Last week, as part of my ongoing project to expose the secret subsidies to the super rich , I decided to do a review of “The Secret.” I figured the latter would be a nice segue into the former. The physics in The Secret is bunk and some of the recommendations and beliefs quite dangerous to your sanity, and I reviewed the video accordingly. Nonetheless, I kept asking myself, "What if some of these techniques actually work, but for other reasons?" In particular, what if they could be used for something less selfish than making money rain down on your backyard, for example: increasing liberty and justice in the world?
Let's visualize the possibilities. “The Secret” teaches about the Law of Attraction. You attract what you think about, especially what you think about with strong emotions. Complain about and dwell on your problems and you'll get more of them. Spend the time instead dreaming about that shiny new BMW you want, and cartoon waves will emanate from your brain into the Universe, which will then deliver you that BMW in accordance with the laws of quantum physics. It's like Christian faith without the inconvenience of a judgmental deity.
Okay, I don't buy the quantum mumbo-jumbo either. The unlucky poor often complain because they are unlucky and poor, not the other way around. Rich people can confidently visualize that new BMW in the garage because they actually have the money to pay for one. And relying on brainwaves to rearrange reality doesnt pass the giggle test. If everyone applied The Secret, who would take out the garbage? Answer: the Universe would—via ants and rats. No thanks.
That said, New Age gurus are good at communication and motivation, or at least they write a lot of books on these subjects. Politics is a game of communication and motivation. So while you might not build a moon rocket using the Law of Attraction, you might be able to attract some votes. Replace those cartoon vibes with sound waves and subtle body language, and the Universe with the body politic, and the hypothesis has promise.
Let's test this hypothesis with a political group known for its electoral failures: libertarians. What do libertarians attract? What do libertarians think about? Answer: government! Big government. Bad government. Incompetent government. Black helicopters owned by the government. Government taxes. Government jails. Government regulations. Bad! Bad! Bad! Government! Government! GOVERNMENT!! Is there anyone who uses the word government in daily conversation more than a libertarian? I doubt it. And what do libertarians get? More government!
What would happen if libertarians thought more about what they want vs. what they hate? What if they did positive visualization? Let's find out. Let's do a guided meditation:
The government is gone! Whoo-hoo! Look at your paycheck: no deductions! It's all yours! Feel the check in your hand. Smell the ink. Nix that: feel the gold coins in your hand. Who needs paychecks when there's no need for government records? Walk your neighborhood. Feel the heft of the gold coins in your left pocket and the machine pistol on your right hip. Wave to the stoned hippies next door.
Check out your car: V12 land yacht, high-compression engine burning gold ole leaded gas. Let's hook up the boat trailer; it's time to go dynamite fishing in the Pamlico Sound. You roar out of town at a satisfying 90 miles per hour; easily, no catalytic converter getting in the way of your exhaust gases. As you blow past the trailer park you see one of the residents has a new rocket launcher. Cool! Turn on the radio. The news says that the shantytown surrounding Raleigh has grown by 50,000 this month—unlimited immigration works. Time for a commercial break: Bedmates-R-Us has some great deals on Laotian teenage girls.
After a fine day of dynamite fishing, you realize it's time to get back to reading the law books. You have 15 sets to choose from. You need to pick several back-up legal systems since each protection agency has multiple treaties, involving different legal systems. The permutations are endless. Speaking of which, Sam's Clubs has some really cheap deals on goons, but perhaps the Mafia might be a better choice: more personal service. Then again, there is that redneck with the rocket launcher you drove past earlier…
Hmmmm, maybe libertarians ought to stick to abstraction and negative thinking. Better leave the positive visions of liberty to us free liberals.
So, what would the free liberal vision of liberty look like? What should we visualize? What should we get other people to see?