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Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of...

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Liberalism went wrong when it started viewing rights as goody packages handed out by government like Halloween candy to favored voting/donor blocks.

Conservative went wrong when they started seeing business as nothing more than handing out advice with eye-popping price tags to up-and-coming Third World manufacturers.

Bernie Sanders is the ultimate expression of Liberalism.  He is a Socialist who believes that government should spend its entire time telling everyone how to live.

Donald Trump is the ultimate expression of Conservatism.  He is a Fascist who thinks that corporations should spend all their time telling government what to do.

Hillary Clinton is...well, Hillary.  All she cares about is getting rich and wielding power.  She spent her career using her husband as a meat puppet.  Once she stepped out into the light, folks were horrified - and rightly so.

Europe has been facing more or less the same choices, with ultra right and left battling it out in Austia and (so-called) Neo-Fascists rising quickly in France and Germany, as people are artificially limited to two choices - right and left - when dealing with profound social and economic problems.

The problem here is that for the better part of a century, we have all been taught that there are only two solutions to every problem - government runs everything and business runs everything.  This results in a myopic view of solutions that have boxed in the social dialogue and prevented real change for the better.  As the old saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

One of the most profound and Earth-shaking philosophical changes of the past 500 years has been ignored, for the most part.  We have been so indoctrinated by the Left/Right paradigm and the mercantilist interests that we have forgotten the one major movement that created Western domination of global political and economic discussions.

I'm referring, of course, to the Age of Enlightenment.  This is one of those things most of us (who were awake) learned about in high school and college, but it was glossed over like a minor bump in the road to Hell.  This period of history changed everything to the point that most educated people can't even conceive of a world that is pre-Enlightenment, yet we have forgotten most of its important precepts and have even started moving backwards along the socio-political spectrum.

This radical shift in Western philosophy produced prodigious minds such as Francis Bacon, Adam Smith, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau.  It created constitutional governments, separation of church and state, REAL tolerance, and individual liberty.  It was the philosophical underpinning of the great revolutions of the 18th century and was the beginning of the end of slavery and equality under the Law.  It also was the first domino that led to the demise of Western monarchies (for the most part) and the rise of the democratic republic, where everyone had a say in government except when it came to certain unaLIENable rights that could never be abridged for any member of society.

Radical.  Wide-ranging.  Profound.  Fundamental.

This movement was to sweep the world in the next three centuries.  Where monarchs survived, they gave up significant power to elected bodies.  Slavery as an institution died, though it has remained underground due to religious permissiveness.  Enumerated rights have become core elements of governance.  And the inseparable tie between religion and government has slowly eroded through much of the world.

However, many of these ideas have become deeply corrupted.  The issue of rights, for instance, have been muddled, probably by design.  Entrenched interests don't give up control easily.

As modern Liberalism has shown, many people think that rights are handed out by governments as rewards for political favor.  These are not rights, these are permissions that can be revoked just as easily.  Thus, rights have become optional packages, like power seats and windows in cars, that can be purchased for loyalty and donations.  All sorts of special interests clamor for rights packages, claiming minority or abused status, forgetting that rights are inherent (under the Enlightened view) in every human by virtue of birth.  Hell, there are even useful idiots out there fighting for animal rights when we still haven't settled what they mean for humans, or which are unaLIENable.

Conservatives, on the other hand are more concerned with the rights of corporations than with human rights.  They would have organizations become "persons" and fight to protect corporate interests over the individual.  The result has been a subtle form of neo-slavery where humans are captured by a society set up to feed corporations with wage slaves and where the Boards and Executives enjoy unfettered immunity while the rest of us suffer.

What the world needs is a return to the original ideas and back off the ridiculous and unsustainable interpretations that have taken over the Enlightenment.  The problem is that this reversal requires education, and that has been usurped by both the Left and the Right, with the former pushing social agendas, and the latter pushing mercantilist agendas.

People talk a lot about dropping off the grid and getting out of the matrix without really realizing what it is and how to get out.  The secret is education.  Get yourself and your kids out of the indoctrination mills and return to real mental development.

Efforts, such as homeschooling are one major way to get out of the matrix.  A return to the classic liberal arts education (liberal in its true sense) is vital.  Nothing, though, will work when we ourselves are not educated.  You can't teach what you don't know.  This requires an effort.

Begin by turning off the teevee.  This is critical.  You don't need anything on it - at all.  There is almost nothing of value there.

With the extra time not sucked up by the propaganda machine, you can turn to sites like Gutenberg, where the collected works of Rousseau, Locke, Smith, and Bacon are absolutely free to download.  Then spend a couple of months reading the philosophical foundation of the world we really wanted and thought we were getting with the Western Civilization package deal.  Once you've done this, you will suddenly see what has gone wrong with our world, and exactly what we have to do to fix it.

You might want to spend some time over at the Mises Institute, as well.  A little time here will give you a free education in what is wrong with the global economy and how we can fix it, as well.

Now that you've got a free Master's education in global politics and economics, you can focus your efforts on rebuilding the world and educating the next generation in how to continue fixing Mommy and Daddy's mishandling of things.  It's never too late, at least as long as all the tools are free at your fingertips.

Be warned, though.  These are dangerous ideas.  The vested interests have invested 300 years trying to repair the damage done by the Enlightenment and they won't give up easily.  With a little effort and courage, though, we can complete the work of those great thinkers and doers, and finish the creation of a true New Golden Age for Mankind.

If you think this is an impossibly huge and unatainable goal, just look at the vast changes just a handful of radical thinkers and writers created just 300 years ago,  Things like real sustainability, real tolerance and real freedom are just a few books and a bit of effort away.  All you need to do first is find that little OFF switch on the teevee.

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