Wednesdays with Wenzel: What Kind of Society Do We Want
Laying out the choices
Wednesdays with Wenzel is a regular column sharing the insights of the late Robert Wenzel. Robert was an insightful scholar of libertarian and Austrian School ideas. Excepts of his work come from his books, his websites, and his subscriber only email alert.
Last night the baby woke us at 11:30, 12:15, 3:00, 4:15, 4:30 and 5:15. We’ve had a few of these lately. This is baby number three so nights like this don’t frustrate me, but they do tire me. It’s just part of the process. So if you notice my writing is a little choppy lately, that’s part of the issue. This baby is six months old, so it’s a little early for sleep training. I think the first kid we started to get serious around month ten. At that point, you have had almost 300 days of interrupted sleep nights and it’s one of those, “alright listen kid, either you or I are moving out, so let’s figure out a way to get some mutual agreement….”
Of course my favorite mutual agreement is baby cries itself back to sleep and I sleep through it. We both get what we want! (I’m 25% joking.)
That said, last night when I did sleep, I slept about as deep as you can go. I’ve been dealing with a rib injury from jiu jitsu and I haven’t slept on my left side in over two weeks because of it. My left side is the go-to. It’s been taken away and I’ve had to adjust. I had a great class last night, really went strong for 90 minutes, which is 88 more minutes of effort than I could do in my first class six weeks ago. I came home, took a cold shower, ate some chicken salad, and lied down on my back. I got really, really deep into my breathing. At first, it hurt like hell with every breath. Of course, I had aggravated the injury as I do every class. But the aggravation becomes less and less acute and the pain easier to manage with every passing day. Ribs are one of those areas where if it isn’t broken, there’s not much to do but try not to sound like a b*tch every time you get tossed.
Eventually the pain melted away and l was lying there with thoughts crossing lightly in front of me. I didn’t reach and grab any of them. I simply let them go by without judgment as I settled into being. Pretty soon I felt like I was floating on the bed. I didn’t weigh anything. And off to sleep I went.
Until the next baby cry five minutes later.
Anyway all this brings me to the interesting part. Obviously I’m the type of person that does what I can to be healthy. At my age, to be pushing limits like I do is not normal. And that’s unfortunate. What is normal is to be afraid of everything. You know, things like viruses.
Like a lot of you, I’m out there every day giving my all to be a healthy and happy human being (more accurately stated, to discover my true self). Meanwhile, many people are sitting around doing nothing outside of accepting a medical intervention. They don’t even have to pay for the medical intervention! It’s about as big of a free lunch as you can get. These people are free loaders, grifters. They take in everything that is given to them from a mental and physical health stand point and do nothing to produce a better, healthier world for others.
Guess which one of these two groups welcomes any and all people to share the room with them? Guess which one of these two groups wants to know if their holiday guests are vaccinated? Guess which one of these two groups accuses the other of being selfish? Guess which one of these two groups is more common to society?
For those of us in the former group, perhaps we need to rethink what a society actually is. Is it something that provides us a benefit? Does the intermingling of people require us to be a part of something, or can we retain our independence from others while living in a world with societies?
I like H.L. Mencken’s approach personally, when he said, “I would never want to belong to any group that would have me as a member.”
Of course the worst part about living in today’s society is that nearly everyone believes it - whatever it is - would fall apart without the wisdom of overlords, elected democratically by choosing between two parties. In reality, government actors are at best well-meaning but blind. They can’t possibly know more about what individuals need than the individuals themselves. They can’t possibly know how to direct resources to meet the subjective value scales of end consumers without a pricing system based on those values.
At worst, public officials become nothing more than welfare cretins. They consume tax resources and provide nothing of value, or actively hamper individuals through coercion and tyranny.
The necessity of government is a myth. And Robert Wenzel addresses this at the beginning of his book, Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person.
The Necessity of Government is a Myth by Robert Wenzel
… the idea that government is necessary is a myth. Upon deeper examination, non-government entities - including police and “national” defense - can more efficiently provide services than governments currently provide…
As an example, let’s review government role of police versus the role of residents in neighborhood safety. In any large city and many small towns, there are neighborhoods known as “good and safe” areas and others neighborhoods known as the “bad sections of town.” Both areas are generally policed by the same police department, but the difference in safety in the two areas can be dramatic. It is not because of the police operating differently in the two sectors; it is because of the people living in the two areas. The police don’t provide complete security to either area. It is only the neighbors in the good part of town that provide a type of self-security [my note: I would point out here that it's not just traditional neighborhood policing, but the demand by neighbors in good parts of town to exceed the security level provided by police. This includes purchasing Nest cameras, ADT, etc. This demand in fact proves that people have different values scales than the police can account for.]
…Good people going about their daily business help to create safety and protection in areas much more so than government police.
[my note: I would also add here that government police show their priority is protecting government, not the citizenry, when a crisis arises. In every BLM riot last summer, the government protected government building first and private business last - or not at all.]
On the “national” defense front, a government military is often used in an aggressive manner rather than for protection of the homeland… The US maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad.
And it should not be forgotten that government nuclear bomb shelters are designed and available for high ranking members of the government, but not for the common man. There is no government protection for most of us against a horrific nuclear attack - only for the government that is allegedly protecting us.
…After Hawaii recently issued a false intercontinental ballistic missile warning to its residents, a libertarian observer remarked, “Well at least we know what the government is going to do when there is a nuclear attack headed our way. They are going to send us a text message.” [This was a tweet by Jeffrey Tucker]
…Charity is another area where government proponents allege that government is necessary… The government’s current vast welfare system is not about helping those in need as much as it is a large vote buying scheme… It is the generosity and kindness of most people that politicians take advantage of with their vote buying schemes when they claim they are running needed charity work.
…But what is the alternative? How can we have a better society, a non-governmental society that doesn’t turn into a wild west shootout? [my note: the Wild West is a misnomer and it was rather peaceful. The idea of a violent ungoverned frontier is also a myth that is a mix of government and private propaganda to sell fiction novels and plays.] Who are the anarchists that call for the abolition of government? What are their ideas?
In the next chapter, RW takes a look at prevailing anarchist ideas before launching into his reasoning for a private property society. We’ll cover that in a future column.
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