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Leadership BarrierThis lesson is going to be more ethereal than usual, almost philosophical. Our apologies in advance to you dear reader, but we must follow where our beliefs take us. We have explained in multiple occasions (see for example Political Systems Lifecycle and When Countries Dissolve ) what our view of the future is. We have explained how the necessary political evolution will happen and what will their constituent elements be. However, we have only scratched the surface and hinted at the most interesting question: why?

We have done so on purpose (we are lazy) as most of the time people are not really interested on the deepest why, only on a pre-processed and conveniently summarized answer that bring us immediate piece of mind and allow us to go on with our life. We are only human. You are also so.

But not today.

Today we are going to immerse ourselves into the most primitive question there exists for us Libertarians: why?

Why is that Libertarianism, which is the ultimate expression of freedom, must inevitably triumph in the end. Why?

FREEDOM FOR THE SAKE OF FREEDOM

The concept of freedom is a theoretical concept. We can’t manufacture freedom, we can’t eat freedom and we can’t store freedom. Freedom is not a thing, it is an idea. As such every time in history when people went to war in the name of freedom it was sold to people on an emotional basis. It was always us against them. Our way of life was in danger. Our properties will be taken or destroyed. Our lives and the lives of our closest family and friends are jeopardy and so on. Freedom in and by itself has no value. It is an idea and fighting for freedom for the sake of freedom is meaningless. However, freedom translated into daily affairs, into things that matter to us, is a powerful thing.

THE APPEARANCE OF FREEDOM

As freedom is an abstract idea it is not possible to measure it. Furthermore and to make things even more complicated, every one of us have a different concept of the meaning of freedom because freedom translates into different things for every one of us. Governments play with this concept. Politicians know that we want our stuff our way but we can’t have it because governments are here to take, not to give (remember they always tax, borrow and print). As such they must provide us with an impossible, freedom without freedom and so they offer us the next best thing: the appearance of freedom. We are bombarded every hour of every day with the notion that we are free. We live in a free country. We have a free market. We have the freedom to choose our religion, to express our ideas and to be protected from crime. In a word, we are free!

Well… not so.

You have forgotten to read the fine print. Yes, we are “free” as previously indicated but within the constraint of the law. In other words, the concept of freedom has been re-defined as whatever the law allow us to do. The point is, of course, that we do not get to dictate the law. We don’t even control or influence the people who write the laws. We cannot oppose the law. We cannot opt-out from under the law. In fact, we are prisoners of the law. Herein lies the genius of their method; they have re-defined our prison as liberty. And we bought it. Thoroughly.

The appearance of freedom now reigns supreme.

WHY BOTHER

As we mentioned before, freedom is an idea. It only makes sense when translated into everyday events. However, through the process of brainwashing people into making them believe into the appearance of freedom, these translations look normal however restrictive they may be. As such most people are contempt. They are “free” and they “control” their life. Government intervention is something that happens to other people, to undeserving people. Not to them. And so, why bother? Why bother doing anything if we have the best we can possibly have. Don’t we have freedom? Sure we do.

We also have limitations to what we do but they are not limitations to our “freedom”; how could they be if we are “free”? These limitations are something else, something that just happens, something that has always happened, something ill-defined that we do not have to bother with for governments are there to take care of it.

And so why bother? Why bother doing anything about it if there is nothing that must be done something about. There is no reason to do something about anything. And so, why bother? Why bother at all?

CORRECT TRANSLATION

As we mentioned before and always returning to the notion that freedom is an idea that only makes sense when translated, we interpret our world based on such translations. But we are also human. We feel. We need. We are greedy and we hate to be robbed. Translations (i.e. limitations in our freedom) clash with our human emotions and needs. We are forced to deal with them through rationalization; rationalization that is provided to us by politicians. Who hasn’t heard the idea that “taxes are the price we pay for civilization”. Yet, there is only so much that we can tolerate and explain away before our humanity rebels. This is why our theory as to how political evolution happens demands an element of economic disillusionment. Because these translations are nothing more than our economic condition. We will put up with increasingly worsening conditions only up to a certain point. Passed this point reality prevails. This is the correct translation. Once this happens people are on their way to change their minds. This is so because now they have a reason, now they have a bother which is large enough that they cannot ignore it any longer.

TELL US WHAT TO DO

Once we reach this point, there is one more gigantic psychological barrier that we must cross before we act and crossing it is not easy. Humans are above all, animals. All our animal instincts are alive, operational and well in us. We have evolved to exhibit pack behaviour. Belonging to a pack is safer than roaming alone. We cannot ignore this, we cannot turn this off and we cannot choose not to be influenced by it. It is because of this primitive and overbearing instinct that we… well… instinctively seek to be told what to do. We seek a leader. Very few people want to be leaders because true leadership is the loneliest job on earth. If you are a leader, you do not belong to a pack because you cannot seek consensus or rules in decision making and hence you are in danger… or at least this is what our instincts tell us. There is a psychological barrier between a member of the pack and the leader. Very few people are willing or even able to cross this barrier. This is the leadership barrier.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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