Thursday, September 15, 2016

Evey Shrugs

This essay is telling. Go read it then come back to me, Please?

I am a malfunctioning machine.

There was a time when we were netting $300 every two weeks, with a wife and newborn, and still refused to get foodstamps or any other aid. All under the guise of morality.

I hurt nothing but myself, and my family, with such nonsease.

I was once irrationally angry that a woman was buying a birthday cake via EBT. (I certainly didn't verbally assault her, however.)

Previously, I had been morally outraged by overhearing a conversation in which one woman told another something to the effect of, "I got my foodstamps. I don't need his ass." She said it with a sense of pride, HOW DARE SHE?! To my shame, I thoroughly ignored the second piece of that statement and all the beautiful and terrible implications thereof. I sincerely hope she is well and not with whoever the fuck made her feel that way.

Really though, I was mad because I was going to have ask to borrow money from somebody soon. I was mad because, with the insurance we had to have to stay safe, I didn't have a paycheck. (Obviously medicaid was not an option.) I was mad because the untreated mental illnesses that had haunted me since early childhood still screamed in the background. I was mad because I couldn't afford the beer necessary to quiet its screaming. (Both figuratively and literally.)

I'm pretty certain I was mad the entire time I was a libertarian and Objectivist. It felt good to get blitzed and rant about all sorts of shit I didn't really understand. Maybe I did know better, I just couldn't admit it. (It was hard to quit that view of humanity. I still find it beautiful if inept. Every man and woman and child an independent hero, needing no one, smiling at dollar signs and the fading sun...)

I kind of knew that the Austrian school of economics didn't pan out in reality... but it was a version of economics I could actually comprehend. That made it the right one, right?

I was mad because Republicans were evil. I was mad because Democrats were evil. I was mad because I wanted to impress freedom upon the world, and could not. No matter who starved. No matter the cost in lives, Freedom bloody Freedom, John Wayne into the sunset, motherfucking Freedom!

But is there any such thing as freedom when 40 hours a week doesn't result in a living wage? Fucking medieval serfs didn't work hours like that. How free was I to act and find myself when I had to beg for help every few months? Often from folk opposed to my own values, folks openly opposed to my sexuality, my very identity?

I don't have any definitive answers anymore, maybe I'll get some. I know I'll keep looking.

By every measure I'm aware of, rubrics of business growth, economic viability, and, importantly, quality of life, democratic socialism is the most functional form of government. It's where we need to begin if we're to sort this shitshow of American government out.

I'm still a minarchist at heart. I still don't trust the government or really anyone that seeks positions of authority. I am, however, pragmatic enough to believe it's our moral duty to begin with the most functional model of government available. With perfect transparency we can see what works and have healthy, fact based debates.

Crony capitalism doesn't work for most folks. Capitalism, raw and naked, has never existed. It probably would not be conducive to a healthy, kind, and happy nation. (When America has been close to naked capitalism, amazing things have been done: the railroads for instance. However, there have also been terrible, terrible costs: the railroads for instance.)

So it took homelessness and a lifelong dedication towards truth to sort it out, but I guess I'm a pinko commie faggot. You were right, guy who threatened to kill me on the internet. Congratulations? I guess.

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