Politics is, in a simplistic sense, the legal regulation of social interactions. Man on his own has no need for politics, for government, even Rights. But even in a free society, interactions should be regulated to prevent the initiation of force (and fraud). A political system, despite possibly have numerous contradictions and leaps of logic, is founded on morality. Your moral code will drive your politics. In turn, your moral code is derived from your worldview; your view of existence. But for this purpose I’ll limit myself to discussing morality and politics.
If you believe that man is a sovereign being capable of reason and volition, with his own life as an end in itself, and not a tool, cog, or pawn for some other purpose outside itself, you will respect the Rights of that man to pursue, as the Americans put it: his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. You will not initiate force against him because to do so is to undercut his very ability to think freely and act accordingly. In short, you will apply capitalism in politics. On the other hand, if you reject the individual as an end in itself; if you see men as interchangeable faceless pieces; as drops in a collective sea; as beings whose only purpose is external to their own lives; if you ignore the very nature of human beings and, finding it impossible to raise all men to the level of man at his best you have no choice but to lower all men to the level of his very worst – you will establish in politics the systems of socialism and communism. The only difference between the two is the extent to which man is treated as a means to someone else’s end. In socialism, everyone pretends that they’re free, tacitly acknowledging that this “privilege” from the State can be revoked at any time under the right circumstances. In communism, there is no pretence at all.
Any and all evil regimes in human history, and I do literally mean all and, by the way, ONLY those systems – have all found it first necessary to attack the individual. No evil could ever be committed by respecting individual Rights, an extension of the moral principle that man must live his own life free from the use of force. This is tautological: man simply cannot live his own life where force is present. Where force is present, he must live someone else’s, or live FOR someone else’s.
All disavowals of the individual come in the form of an appeal to a “greater good”. This metaphysical murder of the individual is committed by atheists and theists alike. For the Christians, the greater good is Jesus. For Muslims, the greater good is Allah. For secular humanists who are almost always socialists, it’s society. For communists, it’s also society or the community. These systems all have one thing in common: they all propose that some external power takes priority over the individual. In other words, some value external to your life is of more value than your own life. This is the root of all mystical and evil regimes. The staggering fact is that it’s also completely and utterly wrong! Value presupposes the question: of value to WHOM? Values exist precisely because YOU need to act and pursue them, because if you didn’t you would die. Beyond the immediate reality of life or death, to live like a human it is not enough to merely eat enough to make it to the next day; our minds and souls also require feeding. Life for a man isn’t surviving, it is flourishing. But all the things you value in life, are YOUR values in YOUR life to fulfil it and give it meaning and happiness. When you stop doing that – when you stop pursuing your values and instead surrender them for that which doesn’t benefit your life – you have stopped living, you are merely existing; you aren’t living like a human, you are no better than an animal – worse in fact, you are a slave. A value external to a valuer is a contradiction in terms; “value” and “good” cannot be applied to collectives, only individuals. And this simple truth wipes out the entire foundation of all these political and religious regimes in one swift move.
Unfortunately, because individualism is so misunderstood in our culture today, the dominant philosophy underlying all countries in the world is of its nemesis: collectivism, which is the secular equivalent of religion’s altruism. This anti-human poison permeates almost aspects of society and personal life. Needless to say, it’s the doctrine behind religion. It’s the “morality” behind the mixed-economies and socialist agendas in the Western world and the once virtually-capitalistic United States, and because it is simply accepted – rather than being an all-conquering foe that tramples over every individual – most individuals happily lie down on the tracks in front of it, telling themselves or being told that as the train approaches this is, somehow, somewhere, in some way – the right thing to do – although no one quite knows how or why.
It is the voice of the politician, or the religious leader, or the bureaucrat telling you: “you have no right to live simply for your own sake; part of your life belongs to society, and you owe it something; you have a duty to restrict your own life with one eye on the wishes, whims, and desires of others. Your guide to life must not be your own mind and judgement, but the need or “good” of a larger collective, which trumps your own.”
It is the mentality that punishes and penalises the businessman for being too good, too big, too successful. It is the morality that compensates the lazy and unintelligent for being lazy and unintelligent, at the expense of those who aren’t. It is the green-eyed monster looking at the beautiful, the famous, the rich, the joyous, and wanting, not to share their success, but to see them fail. It is the man who wants to take the wealth of Elvis and give it to Einstein, or commands reality to automatically and magically take the wages of sports and rock stars and give it to doctors and nurses. It is the politician who says “what you have belongs to us and if at any point we don’t like what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, we’ll take it from you and do it our way.”
Now consider that in England, a small football club finally makes it to the top league – and must use all its skill and wisdom to remain in that league and secure its future success. Consider that no football club, or any business for that matter, is ever going to consciously act for its own destruction. All businesses, all teams, or sportsmen, exist with one goal: success. When success (whatever that be in the context of the venture) is not the number one priority, there is only one alternative: failure; self-destruction. There is no alternative, just as there is no alternative ultimately when one stops pursing life.
A football manager will pick a team to play in a particular match – but he doesn’t do so in a vacuum. There are other factors to consider: the morale of the players and their fitness; the requirements of that match in terms of what can be considered relative success; how the consequences of the outcome of that match factor into the club’s entire season; the next game, and the game after. For example, a small team drawing with the best team in the land would be considered a success; but that same team losing to a pub team would be considered failure. A win against your closest rivals is more valuable than beating a team you aren’t in direct competition with. A win is not just three points; there is a host of other concepts and concretes that a football manager must assess in his decision making process.
Ultimately, the goal for all teams is the same: success. But success for whom? The team itself of course; what other standard can there be? What sane person would suggest that the top teams deliberately drop points so that less successful teams have a chance? What rational mind would tell a football manager to bear in mind the effect his team’s success will have on that of others; and to put the needs of another team above his own? Is this starting to sound familiar?
This small club, new to the Premier League, is Blackpool. And they have just been fined £25,000 for fielding what was, in the non-objective whimsical judgement of an external committee, a “weakened team” for a league match. Did Blackpool cheat? No. Did Blackpool evaluate the consequences for losing, drawing, or winning this game and accept the consequences in the context of their entire season? Yes. Did Blackpool still try and win the game? Yes. Should Blackpool care if other teams succeed or fail? No.
The mentality behind this fine is the same as that of socialism and communism and all the other anti-human religions today, which is why I use it as an example of how rife this toxin is in society. The unquestioned and unchallenged assumption is that there is some external higher ideal to bear in mind when trying to win. That ideal cannot be named, because it doesn’t exist, but it’s given quasi-political terms like “the good of the game” or the “good of football.” Make no mistake about it: these expressions are meaningless! The game is a sport played by clubs – the league is a ranking system of clubs. And these clubs must act (without cheating) in whatever way serves their best long-term interest. This might mean being harder in the tackle against some teams than others; passing the ball short in one game or long in another; using one striker in one game or two in another; moving the ball quickly or wasting time in the corner; playing for a draw or playing for a win; saving your best players for some games and not others.
But the Premier League board has decided that they are the final arbiters or what is acceptable in all these conditions, in any game. They have taken it upon themselves to assume control over a football club and the business and football decisions it might make. On what possible justification? Some greater good; the same rationalisation used by all power-seekers for attacks on the individual. I use this quote often, but I’ve changed the words here as illustrated by the italics. Can you guess who said it originally?
“It does not mean that all these teams must necessarily be regulated, merely that they can be regulated if they transgress against the interests of the Premier League. So long as they do not do that, it would, of course, be criminal to upset the manager’s team selection. . . . I want everyone to keep what he has earned subject to the principle that the good of football takes priority over that of the club. But the Premier League should retain control; every club should feel itself to be an agent of the Premier League; it is its duty not to misuse its possessions to the detriment of the Premier League or the interests of its fellow clubs. That is the overriding point. The Premier League will always retain the right to control clubs. . . . For us the supreme law of the league is: whatever serves the vital interests of football is legal.”
Try it yourself. Replace the appropriate words with “State”, “God”, and “Society” – and see if it looks eerily familiar to every field of human activity today. Look at a committee of power-hungry opportunists and see them leech more authority and wealth for themselves at the expense of the very ones who produce, in supposed service to a greater good which justifies their position and ennobles them. In socialism it’s the welfare state, in religion it’s god, in communism it’s total regulation to force equal unhappiness of everyone, and in English football it is now dictating what team a club should field. Blackpool cannot live for its own sake; it doesn’t have the right, and what freedom it has is subordinate to some good external to itself. The root cause of all of this is the same.
The way to fight this spreading poison is not to give it credence. Do not defend yourself by ceding ground. Don’t fight on their terms, because you can’t win. Conversely, they cannot win on your terms – if your ground is reason.
Blackpool, instead of replying “the team wasn’t that weak”, or appealing against the invalidity of the decision that was reached – should oppose the principle of the rule altogether and proudly say “we picked our team from our players to best serve our long term goals of success. We have no responsibility or duty to anyone apart from ourselves and our fans – and our success or failure will speak for itself.”
All forms of collectivism are built on foundations of sand. They are impotent and impractical in themselves – and only survive as long as good men do nothing. The fact that they cannot be justified by reason is evidenced by them all requiring one thing to work: a gun. It just takes enough of us to stop and say “why should I?” And when no answer can be given, say “no”. That is what Blackpool Football Club should do.