Recently, an argument was made that libertarianism is okay with hate, since a word formula that libertarians like, the non-aggression principle, or “NAP”, didn’t exclude hate.
Therefore, I’ve concluded that it’s a good time to address the subject of word formulas and rules. And I’ll begin by being explicit about this:
Word formulas are the path to destruction. They are the wrong path.
Word formulas are the province of academia and politicians, of people trying to prove things. They are part of the “winning” game, which goes nowhere except to support domination.
Again, I will be explicit:
Liberty and life are not about proving other people wrong and proving ourselves right. That is the wrong path, and it leads back to bondage.
The case I mention above is one of many, and I’m not interested in attacking the person involved, whom I believe to be a decent man. I’m trying to make a point, not to “win.”
Why Word Formulas Fail
Liberty is a means, not an end.
Liberty matters because it is a condition in which life flourishes. And that’s all.
Our goal is not to achieve liberty; it is for life to flourish.
Hate, as you must know, is the enemy of flourishing life. So, if a “libertarian” word formula preserves hate, something is wrong somewhere. And the problem here is not the specific word formula, but all word formulas.
Words are necessary tools of communication, but they are imperfect symbols of reality and are easily abused. If then, we use these imperfect symbols in formulas and then claim that they define the most crucial things, we place the symbolic above the real, and we lose our bearings.
Then What Is Right?
It’s a telling commentary that so many people feel utterly lost without rules. But we don’t need rules when we have reality right in front of us.
For example, private property is right, not because we have ironclad arguments from famous people to prove it. Private property is right because it derives from nature.
Earlier today, I ate a few oranges, and by doing so, I made them utterly unavailable to any other person or animal. They were mine, and if not previously, they certainly became my private property when I ate them.
Likewise, I must sleep somewhere tonight. And when I do, that space is mine and cannot be used by any other person at the same time and in the same way. And when I drive my car, the gasoline I use must be mine; no one else can burn that gas.
So, life itself – reality itself – requires private property. That is primary, and our explanations of the principle are secondary.
A word formula does not justify my private property; reality does.
We Are Not of the System
We are living in a tight, intricate world system that has its own ways of justifying things, and those ways have degenerated Western culture significantly over our lifetimes.
We see the insanity of the “war on drugs,” the irrational fear-baiting of the “war on terror,” the emotional manipulation of “do it for the children,” and so on. All of these are based upon word games, and frequently on word formulas. They go like this:
We believe in supporting democratically elected governments, right?
Yes, of course.
Well, XYZ was democratically elected, so we must support them.
XYZ, unfortunately, likes to bomb innocent people in suburban subdivisions. But according to the word formula, the bombers must receive our support. The word formula says so.
Let me be clear:
The system that surrounds us is not like us. It is a system devoted to dominance and control. That’s why they always end up playing the “winning” game.
Their game is not our game. We are not like them.
We’re not going to “win people to our cause” by using the tools of oppressors; by doing that we would undermine ourselves… and we see precisely this when we excuse hate in the name of our formulas.
Their game involves the abuse of symbols and defeating opponents. Our game involves spreading life. We are not like them and we shouldn’t try to be.
Rules Are Not God
More often, rules are idols.
I’m not going to take a great deal of space on this subject today, but I would like to make the point that rules are all too often tools for evading consciousness… a way to skirt the responsibility of seeing and deciding.
Here are two quotes on the subject that are worth your consideration:
The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions.
– Mike Krzyzewski
I have only two rules which I regard as principles of conduct. The first is: Have no rules. The second is: Be independent of the opinion of others.
– Albert Einstein
When we appeal to a rule, we are stepping right past the real reasons and appealing to authority… and authority is the foundation of our oppressors.
To quote a wise man of many centuries ago: If we rebuild the things we have previously destroyed, we make ourselves transgressors.
Word formulas are our enemies, and hate has no place among thriving life.
We are not like them, and we will not improve ourselves using their tools.