6 votes

To the "5 Stupid Things" fellow

1. Why did you support whatever politician you supported for President in 2012? Was it because you agreed with him? Was it because you thought the nation should be operated the way you think it needs to operated?

Why did you choose the last meal you ate at a restaurant? Was it because you wanted it?

If you are in a relationship, why are you with your significant other? Is it for her/his own good? Are you doing them a favor by staying? Or, do you genuinely enjoy their company? Or, are you in it for the sex? etc.

I challenge anyone to name a decision you've made for action (or inaction) where you think the goal you aimed at, if achieved, wouldn't give you more satisfaction than the perceived amount of dissatisfaction that may have potentially been incurred by you from the barriers to the action (price, effort, and otherwise) or other possible outcomes when the decision was under consideration.

Put simply, people do the things they do because they think their goals are worthy of the cost.

Newton laid out the principles of Calculus and Classical Mechanics because that's what interested him. Similar things could be said of Einstein, Feynman, Gibbs, and the like.

In essence selfishness, in one form or another, guides all human action.

In my humble opinion, where selfishness becomes dangerous is when one is so dogged in his/her beliefs that they feel hunky-dory advocating theft from those who disagree with them (and often support physical violence against them, as well, by the State apparatus).

For instance, one might say, "If you don't pay your taxes, I hope you rot in jail."

What is one truly saying but, "I allow myself to get robbed, even though I don't like it, and therefore, although you performed no action that harmed another, you should be forced to live in a cage if you choose to resist the same type of armed robbery that was carried out against myself. Only victims of the State shall be 'free'"?


2. The State alienates itself by violently murdering citizens and people abroad - approaching 300 million non-military murders during the 20th Century (Democide Wiki).

Very little work is required besides telling "inconvenient" facts.

In addition, the person in the video is unaware that the system of government in the United States was not intended to be a democracy - where the majority may tyrannize the minority. The US was designed as a Republic, whereby the rule of law would be supreme to the edict of men - regardless how many of them teamed up against an individual or minority. In the envisaged system of government of the Founders, the recognition of natural rights weren't suppose to be up for vote.

Further, name me an instance where the State has served as such a potentially awesome tool of the people. Oh, it never happened? It is all just a pipe dream, and forcing people to do things against their will really is ignoble? Who would of thought it? (Even if a menial example could be produced, it would pale in comparison to the vast number of counterexamples.)

Taming the State is a pipe dream.


3. Anachronism. This is a tired argument. You think spoiling the people is new? Here is an excerpt from a book written circa 1550 which was referring to even an older example than that:

This method tyrants use of stultifying their subjects cannot be more clearly observed than in what Cyrus did with the Lydians after he had taken Sardis, their chief city, and had at his mercy the captured Croesus, their fabulously rich king. When news was brought to him that the people of Sardis had rebelled, it would have been easy for him to reduce them by force; but being unwilling either to sack such a fine city or to maintain an army there to police it, he thought of an unusual expedient for reducing it.

He established in it brothels, taverns, and public games, and issued the proclamation that the inhabitants were to enjoy them. He found this type of garrison so effective that he never again had to draw the sword against the Lydians. These wretched people enjoyed themselves inventing all kinds of games, so that the Latins have derived the word from them, and what we call pastimes they call ludi, as if they meant to say Lydi.

Not all tyrants have manifested so clearly their intention to effeminize their victims; but in fact, what the aforementioned despot publicly proclaimed and put into effect, most of the others have pursued secretly as an end. It is indeed the nature of the populace, whose density is always greater in the cities, to be suspicious toward one who has their welfare at heart, and gullible toward one who fools them.

Do not imagine that there is any bird more easily caught by decoy, nor any fish sooner fixed on the hook by wormy bait, than are all these poor fools neatly tricked into servitude by the slightest feather passed, so to speak, before their mouths. Truly it is a marvelous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy. Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny.

By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naïvely, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.

Roman tyrants invented a further refinement. They often provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble, always more readily tempted by the pleasure of eating than by anything else. The most intelligent and understanding amongst them would not have quit his soup bowl to recover the liberty of the Republic of Plato. Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, “Long live the King!”

The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them.

This is not a new fight. Tyranny is old.

The "new" things about which you speak are simply an old-hat rehash.


4. Do you know every libertarian? How can one label them all as smug?

I'm not smug. I know many people who are, but I would say they're most likely randomly distributed among people with respect to categorizations of political ideology. I seriously doubt that there is a strong correlation.

In addition, it is hypocritically smug to proclaim others as smug on such a collective basis.


5. Naivete

Why did you make this video? Did the State force you to make it?

Why do people go to work? So they can afford to live and do some of the things they desire? Do nurses go to work everyday because of the State?

Do people who are serious about college go because they want to serve the State?

Or, do people do what they do because they wish to maintain their cellphone service?

Would all of those demands cease to exist if the State ceased to exist?


Riddle me this. What do I owe you, particularly?

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Haven't watched Larken's response yet, but...

I was just curious why the "5 stupid things" thread ended up on the front page - unless a rebuttal was sought after. I thought the above is pretty solid for that purpose.

As Paine said in Common Sense:

PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom.

But, it is what it is. It is.

scawarren's picture

Did you link this in a

Did you link this in a comment to Steve somebody's YouTube video? If not you should :)

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e.e. cummings

I haven't signed into YT in a while...

Perhaps, someone that comes across it here can link it.

I need to go mow the lawn. It's nice outside.

Inspired by an image on the "5 stupid things" video