Irony of Socialism by Nicholas Woode-Smith
Socialism is, typically, a package deal. With heavy taxes to fund the welfare state and said welfare state to alleviate poverty, it is generally viewed positively by the poor and social justice adherents alike. What Socialism also throws in, however, is a myriad of regulations in order to control the economy.
In the spirit of heavily diluted Marxism, Socialists seek to regulate the market in order to prevent exploitation of the working class and, maybe help consumers while they’re at it; a noble goal but one which seldom (if ever) works.
A welfare state is an expensive piece of infrastructure to maintain. In South Africa, for instance, about a third of the country receives grants. Yet, a minority have to bear the weight of this through tax – much of which also has to go to other functions of government.
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I have recently come across an excellent resource called the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, which can be downloaded here or on our Downloads page. It consists of thoughtful articles on a host of topics of interest to current and aspiring libertarians.
I particularly recommend the General Introduction, which gives a fascinating insight into the history of liberal and libertarian thought.
Every single thing that happens to us – do we really forget any of it?
I don’t think we do. We repress memories but I believe it stays there – just hidden. The ones we deem to have good memories are merely those who manage to keep their brain from repressing content.
There’s some things I want to forget – or at least move on from, but when I am constantly experiencing it over and over, I can’t control my memory.
I don’t want to claim that I am suffering from PTSD, as I feel that detracts from those who truly suffer, but I can’t get the images of all the times I’ve had to stand up to crime out of my head. Every time I have to face a criminal, someone who means me or someone I love harm, a little bit of me dies.
When I don’t hear news from someone after a day, I think they’ve been murdered. When I leave the house, I come back to expect my belongings to be gone. I carry a weapon everywhere I go.
I’m paranoid and being robbed every week doesn’t help.
I’m trying to come to terms with what I feel but I’d rather just forget. Unfortunately, this country doesn’t allow me to.
If you are not willing to die for something, then you aren’t living for anything.
Many sometimes forget that satirists and comedians care for more than just a laugh. Satire isn’t merely a tool for humour but a tool of perspective. Even the largest giant can fall to ridicule. In this regard, comedians are our giant slayers. When many are often too scared or uninterested to bring the actions of those we fear into disrepute, comedians do so in such a way that we laugh.
Even the direst scenarios can be made to look funny. Not because we’re disrespectful but because we are refusing to let those seeking to defeat our very spirit, win. Comedians and satirists belittle evil so we can gain the courage to fight it.
Stephane Charbonnier, the now late Editor of Paris Magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was condemned for his portrayal of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. He was threatened by the Islamic world and urged to stop his satire of a culture he has no part in.
He has been condemned, some even say justly killed, for his response to urgings: “I’d rather die standing than live kneeling.”
Many say he had it coming and this is what depresses me. Here is a man who saw a religion which is being used to justify murder, rape and pillage. He saw a religion so sensitive that it has become arrogant enough to believe the world should abide by its laws. He is a man who realised that Europe is not an Islamic Sharia society. It is a land, despite condemned for past colonialism, of progress.
Liberty started in Europe. The Rule of Law, the Magna Carta, the Declaration of the Rights of Man. All of these – virtues that the civilised world owe thanks to for the lives we live today – were founded in Europe.
Now a religion of hate on a different continent says that Europe is not allowed their freedom. They are apparently subject to Islamic law as much as the slave societies underneath Islamic State.
What’s worst of all – many are putting up with it. Those who speak out against the invasion of Arab ideology are deemed racist while communities pop up around Europe enforcing Sharia law within sovereign states.
When a cartoonist decides to show the world that we are no slaves to a religion we don’t follow – he is begged to keep silent. Don’t upset the Muslims. You’ll get killed. You’re being stupid. You can’t blame them for killing you.
What happened to us?
There used to be an age where we fought for something. Where principle won out over fear. There used to be an age that if a citizen of a country was threatened by terrorists, that country would do everything in its power to protect what was right.
There used to be a time where revolutionaries fought back their colonial oppressors. Where serfs toppled Kings. There used to be an age where logic, reason and morality won out over fear that you might offend someone.
Stephane Charbonnier died standing. Him and the others working at Charlie Hebdo might have been massacred and sent to the floor but they stood higher than any of us. They died fighting for something.
Our freedom. Our freedom to not be dictated to by fundamentalists a continent away.
This doesn’t only affect Europe – but the world. We’ve come to a cross roads where we need to decide if we would rather live as slaves to ‘politeness’ or shout our defiance against evil. These terrorists won’t stop here. There’s no point honouring some of their ideas. They will demand full obedience.
I for one believe freedom of speech is more important than a few people’s feelings.
Hopefully now, the world will see – there is no use negotiating with terrorists. You either fight for your rights or die a slave.
It is time Europe and the world starts fighting.
Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.
Day 25’s Topic: Fighting the good fight.
It’s no surprise I often use the “Depression” tag a lot for my blog posts. Modern society has such a stigma over this specific “D” word that a lot of people brush it aside, or worse, try to hide it.
“It’s all in your head!”
“Stop being sad!”
“You’ll get over it. It’s just a phase!”
And yet, for some people, depression never goes away. And you know what?
I have depression.
There. Was that so difficult? No, not really. I have actually gotten used to feeling like this in some unpleasant degree. But in all actuality, I have had depression long before this blog had even one letter typed out. Way long…
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This past Sunday, I found myself spending the evening in a Steers in Seapoint. This followed a pretty routine weekly walk accompanied by my father and friends. We’ve been having these walks for years now in a variety of locations. Due to the heat, this week we opted for a relaxing beach walk at Camp’s Bay and then decided to get dinner in Sea Point.
It was a pleasant walk, following a pretty fun MTG Commander event in the morning. All in all, I was happy.
Soon after entering, we stood examining the large glowing overhead menu. As we did so, I felt a bump as a man stumbled into me. My hands were in my jean pockets and after he smiled, I presumed he was just drunk. Then he bumped into my father, apologised then left.
We shared a quizzical look and then my dad checked his pockets. His phone was gone.
In a split second, we were outside of the Steers and confronting the guy. He claimed that he didn’t know what we were talking about. My dad shoved him and the phone dropped out of his hand (screen cracking).
The pickpocket started fighting us. In response to my dad’s: “You took my phone.” He answered, “It’s mine now.”
After a scuffle, he ran off and then stopped. He started walking back as he had dropped his bag of stolen goods. As I picked it up, he started swearing at me: “That’s my stuff.” To which I dumbly replied: “No it’s not.”
Despite the thrashing we could/did possibly give him, he came striding back. He claimed that the phone was now his and that the packet of stolen shoes was also his. He followed us right into the Steers where I told the cashiers to phone the cops and keep the stolen goods behind the till.
All this time, a group of men taller and bulkier than the pickpocket surrounded him – and did nothing. They knew that he was a thief. They were capable of restraining him. They didn’t.
When the arrogant criminal realised we weren’t going to give him “his” stuff back, he walked away. We couldn’t stop him. There were only two of us and the group of five men seemed more likely to just smile and nod than do anything.
The night went on and I arrived home. Despite not being hurt and being able to screw over a criminal, I was shaken. Shaken that things like this happen at all.
I posted about it on Facebook and was met by a few of the usual ‘hope you’re safe’ and ‘hope he dies’ comments but some struck me.
In the post, I detailed how my father and I managed to get the phone back and scare away the robber. The comment alluding to this that struck me the most was one accusing me of being proud of my actions. The tone was unmistakably negatively accusatory.
This guy was basically saying that I beat up an undeniable thief and should feel guilty about doing so.
This wasn’t the only flak my father and I received. Our own family, who only arrived back from a trip the following day, were angry/disappointed/distressed by the fact that we stood up for ourselves and defended our property.
They accused our ‘attack’ on the pickpocket as morally reprehensible and our motivation as barbaric and testosterone driven. They condemned our going after the pickpocket but even more the fact that we won.
In an earlier incident, weeks before. Two men broke into our house. My sister witnessed the men and it was her shouting that brought me out, katana and gun at the ready – swearing like the undercover cop from GTA IV.
I chased them away and then stood guard to make sure that my family was safe. The cops (obviously) came much later and not after a lot of screwing around where they wanted every detail of my sister’s identity before they would agree to send a squad car. Before they arrived, my father and mother were able to leave their separate work locations (much farther away from us than the police station) and arrive home.
Police incompetence is not the topic of this article, however. What concerns me was not the lateness of the cops (as I expected it) but rather the fact that my sister, despite being distraught by the robbers, condemned how I handled the situation.
This is not new. My father and I have been condemned by our family and friends on a multitude of occasions – not so much for putting ourselves in harm’s way but more that we shouldn’t get in the way as crime is going to happen anyway.
After Sunday, I’m still a little shaken. What truly fills me with despair, however, is not the crime itself or even the arrogance and entitlement that the thief felt – but rather how nobody but my father and I gave a stuff about it.
Some might state that it was our phone and therefore nobody else’s business. That hasn’t stopped us in the past. Whenever there’s a break-in or assault in the neighbourhood. It is myself and my dad who pursue. It is us who stand up to the tide of lawlessness in our suburbs.
We face the hordes of chaos and corruption and we receive no thanks. We are condemned by those who stood by while a man who beat up a woman got away – all because we chose to kick in his teeth. We are condemned because we chose to chase a thief rather than just buying a new phone. We are condemned because we waste our own petrol chasing and searching for burglars – trying to save other people’s stuff.
Countless failures to administer justice hurts us, the apathy of those around us burns us but what truly kills us is the fact that we are called the monster.
The thing is, I’m not going to stop. When a woman is attacked, I will defend her. When a phone, wallet or even just some shoes are stolen – I will not let that criminal get away. I will be willing to risk being hurt to defend my family and those I love.
I don’t ask for admiration or even acceptance – but as someone who sacrifices so much so you don’t have to, I would appreciate that you withhold your holier than thou ethics.
So, Voice of Zaggeta is now 3 years old. Despite my laziness, mish-mash of topics and long breaks – I feel it is still alive and has much room to grow.
I’ve finally finished school and am looking forward to university in 2015. This is of course a completely new entity for me to learn and conquer but from what I have heard – I’m going to love it.
2014 has been stressful – not only from the school front, but with family moving away, staying in Cape Town rather than going to Nature’s Valley and developing a new relationship with a girl I really love. It has had its ups and downs but 2014 will be one of the years which define my life.
For 2015, my plans are the usual – try to post at least weekly on this blog, finish a book, play games and promote liberty.
Some new plans, which I am surprised I didn’t post about, are the creation of an indie game studio called ParaForge and the development of our first game – Remnant.
As I love copy-paste material from my other social media sources, I will be posting about that in the days to come.
Thank you for reading and have a great end of 2014 and a greater 2015.