Politics

The economist Franz Oppenheimer once wrote that there are only two means of acquiring material wealth. One is voluntary exchange and the other is theft. He aptly called the former the “economic means” and the latter the “political means”.

This is exactly the distinction that I make in the primer on the right hand side of this blog. I call it economics of voluntary action versus economics of compulsory action.

Oppenheimer furthermore defined the state as an “organization of the political means”:

The State is an organization of the political means. No State, therefore, can come into being until the economic means has created a definite number of objects for the satisfaction of needs, which objects may be taken away or appropriated by warlike robbery.

The process of politics, due to its complete violation of morality, contradicts everything humans are by default wired for.

It seems to be generally understood that there is nothing to be gained out of the political process for mankind in general.

One can observe this in common day to day speak:

“Oh, this is getting too political for me.”

“He’s just playing politics.”

“Don’t politicize this issue!”

“You should hear yourself talk. You sound like a politician!”

And so on …

Thus I think it is fair to say that evidence exists to support the notion that people in general very much understand the futility of the political process. They like to let it slip from time to time. Except when it really matters … on election day.

You can see this in emotional knee jerk responses that you get from most people when advocating abstention from the voting process.

It is not unreasonable to believe that such cognitive dissonance is one of the ultimate results of childhood scar tissue.


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