By Chris Rossini
As the great Ludwig von Mises proclaimed: "Human life is an unceasing sequence of single actions."
That's what we do, all day and every day....we act. Every one of our actions has a purpose in mind. They each have a desired end that we have chosen to (at least attempt to) achieve.
Every end that an individual chooses, he chooses because, from his point of view, he believes it will improve his situation. He prefers it to his current situation, otherwise he would not act. It matters not what the action itself happens to be.
And it can be no other way.
Our individual point of view is the only point of view we will ever have. Our individual life is the only life we are able to live. No one can live it for us, nor can we live anyone else's life for them.
Amazingly enough, this basic fact of human nature has been resisted and rebelled against throughout all of history.
There are always plenty of people who cannot accept that every individual is free to interpret the world from his own point of view and who subsequently chooses to act with the goal of improving his situation.
Abstractions are always concocted in an attempt to override human nature. People are told that "society" or "the collective" is more important than the individual. But this is an impossibility because "society" and "the collective" are not entities that exist!
The individual exists as an entity. On the other hand, there is no such entity called "society" that perceives the world, has a scale of values, and then chooses to act in order to reach a desired end.
Only individuals think.
Only individuals choose.
Only individuals act.
The ideas of Liberty accept this basic and fundamental fact of human nature. The ideas of Liberty do not attempt to negate or override nature, for nature cannot and will not be changed.
When individuals embrace Liberty, they believe that everyone should be the human being that they are. They should choose what to think, believe and accept, they should choose their own desired ends, and choose how to act in order to achieve them.
There is only one simple restriction to individual liberty. The chosen actions of each individual must not harm the person or property of any other individual.
The limit (or boundary) to individual liberty is the person, property and liberty of all other individuals.
All individuals deal with one another on a voluntary, peaceful and consensual basis. Everyone has the right to say "NO" as to how their person and property will be used when interacting with others:
"No, I will not trade with you."
"No, I will not sign that contract."
"No, I will not do that with my property."
"No, you may not take my property."
"No, you may not do that to me."
No aggressive force. Nothing can be simpler to understand.
Now...Let's mess everything up with politics and power.
Politics and power say "You must do as I say, or I will use violent force against you." Politics and power are the attempted negation of individual liberty. They are always at war with human nature.
You never want to wage war on nature, because you will always lose. Political History is a chronological record for the graveyard of power.
Power comes and goes. Nature remains as it always has.
So then why do people bother with power at all? If it's destined to end up in the political graveyard, why mess with it?
Because a few INDIVIDUALS benefit from it!
Power is held by INDIVIDUALS.
These individuals who hold power (like the rest of us) are always acting. They are always choosing ends that from their point of view, will improve their own situation.
The knee-jerk and conditioned reaction to this is: "No...no...no....these are 'public servants.' They are acting for the benefit of 'society.'"
But again, there is no entity named "society" that thinks, acts, chooses and feels. You can't point to a thing and say: "Look over there...See that? That's society. Go and say hello to it."
The knee-jerk reaction is: "But their intentions are to 'help' people. They're compassionate and they love humanity."
Hiding behind the words "humanity" and "compassion" do not wipe away the inhumanity of the deeds of those in power. Violence and Love are mutually exclusive. It's one or the other. If the means chosen to "help" someone is violent force against someone else, then love and compassion have been removed from the equation.
Who gets to decide for this "society" abstraction anyway?
Go next door to one of your neighbors and discuss political issues with him. You'll quickly find out that both of you probably disagree on just about everything.
Which one of you represents "society"? If you represent "society," where does that put your neighbor? Outside of "society"?
For most of us, you don't even have to go next door. Family members in your own house will disagree with you about political nonsense.
But politicians are so skilled in their rhetoric, that they have deceived people into believing that politicians represent hundreds of millions of people! Some even have the chutzpah to say they represent the globe!
The reason why there's so much disagreement in politics is because politics is force, and force is antithetical to human nature.
No one wants force used against themselves. This is the logical position, which is why we should only be dealing with one another voluntarily.
So what ends up happening with power and politics is that SOME INDIVIDUALS live at the expense of everyone else. They get to achieve their own ends in ways that no one else can (or should) achieve them.
Is it any wonder that individuals with power help themselves to whatever they want?
Is it any wonder that politicians are amongst the richest people on the planet? Is it any wonder that other people do whatever they can to cozy up with politicians?
Many end up noticing that the road to riches is to use political force, and politics becomes the only game in town:
Regulations .... Subsidies .... Monopoly Privileges .... Licensing .... Government Contracts ... WAR .... WELFARE .... Fake "Rights" ... FREE Everything ... Laws on top of more laws!
Voluntary interactions shrink...and shrink.
Peace dissipates...Anger escalates.
Power is a vampire that gradually bleeds its victims to death.
Is it any wonder why political history is a chronological graveyard for power?
When the pain is too great, enough people always come to realize that politics and power are a scam. Enough people eventually realize that all the "society" talk was just cover for a few to becoming filthy rich without serving anyone (but themselves).
Enough people eventually rediscover (or discover for the very first time) the beautiful ideas of Liberty.