In Frank Herbert’s Dune series, it was said of Thufir Hawat, the mentat (Basically a human computer) of House Atreides, that he “…sees assassins in every shadow…”, meaning of course that he was perpetually paranoid about the safety, security and continued flourishing of House Atreides. Dr Condoleezza Rice, Director of the Hoover Institution, said in one of the many conversations, speeches, etc, she has had, that “We don’t have time to be tired.” Thufir Hawat and Dr Condoleezza Rice both tell me that if we only look to our own personal safety, security and overall flourishing, then we will die prematurely of depression, stress and anxiety. Just in case you’re wondering, the term “psychosomatic” exists for a reason. Conversely, if we devote our lives to the safety, security and human flourishing of others, we become indefatigable and wake up every morning with the joyful thought that “Today is a good day to die!” Being anxious about our own well-being is useless because we are already very well equipped to take care of ourselves. Whitney Houston’s assertion that “Learning to love yourself…it is the greatest love of all…” is a lie, and it is tragic that she herself seemed to have believed it. We flourish best when we devote our lives to bringing out the best in others, beginning with our own family and extending out to clan, community and nation.
Do you start the day anticipating that you’ll never see tomorrow? Are you certain that the work you do is something that has great value, genuine value, to others, and not because you’re involved in selling opium or fentanyl? I listened in great dismay yesterday to a young man telling me that he was in the process of starting his own business and in the meantime was still working for a certain company. He was responsible for testing products returned by customers who complained that the products were defective. Instead of testing the returned products, he merely sent them back with the statement “Nothing wrong” attached. The company then sent the returned products to some other department or organization which then conducted far more rigorous testing to find out what the actual problems were. For that, he was being paid a substantial sum. Wonder no more why prices are going up. They go up not because of geopolitical events like the war in Ukraine or tensions between bigger nations. They go up because fiat money goes to feed inefficient businesses. A few Economics professors have asked me whether I thought Milton Friedman was good for his time, but things have changed. I maintain that human nature has not changed, it has become worse. The economic principles set forth by Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, George Stigler, Thomas Sowell and so forth remain true because they recognize fallen human nature. Even Genghis Khan, at least till Khublai Khan, recognized that human nature was fallen and that laws permitting free enterprise while ensuring that people do not kill each other while each pursued their own wealth were indeed necessary. Taxes were needed because you need resources to run a nation but also that PAYING taxes meant that the taxpayer recognized and declared that he was part of a FAMILY and that he appreciated the rule of law embodied in the incumbent government.
How would you like to start the day declaring that “It is a good day to die”? Look for assassins in every shadow, stop listening to toxic positivity. Apply the principles of “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design”, CPTED, and similar frameworks if you find them useful. Don’t leave your guns outside when you go networking, bring them in with you. Flood the shadows with light. Destroy the assassins if they fail to surrender.
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