Tag Archives: Human Action

Murray Rothbard on Compulsive Morality

“Suppose for a moment, that we define a virtuous act as bowing in the direction of Mecca every day at sunset. We attempt to persuade everyone to perform this act. But suppose that instead of relying on voluntary conviction we employ a vast number of police to break into everyone’s home and see to it that every day they are pushed down to the floor in the direction of Mecca. No doubt by taking such measures we will increase the number of people bowing toward Mecca. But by forcing them to do so, we are taking them out of the realm of action and into mere motion, and we are depriving all these coerced persons of the very possibility of acting morally. By attempting to compel virtue, we eliminate its possibility. To be moral, an act must be free.”

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Why am I so blessed? Or have I spoke too soon?

I can’t recommend enough that people study economics. It has taken over my life, for the better. It is the ultimate red pill. Governments make sense when you study economics (if you’re studying the right places). It makes revolutions all the more understandable, and is truly frightening in making you realize that, very likely, you may be involved in a revolutionary war in your life time, or a political prisoner, or subjected to the whims of your “rulers”, whatever they may be. “Constitutional protections” are flimsy when the rulers just……….you know, ignore them. The ultimate answer is an education. That is truly profound. The battle between good and evil never ultimately ceases. We just, thankfully, get some breaks from it every now and then. Peace, of course, is preferable. But smart people know that evil people won’t hesitate to use evil to achieve their means. It is crucial that people be willing to accept their natural right to defend themselves.

It is already known that the Enlightenment changed the world. And such a relatively short period of time ago. But as government gets more and more involved in education, these truths become lost. We mustn’t let the little kiddies ever believe that they have a “right” to ever disobey us. This is why the warning bells have been signaled ever since America’s FOUNDING. The debate over the structure of the government. Thankfully, America was founded upon a rebellion against tyranny. The Enlightenment changed the world. Americans are the products of the Enlightenment. It truly makes one want to study world history, and see if America really was the first “free land”. Ireland, apparently, was “free” for a millennium. That’s astounding. History is full of revolutions. Now, more than ever, I am interested in studying world history.  I finally no longer have my fingers in my ears while I sing “Our God is an awesome God” every time the subject of world history comes to my attention. The same for other subjects as well (thank God).

Many Americans have a “Revere” spirit. We still remember why America became a nation. And at least some of us still understand that this is always relevant. “Revolution” is not simply “historical”. It is always an option. Many Americans understand this, but sadly, more and more refuse to accept this truth. More and more, people become less skeptical of “leaders”. They refuse to believe that America could ever become, say, a North Korea. That type of attitude whittles away the revolutionary spirit that founded the nation. It is a very scary trend. The reason economics is so crucial to this cause is because people will ask, for example, what happened in 2008? Why did I lose everything? They look for answers. Their political leaders always offer them the solutions. And many of them listen, and believe the leaders. Even the most elementary glance at history shows the ultimate “conclusion” of government control. Americans are skeptical of this. “Wait a minute: weren’t we founded on a rebellion against government? Wasn’t that what the Enlightenment was all about? Something fishy is going on here. What am I missing?” The answer is economics.

……….Of course, educating oneself in other areas would help as well. I’m getting around to educating myself on world history. Currently, I’m too involved with economics to do both. You have to have a structure when learning. That, really, comes down to the individual student.

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Free Will Contradictions.

Read.

An Amateur’s Thoughts on “America”

Americans don’t care about the world or world history because we’ve already done, in 200 years, what it took millennia for the rest of the world to start doing, and they still haven’t even caught up yet.

I’m only half joking.

Why was America known as the “Land of Opportunity”? Why is America known as such a “melting pot”? What other countries were known as “melting pots”? I’m sure there has had to have been others. How much of the rest of the world was a “melting pot”, and who made up the “ingredients”? How “diverse” were they? I don’t believe that America is known as a “melting pot” simply because we scream it louder so that people believe it. There has to be some truth to it. People have come here from all over the world: the question is: why? War-mongering politicians have corrupted the phrase “American exceptionalism”. They have hijacked it and perverted it. But there’s some truth to the idea of “American exceptionalism”. There’s truth to the phrase “greatest country in the world”. America is a product of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Historically speaking, they occurred right after the other. This has bode exceptionally well for us Americans.

There’s certainly a significant stain across American history, mainly in the form of slavery. Also, of course, “Native Americans” are described as “Natives” for a reason. But I have a feeling I’m missing out significant information regarding the mix between Europeans and Native Americans. Something tells me my government education has left very significant facts out of the picture. I’m skeptical of the common account of “history”.

But the Industrial Revolution occurred very early on in America’s history (when you compare the histories of other nations, and how long it took for them to undergo an “Industrial Revolution”). The impact of the Industrial Revolution cannot be understated. This combination of the rebellious “Enlightenment” coupled with the Industrial Revolution has created a sense of superiority within Americans. Honestly……….considering these two factors, it’s justified. Of course, America’s flaws should be pointed out, past or present. But us Americans know why we feel superior to the rest of the world. It is because we were fucking lucky. We’ve had it better than everyone else before us. We’re happy about that fact. Our history is one of rebelliousness, particularly of government, and of capitalism. This was, for all intents and purposes, our birth. We didn’t have centuries of history before this. Granted, we can look at those people that moved here, and trace their histories back to countries with rich histories. But we identify as Americans. The world sucked for a very long time, and we got extremely lucky. Our life was one of extreme fortune. For us, America is truly when history starts.

I should do more research on the Enlightenment thinkers and the historical capitalists that have made America what it is today: where they were from, etc. Something beyond the superficial “history” that I learned in school.

The “world” is a whole nother matter entirely.

The point is that world history is a complicated subject.

Murray Rothbard – Left, Right, and the Prospects for Liberty.

Politics.

Economics.

Liberal.

Fem.

Murray Rothbard line in “Economic Controversies”.

“It should be realized that values do not become true or legitimate because many people hold them; and their popularity does not make them self-evident.”

More Murray Rothbard.

Even more Murray Rothbard.

Individual Justification from Historical Authors.

The parts of Human Action by Mises that I most intimately relate to (updated as I currently read and find more things to add).

1. “It is vain to object that life and reality are not logical. Life and reality are neither logical nor illogical; they are simply given. But logic is the only tool available to man for the comprehension of both. It is vain to object that life and history are inscrutable and ineffable and that human reason can never penetrate to their inner core. The critics contradict themselves in uttering words about the ineffable and expounding theories—of course, spurious theories—about the unfathomable. There are many things beyond the reach of the human mind. But as far as man is able to attain any knowledge, however limited, he can use only one avenue of approach, that opened by reason.”

2. “The revolt against reason, the characteristic mental attitude of our age, was not caused by a lack of modesty, caution, and self-examination on the part of the philosophers. Neither was it due to failures in the evolution of modern natural science. The amazing achievements of technology and therapeutics speak a language which nobody can ignore. It is hopeless to attack modern science, whether from the angle of intuitionism and mysticism, or from any other point of view. The revolt against reason was directed against another target. It did not aim at the natural sciences, but at economics. The attack against the natural sciences was only the logically necessary outcome of the attack against economics. It was impermissible to dethrone reason in one field only and not to question it in other branches of knowledge also.

The great upheaval was born out of the historical situation existing in the middle of the nineteenth century. The economists had entirely demolished the fantastic delusions of the socialist utopians. The deficiencies of the classical system prevented them from comprehending why every socialist plan must be unrealizable; but they knew enough to demonstrate the futility of all socialist schemes produced up to their time. The communist ideas were done for. The socialists were absolutely unable to raise any objection to the devastating criticism of their schemes and to advance any argument in their favor. It seemed as if socialism was dead forever.

Only one way could lead the socialists out of this impasse. They could attack logic and reason and substitute mystical intuition for ratiocination. It was the historical role of Karl Marx to propose this solution.”

3. “There was still the main obstacle to overcome: the devastating criticism of the economists. Marx had a solution at hand. Human reason, he asserted, is constitutionally unfitted to find truth. The logical structure of mind is different with various social classes. There is no such thing as a universally valid logic. What mind produces can never be anything but ‘ideology,’ that is, in the Marxian terminology, a set of ideas disguising the selfish interests of the thinker’s own social class. Hence, the ‘bourgeois’ mind of the economists is utterly incapable of producing more than an apology for capitalism. The teachings of ‘bourgeois’ science, an offshoot of ‘bourgeois’ logic, are of no avail for the proletarians, the rising class destined to abolish all classes and to convert the earth into a Garden of Eden.”

4. “It is certain that many intellectuals envy the higher income of prosperous businessmen and that these feelings drive them toward socialism. They believe that the authorities of a socialist commonwealth would pay them higher salaries than those that they earn under capitalism.”

5. “Sometimes a superficial observer may believe that labor performed by other people gives rise to immediate gratification because he himself would like to engage in a kind of play which apparently imitates the kind of labor concerned. As children play school, soldiers, and railroad, so adults too would like to play this and that. They think that the railroad engineer must enjoy operating and steering his engine as much as they would if they were permitted to toy with it.
On his hurried way to the office the bookkeeper envies the patrolman who, he thinks, is paid for leisurely strolling around his beat. But the patrolman envies the bookkeeper who, sitting on a comfortable chair in a well-heated room, makes money by some scribbling which cannot seriously be called labor. Yet the opinions of people who misinterpret other people’s work and consider it a mere pastime need not be taken seriously.”

6. The Creative Genius: Far above the millions that come and pass away tower the pioneers, the men whose deeds and ideas cut out new paths for mankind. For the pioneering genius¹² to create is the essence of life. To live means for him to create. The activities of these prodigious men cannot be fully subsumed under the praxeological concept of labor. They are not labor because they are for the genius not means, but ends in themselves. He lives in creating and inventing. For him there is not leisure, only intermissions of temporary sterility and frustration. His incentive is not the desire to bring about a result, but the act of producing it. The accomplishment gratifies him neither mediately nor immediately. It does not gratify him mediately because his fellow men at best are unconcerned about it, more often even greet it with taunts, sneers, and persecution. Many a genius could have used his gifts to render his life agreeable and joyful; he did not even consider such a possibility and chose the thorny path without hesitation. The genius wants to accomplish what he considers his mission, even if he knows that he moves toward his own disaster. Neither does the genius derive immediate gratification from his creative activities. Creating is for him agony and torment, a ceaseless excruciating struggle against internal and external obstacles; it consumes and crushes him.

¹²Leaders [Fürhrers] are not pioneers. They guide people along the tracks pioneers have laid. The pioneer clears a road through land hitherto inaccessible and may not care whether or not anybody wants to go the new way. The leader directs people toward the goal they want to reach.”

7. “Neither society nor single individuals can substantially further the genius and his work.”

8. “Men cannot improve the natural and social conditions which bring about the creator and his creation. It is impossible to rear geniuses by eugenics, to train them by schooling, or to organize their activities. But, of course, one can organize society in such a way that no room is left for pioneers and their path-breaking.”

9. “He who interprets might as physical or ‘real’ power to carry on and considers violent action as the very foundation of government, sees conditions from the narrow point of view of subordinate officers in charge of sections of an army or police force. To these subordinates a definite task within the framework of the ruling ideology is assigned. Their chiefs commit to their care troops which are not only equipped, armed, and organized for combat, but no less imbued with the spirit which makes them obey the orders issued. The commanders of such subdivisions consider this moral factor a matter of course because they themselves are animated by the same spirit and cannot even imagine a different ideology. The power of an ideology consists precisely in the fact that people submit to it without any wavering and scruples.

However, things are different for the head of the government. He must aim at preservation of the morale of the armed forces and of the loyalty of the rest of the population. For these moral factors are the only ‘real’ elements upon which continuance of his mastery rests. His power dwindles if the ideology that supports it loses force.”

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Logic.

Intelligence.

Insightful.

Economics.

Politics.

Mises.

Libertarianism and Capitalism.

Genius.

 

The Apparent Disconnect Between Thinking and Acting

Humans do two apparent things: think, and act. The thought itself is characterized by the lack of action, although it could be argued that thinking is an act itself. For the sake of this piece, let’s say that action is characterized by movement of the body. It is often said that thinkers do not take action, nor enough action, as people that are doing more than them. That is, that somehow action is more important than the thought.

But what action can be taken without a thought? If an action can be better than an alternative action: that is to say, that action generates a beneficial outcome, then certainly we can shred the controversy of one thought being more beneficial than another. So what is a “good” action and a “bad” action, and therefore, what is a “good” thought or a “bad” thought?

Surely only God Himself can determine this objectively (as well as subjectively because of His own desires). So how do we determine what is good and bad? Surely, we can only do this subjectively, so what is a good thought to me may be a bad thought to you, and vice versa.

So how do we take any action at all?

Why do we imprison murderers?

Well, our thoughts tell us to protect ourselves and others, so we take action to do so.

The two are linked, and cannot be separated.

So one’s “bad” actions stem from a “bad” thought. even stupid actions that people make without thinking involve thought, because your actions are driven by thought, even if the thought is not including elements that are generally accepted as “smart.” So we must accept that there are different thoughts, and that more of these thoughts are going to subjectively decide whether the aforementioned thoughts are “good” or “bad” according to these new thoughts. So, in summation, we can say that all actions are driven by thoughts.

One of my thoughts is that the sheer number of thoughts of the entire alive population are immeasurable. So, by consequence, so are the actions.

The thought is the most important action that man can take, simply because this happens the most often. Even if one is generally accepted as unintelligent by other people’s thoughts, everyone thinks, even if it is something as simple as “I’m bored.” I would argue that even dreams are thoughts. So one is literally always thinking. So if one is always thinking, and thinking is an action, then one is always taking action.

If thinking is not an action, then what is it? I do not think that its importance is understood. Try taking an action without a thought. Which action did you take? Surely you have a thought about this action, even if this thought is “I don’t care.” You cannot separate thoughts from actions, so we must understand the importance of the thought. Why are thoughts important? Because there are no actions without them. What is the importance of actions? What is life without them?

Therefore, all actions require thought, and thoughts occur all of the time. Now, what is my point? It is generally accepted by many that certain actions are not really actions because there is more thinking involved and less movement. This is a fallacy because it is the thought that generates the action. So little movement cannot be an appropriate barometer of the quality of the thought.

Take the moon landing, for example. Most of the people involved never stepped on the moon. Most of them sat at desks all day. But the quality of their thoughts made the action of walking on the moon possible.

Imagine that.

The act of walking on the moon was made possible by the thoughts.

Were they moving around aimlessly?

Was the fact that these calculations were created by people sitting down and not moving around enough to discredit their thoughts, especially considering the actions that took place as a result?

What is my point?

That stationary thinking is just as important as any other action you take. Try taking an action without thinking. Even try to stop thinking. You can’t do it. Therefore, consider professions you envy and try to imitate them without thinking, and see if these people aren’t “really working.” I have yet to understand why if these professions are so easy, why their detractors do not attempt them also. If money is an issue, then attempt these professions that you so envy. If you think that lack of movement is not real work, then try to stop moving and start thinking, and think about how difficult it is to think, and obtain these levels that you think are so easy to obtain.

But your thoughts would rather take away other’s actions “because they are too easy,” when you have never tried them for yourself.

If pro athletes are not really working and get paid too much, if money is an object, become a pro athlete since it is so easy.

But it’s “easier” to condemn the pro athlete.

Start your own band, since you want their money and their job is so easy.

But it is easier to complain.

Actions are a reflection of the thoughts.

The quality of the thoughts is subjective, but it is of my opinion that thoughts are underappreciated and that certain actions (actions that require organization instead of just being reflexes) are thought to be much easier than they are because of the thoughts behind them.

June 19, 2013.

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