Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Opt Me Out, Baby!

OK, you tell me. How do we get out of the vicious circle of the modern administrative state. We are all pissed off by intrusive bossy government. But hands off my Medicare! That's the way the world-wide Trump phenomenon works.

We talk about African Americans trapped on the liberal plantation, but what about the rest of us?

The truth is that we are all trapped in subordination to the administrative state, because we are all forced to pay for the benefits in our payroll taxes whether we like it or not, and then we all demand that we get our payoff.

Which means that we are all chained to The Man. We are trapped by the System.

Mencius Moldbug of the Dark Enlightenment has some uncomfortable words about this.
First, the King's law is that either a human being is a free, taxpaying yeoman, or a ward. A ward is any dependent - anyone not responsible to provide for his or her support. The general principle of wardship is that every ward must have a patron, who is responsible for supporting the ward, authorized to direct and discipline the ward, and liable for the ward's offenses. This is not my idea - it is straight out of Roman law.
Note how in the administrative state the patron/ward relationship has got all messed up. The patrons, Poo-Bahs of the administrative state, make the rest us pay for their wards, but they don't properly "direct and discipline" their wards. They tell the rest of us that we are "liable for the ward's offenses" because racism, or injustice, or something.

You can see the problem. These days we are all wards, because we are all, every one of us, dependent on the state. We depend of free education for our kids. And free education has made education so expensive that most ordinary middle-class people can't imagine finding the money for private school. Tied to the payroll taxes of Social Security we don't have any money left over for saving for retirement (or any other purpose) so we are grateful for the security of that government check when we hit our 60s. We can't imagine doing without it. And so on.

So we can't get started in the quest to get free of the fetters of the liberal administrative state because we can't imagine bearing the expense of freedom.

The solution is staring us right in the face. We have to have the courage to demand the right to "opt out." Mothers are already doing this with home-schooling. They look at what the government school does to their children and they can't allow it to continue. So they take their kids out of school and teach them at home. These mothers find, of course, that children are programmed to grow up and learn the things they need to become responsible adults. Home-schooled children turn in better test results and as for being "socialized," well since they have been around adults all their lives instead of bullies and mean girls at school, they have been socialized to operate in the adult world, not the Lord of the Flies world of the government school.

Now we need to extend the "opt out" concept to Social Security and Unemployment and Workers Comp. on the model that I am a free person and I have the right to provide for myself and for my family without the government forcing me to do it the "Navy way" like they forced John Wayne in The Fighting Seabees.

But isn't that kinda selfish? Yes, it is. And if you look at politics you find that everyone, from the noblest ruling-class scion down to the most helpless teenaged single mother, wants the government to give money or power to them, and screw everybody else.

Never mind selfish: would it work? Well, it would certainly work. Just as home-schoolers have found that children naturally want to grow up to independence, we know that adult humans naturally want to save against a rainy day. It takes government education to make children hate learning and it takes government payroll taxes to get adults to stop saving from their wages.

No, the real point is: How many people would actually buy into the "opt out" concept and demand to fund their own rainy-day fund and their own retirement? Are there enough people to make this into a winning political issue?

That is the question. The only way to find out is to try.

Because the alternative, to live lif as a dependent ward, means that you live under the authority of a patron. And the patron gets to tell you when it is time to work, when it is time to eat, when it is time to go home.

Just like Verdi's father insists, far too late, in The Life of Verdi. "I am the father, and I decide when it is time to go."

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