Willingness is wealth


1944refugeesThink about it. Hardly anyone notices little words like “Free,” “Freedom,” “Happiness,” and “willing” when they show up in important government-defining documents. But everyone is starting to notice the lines at immigration and visa services to flee countries that lack them. Let’s have a look at a few.

The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights that Patrick Henry insisted be added to the Constitution protects freedom of religion. This is different from religious coercion practiced for millennia in Europe and right this very minute wherever Mohammedans and prohibitionist Christians control government. Laws against birth control, firearms, condoms, health inspections, pregnancy termination, enjoyable drugs, beer, spirits and wine are all popular with deeply mystical people who fail to notice or understand that the word “Freedom” in the first Amendment means the absence of coercion.

The Second Amendment is only concerned with a Free State, not a communo-fascist variant of socialism or mixed-economy dictatorship. Here again, “free” is different from coerced by initiation of force, and it makes sense. The idea of coercing people who are free to arm themselves whenever that seems wise is easily understood to be a bad idea. Both amendments preclude the government from having power to pass laws sending men with guns out to force religious prohibitions on people or stop them from arming themselves to counter and repel such force.

The Declaration of Independence speaks of rightsmoral claims to freedom of action–which governments are instituted to preserve. The function of law and justice is to stop those who renounce freedom from coercing or killing those of us who value life and freedom.

Finally, the Law of supply and Demand is not legislated with police or guns–at least not in a free country. Modern reformulations of it by mystical conservatives invariably contrive to efface and delete the most important single word in Adam Smith’s formulation:

The market price of any particular commodity is regulated by the proportion between the quantity which is actually brought to market, and the demand of those who are willing to pay the natural price of the commodity, or the whole value of the rent, labour and profit, which must be paid in order to bring it thither. (Wealth… Canaan edition p. 61)

The word, of course, is willing. Willingness is the prime mover of all trade and production, and it negates threats and weapons–except those necessary to secure the right to live your happy life of liberty. In other passages Professor Adam Smith spoke of the “eagerness of this competition.” People do not have to be threatened with weapons or forced to do things they are willing, nay, eager to do to in the first place. Folks are willing and eager to do things that will bring them thriving health, comfort and happiness (eudaimonia). Wealth follows willingness so closely as to qualify as an inductively true premise. “All men are mortal,” and “willingness is wealth” are true because no exceptions can be found. In the business world this asset is called “goodwill.”

So if men with guns are unnecessary except to prevent aggression (the initiation of force) from violating your rights, why do altruistic conservatives, progressives and socialists so insistently cast about for pretexts to justify the initiation of force? What standard of value demands that freedom, rights and happiness be sacrificed—thrown away and replaced with coercion, threats and misery? By what standard are thriving and happiness bad, selfish, evil things? What makes  deprivation the good to be forced on us? How did altruistic conservatives, progressives and socialists find out that they are the better people who know what’s good for the riffraff? And why do people flee in leaky boats from looter kleptocracies inspired–with no exceptions–by the ethical precepts of altruistic collectivism?

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