Me First!

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Individualist values

“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

Concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind

Joseph Heller

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.

Freedom is Slavery

Making the world safe for christian altruist eugenicism

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. 

All those who place their faith in fire...

Blind faith, fanaticism and the initiation of deadly force, ergo this

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. 

Hockey stick for Libertarians!

Libertarian vote share after Bush asset-forfeiture crash

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)

Three dollars on Amazon Kindle

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.

Brazilian blog

 

Cognitive Mental Blocks

Ecological National Socialists have no trouble understanding how two logical variables yield four possibilities when it suits their agenda. The NFPA circulates the above (admittedly garbled) chart in support of violent laws against anything liable to interrupt a game of dominoes at the government-owned fire station.

Genetics offers another illustration:

But teevee, subsidized by the Nixon anti-libertarian law to ignore everything except kleptocracy, can only focus on three possibilities.

Yet those same intellectuals become one-dimensional when challenged to understand anything that lies outside the Venn Diagram circles encompassing socialism in its populist and communo-fascist variants. A blinkered looter visualizes a straight line running from Hitler/Mussolini/Franco to Stalin/Ceausescu/Mao with nothing in between but religious gradations of socialist and mystical altruism.

To the entire satisfaction of mystical prohibitionists, adding alcohol to water eventually transubstantiates the latter into a Satanic alcoholic beverage, and adding (non-mohammedan) religion to a heavily-mixed economy gradually changes it from “bad” socialism to (by their lights) “good” fascism. Nowadays fascists and socialists alike refer to their own system as “democracy” and that other one, respectively, as socialism or fascism.

In These States the Tordesillas line was drawn at an alcoholic content of 0.5% in the Prohibition Enforcement act drawn up by Andrew Volstead of Minnesota. This distinction also made sauerkraut evil, Satanic and illegal. But when this law enforcing the Prohibition Amendment flipped off the lights of freedom on the night of January 16th, 1920, the U.S. Senate, by declining to be a party to the Treaty of Versailles, kept us technically at war with Germany, or The Accursed Hun as it was known at the time. So no True American™ really cared about sauerkraut.

Among today’s fanatics–struggling to ban electric power or plant leaves instead of beer–none have even the foggiest notion or how an individual right might be defined. To them a right is something the world owes them at your expense, not a moral claim to freedom of action. Most puzzling to this mentality is confrontation with the Nolan Diagram. Even survivors of the Argentine educational system can grasp a 2-gradient chart between freedom and orders at gunpoint when broken down according to the two primary contexts (individual personhood and agency as homo economicus) from which they fish for pretexts to justify aggression at gunpoint.

Here is an Argentine version of the Nolan Chart in its version tilted so as to allow the one-dementional to superimpose upon it their own universe of discourse confined to a horizontal line extending from Hitler to Stalin.

To American National Socialists, for whom Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon and George Wallace are plain, regular folks, this Argentine chart makes no sense whatsoever. Ever since Carnegie Institute Liberals formed an anti-Klan, pro-Beer party in 1930, then published a platform demanding the repeal of the Prohibition Amendment, the word liberal changed its meaning. Shortly before Election Day, in late October of 1932, the ruling coalition redefined liberal to mean “godless communist drunkards who hate America” in the costume of its own imaginings.

Citizens of civilized nations are utterly baffled by this coinage–minted as it were in the very heart of the Sahara of the Bozarts over which Richmond Hobson of Alabama, Morris Sheppard of Texas and Volstead shone beatifically as the very embodiment of the Holy Trinity… while voters locked the head of the Republican Party into the stocks of the guillotine and gave the lever a satisfying tug.

Pero, no, y evite Evita

Argentine Libertarian Party

Eighty-seven years later, liberal everywhere else in the world still means libertarian. Cowardly, spineless, unprincipled or gelded libertarian, true enough, but libertarian or liberal is in both cases lies at the root of the noun denoting an individual who recognizes the individual rights of fellow human beings–even in opposition to the Divine “right” (meaning sanction to murder and rob) of kings, popes, caudillos and klans. 

So all is not lost. Looter values begin and end with “we must issue the following orders at gunpoint” because (__insert rationalizing pretext__). If the pretext is “because the Bible says altruism is good,” then the speaker is fascist-prohibitionist-totalitarian in value orientation. If the pretext is “because selfishness feels like it ought to be denounced as evil,” then the speaker is a conditioned socialist-collectivist-communist-totalitarian.

Argentinos–politically separated by a papal line on a map–cannot completely let go of the one-dimensional lay/progressive v. religious/fascist differentiation. But today they at least they grasp the concept of how two related choices generate four possible outcomes. That’s progress Americans would do well to understand.

Get the complete explanation of the 1929 Crash in Prohibition and The Crash on Amazon Kindle in two languages

ProhicrashAmazon

Prohibition and The Crash, on Amazon Kindle

I also produce books and articles in Portuguese, using Brazilian historical sources at http://www.expatriotas.blogspot.com or amigra.us