If We Are On The Titanic With The Iceberg In Sight
I’m reminded of the Titanic as I see our “ship of state” approaching the iceberg of national bankruptcy. There are only two choices for the person steering the ship with the iceberg already too close to avoid. One is to accept the reality of the iceberg and hold steady to meet it head on, trusting the design of the ship (the “design” of human nature) to withstand the disaster. The other is to react intuitively by trying to turn the ship to avoid the iceberg when it is already clearly too late.
The Titanic chose the second option and sank, killing the majority of the people on board. The Titanic was considered “unsinkable” because it had been designed to withstand a head on collision without sinking. What the designer didn’t anticipate was that the person steering the ship would rip open its whole side against an iceberg under the water line. Yet that was the natural, intuitive response to the emergency. It is unlikely that anyone would have had the courage to hit the iceberg head on, even though that was the best thing to do.
The US is doomed to hit that iceberg, but the amount of damage will depend on the choices made before and after the impact. History has proven that disaster brings out the best in human nature if people are allowed to follow their conscience and common sense. After Katrina all kinds of people rushed to the aid of New Orleans, only to be turned back by the forces of government, mainly FEMA, which made the disaster much worse than it had to be. The Titanic was full of people helping others into life boats (women and children first), but a lot of people died unnecessarily because the “authorities” sent off most of the life boats half empty.
If whoever is steering the “ship of state” meets the crisis head on, allowing people freedom to spontaneously respond, the crash doesn’t have to be devastating. Unfortunately, no politician, including Ron Paul, has the courage to “do nothing,” even though that is the best thing for the government to do for the people.
Ron Paul is already promising how he will save us from financial ruin: by bringing the troops home, by auditing (no longer ending) the Fed, by defunding whole Departments like Education and Energy, by ending the income tax. All of those policies are better than the status quo but, even if he could accomplish them (which is inconceivable in the real world of politics), they would be just as useless as scraping the side of the Titanic against the iceberg. Government is not designed for freedom. As long as people are at the mercy of the “authorities,” they can’t do the things they would otherwise do to deal with disaster.
The best we can hope for is that the people who are “steering” the ship are too confused to do anything at all (gridlock has its uses) so they have to let freedom and human nature handle the shock. If we know what is inevitable and face it, we can make our own life boat preparations to save the maximum number of people possible. However, as long as we are wasting our time and energy trying to force our choice of captain on the other people, we can’t make those preparations.
I know it isn’t a perfect analogy. A ship is necessary to travel on water, but the “ship of state” is both unnecessary and harmful. As long as there are enough life boats for the passengers, the sooner it sinks the better. Trying to elect Ron Paul or anyone else is just a counterproductive attempt to keep it afloat.
Joyce Brand is Associate Producer of Libertopia
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