This week’s selected media: March 3, 2024: The Road to Serfdom, Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, the Social Dilemma

March 3, 2024 by Joshua
in Addiction, Tips

This week I finished:

The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek: I quote Milton Friedman in my book a lot and kept coming across Hayek’s name while reading him and about him so I finally read Road to Serfdom. I wish I had earlier.

Hayek wrote this book in the early 1940s, watching Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini rampaging across Europe, destroying freedom. He promoted freedom.

If he were alive today and saw pollution and depletion as destroying life, liberty, property, and therefore freedom, I believe he would analyze our polluting, depleting, addictive culture how he did central planning. He would find similar patterns, like that these coercive, deadly outcomes arise from the intent to help from the most well-meaning people, but end up achieving the opposite. Also that each step leads to make the next step easier, as we acculturate to each new normal, even in states that would have been unthinkable before. We can learn from our mistakes and missteps, even unforeseen, accidental ones.

Mark my words: conservative and libertarian views are perfect for sustainability, only they’ve been reacting to liberals’ proposals for solutions they don’t like. When they stop reacting and start looking at how polluting and depleting have made our markets coercive, not free, and that government’s role of protecting life, liberty, and property is exactly what’s missing, they will pass liberals like they’re standing still. I will help lead them there. They won’t believe how they missed what was staring them in the face: that their values are perfect to help solve our environmental problems and that stopping polluting and depleting will help restore their most treasured values, starting with freedom and liberty.

Like Friedman, Hayek specifies a specific, necessary role for government to protect freedom through the main solution I propose in my book (read it when it comes out). For example:

To prohibit the use of certain poisonous substances, or to require special precautions in their use, to limit working hours or to require certain sanitary arrangements, is fully compatible with the preservation of competition. The only question here is whether in the particular instance, the advantages gained are greater than the social costs they impose.


Nor can certain harmful effects of deforestation, of some methods of farming, or of the smoke and noise of factories, be confined to the owner of the property in question, or to those willing to submit to the damage for an agreed compensation.

and, if you consider breathing polluted air as one of our now “common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision”:

There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision.

But even those quotes don’t capture his spirit of protecting, restoring, and building freedom. Polluting and depleting destroy life, liberty, property, and therefore freedom. My whole mission is protecting, restoring, and building freedom.

Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, by Emmanuel Acho: I’m glad I watch podcast guest Daniel‘s What Is Politics? videocast to learn what causes dominance hierarchies so I know that skin color may correlate with it, it doesn’t cause it. Racism exists, but Acho’s attributing to white people what results not from their skin color perpetuates the problem he wants to solve.

I’m also glad to have experienced growing up as a minority and even being mugged so I could learn that skin color didn’t cause black people to act like my experience of black people. Their skin color doesn’t make them muggers and whites’ doesn’t make them colonists.

If we want to solve the problem, it helps to understand the problem, not misidentify it. Read my book when it comes out for that understanding. It’s for people who want to understand our environmental problems so we can solve them, but it covers race too since they overlap. They overlap as problems as much as they overlap in nearly everyone misunderstanding them.

The Social Dilemma: Normally I wouldn’t put a Netflix special here, but I happened to watch this show on how corporations in social media and beyond addict us and devote resources to refine and improve their addicting techniques a couple hours after posting I’ve learned to enjoy just thinking. My post described the opposite of becoming addicted.

I see social media as a type of doof. I can’t believe how long it took me to figure it out and cut it out of my life.

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