May 18, 2015 by Liberty
My friend told me, “Why would you possibly want to take a break from listening to these guys? It’s hilarious. You wrote a whole article about it, didn’t you?”
At that point, my world started to spin out around me. The colors all blurred into bright neon shades. I couldn’t keep myself steady and everything from the world I knew and loved spun out of control.
Okay… It wasn’t quite that dramatic but I seriously hate when I’m wrong. It’s particularly painful when I already knew it in the past.
So, now that I’ve come to realize how far I veered off the road, I guess it’s time to call a tow truck and pull this intellectual automotive back onto the road. With that, I give you, how to enjoy the collapse of the world around you.
The Trap Of Stoicism
It can be almost impossible to be a sensitive person when it comes to the principles of non-violence. Every day you have to watch people doubling down on the violence in the world around them. They’re smiling as new laws get passed. They’re cheering armies on. No matter how much you try to explain the problems with their logic, they just continue with it.
If you were to be sensitive in this situation, you’d be crushed. You’d be breaking into tears every time you have to watch the news. At the very least, you’d get a bit extremist and unintentionally let emotional reactions take precedence over logical decisions. (So instead of discussing something rationally you might yell at them.)
Being a libertarian can encourage you to be stoic in the face of these horrible thing. By stoic, I’m not referring to the deep philosophy of stoicism. Just the cliched idea of emotionless and strong. Instead of letting things get to them, they choose to hear the words but not allow themselves to react emotionally. This is the spot that I caught myself hanging out. I believe this stoicism is a mistake.
Sure, you can control your emotions to some extent but you can’t deny the essence of being human. You are an emotional creature that requires stimulation. You can’t control your emotions completely. Any attempt to control them will just add stress to yourself. So, while you may avoid the instantaneous emotion, it will probably just weaken you for the long run.
More importantly, emotions help you. They’re exactly how you can become passionate about the situation. They release hormones that you need to get yourself into your most powerful states of mind.
So, given the spectrum between sensitivity and stoicism, it’s probably best to pick something in between but there is a third option.
Antifragility is a word coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He’s author of a few of my personal favorite books. He is a libertarian but his books aren’t specifically written for libertarians and they have very little to do with politics directly (I have a feeling you’d still enjoy them.)
Antifragility is the opposite of fragile. That doesn’t mean it’s tough or durable. Fragile is something that, when shaken up, breaks. Antifragile is something that, when shaken up, gets better. Antifragility is wildly different than tough because it benefits from the problems. My favorite way to describe it is like a bottle of chocolate milk. Shaking up a bottle of chocolate milk just disperses the chocolatey goodness more consistently through my bottle. (Mmmm… mmm… mmmmmm…. It’s sad how much a grown up can still love chocolate milk. It sends chills down my spine just thinking about it.)
Being a stoic as you watch the world collapse around you is not ideal. Ideally, you want every turn of that statist knife (obamacare, net neutrality, etc.) to make you into a person that’s more impossible to break. In this article I’m going to go over two of the ideas I find most important.
1. The Gift Of Inefficiency
In the free market, finding a big market inefficiency is like finding a unicorn from behind. Most people never find a unicorn. Sure, there are little market inefficiencies everywhere but none of them are really a gold mine. You can live off starting a toilet paper factory but you’ll always be making tiny returns on your investment.
Sure, once in a while, in the free market, someone seems to have found a unicorn. They prance it around and make millions of dollars off it. Eventually though, the competition comes in and just proves it’s a horse with a horn superglued onto it’s skull. (Large market inefficiencies are destroyed fast.)
Whenever government passes a new law, they’re instantly creating a market inefficiency. Oftentimes, those market inefficiencies are huge. Virtually every law introduces a new way that a motivated individual can make himself a fortune. Sure, you may not be that person right now but you can be that person.
Do you think net neutrality is going to kill competition in the market? Invest in one of the companies that benefit! Using stock options you can risk relatively small amounts of money to make huge amounts of money. Remember though, that’s chump change compared to many of the strategies you could use. Just get a little creative and you might be able to take advantage of these inefficiencies. Oftentimes, you can take advantage of them in non-financial ways too.
2. It’s All A Joke
Forget about making a fortune though. That doesn’t mean a thing compared to enjoying your life. By learning to laugh at these things, you will never need to take a break from it for emotional reasons. You can learn to enjoy the constant stream of ridiculousness that the world around you provides.
Can you believe, some people genuinely believe the things government claims? Really, they genuinely don’t get it, despite the fact that government has lied consistently since it’s inception, somehow, this time, government is actually telling the truth?
People cry, “corporations control our government,” and then celebrate a regulation passing claiming, “this will protect us from corporations!” Well… shucks… I guess the corporations must have become sympathetic or something considering they’re the ones that control government.
This can be horrifying. I get it. But really…
Don’t overestimate the power of their stupidity. Sure, they’re powerful but you’re not powerless to protect yourself. You see the stupidity for what it is. When something bad happens, if you’re not prepared, it’s your fault, not their fault.
They may be hurting themselves but I have a feeling you’ve already tried to stop them (I sure have) it’s not working. There is a point when you need to worry about yourself. Getting sad isn’t going to help anyone. Get happy. Hell, maybe you’re the one overreacting?
Honestly, you can choose to let it get you depressed or you can choose to enjoy it. You getting depressed is just going to get everyone else thinking you’re a downer. (Hey! Become a libertarian so you can be just as depressed as me!) I have a feeling you’ll do the world a whole lot more good by learning to enjoy it.
Most of statist believes are downright ridiculous when you think about it. They can be very good for getting a laugh once you know what you’re talking about.
At the very least, imagine you’re born 1,000 years from now or whenever people come to their senses. There will be people saying, “it must have been something to be trying to fight violence with non-violence. There are no good battles left for us? Can’t someone pull a gun or something?” Find a way to enjoy the world you’re living in because this is the only one you got.
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