The worst of all drugs
Blogging has again been patchy the last week or so, time being so short for various reasons that I’m very behind on reading my favourite blogs. Honestly, my RSS has bookmark has what could easily be a serial number behind it and if I don’t get either caught up or ruthless about skipping the older stuff I’m worried it might resort to exponentiation. So while I’m getting through some of it, and assuming I don’t get all busy again right away, I’ll resort to a bit of metablogging and bring up a post some will already have found via the Von Mises Institute blog: a moving story of a American who became a user of the most addictive and destructive drug in modern society, and how he’s managed to get clean:
… My addiction to the state started in high school. I saw that all the coolest people — Naomi Klein, Tom Morello — wanted me to drop out of free society and free exchange. They always seemed to know what was best for everybody else, and I wanted to be smart like them. So I started experimenting with statism.
In university, I got into the hard-core stuff: socialism and communism. All my friends were doing it. I thought we were so revolutionary with our union buttons and our “Free Tuition Now” banners. Calling for state intervention to solve every social problem let me avoid thinking about my own problems.
In 2007 and 2008, I got hooked on the hypnotism of state theater. I gobbled up every YouTube clip of the US Democratic nomination fight I could get my eyeballs on. Everyone I knew thought Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would save the world. And when that nomination bottle was empty of all surprise, I couldn’t stop; I just starting using the Republican nomination to get high.
But somebody had mixed some crazy stuff into that contest, as I bet you know. The clean stuff hit me hard, and I hit rock bottom.
I woke up under my state-funded grad-student desk, heaped high with the papers for my state-policy-recommendation thesis, knowing that my black hole of student debt was papered over only by state scholarships, and I saw what I had become.
All my friends were still users. So it was hard, but on the Internet I found other people who were clean. I started volunteering, getting involved.
My life has started to come back together. I can spend time with my family now without even getting that itch to regulate something. I feel free again…
I am not an anarchist, anarcho-capitalist or otherwise. For reasons I will one day blog at length I’m a minarchist libertarian, all the same I’d recommend popping over to The Daily Anarchist and reading the whole thing. There’s a particularly good version of the 12 step program among the first few comments.