When it rains, it pours.
I have been assailed over the past few days by those who excel at inspiring others to inaction. You know who I’m talking about. They’re the folks who tell you how stupid your diet is when you tell them about it. They’re quick to point out how pointless your passion for music is because there will always be someone better than you, and you will never become rich and famous. They’re comfortable in their cynical position that, yes, the world is a horrible place, but it always has been and always will be, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In the words of a discerning and practical gentleman from the TV series Firefly, “Forgive my rudeness. I cannot abide useless people.”
Specifically, I have been told that my message — voluntaryism, the abolition of the State, and its accompanying activism — is “too radical.” I have been told that, in order to be successful, I need to “tone it down.” I need to “exercise moderation” and “learn to compromise.”
It’s true: if I water down my message and make some compromises, I may have success. But what will I succeed at? Becoming an accepted member of the vast and popular community of impotent and conventional groups that fade into the gray of the status quo? Those who suggest that moderation and compromise lead to success do not understand my goals.
“Moderation in all things is not a virtue because it would seem to justify moderation in commitment,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the LDS Church once explained to its members. “That is not moderation but indifference. That kind of ‘moderation’ runs counter to the divine commands to serve with all of our ‘heart, might, mind and strength’ (D&C 4:2), to ‘seek . . . earnestly the riches of eternity’ (D&C 68:31), and to be ‘valiant in the testimony of Jesus’ (D&C 76:79). Moderation is not the answer.”
I have also been told that my goals are too lofty, the challenges insurmountable, the work to achieve them futile. I find it humorous that such people are willing to take the time and energy to attempt to convince me that my effort is futile. They are willing to use their limited time on this earth to drag others down to their comfortable level of inactivity, but not willing to use that time for anything noble or great.
I could sit and list a million reasons why I shouldn’t do what I do. I could construct a compelling argument for doing nothing. I could use my talents to persuade many individuals to abandon their hopes and dreams, and I would be very successful with all of this. I could even make it my life’s work. But I choose not to. I cannot imagine the horror I would face on my death bed, looking back at all the festering mold I had grown in mankind, how I had ground the aspirations of my fellow beings to dust.
When I leave this world, I want to be able to report that I left it better than I found it. I may not have single-handedly eliminated the most evil institution the world has ever known, but I will have convinced and empowered a great many to continue that work. I may not have ended the War on Drugs and made the world safe for my children, but I will have planted that seed in the minds of as many individuals who will hear. I may not have brought about the end of taxation and secure the right and control of the fruits of my children’s labor, but I will have brought humanity one step closer.
Need I go on? I have only one life to live, and it is half over. I no longer hear “I can’ts”. Forget that. I have work to do and a very short lifetime in which to do it. I do not have time to entertain and tolerate the poisonous words of nay sayers and non-contributing zeroes. The “you can’t change anything so don’t even try” market is saturated. I have found my niche in the market of liberty, and business is good. To all who would drag me down: Leave me the hell alone. You are no longer worth my time.
The great economist and libertarian activist Ludwig von Mises adopted as his personal motto in life, “Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.” It means, “Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.” This has come to mean much more to me lately as the debilitating chains of apathy and negativity have recently sought to quench the flame in me. I’ll no longer abide it.
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