I’ve always felt like something of an anomaly. I have a strong dislike for large government and authoritarianism, but I tend to be pretty progressive about social matters. In my youth, because I came from a blue collar background, I studied Marxism and dreamed of a proletarian utopia, but after deeper analysis, I came to see the beauty of free markets. As a result, I’ve never felt at home with either political party.
I’ve always considered myself an independent moderate with a strong libertarian leaning. I’ll admit that I used to have a severe dislike for most conservative philosophies, but honestly, since I got out of jail, the people who have shown me the most love, compassion, and mercy have been conservatives. The majority of people who ghosted me are liberals. Something like that makes you rethink your own prejudices.
If I had to give myself a true political label, I would say I’m a neoliberal, which isn’t to be confused with a Democratic liberal. Neoliberals believe that free markets and economics are the keys to personal and social liberty. The reason why Marxism fails is because it doesn’t take into account that people are going to act in their own best interests most of the time. It’s impossible for any monolithic, central government to operate efficiently enough to account for individual taste, individual ambition, individual ingenuity. However, free markets can.
In our system, you have the opportunity to choose your own profession. You have the opportunity to start your own business. Yes, there are inequalities and not everyone starts out on equal footing, but I’ve seen numerous examples of people who started with nothing and built thriving enterprises. The mother of one of my best friends in college was from Vietnam. She barely spoke English when she moved to Memphis with her GI husband. After their divorce, she had virtually nothing, yet because of her personal ambition, intelligence, and will, she built a very successful import business.
I’ve also seen the opposite. Spoiled kids who had every advantage and opportunity, yet somehow managed to fumble it all away, usually through debauchery and laziness.
I wanted more than anything to be a novelist. That ambition drove me to study hard in college, practice crafting stories throughout my late teens and early twenties, and produce a damn fine fantasy series. It never caught on commercially, so in some respects, I failed in that career. But I learned so much about myself and the world and business that I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
Now, I have a small tree and landscaping business that I literally started with my own two hands. I work hard everyday, but I’m happy and content with the value I add to people’s lives. I’m not wealthy, but that’s okay because I’m growing something that feels real. Anyone can do the same. Anyone can find a skill they have and apply it to solving problems in other people’s lives. That’s what free markets are all about.
That’s all for now.