The Good Times Are Over

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil.

But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse! Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?  Henry David Thoreau

The answer to Henry David Thoreau’s questions can only be:  because it’s uncomfortable.  Our Founding Fathers never got comfortable. Gandhi never got comfortable. Martin Luther King, Jr., never got comfortable.  The Canadian truckers sit out in the cold for weeks to stand up for what they believed in.   

There are a million ways to get uncomfortable, but some work better than others. I’d like to suggest a few, but the basic architecture comes from Albert Hirschman’s classic, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. If some institution or system no longer serves you, there are three things you can do: 1) Leave the system (exit); 2) Protest the system (voice); or 3) Stick with the system hoping it will right itself (loyalty).

Unfortunately, the days of voice and loyalty are numbered. As Thoreau suggests in “Civil Disobedience,” we’ve tried that and it has never worked. The infrequent low-resolution feedback of electoral politics is inadequate and bankrupt when it comes to us “lesser magistrates,” whose rights are purportedly guaranteed in the 9th and 10th Amendments.

There is no way to avoid it – change is going to require sacrifice. While we absolutely should not stop using our voice, it’s time to start exiting systems left and right, which implies creating a thousand entrepreneurial experiments and systems of shadow governance that work better than the status quo. 

Take yourself and your kids out of all medical mandates and refuse to comply.  Take your kids out of the government schools and their associated mandates. Take your idea of money out of the corrupt fiat system and put it into crypto currencies or precious metals. Take your money out of the Care-tel and use more cash doctors and health share plans.  Take your family out of jurisdictions that are intolerable or oppressive.  Take yourself out of this comfortable condition that is American apathy.

Most importantly, the innovators among us must start providing value for people seeking exits. In other words, provide a place for them to enter and lower the switching costs for them to do so. It isn’t going to be easy, but it is necessary. All the while, you can use your voice. Stand up. Lock arms. And get loud.

What kind of society do you want your children to inherit – The uncomfortable society in which the institutions oblige us to work together locally to solve problems with hard work, perseverance, and mutual respect or, the comfortable condition in which everyone thinks of themselves as identitarian victims or supplicants of federal largesse?

The good times are over. The hard times are coming.

Source: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable by Max Borders, American Institute for Economic Research

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