I sit on social networking sites often because quite frankly it’s the best way to communicate with large groups of like minded people and share ideas and debate.
One thing I always find hilarious is when someone sees a post of mine, and dismisses it in a huff because it sounds Randian or because I happen to support Ron Paul for positive fiscal change in this country (hey, the system is there might as well try to use it to cut itself down) all the while insinuating that I am unable to ‘think for myself’.
Did I mention that most of the time it’s a statist making this accusation? Someone who thinks that people as individuals cannot make many decisions on their own, so a government is required, is the one telling me to think for myself. Irony in it’s finest form, because some of these people are so clueless as to actually believe what they’re saying.
Let’s clear the air, I am an individualist. An anarchist. Not in the eyepatch-wearing, five-o-clock-shadow-sporting, evil-chuckle, spray-paint-overpass lovers of chaos caricature that the word anarchist conjures up in the mainstream media and in statist’s minds. I don’t own a denim jacket with studs, and I don’t think Molotov cocktails are really going to solve anything.
I just think the major decisions are too important to water down by applying them to people universally. I do not believe in the mob rule of our democratic system. I do not believe laws are something to be set in stone, nor do I believe they all do good. Wanna argue? Rosa Parks was a lawbreaker. Was she wrong?
The law is an arbitrary device, written to appease, protect, or benefit some at the expense of others. Corporate regulatory laws that can be skirted with a large enough campaign donation harm the smaller competitor, and that’s the real reason for the design. Prohibition laws are in place to protect pharmaceutical companies, and to make people think they need a protector. If crack was legalized today, I’m certainly not going to go get a pipe. Who is this law for?
I’m not going to say I’m not influenced by outside sources. That would be arrogance, and dishonest as well. I have been influenced by peers, historians, economists, parents, extended family, and even the news media. Through all that I have done one thing though — I’ve studied. If I hear an idea or theory that interests me, or contradicts a belief I have, I read up. I learn what I can. Sometimes that idea is changed. Sometimes it’s reinforced. But I certainly make sure education on the subject is the priority.
Think for yourself is good advice. But how much thinking for yourself can you do without education?
Educate yourself is better advice. And read it all, both the stuff you already agree with and the stuff on the other side. A lot of times the truth sits in the middle, and you can miss it. Sometimes your idea is completely wrong, and you’ll discover the truth in something contrary to your comfort zone.