Abandon Ship!

I do pay some attention to the main news headlines. It’s hard not to, and I do like to diversify my knowledge on common news articles. Even though most headlines are used to cover up other truths in the world.

It is not surprising that Captain Francesco Schettino of the Costa Concordia jumped ship. In socialist societies you are taught to blame everyone else but yourself for the ills of the world. You are not taught individual responsibility and leadership.

When people ask; ‘what is wrong with the world?’ I simply say ‘read Atlas Shrugged’

People must take responsibilities for their own actions. The captain should have been the last person off that ship, and should have taken full charge of the evacuations. That is what being a leader is supposed to be.

It seems that gone are the days of chivalry and honor, but do not despair, the days of men who ignore reality will pass. Society will collapse in on itself without leaders to pave the way. Luckily there are still leaders, and their voices are growing, backed by the growing number of people who have nowhere else to turn, and will finally listen and participate.

Capitalism, free trade, relaxed rules, freedom of speech, these will all make a comeback, if you stand up and make yourself heard.

An essay written just a couple years ago, shows how many are starting to understand the principles of a free and just society, and that responsibility from each individual is key to all of societies success.

Here is an essay about responsibility, and why socialism always fails:

The Compassionate Squirrels
a fable with a lesson about socialism


1


by
Kenneth A. Kuhn
revised August 29, 2008


Copyright © 1998 by Kenneth A. Kuhn. This work may be freely distributed provided
that it is distributed in its entirety and is not altered in any way. Any similarity of this
fable to real life is intentional.


There was once a society of squirrels that had been in existence for millions of years.
Each squirrel gathered and ate nuts and saved nuts to have food to eat during the winter
season. After all, it was the intention of Nature for squirrels to gather nuts. If a squirrel
got sick or was injured then it died of starvation if it did not recover soon enough. When
a squirrel became too old to gather nuts it died or was eaten by predators. If a squirrel
ignored the dangers of predators such as snakes, foxes, and hawks then it was eaten as
Nature eats its mistakes. Life was good if a squirrel did the right things and was short if a
squirrel did the wrong things. Thus, is the way of Nature. Nature quickly gets rid of
stupidity and laziness. Even if a squirrel lived properly it could still suffer a bad fate just
due to the random chance of disease, injury, or predation. There was no government — it
was every squirrel for itself.


A group of squirrels got together and decided that life would be better if a fund of nuts
was set up to take care of sick and injured squirrels. It would also be beneficial if a fund
was set up to take care of squirrels too old to gather nuts anymore. A concern of all
squirrels was being eaten by a predator. It was decided that a small government would be
set up to handle these concerns and improve the lives of all squirrels. This was a new
experience. No squirrel had ever been in a government before or even operated any kind
of business. Each squirrel would pay a tax of some nuts per year and then could live with
less worry about dying too soon. A defense system was also set up to quickly warn all
squirrels when a predator was around.


And so it was. The system worked well — with food to eat, more squirrels were able to
recover after being sick or injured. Those who would not recover could at least live out
their lives without starving. For the first time, elderly squirrels were able to retire. Life
was much better. Predators were a thing of the past with a fine defense department.
Since squirrels are all hard working, it never occurred that a squirrel might cheat the
system and fake an illness or injury just to collect benefits and avoid work. There was no
incentive to be lazy in the past because starvation was the certain result. As they set up
the government it had not occurred to the squirrels that good intentions could possibly
lead to bad results. Good intentions should only produce good results, they thought. The
squirrels had never heard of misguided compassion syndrome and had inadvertently
created a socialist system where the government managed the concerns of squirrels. The
squirrels also did not understand concepts of business and free enterprise and how these
concepts could serve the squirrel population without the problems that socialism leads to.


2
Eventually, a few squirrels learned how to cheat the system and receive benefits instead
of working. The other squirrels were starting to get a little suspicious of this but it was
hard to prove. The tax required to maintain this system had to be increased. The number
of squirrels working in the bureaucracy had to be increased too. Being paid a salary of
nuts to do bureaucratic work was easier than gathering nuts so there was no incentive to
do anything about any squirrels who were cheating. Cheating squirrels actually helped
the bureaucracy grow faster and thus raise the salaries of the bureaucrats.


The cheating squirrels started having offspring. The offspring also qualified for benefits.
The young squirrels played just as the young squirrels of the nut-gatherers but did not
learn how to gather nuts. They only learned that they had the right for nuts to be provided
to them. In fact, they wondered why other squirrels would work when nuts could be had
for free. The other squirrels must be stupid. As these young squirrels grew up they too
had offspring. Since they were not occupied in gathering nuts they had time to have much
more offspring than the working squirrels. They had more offspring than they could care
for and needed more government services to assist them. With socialism it takes a village
to raise a squirrel. The ever increasing number of squirrels to take care of required an
ever increasing government and taxes. Although the government squirrels were working
they were no longer gathering nuts so taxes on the ever fewer nut gathering squirrels had
to be increased again to support the growing bureaucracy and beneficiaries.


Taxes were increased again and again and the “fortunate” nut gathering squirrels were
working harder and harder to provide for themselves as well as for the “unfortunate” nonworking
squirrels living on government benefits and also for the increasing government
services. There was a slow but steady increase in the number of nut gatherers who figured
out how to be just about as well off by becoming non-working.


The nut gathering squirrels complained more and more but they did not have enough
votes to change the system. They were called all sorts of bad names such as rich, greedy,
mean-spirited, right-wing, uncaring, and evil. They were even accused of tax schemes to
create tax breaks for the wealthy. Welfare for the rich was denying the poor of what they
rightfully deserved as any nuts not taken as taxes were nuts essentially stolen from the
poor. Any tax relief for the nut gathering squirrels was seen as placing an unfair tax
burden on the poor. As the nut gathering squirrels were gathering more and more nuts
just to keep up with the taxes it was pointed out that there was a widening gap between
the fortunate and the unfortunate squirrels. The gap could be made to appear particularly
wide if the before taxes income of the fortunate was compared with the before benefit
income of the unfortunate. Economic justice would insure that no squirrel could get
unfairly ahead on this “level” playing field.


With great secrecy, one night the nut gathering squirrels abandoned their homes and store
of gathered nuts and moved to a new forest far away. The next morning the non-working
squirrels gleefully took over the homes and had a feast on the stores of nuts. Life would
now be very good with the rich squirrels gone. This is what they had been wishing for
and the unfortunate could now have what they had always deserved. True to the laws of
Nature they would ultimately get what they deserved.

3
The wealth of nuts was being quickly consumed. It then occurred to the able-bodied nonworking
squirrels that the sick, injured, and retired squirrels could not really enjoy life
anyway and were a drain on the wealth of nuts. These squirrels were labeled as “bad” –
enemies of “good” squirrels. Most of the “bad” squirrels had previously been the evil
fortunate nut-gathering squirrels who had made life so hard for the unfortunate “good”
squirrels. Now these “bad” squirrels were eating the nuts that the “good” squirrels
deserved — stealing from the poor. This serious threat had to be eliminated and so there
was a mass extermination of the “bad” squirrels. The “good” squirrels felt completely
justified. There was much rejoicing. Now there were only “good” squirrels. Life would
once again be good.


No squirrel knew how to gather nuts anymore. Some squirrels worked (as in every crowd
there is always a squirrel that works harder) at learning how and did, but the other
squirrels quickly took the nuts. After all, those greedy squirrels who worked did not need
the nuts and the needy squirrels who did not work, did. It was much easier to take nuts
rather than work for them.


There was no longer a government — it died a quick death without the tax revenue. There
had been a defense department that had done an excellent job at keeping predators away.
During previous times, many of the non-working squirrels believed that they could have
even more nuts for themselves if nuts were not wasted feeding squirrels working in the
defense department. After all, when was the last time a squirrel was eaten by a predator?
With the defense department gone and since most squirrels knew nothing about avoiding
predators (the government had always done that for them), the snakes, foxes, and hawks
now had an easy feast. The wish to get what they deserved had finally come true for the
“good” squirrels.


The population of squirrels rapidly fell. In the end, the surviving squirrels were those who
did figure out how to gather nuts and learned how to deal with predators. These squirrels
learned what their great, great, great ancestors had known; that a squirrel has to work
with Nature, not against it. Squirrels survive only by working — Nature does not provide
a living for free. Things had been fine as long as only sick and injured squirrels received
a free living as their numbers would always be small and could be supported by the
system. This level of compassion is compatible with Nature as there is a balance between
providing a free living to a disabled squirrel in exchange for the same being done for a
working squirrel should the working squirrel become disabled. Overall survival is
enhanced – that is what Nature is about.


Misguided compassion is extending a free living to squirrels who are just lazy. The
problems that this causes generally call for more misguided compassion which in turn
continues to make things worse. It seems that more socialism is necessary to solve the
problems that socialism causes. Misguided compassion is a violation of the laws of
Nature and can not go on indefinitely. When living creatures go against the laws of
Nature the death rate must increase and increase until the laws are again followed.

4
The nut-gathering squirrels who moved to the new forest are doing very well. They
rebuilt all that they had before and even set up a government again to handle broad
concerns of all squirrels including defense against predators. The government decided
that an insurance system to care for sick, disabled, and retired squirrels was best handled
by letting private squirrels set up competing insurance companies. Competition
guaranteed that waste and cheating would not be tolerated — i.e. working with the laws of
Nature. The singular government system of before had no competition and thus no
incentive to operate efficiently — that is, working against the laws of Nature. The
insurance companies did periodic evaluation to separate truly disabled squirrels from
squirrels who had only developed laziness disorder. No benefits were provided to the lazy
squirrels at all — they either regained their work ethic or died of starvation. The lazy
squirrels would complain but the desire to eat was a strong incentive to recover from
laziness disorder. It was amazing how fast any lazy squirrels recovered. On rare occasion
a few lazy squirrels did die per the laws of Nature thus illustrating to all that the incentive
was real. Occasionally there were calls to provide at least some minimum compassion but
these calls were steadfastly resisted lest the mistake of before be repeated.


This story ends with the surviving squirrels of the original society also learning and
applying this lesson. The experiment with socialism (i.e. that if a squirrel exists then it is
entitled to a share of the collective wealth whether it gathers nuts or not) was a dismal
failure that will not be repeated unless the lessons of history are forgotten. Privately run
and competing insurance systems to manage and reduce risk provide all the benefits of a
singular government system but without the expense and problems. Although the private
systems seem harsh and mean-spirited at times they are only following and working with
the laws of Nature. In the process and with Nature’s blessing, they make life better for all
except those who would cheat or become lazy. Government is best when government is
small and works in the interest of tax payers rather than in the interest of bureaucrats. A
squirrel can pay only a limited amount of tax. Otherwise there is no point in having a
government.


Since humankind is surely much smarter than squirrels it is inconceivable that humankind
would ever make this sort of mistake. Humankind is a lot more compassionate than
Nature and is surely smart enough and powerful enough to circumvent the laws of Nature
as they apply to lesser animals. Surely this is so.

Are we not compassionate squirrels? Do we not provide healthcare to the young and old? Do we not provide care for those who cannot take care of themselves? Do we not provide funding for a military? Do we not educate our young?

The size of government is too large, and when everyone blames everyone else for their problems, and those who are capable ask to be helped out because they have allowed their minds to become weak, and will not take responsibility. When this happens atlas will shrug, the responsible will leave, and the producers will cease to produce.

Just think about how many companies have closed since this great recession started.

Just look at how politicians shift the blame.

Just look at how many people around you are looking for someone to take care of them.

And then ask yourself this; ‘why am I not helping myself?’.

Why are you not standing up? Why are you not speaking out? Why are you not reading books and educating yourself? Why are you looking for another leader who will spoon feed you when you are capable of feeding yourself?

Take charge of your life, or run your ship into the ground.

The choice is always yours.

Set sail, or abandon ship!

One response to “Abandon Ship!

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