7.9 C
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeThey Won't Leave Us Alone: The Invasion Of Politics

They Won’t Leave Us Alone: The Invasion Of Politics


Related stories

Exxon Has Entered The Chat: US Supermajor Threatens To Derail Chevron’s $53 Billion Hess Merger

Exxon Has Entered The Chat: US Supermajor Threatens To Derail Chevron's $53 Billion Hess Merger Exxon has entered the chat... That was the gist of the message Chevron gave to the world earlier this week after warning that its proposed $53...

Yields Slide After Solid 7Y Auction, First Stop Through Since October

Yields Slide After Solid 7Y Auction, First Stop Through Since October After two lousy, record large coupon auctions in Monday's two-for-one special, moments ago the Treasury issued a non-record $42BN in 7 Year paper (we saw far bigger 7Y a...

Kremlin Warns of Escalation if NATO Troops Fight in Ukraine

The Kremlin has warned Kyiv's European allies that sending troops to fight in Ukraine would lead to the "inevitability" of war between Russia and NATO after France said that, despite a current lack of consensus, "nothing," including sending Western for...

Biden’s Half-Hearted Border-Control Pitch

Biden's Half-Hearted Border-Control Pitch Authored by Christopher Roach via American Greatness, There are rumors - likely trial balloons - that Joe Biden is about to get serious about controlling the border. Along with inflation and our c...

Wendy’s To Test ‘Surge Pricing’ Using ‘High-Tech Menu Boards’ That Change In Real Time

Wendy's To Test 'Surge Pricing' Using 'High-Tech Menu Boards' That Change In Real Time Wendy's is about to test a surge pricing model similar to Uber, in which the cost of menu items will fluctuate throughout the day on 'high-tech menu boa...
They Won't Leave Us Alone: The Invasion Of Politics

Authored by Joakim Book via The Mises Institute,

The temptation and crucial flaw of a totalitarian mind are that everyone must play a part in a superstructural battle between good and evil. Standing on the sidelines or taking a neutral position on present topics is not allowed; one may not merely observe or ignore the madness played out among the power hungry.

As a not-so-proud carrier of a Swedish passport, I last year lost track of how many times I was asked about Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the overreaching military alliance among Western nations. Apparently, there was a war going on somewhere. NATO countries were scrambling, and Finland and Sweden (thoroughly Western social democratic countries) were decades-old NATO holdouts. I did not know; I took pride in not knowing.

The chattering classes and the corporate press were full-on politicking. An insider-diplomacy battle raged between Stockholm, Helsinki, and Washington, DC. At some point even, Ankara, Turkey, was involved. I did not know; I had no opinion. My friends, my colleagues, my neighbor, my barber, my friends’ friends, and various other acquaintances all wanted in on the sordid business of political commentating.

I did not know. That was exactly it. I had no position to offer, which I quickly realized was a social mistake in this brave new world of symbolic wars for all that is “good.” I did not know anything about military matters, defense capabilities, international relations, or threat assessments regarding the various countries involved. I did not live in any of the places previously mentioned. I had no interest in their nation-state status. I did not know what the implications of NATO membership were or why it concerned me. Politicians politick with or without my input.

Everyone needs a take; everyone needs to “be informed” on the grand, irrelevant events of our broken times. Everyone needs a flag in their profile picture—a not-so-grand gesture indicating that they support the “latest thing.”

Paraphrasing Murray Rothbard’s quote on economic ignorance, why should I politick “a loud and vociferous position” on the diplomatic/military questions that so many of my fellow humans keep asking me for?

On most current affairs, I imagine I am a little bit like most people; we have our own lives and our own interests to pay attention to. Everything else takes a backseat. Rather than play the hot-take-on-everything game, I just want to be a good libertarian and be left alone. Unfortunately, that does not fly in a politicized society flirting with totalitarianism. Society has lost its shared values and its unifying religious frameworks and instead elevated politics (as Friedrich Nietzsche’s old quote goes, “God is dead. . . . And we have killed him”).

F.A. Hayek taught us in his famous 1945 “The Use of Knowledge in Society” that market prices carry information. I do not need to know anything about faraway affairs. I am perfectly capable of reading gasoline prices, suffering electricity price shocks, or paying elevated prices at the grocery store. That is the beauty of a capitalist division of labor and a market system. We do not need top-down control. We do not need the chattering classes opining about what one owes, deserves, or ought to know. All we need is the reality of what we experience as market actors.

Like a good libertarian, I instead try to purge politics from my life; no watching the news. I only read slow news in quality magazines by authors I trust, and I routinely skip every topic that does not belong to my core interests. Life is too short. And as I have said in the past, the sum of “humanity’s current (and future) literary, statistic and economic treasure” is more valuable than the unexciting, outdated information that is tumbled, diluted, and filled with omissions, via my propaganda machine (sorry, TV news).

In what political scientists would consider apex “political ignorance,” I take pride in not being able to name the prime minister of my native Sweden or the rulers of the other lands in which I reside. I do not know, care, or want to elevate their theater into my cognitive space.

At a recent party, my team lost a trivia competition, partly because we could not name the United Kingdom’s last three prime ministers (They change so often that it is not worth learning their names.). When my father called on an eventful Sunday last fall, and in passing, mentioned that he had met an acquaintance at the voting booths, I learned for the first time that it was Election Day. Epic!

Twenty-five years ago, James Dale Davidson and William Rees wrote about the public’s relationship to politics and corrupt institutions in their long-lived treatise The Sovereign Individual:

Moral outrage against corrupt leaders is not an isolated historical phenomenon but a common precursor of change. It happens again and again whenever one era gives way to another. . . . This widespread revulsion comes into evidence well before people develop a new coherent ideology of change. As we write, there is as yet little evidence of an articulate rejection of politics. That will come later. It has not yet occurred to most of your contemporaries that a life without politics is possible. (emphasis added)

Foreshadowing the rise of internet dominance, remote work, financial revolutions, and Bitcoin, the authors precociously reasoned about big-picture societal shifts of power. When technology allows, new societal constellations become available. Whether or not we grab onto them is up to us.

And all meaningful changes begin at home: fix that which you can fix, clean your room, etc. A flourishing future without politics requires us to purge from our lives the corrupting features of politics, which only enrage us and separate us from our fellow humans.

Politics is cancer, and the best you can do is to exit from it in every way you can.

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/24/2023 - 00:00


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here