First and foremost I am here not to make any political argument. I am here to make a moral one. People often avoid talk of certain issues because they believe these issues belong in the political realm and are not a topic for polite conversation. After all, “many people have different opinions and all opinions have equal merit and should be tolerated and respected.” I am here to tell you this is wrong, dangerously wrong. A person should always be respected and have the right to speak their mind but, this does not mean their argument has equal value. There are truths in the universe. For an entire culture to deny such truths and work against the natural order of man’s nature can only lead to complete destruction. The philosophy of pragmatism has dominated American thought for the last hundred years and has led to disastrous consequences. Civilization is rotting from the inside as many people can observe today, and it will become much more obvious in the near future. The rot is just not economic or social. It’s philosophical. The very ideas that human beings hold dear are self destructive for the individual and suicidal for a civilization. To preserve our own lives, every human being must become a man of ideas. The intellectual class that dominates both sides of the political spectrum has led us to a dark wasteland. The intellectual class now looks upon the abyss before them with complete despair. They thought they were creating paradise but instead they have created the worst kind of hell. A hell that has no doors or windows. A hell with no memory of the past and no future. A hell that man’s senses cannot register but, is always hauntingly present. A hell that destroys man’s mind, not with something but with nothing. The blinds must be opened. To escape it, man must first know that there is something else outside the window. The light must be shined upon its wretchedness and only then can he walk through the door into the light.
First, man must realize that truth does exist in the universe and only the discovery of such truth can save us. Pragmatism is the philosophy of whatever is convenient for the moment should guide human action and there are no great truths, only results. Pragmatism may dominate today but this has not always been so. In fact, this is very unusual in human existence. Every culture has a philosophical outlook. Most philosophies that dominated previous cultures were almost as destructive as pragmatism. Other philosophies were those of mysticism. The universe was considered to be ruled by forces beyond man’s control. This could take many forms from gods tinkering with human lives or the divine right of kings. The idea was that your servitude was simply preordained by some kind of supernatural power. Only in the last few centuries have people rejected such thoughts. We now call it the age of enlightenment but few really understand how this age changed everything. For the first time in history the mass’ way of thinking completely changed. Reason became the dominant philosophy. When reason dominated, the uplifting affect on mankind was unstoppable. All the old paradigms fell before it. No longer did birth grant special status. No longer could religious institutions force people into blind servitude. No longer was man destined to wallow in the mud as a servant. Great universities sprang up all around the world. The universe was something to be discovered by reason and science, not something forced upon us by mystical texts. Isaac Newton described himself as a child on a sea shore with the universe waiting to be discovered. Mankind’s enthusiasm for life was palpable. In every sense the whole of mankind was raising itself up to a higher level of existence.
Then something happened. It was so slow that hardly anyone really noticed. People disagree about what exactly went wrong and have many theories on the subject. Some point out the influence of Immanuel Kant and his philosophy that took morality outside the realm of reason into the realm of the supernatural. Some look at Marxism as the rising philosophy of collectivism that came to dominate the intellectual class. Others have pointed to university professors leaving the United States to attend German Universities (the only universities offering the new “Doctorate Degree”) and returning back with Bismarck’s passion for welfare statism. What is certain was that the Enlightenment, reason, and the classical liberal tradition were under assault from old ideologies dressed up in new forms like Marxism and Fascism. The height of the Enlightenment culminated in the American Revolution. This was a time when the individual was considered sovereign, a time in which man could use reason to understand the universe. By the early 20th century the intellectual class had retreated to the old medieval mysticism that plagued mankind for most of it’s history. Instead of man being a slave to the church or divinely ordained Kings, people had a new set of masters. Men were enslaved to evolution and natural selection. Men of the proletariat were enslaved to the capitalist class and racial minorities were enslaved to racial majorities. The thought was always the same for intellectuals, people could not escape a hostile reality, and they were doomed to failure. The intellectuals claimed that the state apparatus and the intellectual elite were the only salvation for the masses just like the medieval church and papacy claimed for themselves centuries before. The only truths were emotion and feeling while reality and reason were at best secondary and at worst completely rejected. The examples of this can be seen with modern art that worshiped the deformed and the ugly as opposed to the old art of the Greeks and the art of the Romantic Era that idealized mankind and nature. The ugly and the abstract were worshiped while the beautiful and the concrete were cast off. This could be seen in literature as well with James Joyce’s writings and all the other “great writers” of the early 20th century. The most destructive wars in human history, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, countless mass genocides all over the world, and America’s road to Imperium all arose directly as a result of the philosophies of Pragmatism and Collectivism.
The old collectivist philosophies that started rising again in the late 19th and early 20th centuries have completely saturated all academic fields and major political parties. Civilization is approaching a major crisis. But, there is hope. People all over the world are starting to realize that something is very wrong. It has become obvious that the experts don’t know what they are doing. Unemployment is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression but, no one seems to know why. Whatever experts predict, it seems like the exact opposite happens instead. People are starting to look into things for themselves rather than trusting their “wise” rulers.
I came to realize something was very wrong during the financial collapse of September 2008. I had just read Alan Greenspan’s autobiography; a man who I believed was an economic master. Everything that Alan Greenspan said seemed to point to an era of permanent prosperity. All recessions and depressions could be avoided with Federal Reserve policy that has been refined to perfection over the last thirty years. The fall of 2008 came as a complete shock to me. According to the greatest economist in the world this simply should not have been able to happen. It became apparent that something was very wrong in my understanding of the world. I started to research, trying to find out whether or not anyone could have predicted this to happen. Maybe they might even understand why it DID happen. As I started reading trying to find out someone, anyone, that could have predicted the recession, I found the Austrian School of economics (named after the early members who immigrated to the United States from Austria). Austrian Economists have been predicting for years a housing collapse that would spread to financial markets just like it did. How could they have done this and how come I had never read or heard about them before? The more I started reading, the more I learned how they predicted every recession since the 1920’s. This school of thought became very interesting, very quickly because they were saying things that I had never heard before but, everything made perfect sense. Since then, I have probably spent thousands of hours reading Austrian Economics and Classical Liberal Philosophy. I have learned that today’s fiscal crisis will likely evolve into a monetary crisis. What I came away with from these readings, I feel, should be spread to others. Most importantly, I want people to be able to take some small steps toward protecting themselves from what is to come. Second and more importantly, in the long run I want to explain to people the classical liberal tradition. Armed with such knowledge it allows the individual to approach reality armed with reason, self-esteem and confidence. The classical liberal tradition will also allow society to function in an ethical way that gives everyone individual autonomy, while allowing market calculation to function correctly. This will destroy the misery that is the boom bust cycle. Social harmony can never be imposed from the top down. It can only happen when people interact voluntarily. This is the only humanitarian social system.