The Insane Dream

insanity wars peaceInsanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

– Albert Einstein (attributed)

The insane dream has streamed endlessly through my lifetime. I saw it as a boy, and I see it still. It has never really produced any results, and it certainly shows no promise of doing so in the near future.

In fact, by all historical accounts, the dream is nearly 100% false – the results are opposite to the hopes and prayers of the dream.

And yet, nearly the whole world believes in the dream to one extent or another.

What can be said about such a thing? It never works, but everyone keeps believing in it all the same. And when I say “it never works,” I mean that its failure is clearly demonstrable – in visible, concrete, measurable terms.

What Is It?

Okay, I’m about to tell you what this dream is, but please be aware: Your defenses are about to jump up against it. Slogans are likely to fly into your mind unbidden. You can expect emotional reactions.

Here we go:

The insane dream is hoping and praying for politicians to bring us peace.

Understand this clearly: It doesn’t happen. It has never really happened. Politicians do not prevent wars; they start them.

Sure, politicians sign cease-fire agreements from time to time, but they’re also the same guys who started those wars! And they’ll happily jump into new wars a few years later!

Please understand, I am not attacking or defending any political party, nor am I promoting any particular cure for war. I am saying one thing only, which is this:

Politicians – rulers of any type – have never really created peace, and they never will.

I say this for a very simple reason: In all of human history, they never have. That goes for all parties, all systems of rulership, and all periods of time.

We’ve just come out of the bloodiest century in human history, and yet we still have a dozen wars going at any point in time. Politicians have started all of these wars. And yet, by some peculiar insanity, most people still expect politicians to save them from more wars.

Are you seeing my point? This makes no logical sense at all.

People all around us are hoping, praying, and begging for politicians to preserve us from war. They may as well pray for purple unicorns to direct traffic in New York City.

I ran across a study on war back in the 1980s. It found that since 3600 BC, there have been more than 14,000 wars. That’s 14,000 wars over 5,600 years. And ALL of this took place in systems that were controlled by rulers of some type: politicians, princes, and so on.

We have 5,600 years of evidence, and yet people are doing the same thing that failed in every one of the previous 5,600+ years. Can you see why I opened with the Einstein quote?

Political systems have shown themselves utterly unable to create peace. They’ve failed every year for nearly six thousand years running. We’re certifiably nuts if we think that next year (or the years after) will be any different.

But Why Not?

This is the next question that people bring up, but I’m not going to explain it today. There are good answers as to why politicians can never really stop war, but I don’t want to derail my main point.

Today, I want to be very clear on one point only, and to let it stick:

Hoping for politicians to give us peace is crazy – fully crazy.

If we have any pretense of thinking rationally, we have to let it go.

I will, however, devote a few lines to internal issues.

The True Opiate of the Masses

Hoping is an act of imagination, divorced from reality and reason. You can hope for anything, and it produces… nothing!

Hope is the true opiate of the masses. Once you make people imagine how great they’ll feel when the impossible blips into reality, they may as well be on drugs… strong ones.

Opium makes people feel good for a while. So does hope.

Opium is addictive. So is hope.

Opium wastes you. So does hope.

Two Choices

Like I say, I want to keep this simple. On the question of politicians creating peace, you have two choices:

  • On one hand, you have approximately six thousand years of clear, unambiguous evidence.
  • On the other, you have an addictive opiate and emotions divorced from reason.

You might think about going with the evidence.

Paul Rosenberg

19 thoughts on “The Insane Dream”

  1. I think the main reason people continue to hope politicians will sort things out is because there is no alternative in the marketplace. Just in recent history, Egypt, Libya, Ukraine had a collapse of government and people wanted a ‘fresh start’ – so they replaced the old politicians with new politicians. After all, what other system is there?

    We need a new social system that is not based upon coercion. Frankly, that has not been built yet. Those of us who believe in Freedom need to work together to build the elements of a voluntary, non-coercive social system now so it can be operational and a viable alternative in the marketplace when the inevitable financial collapse of the West occurs. Then, for the first time in human history, we can rebuild with a system that does not rely upon politicians and their beloved guns and cages.

    1. Those of us who believe in Freedom need to work together to build the elements of a voluntary, non-coercive social system now…

      Agree, and it’s something each of us can do independently of anyone else. Completely grass roots, from the bottom up. We can establish trading relationships (which need not be with people who agree politically). We can make plans for potential bad times coming. We can take responsibility for personal self-defense, and watch for opportunities to challenge illegitimate government encroachments into our lives.

      We can’t, of course, force anyone to stop believing in government as Savior, and we can’t, by force of arms, overthrow the criminal regime in Washington (or in the states, or …), but we can live our lives as free individuals and keep the flame of liberty burning.

      1. We are in basic agreement.

        Now, we can’t live our lives as free individuals. Where would I put my money to avoid taxation? What if I want to live openly with three wives and two husbands? What if I want to visit any country in the world and stay as long as I like? We are all owned by political States who enforce living conditions upon us.

        That said – people like Paul Rosenberg are creating and operating core technologies like encryption (which permits basic human privacy) and several other off the shelf technologies exist that would permit us to build a foundational framework that individuals worldwide could use to interact on a voluntary basis outside of artificial ‘rules’.

        1. Actually, we can’t live our lives as free individuals…

          Yes, as you say, we can’t avoid taxation (without bringing deadly force upon ourselves), and there are innumerable other ways that we are herded about like cattle. So when I say “we can live our lives as free individuals” I mean in the sense of understanding the constraints as illegitimate, to be worked around at every opportunity and ground to a halt as soon as possible. I refer more to a state of mind, from which a more free environment must eventually flow.

          1. I agree. I just want to build something for the longer term that facilitates an easy alternative to participating in the coercive State system. I think it can be done with a network of existing technologies. If you and I had ways to trade and to verify the integrity of each other it goes a long way to obviating any so-called ‘service’ the state provides.

        2. Pete,
          I like your ideas concerning Contractual Republics. I think I’ll start a non-coercive, freedom building, masterpiece. A society not based on stealing like all others throughout history but a society where all members are free to maximize their own profit as defined by AJG. Build it right along side of the state. Build it with right ideas using the scientific method. Using ideas that will render the state irrelevant and impotent eventually eliminating it.
          Might as well go for it. It’s like Snelson said, “In 100 years, the human population on the Earth will either be large or zero.”

          1. I’ve already started. I was inspired by your book “Freedom App.”
            I have the first three chapters of a novel that tells the story of how a Contractual Republic (I call it an Island Republic as in “moral island”) can grow alongside the state and non-coercively make the state obsolete and irrelevant.
            Also I plan on creating a blog that enables readers to submit non-coercive ideas and get involved in building freedom.
            I’m just going to do my best to make it successful because as AJG said, “there is nothing more important you can do”.

    2. Your feeling is understandable. But it’s doubtful that “we” can get there from here. However, we can get to enjoying smaller political entities. Just check out how many separist activites are alive in Europe; there could be a “hot-bed” of secessions if it were not for current central governments’ attitudes.
      Similarly, there are many secession possibiliities in states and separate cutural areas in the USA. In fact, it would be surprising to have the 2016 USA federal election come about with the full 50 state country that is the present USA.

      1. The separatists just set up a smaller State. The have elected officials who make “rules” and they “vote” and individuals who don’t agree with he new rules get sent to prison. Absolutely nothing about the system is new. And it ultimately relies on coercion to operate.

      1. Maybe, depending on your definition. But a State is not created by free trade. States operate on coercion. When two cavemen traded a spear for a knife no State was created even though there was a “we.”

        “We” is not a bad word to me as long as it involves voluntary association.

      2. Not unless ‘we’ hold a gun to someone else’s head – ‘government’ as we currently understand it asserts a monopoly on some functions, and asserts a legitimate claim to the use of aggressive force to impose its edicts and obtain its funding.

  2. I agree with Pete. We need to start building a non-coercive society.
    Galambos’ V-50 would be a good beginning blueprint.

    1. Charles: I followed the reference by looking up Galambos V-50. Seems that the guy has a correct idea. Also as we are getting collectively more intelligent, the organized (big nation) violence diminishes.
      It was apparent however, that when Glambos became older (mature) he developed peaceful ideas. Maybe what we are seeing in agressive
      government activities are the promotion of adolescent ideas. In fact, maybe it takes adolescent attitudes to get elected in democracies.

      And, no, I do not agree with Winston Churchill’s belief that democracies are the least problematic political entities.

  3. Perfect essay for these times.

    The last time I checked the States have been at war for all but a handful of years since the founding, and the empire is presently engaged in hostilities in over 80 conflicts across the globe.

  4. Eisenhower ended one war (the Korean war) and he prevented England from starting another war in the Middle East. He did, however, ramp up the Cold War.

  5. Amen! To me it is quite simple.once you have polluted the rational mind With religious brainwashing, started at birth, falling for the politician’s BS is just too easy. The two go hand in hand in destroying the rational mind.

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