Can we just let Dad drive?

Russell Brand


(2 min 30 seconds to read)

I used to laugh off the extremists. Those on the fringe left who discourage offensive language, encourage patience with repressive Islamists, and promote a US conspiracy as the cause for the Muslims fighting each other .

I used to laugh off the birthers who criticized everything Obama did, as if he was any less authoritarian than George W. Bush. I used to dismiss those who thought the country was going socialist, while they ignored the fact that we all have our social security cards and the government was subsidizing big industries, from agriculture to oil to our banking system.

Then I really laughed at those who reacted to these dramatists on the fringe. The reactionaries on twitter and youtube who amplified and contested every emotional outburst  from social justice warrior and libertarian alike, whether the post deserved attention or not.

The 24 hours news cycle that needed to be filled by CNN and FOX and other big media networks was no longer.  You and me, our posts, podcasts, and tweets, were filling it now, with our feelings saturating the digital space.

And so now I wonder who out there doesn’t have a camp. Is there anyone left who won’t outright dismiss a statement coming from “the other side”? Have we become so emotionally charged, so easily led, that we cannot be allowed to have meaningful influence of government?

I was most sympathetic to libertarianism, because I think that large institutions are prone to soul-crushing and domineering, whether the institution is governmental or corporate. I put more trust in people. I value people’s freedom, not the institution’s. I believed the best change, the most meaningful change, came from the bottom up, not the top down.

I wanted to empower the people. But not so much anymore.

I wonder if it’s better to accept the liberal elitism which favors disempowering the population, in order to keep us from hurting ourselves.

“Son, I know you’re 18 years old, but let me have the keys. I’ll drive you wherever you need. It’s easier and safer for everyone.”

Maybe we do need a paternal government which limits our options and controls our economy, our paychecks, and our lifestyles.

Because from what I see, so many of us are thinking with our heart, or from our gut, but we’re not thinking about issues with our minds.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

Observation is good. Sharing is better.

 

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The most effective way for you to stay safe from terrorism

stop terror, turn off tv

After the shooting at the Connecticut elementary school, I’ve been thinking of security. HL Menken said, “Most people want security, not liberty.” I contend that you cannot have security without liberty. Security is a feeling of empowerment that grows from liberty. Security is the confidence that whatever happens, you’ve got it handled. How can you be empowered if you’ve given up your security to others? Our government provides us some security, but it includes them taking our right to trial and ignoring any right to privacy by collecting our personal data.

The media, the so-called experts, or the government can tell us what threatens us, but we’re the ones who decide what is actually threatening and whether we will give up some of our freedom to protect ourselves.

Remember, the more power we relinquish to the institution for our security and peace of mind, the less of our mind we will use, and the less secure we truly are.

What kind of security do you want?

Your strength is needed. Now…more than ever.

Some people think they know better than others. You know the type. They give advice on everything. They believe they have the system of do’s and don’ts that will work. They want what is best for you. And they believe they know what the best thing for you to do is. In fact, they think they know what is best for everyone.

Others believe it’s better for people to make their own choice. They believe people will strive, work, share, and care for others. Not because we’re forced to, but because in a stable system of laws, that is what we will do. They believe people should have the freedom to live how they want, but without hurting others. To choose what passion to follow, where to work, how much to pay, how much to get paid, what to buy, how to explore their own consciousness, and who to congregate with.

There are those who want a system of control because they want to protect people, not just from others, but protect them from making the wrong choices. They want to protect us from ourselves. They are cautious of people. Do they even trust people?

They like giving guidelines, and providing a program. They believe in a high standard of living, and they want everyone to have that standard, not just the opportunity for that standard, because they think everyone deserves it. And they will engineer a system using their formula of mandates that will get you this, regardless of how this effects the financial condition of the country. They will make it too affordable to pass up or they will cook it into the system so you have no choice.

These people truly want to help others.

And they believe they are the expert authority on that. And they believe in a central authority. Like a central bank that controls money, or a central insurance company that controls health care, or a central department of energy and agriculture to provide corporate welfare. Or a police authority that has taken our right to trial, so we can be arrested without charge.

Those who believe in people are different. They are courageous, because living an empowered life is damn scary. But that is why we are here. Not to make a perfect world, but to accept that life is not going to be perfect, and anything that is worth doing in life is risky. And caring about someone else is not about giving them something. It’s about being their friend and helping them face to face, not through a check delivered by a service taken from our paycheck.

We’re here to make choices, not have someone else make them for us.

We’re here to get hurt, mend, learn, and grow. And when we see someone else hurting, we’re here to extend our own hand and help them up. Not pay others to help them for us. Because people need to intimately know they are valued before they can do something of value. And because you cannot make someone care about you by forcing them to share with you.

We’re here to explore our passions and our own consciousness without being restricted on what we can do, unless it hurts another person.

We know that we cannot get as far alone as we can by joining others, but not in faceless networks. We’re here to share life in a community, because we must have the opportunity to learn that without guidelines or incentives, a rich life is one of honest collaboration with others.

We know that if we give leaders the authority to do things on behalf of us, we must remain aware of how they are using this power. And that we must stop them when we feel they are doing a disservice to us.

We know that we should treat everyone else how we would want to be treated. And so we act accordingly.

These people trust humanity to do the right thing.

Some might call these libertarian values.

But they are not.

They are called human values.

And I believe it is how we should live.

TED Talk Tuesday invaded by FOX News: What if…?


“What if the two-party system were actually a mechanism used to limit so-called public opinion? What if there were more than two sides to every issue, but the two parties wanted to box you in to a corner, one of their corners?

What if there’s no such thing as public opinion, because every thinking person has opinions that are uniquely his own?

What if public opinion were just a manufactured narrative that makes it easier to convince people that if their views are different, there’s something wrong with that – or something wrong with them?

What if the whole purpose of the Democratic and Republican parties was not to expand voters’ choices, but to limit them?

What if those vaunted differences between Democrat and Republican were actually just minor disagreements?

What if both parties just want power and are willing to have young people fight meaningless wars to enhance that power?

What if both parties continue to fight the war on drugs just to give bureaucrats and cops bigger budgets and more jobs?

What if government policies didn’t change when government’s leaders did?

What if no matter who won an election, government stayed the same?

What if government were really a revolving door of political hacks, bent on exploiting the people while they’re in charge?”

Who watches the watcher?
The answer is clear.
It’s you and me!
An enlightened and knowledgeable population.
The government and corporations and banks don’t rule us.
They serve us.
We can change the power imbalance that has drifted to them.

Yes.
We can.