I’m listening to this audiobook called “The Art of Choosing” which has radically altered my world view.
Everyone has some need for individualism, and some need for community. There’s one part of our brain which wants us avoid being outcast from the tribe, and there’s another which insists that we refuse to walk off a cliff like a lemming with the others. The people who are alive today have parents who were able to strike a balance between the two halves. Today, we must strike a balance for ourselves.
Communism appears to be a living hell, filled with misery and strife. Food shortages, broken transportation, and rampant war are just a few plagues of those who willingly submit to the oppression of their peers. Capitalism offers you a golden ticket out of your lowly state. You can work hard, start a business, and find both happiness and comfort. The catch is that it doesn’t benefit everyone equally. Some people will inevitably get richer than others, but at least everyone gets richer. Since listening to this audiobook, I’ve realized that, to communists, that is too big of a catch. To me it’s fine. To them it’s not. They’d rather everyone be equally poor. They prefer an equality of outcomes to an equality of opportunity. I used to ask myself, “Why would they want to wallow about in the muck that we call ‘Communism’?” The answer is that, they like it. That’s what they want.
I, on the other hand, have something wrong with my brain. The individualism half is too strong. I want nothing to do with Communism. It’s gotta be capitalism or nothing. “Live free or die,” is the motto of the state I want to live in. If someone proposed making it illegal to touch a burner on an electric stove, I’d go home and do it on purpose. When someone says, “But you could get hurt!” I say, “Yeah, that’s the point.” Why would anyone want to live in a world where they could get hurt? Because I like it. I want it that way. I don’t want to live in a world with no risk. I don’t want to be taken care of by outside sources. I don’t want a social safety net either. If I screw up, I have to face the consequences. That appeals to me. My pupils dilate with the thrill and then shrink as I get shrewd with my money. I’d much rather have the risk to lose than the the equality of being poor.