PostHeaderIcon Pursuit of Happiness

In the previous thread “Globalists vs Americans,” while replying to Chris’ comment, I mentioned:

Of course, from my own perspective, the real dichotomy is the Collectivists vs Individualists, which basically eliminates all the statist Incumbrepublocrat politicians, including Trump. This explains why as a sovereign individualist, my only viable option is to vote ‘None of the Above,’ by the simple expedient of not voting at all.

As is her wont, CT then asked a question that requires a thoughtful answer:

Dave as a sovereign individualist, do you live happily in the framework of what is today?

This deserves more than a quick reply; hence the new post. First, a few clarifications, regarding the natural rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, as well as Individual Sovereignty.

For me, the entire purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness. Thus, if I chose not to allow myself to be happy, there would be little point in doing the things I do for my health, to perpetuate my life beyond my 70+ years.

Liberty, I define as the opportunity to live my life as I choose to live it, as long as I do not forcefully interfere in the rights of others, to live their own lives as they choose. Needless to say, the very existence of the state, can be a serious impediment to achieving Liberty. Government by its very nature, is the antithesis of Liberty.

When I say I am sovereign, I simply mean ‘I am the boss of me.’ I recognize no superior, nor harbor the slightest respect for any so-called ‘authorities,’ attempting to regulate my life. None. The measure of personal Liberty I have achieved, is a direct result of contumaciously disavowing their attempts to subjugate my mind, and simply ignoring their existence insofar as practical.

Yet, I am an unabashed American patriot. I claim that it is entirely valid to love one’s homeland, without loving (or even respecting) the government and its functionaries, currently claiming dominion over its territory. I would as likely be inclined to defend my homeland, from their jackbooted thugs, as an invader’s.

As an individualist, I totally reject all forms of altruism, which I lump under the category of ‘collectivism.’ Whether it is the Left’s model of Robin Hood, or the Right’s religious dogma, neither has any right to demand I place their notion of community welfare, above my own. In my life, I come first and I will decide how to live it, regardless what nosy busybodies might think of my choices.

Obviously, as an avowed anti-statist, the current state of ever-increasing tyranny in America does not please me, or in any way contribute to my happiness. Yet, that was not the question CT asked. She asked if I live happily within its framework, to which I am obliged to reply:

Happier than most. At least, happier than most who pay the slightest attention to politics and current events. It has been my observation, that those ‘low information’ folks, who blithely live carefree uninformed lives, are usually far happier than typical news junkies. It is often said that ignorance is bliss, and when it comes to politics, it would be hard to argue otherwise.

In my own case, some of my happiest times in life, have been when I deliberately unplugged from TV, and other sources of political news. The years I spent at sea, focused on more interesting pursuits, are an example. Currently, I never listen to radio, rarely turn the TV on, and subscribe to no publications. Now… if I could just block the Drudge Report and such, without giving up the internet altogether. 😀

Alas, observing and commenting on the political process, is now my favorite hobby.  The primary reason that I am able to be an active political junkie, while still enjoying my life, is that I have largely gotten over caring about the future of America. Intellectually, I fully understand that there isn’t a damn thing I, as an individual, could do one way or another, to change its trajectory. What will be, will be; and no amount of worrying or fussing over it, could possibly alter reality.

It is easier to laugh, than to cry over spilled milk, or at least more effective if happiness is the goal. Voting for Tweedledum, instead of Tweedledee, sure wouldn’t change anything, especially since half the population will be pissed off at the results either way. Opposition efforts, to make sure the winner is regarded as a failure for the next election, commence the day he is sworn in.

This just keeps everyone who does care about the future, perpetually riled up, and less than optimally happy. What is the point in that? Who is served by it, besides the professional politicians, the oligarchs who control them, and the insufferable unelected (and nearly un-fire-able) bureaucrats, who really run the show? The whole damn duopoly system can safely be regarded as a colossal joke, if one just gives up caring. 😉 ◄Dave►

19 Responses to “Pursuit of Happiness”

  • Chris says:

    I find advancement in age affords the pleasure of worrying about the future a lot less. The level of caring can be directly proportional to the duration. (which is why I’m befuddled by the fossils in congress that just won’t go away. Seems they would take their life long ill gotten gains and want to retire to a comfortable peaceful life.) As I barrel down on 60 years at breakneck speed I need only postulate on what can be done to me over the next twenty or so years. Were I approaching 20 I can look forward to what can be done in the next sixty. Seems to me that would be their problem by then. At sixty if you haven’t changed the world it’s pretty much evident that you probably won’t and nobody else is going to do it that will effect you very much either. Leave me my property and government meager stipend for my fifty years of labor and leave me the heck alone.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Agreed, Chris; but relative age and level of concern, do not in any way change the fact that the individual is essentially powerless, to change the trajectory of unfolding history. What will be, will be; and all we can control is our own reaction to reality. Just review how much time and effort we expended in our youth, fussing over worthy causes, and trying to correct outrageous flaws we perceived in society. Then, ask yourself whether your personal participation, made the slightest difference in the eventual outcome, one way or another. What else might we have done with the wasted time and effort, to improve our own lives? If you knew at age 20, what you now understand, might you have made different choices? I certainly would have. 😉 ◄Dave►

      • Chris says:

        I didn’t much worry about “the system” much early on. I was too busy working within it for my piece of the pie. It wasn’t until I saw that pie being cut much thinner for those doing the baking that I started taking notice. Early on it seemed reasonably fair and if you worked hard you could get ahead. Today a good baker is only making someone elses slice bigger. See my rant below.

        • ◄Dave► says:

          I didn’t mean just in our youth, Chris. Look at how much time we have invested in trying to educate others, with the hope of righting the ship of state, just since we have known each other. I’m no longer the same oddly godless, yet predominantly conservative patriot, you met on FT several years ago. 😉 ◄Dave►

        • Chris says:

          Nor am I. I temper just about everything with a bit of I don’t care and a healthy dose of why bother. If I do engage on any weighty issues be sure that it’s only because it amuses me at the time. I prefer to discuss issues without the notion that anyone is going to come along to fix them. Certainly nobody elected in any political party. I accept that all these issues will be solved some time one way or another. I would only hope to put “another” a little farther down the road than I will see because the outcome to me will be undesirable.

  • Great response Dave.

    As I look back on life I can not recall ever being blocked in life by anyone other than myself. Perhaps there were those who tried and were ignored.

    It appears you may have hit on something when you state:

    This just keeps everyone who does care about the future, perpetually riled up, and less than optimally happy. What is the point in that? Who is served by it, besides the professional politicians, the oligarchs who control them, and the insufferable unelected (and nearly un-fire-able) bureaucrats, who really run the show?

    Let me speculate the “professional politicians, the oligarchs” have met their match with the Millennials who will stand squarely in front of them eye to eye and flip them the bird.

    As for me … Chris is right (at this age) it is not going to change in my life and honestly I do not care. I could not ask for a better life.

    Someone asked me a while back if the almighty or whoever is in charge of that stuff granted me one wish what would I ask or change. I had to admit … NOTHING.

    Now granted that could change tomorrow but until and unless it does I worry not in the least 😉

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Great attitude, CT. Your characterization of the contumacious Millennials is spot on. I just wish that it was the philosophy of Ayn Rand, rather than Karl Marx, that was motivating them. 😉 ◄Dave►

      • I just wish that it was the philosophy of Ayn Rand, rather than Karl Marx, that was motivating them.

        As do I Dave however apparently that is their lesson to learn and ultimate their cross to bear.

        What a pity if they CHOOSE to have to fight that battle for themselves. Unfortunate that these kids have not had a 2 year stint in North Korea under a wingnut dictator instead of 2 years college under wingnut professors.

        Perhaps their perspective would be different.

  • Chris says:

    I’m with CT. I probably wouldn’t change much. In youth I was a bit of a wild child but when the time came I buckled down and did what had to be done. I wouldn’t even change a failed marriage. I have three great kids that tell me that wasn’t a mistake. Even back then it was always a struggle but I think they grew up happy. If anything I would have worked a little less and played a little more.

    You are right about the millennials CT, and with justification. They are discontented and for good reason. Not the misdirected discontent over race, class, gender or any other social justice construct of the politicians. It’s discontent over the ability to thrive within the struggle. It wasn’t easy for us but if you pushed hard enough you could win. I look at my kids all with families and look at their struggle. They have no breakout point. They are stuck where they are in the never ending struggle. As someone still in the work force I can see why. There have been changes in the American business structure that even I have difficulty navigating at times. Some of it is government and some of it is corporate attitude, but all of it is neither one cares about people any more. It used to be that a manager would feel guilty about having to lay someone off. Now they hire people with a college education in doing just that. The “human resources department” being a relatively new corporate construct is killing the American worker. At least those with ambition, drive, and ethics. They strip all hiring, firing, promotion, and compensation decisions away from the management that works closely with an employee and place it with people that build rating charts, competency tests, and statistical graphs all while knowing nothing about the job someone actually has to do. Longevity and actual performance have little to do with compensation and position any more. Probably the most onerous construct of late is “the cost of living raise”. It lets corporations off the hook for actually having to pay for performance. Sure someone got a raise. That’s a raise that did absolutely nothing to advance their standard of living. That leaves someone with only one option to raise their pay. That’s find another job. Of course when you do that your also starting at square one with any benefits the company does offer with longevity. The companies are actually encouraging disloyalty.

    O jeeeezzz I guess I got off on a bit of a rant. Well it’s sufficient to say that upward mobility is pretty much stalled for the average millennial. That is the legitimate grievance. In our day the average Joe could get a job have a family and even be able to afford their own modest house in a decent neighborhood. Now they don’t even dream about that. I could start another topic on the decimation of generational wealth for the average stiff these days but that would get way too long.

    Sorry for the rant.

    • Chris says:

      Geez I just thought about this rant. I could be a Bernie supporter. Well except for one thing. The solutions. He voiced legitimate grievances but gets the answers all wrong.

      • Agreed.

        In the end, while he seemed vastly more ethical than his peers, he failed the final test. When he found he had been cheated by the system, he had two choices. He could realize his power to break that system, or he could give in and endorse it to prevent disarray.

        His solutions to nearly everything were more government. I think he finally just fell to the socialist equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome. He was only ever fighting for a nicer cage. Once the door was open, he wasn’t willing to leave it.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Profound observation on the travails of the Millennial generation, Chris. It reminds me of my example in my “Money” post several years ago, regarding my earning potential as a 16-year-old kid, compared to today. At the same time, my stay-at-home mom’s job as homemaker was untaxable, while my dad’s job as an electrician, kept two cars in the garage of the home he easily afforded, while comfortably supporting his wife and four kids.

      Today’s young families require two working parents to even try to afford, what was a typical middle-class lifestyle for my family. Don’t fail to notice that now the state gets to tax both the father and the mother, as well as the nannies and daycare workers who do the child rearing. Clever, no? 😉 ◄Dave►

    • It does good to rant periodically … that is why I keep up my blog … lol

      Actually I do not care if anyone ever reads it … it is my venting place then I am on to the next project like knitting a different pair of socks, or learning a brand new to me cooking process (the latest sous vide) … what fun.

      To me when life is not longer fun … it is note time to self. Okay you are in charge … CHANGE DIRECTION.

      The perks of not swaying TO ANY BOSS but self.

      Yes Chris … I agree … there is no loyalty in the corporate upper tier for good work. For that reason I advise people work for themselves whenever possible.

      • Chris says:

        For that reason I advise people work for themselves whenever possible.

        Without a doubt CT. Problem is that’s where the most damage has been done. Starting and running a small business is now nearly impossible and when people do, it’s chances of success are minimal. The hand holding cronies have regulated licensed, and taxed the little guys out of business. Look at your old time family doctor. The guy who used to run his practice out of the first floor of his home with his wife serving as a receptionist. Now a doctor needs a support staff of at minimum three to deal with records, billing, appointments and whatever other compliance hoops they have to jump through. One doctor can’t afford all that so they have to join a corporate medical group just to practice. The government killed Marcus Welby.

        Another rant. Sorry again.

        • To be honest Chris I can not remember ever knowing of anything the government did they did not screw up royally.

          I have always said hold them (each and every one) accountable financially for their screw up and we would have a much different world.

  • Kaizen says:

    Dave,

    I’ve just found this (your) site. Interesting………Look forward to viewing the content and perhaps even making a contribution! Surprising or perhaps it’s serendipitous that Robert’s (Ringer)site leads to unexpected discoveries! Let’s see what happens!

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Welcome aboard, Kaizen. Serendipity, I’m sure. I’ll have to start a thread for discussion of Harry Browne. While you are looking around, feel free to comment on any old posts you find interesting. We might just rekindle an interesting conversation that way. 🙂 ◄Dave►

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