at a slower pace. People would pretend Fascist and Socialist were opposite ends of the political spectrum, but that’s not true. It’s Dictators, Monarchies, Fascist, and Socialist at one end, and Anarchy at the other.
I knew I was on the Anarchy side, but hadn’t taken the plunge because I was scared of the chaos that would surely result from having no government. Can you imagine, just us animals running around wild! We see how humans act, so what if they weren’t held in check by the law? Little did I understand that I was putting the cart before the horse. This is how humans act because of the government, and the examples it sets. Murder, kidnapping, assault, theft could all be justified because when the government did it, it was okay. So why Isn’t it okay if I do it?
And in 2013 at PorcFest I finally got my answer of how it would work in an anarcho-capitalist society. When used synonymously with free-market, capitalism is an ideal. Just free trade, no limitations on voluntary agreements between two individuals. David Friedman made me realize that if there is a market for something it will be provided. And as I knew was the case for health, currency, food safety, economics etcetera, markets would likewise deliver roads and security better and more efficiently than a monopoly on force, because the businesses would have to respond to their customers’.
The market forces would regulate these things, and since everyone wouldn’t choose the same business, competition would keep them honest and cheap. We are the regulators, the market, and without government serving as blocker, we are better equipped to make decisions about where we put our money and how the services should be delivered. We can vote with out dollars, because our votes for politicians don’t matter. That is an ineffective check on government power, and an inefficient means of providing the change in systems that would be demanded by customers if it were a business delivering the services, who must turn a profit to remain.
But no one really talked about how to get there, to a society without force, so I thought about it. I came up with a peaceful method to strive for and put a presentation together for PorcFest this year (I will post the video when it is available). It involved transitioning through the legislative process, shrinking government, and finally abolishing it slowly with time for the market to give rise to alternatives to any desired services the government previously monopolized and extracted money by force to pay for.
And after I gave my talk, another possibility was introduced to me for the transition, also peacefully, to a society without the monopolization of force, and without “legal” coercion. Opt out. Find enough people like you who you can live peacefully in a community with, and opt out. When the tax man comes to take you away, inform him that you do no desire, nor require their “services”, will not use them, and refuse to pay for them. Alone, they will come for you with guns and cage you, maybe kill you if you resist the kidnapping. But there is strength in numbers, not only in one community, but in groups of communities.
I was lucky enough to have my family come with me on the transition. With the way I was taught how to learn, not what to learn, it was natural that at some point my parents would learn from me, and they were open minded enough to do so. Then I would learn a little more from them. Then them from me. We, along with my siblings and cousins, would leap frog in our ideas about government. Every time someone learned something new, or adopted a new attitude or idea, it was discussed, with the foundation agreement on the non-agression principle. Each of us didn’t just want to be “right” and have everyone believe our version of whatever, we sought truth, and in doing so were able to adopt what made sense, and abandon the fallacies.
I’m not going to say this is the end of my journey, there should never be an end to finding truth, to learning, to discovering the best way to live. I want to free the population, I am against human slavery, in all its forms. But this is how I went from being a slave feuding with a rival slave faction, to a self aware slave, trying to bring all the other slaves together and resist out violent masters.