In Ayn Rand's most (in)famous work, Atlas Shrugged, an unlikely hero by the name of Ragnar Danneskjold explains his mission in life:Discuss.
"I'm after a man whom I want to destroy. "
"Robin Hood. ...He was the man who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Well, I'm the man who robs the poor and gives to the rich – or, to be exact, the man who robs the thieving poor and gives back to the productive rich." (126.96.36.199-97)
I know exactly how Mr. Danneskjold feels. While I wish him luck on his quest, I have a target of my own to take down. I've been after this punk for years, and I won't stop until justice has been done. If it's the last thing I do...
...I'm going to kill Peter Pan.
Yep. Green tights. Flies. Hangs out with a pixie. That Peter Pan.
At first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking I've finally blown a critical synapse. Why the hell is the Wraith declaring war, not only on a fictional character, but on a cute, mischievous, puckish young man? "What," you may wonder, "did Peter Pan ever do to you?"
It's not what Peter Pan did, it's what he represents. Anyone who's ever heard of Peter Pan knows him as the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Now, this is a cute basis for a children's story, but far too many people in the Western world seem to have taken the message to heart--with disastrous consquences.
Back in the dim and distant past, children were children and adults were adults. There was a fairly clear demarcation between the two, and children couldn't wait to grow up. Rites of passage, like wearing makeup or the gift of a first knife, were eagerly anticipated. Children looked to the responsibilities of adulthood as a great gift to be worthy of, and parents did their best to make sure their children were equipped to deal with adult life independently. In short, childhood was considered a transitory stage, not a lifestyle.
Such does not seem to be the case today. We are now being overrun with Theoretical Adults; people who have reached the 'age of majority,' but who still dress, act, and worst of all think like children.
There is a vast difference between how a child thinks as opposed to how an adult thinks. An adult knows that life is not fair. That he is responsible for his own actions, his own successes or failures. That the only person obliged to take care of him is himself. A child lives in a fantasy world, where everyone gets exactly what they deserve and nothing they don't. Where there's always someone else to blame for his failures. Where he's simply taken care of, with no thought as to how and why. This is normal for children. They have not yet had the time to learn enough so that they can comprehend the bigger picture.
I shall illustrate with an example: Let us say our hypothetical child goes to the refrigerator and grabs a Mountain Dew. He has no idea how that frosty green can of flourescent yellow caffeinated goodness got there. His parents know that the 12-pack of Dew cost $4.69 with the Super Saver Card Club Member Special at the local Safeway. They know that the refrigerator runs on electricity, which is something they have to pay for and is indirectly related to the price of oil. They know that the refrigerator resides in a house which must be paid for, and that it's making that weird noise, so they budget for unexpected expenses, because they know that if the fridge dies or the roof springs a leak when they have no money to fix the situation, they're hosed. They know that the money for all this comes from the time and effort they expend in working at their chosen profession, and that every penny they earn represents a moment of their life that is gone forever.
The child knows none of this. He wants a Mountain Dew, so he goes to the fridge and gets one, and it's going to be there because he expects it to. That's it. Nothing beyond the immediate moment is of any concern. And this is how too many 'adults' continue to think today. There is no past to learn from. There is no future to extrapolate to. Stuff just happens, without any sort of cause or context. Welcome to the prevailing thought processes of our aforementioned Theoretical Adults--the disciples of Peter Pan. They won't grow up. They refuse to take on the mindset and responsibilities of real adults. They aren't going to think, and you can't make them!! Reality isn't the boss of them!!
Well, actually, it is.
A is A. Reality is real. Facts exist.
Too many people in the formerly-intelligent Western world have chosen to ignore these simple concepts, and in doing so, have repudiated their humanity. The one thing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our capacity for rational and coherent thought. When we give that up, we throw away what makes us human. We become voluntary, perpetual children.
Let's look at the totality of recorded human history, which stretches back 8-10,000 years or so, depending on which method of 'recording' you start with. That's a lot of time, however you slice it. Then, let's compare it to the history of the United States, which has been around for going on a quarter millennium. Why is it that America went from just another rebellious colony of Britain, to the dominant power on Earth in less than 250 years, while every other nation on Earth continued to wallow in the mire of statism? Why is it that this upstart country, with its personal automobiles, personal computers and audacity to leave footprints on the surface of the moon, has rocketed past every other socioeconomic system ever devised by man?
Free Men. Free Minds. Free Markets.
That's it. That's how we did it. Our personal liberties were upheld. Our opinions, no matter how unpopular, were defended. Our right to voluntary economic interaction with our fellow man was considered sacrosanct. In the days of our Founders, this was considered an experiment, and a risky one at that. But it worked. The hypothesis has been proven correct, both by America's success and by the fact that the further we stray from the original Constitutional principles, the worse things become in our Republic.
Fact 1: A combination of limited government and free markets is the recipe for success.
Now, let's take a look at the statist, Marxist/Leninist philosophies--socialism, and its big brother communism. Notice that, where communism has held sway, it has led to oppression, suffering, loss, misery, mass murder and devastation. Every time. While socialism's consequences are usually not as obviously horrific as communism's, I would argue that they are even more dire, simply because the poison spreads so slowly as to escape notice by most. This is often aided by ignoring, excusing or underreporting the prevailing trends of poverty and violent crime. Often, the trends are concealed until conditions reach the boiling point. But inevitably, sooner or later, the whole system starts to crumble. Even Fidel Castro, after six decades of ruthless oppression of the Cuban people, admitted defeat recently.
Fact 2: A combination of unrestrained government and market interference is an unsustainable failure.
These two statements are just what I have called them: FACTS. They are based on the laws of economics, which are, arguably, just as real as the laws of physics. You may or may not like the fact that gravity exists, but it does anyway, and you step off that ledge at your own peril.
Remember my comparison a few paragraphs ago? Adults recognize reality. The facts are what they are, and it is the adult's job to adjust to them, because it's never going to be the other way around. Children simply cannot comprehend this. They think that anything--including the retraction of all the basic principles of existence as we know it--is possible if you hope for it, wish for it...Tinkerbell will come back to life if you just believe enough.
This is a mindset fit for children, who cannot vote, enter into contracts, or be held responsible in any meaningful way for their actions. When this attitude continues past the legal 'age of majority,' it is very dangerous indeed, for this leads to the eventual rule of rational, civilized people by the irrational.
My fellow Americans, we are being ruled by a mob of mentally unbalanced children, and this has to end now. We, as a people, need to grow up. We can no longer afford the luxury of living in Never-Never Land. There is no Santa Claus. There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Tooth Fairy. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no such thing as sustainable socialism. That politician who promises to take care of you? Haven't you noticed he smells funny, and that van he's driving has no windows in the back? Turn down his candy, scream your head off and run like hell. Despite his carefully crafted smile and promises, what he has planned for you--for all of us--is something you don't even want to imagine.
That's why I'm gunning for Peter Pan. Because the fantasy that we can all be eternal children is ageless, and it has destroyed one great nation after another. One by one, some of the most advanced civilizations the world had ever seen succumbed to that siren song of dependence; of ignoring responsibility in favor of the distractions of the moment, of believing that one could simultaneously be a free man while entrusting his fate to others. Peter Pan is simply that poisonous mentality personified, and America ain't big enough for the both of us.
27 April 2013
Captain Hook With a 12-Gauge