Hey Protester!

Give it up. The battle and war are already over, and in reality never really started. You’ve lost. Protests, riots, videos, tweets, Occupy whatever, and other attempts to change the course of events are doomed to failure. You may even get yourself on a list that you don’t want to be on and a good chance of winning the desaparecido lottery.

Read some ancient history. The 60’s protestors didn’t achieve any lasting change and they had a far more coherent message than your education and attention span will allow. 40 years later their most lasting achievements are some good music and creating an environment that fostered more rapid evolution in STDs. Look at who is in power now: They’re making Nixon look benign by comparison and many came from the generation that was to change the world. The radical protesters were sitting right next to these future members of the elite when they were young and impressionable and did nothing to sway them from a life of crime politics/banking/finance. Face it, the biggest contribution to politics you’re likely to make is the next time someone claims they never inhaled you might be able to provide video evidence to the contrary, thanks to having a smartphone glued to the side of your face.

While the majority of humanity is fundamentally good, they aren’t in charge nor will they ever be [1]. Expecting voting and democracy to improve your life is like expecting to come out ahead picking pockets at a pickpocket convention, because that’s literally what modern democracy is. As Ambrose Bierce said long ago, “an election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.” Competing groups of people using the government to steal from each other. That is a zero sum game at best and to the extent a group can gain a temporary advantage, it’s never going to be you.

Beseeching the government to do something and granting more power to do it is always the prescription offered, with people blindly accepting the unstated premise that only good people will ever gain power. Even in your short lives all evidence points to the opposite. Real change will happen when the current ruling elite, through their own short-sighted ignorance, kill the goose that laid the golden egg and cause the entire system to collapse around them. In case you haven’t noticed, they’re doing a frighteningly good job of driving toward the cliff with their feet on the gas without your help.

Don’t waste your time trying to change things through politics and protests. Occupy your own life. It’s the only thing over which you have any control. Don’t rely on the government for anything, keep your head down; take care of yourself, your family and friends. Make a difference in your own small corner of the world and maybe at the end of it all you will have done some real good and lived a rich, full life despite it all.

…Oh, and take all of your money out of the too big to fail banks. TBTF is an excuse for a course of action, not a description of reality.


[1] See Hayek’s chapter on why the worst get on top in The Road to Serfdom


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