Friday, June 20, 2014

Who Deals with the Freeloaders and Predators?

The two Big Problems of human society, in my view, are Freeloaders and Freebooters.  I have a whole chapter about it in "Freebooters and Freeloaders." Who are they?

The Freebooters are the common criminals that prey on the poor.  That's what we have police forces for.  That's just the domestic freebooters.  The foreign freebooters are the neighboring state, the expansionist empire, the marauders and the pirates.  That's what we have armies for.

But what about the freeloaders?  They are the people looking for free stuff.  And it's a curious thing that the government that defends us from freebooters, common criminals and dreaded foreign powers, is the agency that tends and feeds the freeloaders.  Why does it do that?  Because that is how all governments maintain their power.  They originate as rebel or conquering armies that distribute baronies to the captains in their armies.  They continue by buying the loyalty of their supporters with government spending and privileges.

So we could say that governments exist to protect the people from the predators.  But they do it at the cost of encouraging the freeloaders.  Two steps forward and one step backward.

What do we do about the freeloader problem?  That's what we have religion for, and specifically the post-Axial Age religions that advance an individual relationship with God.  Put it this way.  The only way you can deal with a common criminal is by arresting him and locking him up.  But freeloaders are different.  They are people that don't actively break the law.  They are just sneaking around looking for handouts.  It's obviously a universal human trait or we wouldn't have supermarket specials and coupons and airline frequent flier programs.

The way you deal with freeloaders is you make them ashamed of their idleness. You shame them into getting a job.  That's what religion does.

Back when Jane Austen was writing novels it was nothing for the rich to be idle.  And the worst of the worst were the young heirs that wasted their youths on gambling and dissipation.  I am thinking in particular of young Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park.

Not any more.  The liberal trustafarians of our own time all present themselves as busy as bees running their family foundations and funding social justice projects.  High class women don't sit around embroidering and making calls. They all have college educations and have careers.  Rich people don't have social cachet these days unless they are doing something.

So much for the rich.  But at the other end of the spectrum the modern welfare state actually encourages the poor in their idleness.  It makes a virtue out of freeloading!  And this is coded into the very design of the authoritarian welfare state and its over-under governing coalition.  The "over" part gets the jobs, the money, the power and the love of beautiful women.  The "under" part gets to freeload with a share of the loot, a payoff for voting the "overs" into power.

Now I maintain that the secular liberal political movement is actually a secular religion.  It is not just a governing party but a way of life.  So here we have a religion that actually promotes freeloading!

If you ask me, something's gotta give.

Here's my idea for a better America.  Keep the government focused on fighting the freebooters and the predators.  Government is force, and the only thing it can do is wage war on someone.

But we need a new religion to shame the freeloaders.  Religion is all about the meaning of life and what it takes to live a good life.  And the way that religion works on people is by shaming and shunning the backsliders: "social control" as our liberal friends put it.

But first we've got to chase the present liberal priesthood out of the temple, because their religion is a false religion.  If a religion does not shame its believers away from freeloading then it is worth nothing at all.

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