We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Bowl of lentils. Bread and circuses. Lots of people want freebies and "services" more than freedom. I will admit that freedom is scary, not for the faint of heart. I still think of freedom from government as an American virtue. Old-fashioned, maybe. Do people now expect government to make reality right? That will never happen, because the structure of reality is extremely difficult. Reality seems to expect us to adapt to it, rather than the other way around.
The bumper sticker on many Ford 150s: "Reality Sucks."
And that is precisely the reason our Federal government was to be a government of limited specified powers. Nice try, but it has failed, as there are also a very large number of people who think that God - or their own innate superiority more likely - gives them the right to rule over the rest of us.
While I am always pleased to see someone remind us that the Good Olde Days weren't what we think, I have some objections to the article. It oversimplifies.
Freedom/Individual responsibility versus reduced risk and wanting others to handle things for us is a continuum, not a binary. Having others do stuff for us is what division of labor is all about, and we have always collectively agreed to schedules of who has to watch to make sure the campfire doesn't go out and listen for attacks.
Every society has people who want a great deal of independence and people who want a lot of collective protection and convenience. Americans lean more to the former, but it is a matter of degree, not either-or. Imagine it as a series of bell curves along a line, each country or culture represented by its own curve. The American curve might be farthest to the north side, but that still leaves some Malaysians or Germans also well north of average.
The author seems annoyed that more Americans aren't up to his standard of independence. He might be right that we'd be better off with more like him, but I don't consider that proven.
Assistant Village Idiot
Hear, hear! especially regarding the delusion of binary choices. I think this delusion is an artifact of 24/7, corporatist media and their tendency to play up and emphasize the fringes, the melodramatic, the click bait. That is their revenue stream, after all. The normies and their struggle to find practical, balanced solutions are ignored because they are mundane or the normies are misrepresented, really lied about. Look how abortion, immigration, and gun control are presented.
Freedom means responsibility. It also means respecting other people's freedom. An infant's needs are all met without his having to follow rules or expend effort, but he has no freedom. An adult in the free market is exposed to risk and hunger because he can't force other people to meet his needs: he has to bargain with them and offer something of value in return. At the very least, he has to admit that he's down and out and badly needs help, in which case he probably also has to persuade people that he's honest and not just a grifter looking for a fix, and preferably that he's been trying to be plugged into a mutual system of aid when people hit terrible luck.
You don't need a totalitarian system to be generous with your own wealth. You only need it to force other people to give you their stuff against their will.
Just been reading 'The Anatomy of the State' by Murray Rothbard. Very informative viewpoint.
Through history, man’s productive and creative forces have, time and again, carved out new ways of transforming nature for man’s benefit. These have been the times when social power has spurted ahead of State power, and when the degree of State encroachment over society has considerably lessened. But always, after a greater or smaller time lag, the State has moved into these new areas, to cripple and confiscate social power once more.42 If the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries were, in many countries of the West, times of accelerating social power, and a corollary increase in freedom, peace, and material welfare, the twentieth century has been primarily an age in which State power has been catching up—with a consequent reversion to slavery, war, and destruction.
IM(NS)HO, I don't really b'lieve that Reality actually gives a wee rat-f**k, either way, whether we "adapt" to it or not - genuine, for-reals Reality goes where it chooses, does what it's gonna do, and keeps right on a-truckin'...pretty-much no matter what we do or don't do...
That's just the way Reality - and Real-Life - is - y'know?...