By Neil Patrick
This morning, I have been catching up with Stefan Molyneux. In case you don’t know him, he is the host of Freedomain Radio, which is billed as ‘the most popular philosophy show in the world’.
Here is part 2 of his series of broadcasts, entitled, ‘Why you are unemployed’.
If you are unemployed, you may not care very much why, just what you can do to change it. So, if this is how you feel, I’ll save you wasting your time and suggest you don’t watch the film below (or even bother to read the rest of this post). There are no solutions or tips here about how you can change your situation. I've posted plenty of more practical advice about this elsewhere on this blog.
But if you want to get some thought provoking ideas about why jobs are getting scarcer and why the US is struggling to create well paid jobs, there are answers, or at the very least hypotheses to be found here.
And these are not the usual suspects like greed and corruption. Or QE and state subsidies of banks. Or even the damaging effects of low cost overseas labor. Stefan makes the point and it’s persuasive I think, that greed and corruption have always been part of human behaviour and they are no more prevalent today than they were in previous generations when professional working people in the US could expect a much better standard of living. It seems fair to assume that something else is at work today.
Credit: Frank Licorice
I certainly agree with him that the idea that we live in freedom is a complete myth. If we were truly free, would we be sent to jail if we didn't pay our taxes? If we were free, would we be forced to adhere to the endless rules that our governments impose upon every aspect of the lives of honest hard working people?
Stefan has been described as an anarcho-capitalist philosopher. This means that he supports the free market as the best way of efficiently (and fairly) distributing wealth throughout society. The anarcho bit relates to his beliefs that state interventions in people’s live should be minimized and that the roots of all our problems today lie in over-extended state power and its endless appetite to extract wealth from citizens in the form of taxation and control. He sees this as a vicious circle that has got completely out of hand. He believes that our governments in the US and the west in general have become defacto fascist empires. And like all empires, they exert control and protect their power through the exertion of violence. Not necessarily bloody violence within their borders, but repression nevertheless in the form of taxes, coercion and the threat of imprisonment.
So watching this won’t help you get a job. It might though give you some new ideas about WHY you can’t get one and help you appreciate why it really isn't your fault.
Stefan claims that philosophers are not interested in supporting any political position. That they are only interested in finding the truth. I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not you think THIS is the truth.