Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Supporting Evidence for Self-Reliance

In my last post I wrote about the futility of government attempts to protect us from ourselves and all other things. I tried to make the point that to surrender any responsibility for our own survival is actually a surrender of our freedom and those to whom we surrender that freedom will necessarily control that part of our lives.

As supporting evidence I offer an excellent article at Junkfoodscience.com about how many parents are upset that their children in school are being screened for mental illnesses, some, without their (parent's) consent. I recommend reading the whole long but worth it article. It's scary. But in closing, the article points out that:
These mandated and school-backed screening programs show that intuitively believing that officials or credentialed experts always knows what’s best for us, and have carefully and impartially weighed the evidence, isn’t always true. In fact, it has never been more important for us to become informed and to think critically about things we hear when making decisions about our own health and those of our children. This isn’t about the value of having a trusted health advisor.

The greater danger in regularly letting others decide what’s best for us is that we assume a passive and dependent, patient role. And that makes us more vulnerable to being taken advantage of, rather than know we are empowered and capable.
Yes indeed. Every person is capable of discerning what is good for him and what is not. I don't mean that we have to make every decision on every medical or scientific subject. The Reagan saying "trust but verify" should be reversed, "verify then trust." Find doctors and scientists you can trust by verifying their work. But the only way to know is to learn to trust one's own judgement. The more one does it, the better one gets at it.

In the same vein, Galileo Blogs also has a good post on the banning of incandescent bulbs in which he correctly observes:
It is in a shower of small infringements of my freedom such as this one that I will find myself one day drowning in a society that is not free. The American Revolution was fought over stamp taxes and tea duties. But was it really? Our forefathers understood that a government that has the power to dictate even the smallest part of our lives has the power to direct all of our lives.
It certainly does. Which is why we all should seek candidates who are committed to phasing out government control of the economy. At present none exist. But I do believe they'll start showing up soon.

3 comments:

Burgess Laughlin said...

"But I do believe they'll start showing up soon."

Please don't leave your readers in suspense!

Why do you expect such politicians to show up soon? (By soon, I assume you mean within one more election cycle.)

Also, do you mean they will show up at all levels of government: local, regional, and national? That's the normal progression, I suppose: first, some local movements support a local politician with radically new views; next, a few in some regions; and then a few individuals start showing up on the national scene.

Examples might be the temperance movement (ending in national Prohibition), tax limitation movements, and the old movement to abolish "blue laws," first acting locally and then spreading to wider areas. Of course, some such movements never rise beyond the local level.

softwareNerd said...

"verify then trust."

I like that.

I think most rational folk try to do this. In today's internet world, it's easy to research some rather speciailized subjects for oneself. People do so, and then seek out experts -- doctors, investment managers, lawyers -- on that basis.

Mike N said...

Burgess:
Sorry for the fog. By soon I meant within the next generation or so. Perhaps I should have said relatively soon. I don't think they will show up at all levels of government. I think it probably will look something like Ronald Reagan's rise in California. At the time he spoke ideas that were alien to academia, the media, and politicians. But the voters were receptive to them. He won.

As our two parties continue to screw up the economy with altruistic controls that don't work, the voters will become more receptive to ideas that do work or sound like they can work. It is not enough to call for the elimination of the Dept. of Ed. or the IRS. The voters must be sold on something better.
I could be wrong but I think pain teaches (usually) and who is better at bringing us more pain every election than our two parties and their intellectual spokesmen. The Dems want to proclaim that they feel our pain. But someday a man will rise and say "I don't want to feel you're pain. I want to help you get rid of it. With rational ideas, he will win.

S Nerd:
Thanks. I agree that many people do try to verify trustworthy sources. I've noticed though that some people don't really know how to go about doing this. It's not surprising considering today's educational establishment's efforts at destroying independent thought processes in elementery and high school. People are routinely taught not to think for themselves but to seek out "authorities" who are annointed (credentialled) to be the determiners of truth. But I'm hopeful.