5.16, On Theoretical Sorrow and Recent News

This puritanical libertarian finds reason for sorrow all around. Sorrow can lead to despair or, as the sage Jesus recommends in his beatitudes, sorrow(blessed are the mourners) can lead to submission to what is right (blessed are the meek). Libertarians are not known for their attention to meekness, but submission to nonaggression and voluntary contract is no easy matter. To make that the rule of life requires submission to it. We must remove from the terms the normal attention to feeling. Feeling is the outward expression of the terms, but to sorrow over a lack of money or sex or dominance over others was never what the sage intended. What always was and always will be intended? Sorrow over the lack (absence) of right and good.

What does the sorrow amount to theoretically? Recognition of the absence of good and right. This requires knowledge of good and right, and now this puritanical libertarian becomes uneasy. Does he know the good and the right well enough to accurately sorrow? Yes and no. The heights he has not climbed. But the essential ingredience he tasted. The natural law is around everywhere. Sensitivity to it minimally is given. Sensitivity to it maximally is earned. The heights of patience and temperance he has not achieved and so his view is predictably distorted. But, slavery, murder, theft, and lying he has seen the wrongness of, and there he stands his ground.

In recent news the government gives Jeff Bezos a $10,000,000,000 (billion) space contract. Oregon decides to waive math and reading requirements for its graduation requirements. The Congress also passes a $4,000,000,000,000 (trillion). Here one can see the wrongness immediately. Let us unpack the reason for sorrow.

Here (A) (government) takes from (B) the fruit of the labor of (B) and gives to (C). (B) neither consented to the taking nor to the giving nor what was given nor how much. (B) did no consent and would not have. Otherwise, the forced taking and giving of (A) would have been unnecessary. There is some set of voluntary giving and taking that (B) would have gone in for that did not involve (C). (B)has been harmed. This is the reason for sorrow. The price of the goods in the otherwise voluntary markets of production and trade have been distorted.

Jeff Bezos and associated technology and space firms are happy. Various teachers who will not have their budgets effected by failures to meet academic standards and various students who will now receive the accolade of a degree though they have not met standards will be happy. The plethora of road and bridge firms, special interest groups, firms profiting from alternative energy, etc. will be happy. But it does not take long to count the individuals and firms left out, whose competition has been made more difficult by the subsidy to (C) in addition to all those harmed by being forcefully taken from contrary to their visions for their goods.

And so sorrow. Sorrow for forced labor. Sorrow for the addition to the incoming evidence (mounting higher and higher) that the monopoly firm, who advertised itself as a mere defensive property protecting entity, has again and again and again failed with little consequence. I do not say that there are not consequences. But some are so long term that in the immediate the devastation to (B) is much worse and the benefit to (A) and (C) much greater.

The solution? Revolution? No, prudence and patience. Protest? No, prudence and patience. Martyrdom? No, prudence and patience. What does prudence call for? Clear sight. The beginning of Buddha’s eightfold path (The Middle Way) calls for right view. It is the beginning. One cannot judge well how to act practically without right view. It is required for prudence. But this is not enough.

If the damage is being done by forced labor, theft, lying the puritanical libertarian recommends voluntary association, trade and promise keeping. You and I can do this in the small spheres in which we have influence. We can create islands of nonaggression in which things will be better. And we can remember, through action, the right and good. By setting its foundations minimally we create the best conditions for the production of right and good maximally.


Published by Purilib

Anonymously interested in grasping the good life.

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