“From now on I’m thinking only of me.”
Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: “But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.”
“Then,” said Yossarian, “I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn’t I?”–Catch 22
1961 was a good year for individualism. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, eight years in the making, was finally published.(link) Robert Heinlein thumbed his nose at the officious editor who’d persistently harried him on the silliest pretexts, and penned Stranger in a Strange Land, wherein Jubal Harshaw confesses:
My dear, I used to think I was serving humanity… and I pleasured in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it. –Robert Heinlein
Today we vividly remember 2001 as not at all like Arthur C. Clarke predicted. Instead of moon colonies we again got murdering religious fanatics on a rampage combining racial collectivism and mystical eugenics. Yet that was only 19 years ago. In 1961 people remembered with equal vividness the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor two decades earlier. Like when initiation of force and faith brought on the Prohibition and Capitation Tax Amendments, along with World War One. This was followed in two decades by the 1940s alliance of murdering religious fanatics on a rampage combining racial collectivism and mystical eugenics–and brought an eerily familiarity, disconcerting to grownups at the time.
In 1945 the true meaning of Positive Christian altruism, of “the common good before the individual good” was discovered amid starvation and lice. The value of the accepted Eugenic premise that altruism and good were the same thing suddenly had become way too clear when Russian and American troops discovered death camps in and all around Germany. Many of them eventually read Atlas Shrugged, which included a non-aggression pledge penned by Ayn Rand while nazi war criminals were sorted out between the gallows and prison cells. That was at Chapter Ten of an eleven-year writing process. But in 1961, Atlas Shrugged was a new book people had only just read. That was 63 years ago.
In 2001 Soviet communism had collapsed ten years earlier. In 2020, the Libertarian Party approaches its 50th anniversary. American communism pervading the media and Democratic Party, and American nationalsocialist prohibitionism pervading the Republican Party, are dying.(link) Both chose altruism and the initiation of force as standards of value and correctness. Both are better off gone.
Just as oil replaced coal, wood and dead whales, and bytes replaced CDs, cassettes and vinyl records, the Libertarian Party is replacing dangerous fossils the way democracies replaced monarchies, sultanates and sheikdoms a century ago.(link) It is replacing the Kleptocracy with a government–not anarchism–to secure individual rights, and not a moment too soon. Heinlein noted that “Man, as a social animal, can no more escape government than the individual can escape bondage to his bowels.” He also observed in a very nuclear age that “Each sunrise is a precious jewel… for it may never be followed by its sunset.” I you vote for the initiation of force, you will probably get exactly what you voted for.
Brazilian Sci-fi from 1926 featuring the usual beautiful daughter of a scientist touting prohibition and racial collectivism in America’s Black President 2228 by Monteiro Lobato, translated by J Henry Phillips (link)
Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.