The state, in the form of police violence, is asserting its power to control the population. Once you begin to see like a state, you recognize that failing to use violence to exert control would deny the nature, and in fact the very self-justification, of the enforcement power.
About Hunter Hastings
Hunter Hastings is the Executive Director at Center for Individualism. He's an economist, venture capitalist, and lifelong advocate for liberty, economic freedom, and individual entrepreneurship.
Hunter’s current research is focused on the intersection of 21st century individualism, emerging technology and the radical decentralization that is freeing markets and creating a new spectrum of individual opportunity. His newest book is The Interconnected Individual, co-authored with Jeff Saperstein, to be published by Business Expert Press in 2018.
Entries by Hunter Hastings
Markets discerned that the virus wasn’t terribly lethal. If it had been, there’s no way that U.S. equity markets would have reached all-time highs in late February. Again, markets don’t wait for politicians to respond, nor do they wait for doctors and entities like the CDC.
The COVID disaster and the Iraq War fit a familiar pattern. As the historian Paul Johnson has observed, most of the worst events of the 20th century were perpetrated by experts who used collective power to shape world events in a direction they believed was beneficial.
It is the individual that matters, not the collective that he or she belongs to. Only an individual can act to pursue his or her own happiness. A collective does not have feelings of happiness or anything else. Only individuals do.
“Aim to please” is the first principle of beautiful business. To attract people – customers – is simply a matter of understanding what will please them. This requires empathy – understanding people, their hopes and dreams and desires and preferences, and catering to them.
We either passively accept a centralized future, where the individual becomes irrelevant, valueless, and expendable, or we reclaim control, through the principles of subsidiarity, in which decisions are made on the lowest possible level and all voices are heard.
The cultural civil war that has been simmering underneath the surface is now boiling. Consider the image of Senator Tim Kaine, the former Vice Presidential nominee of his party, kneeling on the ground like he’s a hostage, as if only the penitent white man will pass.
Practices such as civil asset forfeiture become attached to the police uniform in the minds of civilians. Many cops, I’m sure, would never steal a person’s life savings or confiscate their legally owned property just because the law allows them to do so—but the law does allow them to
Gary Saul Morson says he has no special insight regarding police actions and the death of George Floyd. But he does have a provocative thesis about America’s current political moment: “To me it’s astonishingly like late 19th-, early 20th-century Russia, when basically the entire educated class felt you simply had to be against the regime or some sort of revolutionary.”
Some things are always changing and can’t be known. There can also be a handful of things you have unshakable faith in – your permanent assumptions. Realizing it’s not inconsistent to have no view about the future path of some things but unwavering views about the path of others is how you stay humble without giving up.
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