Monday, June 13, 2005

The Credo of the Radical Individualist

From the high priest, Don Boudreaux

I, a radical individualist, --

- put no faith in the notion that Jones knows better than Smith what’s best for Smith, and that Smith knows better than Jones what’s best for Jones;

- deny that a dozen or a hundred or a thousand Jones know better than Smith what’s best for Smith;

- have no interest in saving the souls of strangers, and only limited interest in saving the souls of people I know and love;

- am quick to anger whenever I encounter any stranger trying to save my soul;

- cherish the freedom of each adult to do as he pleases so long as he accords all others the same courtesy;

- have good reason to believe that each of us acts more responsibly when we attend to our own business than when we attend to the business of others;

- retch at the very thought of being part of any mythical collective consciousness, or of being obliged or even expected to act as if some larger, collective consciousness has a claim on me and my affections.

In short, I – a radical individualist – find no romance in local or national collectives or in the state. To fancy the first as real, or the second as some sort of transcendent expression of people's hopes and dreams, is to fall victim to vile abstractions. These abstractions perhaps afford some people temporary false comfort, but over the long-run they inevitably weaken the true fabric that alone gives real meaning to the term "human society": the voluntary market order.

I affirm my adherence to and full agreement with these values.

Full context, and link to the individualist's parable here.


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