Dealing With The Anger That Comes From Understanding The Non-Aggression Principle

An Iowa County Chairman discusses vote fraud at the caucuses.  He writes:

I know what you’re thinking. Nancy and I are amateurs, in over our heads, and we blew it.
And you’re right.

But I am angry, and not just at myself.

I am angry because what they did was so unnecessary; like a millionaire stealing a penny out of the tin cup of a beggar.

Angry because these are the same people who assume that they should run our country.

Angry because they have the ears of the movers and shakers, that get the hugs from the presidential candidates, who get respect from my friends and neighbors who think I’m a kook.

Angry because they are helping to send our children to be killed and maimed in wars created by their buddies.

Angry because their price for selling out our country, our freedom, is so cheap; their ticket to the next inaugural ball.

Angry because I am the one who is angry; because THEY can sleep at night and I can’t.

I know the feelings of anger over this process all to well.  It seems like the political machine is so vast and monumental that there is simply nothing that can be done to halt the insanity.  In studying economics, I have come to understand the true evil and destruction the State levels against its own society.  This burden of knowledge has only elevated the anger and sadness I feel as I can clearly see all the things that could benefit humanity that do not exist today because of the State.  For example, one Ford class aircraft carrier consumes the same resources as building 466,666 $30,000 automobiles.

My anger, frustration, sadness and general hopelessness has grown to be tiring on me.  I feel like I’m the only sane person walking around a planetary lunatic asylum.  The logic of freedom seems so clear to me.  I cannot understand why people are so set in their self-destructive ways.  I cannot understand why society as a whole wants so badly to destroy itself.  I cannot understand why people want their money to lose value over time.  I cannot understand why people want to wage so many wars.  I cannot understand why so many people want to throw away all the resources that could make their lives so much more comfortable on the machinery of death.

I’ve finally reached a point where I’ve started looking for ways to better manage the anger and frustration instead of banging my head on my keyboard every 5 minutes as I dish out another scathing article on whatever new tyranny the State has concocted and foisted upon us.  I would like to share some of what I’ve learned along the way and hopefully provide some relief to those who feel the same way I do about things.

To begin with, I started off by asking myself the “Big Why?” – Why do I exist?  Why does the universe exist?  What is my purpose?   Not one of these questions was ever answered in my study of economics.  Not one of these questions was ever answered (at least not to my satisfaction) in my study of religion.  Not one of these questions was ever answered in my study of cosmology and science.  It turns out, at least for me anyways, that understanding the answer to the Big Why is of paramount importance when it comes to controlling the anger and frustration society pours down upon me.

Understanding the Big Why is the only way to put perspective on all of the problems and challenges that life poses.  If you don’t have a clear sense of the big picture, it is far to easy to become engrossed in little problems that don’t have any effect on the big picture even if you were to resolve them.

Let me pose an example to demonstrate what I am talking about.  Consider the case of the media consistently repeating the mantra that Ron Paul is a racist.  Anyone who knows Paul knows this claim is an outrageous lie.  Anyone who understands his philosophy knows this is an outrageous lie.  But what good does it to do work yourself up into a lather about it, leaving yourself drained and angry over the perceived unfairness of it all?

If one grasps the answer to the Big Why, it can allow you to view the perceived unfairness of it all from a different viewpoint.  A viewpoint that does not involve becoming angry or upset about it.  What if you were to step back and say, I feel sorry for the media pundits who are paid to promote this outrageous lie.  They are ultimately causing harm to themselves.  In the long run, they are doing just as much harm to themselves as they are to me.  Should I be angry at a masochist that doesn’t understand, and does not want to understand, why his actions are causing harm to others as well as himself?  What good will my anger do?  Will being angry at the masochist move him to cease his masochistic ways, or will it cause him to further dig in his heels?

Further, what if we put the whole issue into the greater context of mortal life.  We are all eventually going to die.  We can’t take anything with us besides our consciousness.  Is coveting more material possessions the primary reason why we support the non-aggression principle?  I know for myself, my support for the non-aggression principle primarily stems from self-interest.  It’s easy to delude oneself into thinking they support the non-aggression principle because they care more about others than they do themselves, but it can not be denied that those who fully understand the principle of non-aggression also understand that they themselves would benefit immensely should it be put into practice by the whole of society.

This is where the rage and anger comes from.  When we know that we personally have so much to gain from getting a person into the presidency that will uphold this principle, we look at those who defile Ron Paul’s name with the same disdain as we would a person who is seeking to rob us of our future prosperity.  But if property and material gains don’t ultimately matter in the long run, is it reasonable to get mad at people who seek to rob us of our future prosperity at their own expense?  Remember, the reporters who lie about Paul are doing just as much damage to their own future as they are to ourselves.  They might not see it that way, but as libertarians, we know this fact to be true.

Masochism is the correct diagnosis for those who reject the non-aggression principle and they should be treated in the same way that one would treat any other mental disorder.  How many of us would visit a shrink that got angry at us over trying to treat us?  To effect change in his patient, the shrink does the exact opposite.  Compassion, understanding and kindness coupled with presenting treatment options for those who are willing to accept them are the shrink’s tools to combat mental disorders.  Even if the shrink doesn’t know how to fix the problem, people are made somewhat better just by knowing there is a person who is non-judgmental that is willing to listen to their problems.

Applying this to my Ron Paul racism example, our reaction to the media lies and distortions should be predicated on compassion and understanding.  Compassion for those who hate themselves so much that they are seeking to destroy their own children’s future.  Compassion for those who want to destroy their own chances of living in a peaceful and prosperous world.  Compassion for those who are so caught up in the quest for material possessions that they are willing cut of their own nose to spite their face.

We KNOW why democrats support massive welfare programs, bureaucracies, entitlements, etc.. They do it out of self-hate or self-interest.  They do it out of projecting their own lack of charitable giving on to the rest of society.  They do it out of projecting their own greed on to the rest of society.  These are issues deserving of compassion and understanding.

We KNOW why republicans support massive corporate subsidies, bureaucracies, entitlements, wars, etc..  They do it out of self-hate or self-interest.  They do it out of projecting their own violent tendencies on to the rest of society.  They do it out of projecting their own greed on to the rest of society.  These are issues deserving of compassion and understanding.

Hate, either for oneself or for others, perpetuates and begets more hate.  Coveting that which we do not have is a source of hate.  Coveting that which we are denied is a source of hate.  Being happy with one’s present condition is paramount to preventing anger and hate from overrunning your life.  Being miserable about what you could have if only others stopped being violent looters does nothing to stop others from being violent looters.

Turning our attention back to the Big Why? – I know I never told you what I think the meaning of life is all about.  Ask yourself if knowing the answer to that question is important to you.  Then ask yourself why is it important or not important to you.

If you have come to accept the non-aggression principle as being correct and true, then you are one of society’s desperately needed shrinks.  Your life automatically has meaning because you have a duty to teach others who are willing to accept the philosophy of freedom and prosperity.  If you reject the non-aggression principle, then nothing I can write here today will provide you with a satisfying answer.

The golden rule states that we should love others as we love ourselves, and it is only through the golden rule that the meaning of life can be realized.  We are here to either teach or to learn, and to alleviate suffering along the way through productive, loving and mutually beneficial behavior.  This is the only possible reason we are here because everything else has its foundations in the material world which we know means nothing in the end.

Don’t let having concern for your fellow man turn into hate for those who do not.  As Yoda would say, “Beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will” – In other words, you can’t practice the gold rule and stay on the path of peace, prosperity and happiness if your heart is filled with hate and anger.

 

 

post script:

Lord knows I’m the worst person at following my own advice, but writing it all down helps remind myself of where I should strive to be.  None of us are perfect, what matters is that we try and recognize when we make mistakes and do our best to correct them when we see ourselves make them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_URQ6CKBZFTLN42BMTAYOIESCQU Jay

    I can sympathize with your feeling of isolation and frustration. I understand where it comes from, though. The problem, basically, is that mediocre minds simply will not connect with high-quality ideas, principles, and philosophies. Mediocre minds don’t seek out these ideas, and if they do find them accidentally, they reject them. In the sea of ideas, most of them low-quality, high-quality minds find high-quality ideas, and develop them, and make them their own. High-quality minds, by necessity, are much less common than mediocre minds. They will always be the minority and will always feel like they are drowning in a sea of irrationality.

    The American revolution was started, fought, and won by high-quality minds. They were the minority back then as they are today. They gave us a high-quality government that didn’t last, because it was a better government than most people deserved. We were told to be vigiliant and we were not vigilant.

    Some feel the solution to the problem is education. Education is important, because it makes high-quality ideas available, but it’s not the solution because mediocre minds will always reject high-quality ideas. The more complete solution to this problem is to gather like minded men and women together and found a country of our own. The Jews have Israel. Where is our country–the country of anarcho-capitalists? In the early days of US history we were chased westward westward westward until we reached the Pacific and then we were overwhelmed by mediocrity. Where can we go now? We need to separate ourselves find a new land of our own because this country is toast.

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      If this country is toast (I agree), then there is no need to leave for someplace else.

      Let the State destroy itself and rebuild it upon a foundation of Bitcoins.  A currency that can not be looted prevents a State from forming.

  • Billy

    You’ve got it.  I could not have said it better.

    At some point down the road, we’ll look back and say “free” government schools were the beginning of the trouble.

    I’d suggest looking into Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy.  She would agree that the first and most important thing to do is give the child purpose/context.  That purpose/context comes from knowing we he is a creation of God with an immortal soul.  Without this perspective, he will be lost and never approach his full potential.

  • http://profiles.google.com/justindkeith Justin Keith

    I vacillate between anger and resignation, and I completely sympathize with you. I’ve started turning both of those emotions toward a more positive end. I am working to thrive in as many scenarios as possible. My goal is not to save this country, it’s to rebuild – to be in on the ground floor of a great new experiment. I wouldn’t be motivated if I didn’t believe that voluntary societies were possible.

    Pick whatever purpose speaks to you and work toward it as best you can. Surround yourself with people having a similar vision.

  • Mike Ellis

    Great article.  I have been studying martial arts for most of my life along the way I was introduced to the philosophy of Taoism.  The mind set you describe, the one that comes closest to the Jedi way of thinking is pure Taoism.  Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching advised against caught up in politics, he also advised that the people can govern themselves and that politicians should leave them alone.  Kind of sounds like Anarchy to me.  I hope you are right and that this country has some kind of crisis that allows people to wake up.  Maybe we can rebuild a society based on voluntary association instead of force.  Maybe bitcoin will free us economically.  But first people need to wake up to the reality of their situation. 

    The biggest realization I have had about politics and economics is that WE are the commodities.   People don’t want to face the truth of the fact that we are viewed by politicians as resources to be used.  We in short are slaves.  Probably the most well treated slaves in history, but slaves none the less.  That is a hard truth to accept and most people would do anything not to have to face up to that fact.  However, it is only by realizing that we are in fact slaves to the system that we can finally free ourselves from the perceived necessity of the state.

  • N2TheRepublic

    No brother, you’re definitely NOT alone.