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What Does it Mean to be a Good Person?

Posted on 12. Sep, 2012 by in all, Magazine Articles

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The below article was written by Eric Peters and a version of this article first appeared on June 18, 2012 in the Daily Crux, published by Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, an independent investment research firm.  You can visit them at www.stansberryresearch.com.

One hears the term fairly often. So and so is a good person. Or the plural “ they’re good people. But what is meant is rarely defined. It is accepted that we’re all talking about the same thing “ but if you look at it a little bit, very often we’re not. Because many of us seem to have a view of goodness that is completely at odds with the concept of goodness as defined by others.
The liberal politician, for example, thinks of himself as a good person because he expresses concern for others, typically those less well-off than others. He wants to help “ but his goodness (as he defines it) does not manifest itself via himself personally helping those he believes are in need. He does not invite the homeless into his home (or even his garage). He invites them into your home.  He does not give of his own time “ or money. Rather, he demands that others be made to giveof theirs. Which, of course, does not strike him as oxymoronic “ let alone vicious. This good person will not feel bad about demanding that some be enslaved for the benefit of others “ so long as the former are deserving (as defined by the good person)  and the latter are paying their fair share (again, as defined by the good person).

On the other end of the continuum we find the conservative politician “ who also views himself as a good person – often, a good, religious person. He is outraged by events like the attack on the Twin Towers (and let’s not forget Building 7, too). The approximate 3,000 people killed in one day must be avenged “ by killings tens of thousands of interchangeable brown people for going on ten years now. The conservative good person only hears the cries of some innocents.
Both the liberal and the right-winger share one thing in common “ the adoration of random violence. The phraseology is important. It is random violence because the people affected are typically innocent “ or at least, they haven’t done anything to warrant a violent assault. The mere fact that you are a Have becomes, in the mind of the left-liberal, sufficient justification for him to send goons with guns to your home in order to force you to hand over some of what you have to the Have-Nots. It is not alleged that you have stolen from the Have-Nots. It is enough that you have “ and they have not. The non-having is the justification for the taking. Precisely in the same way that one hungry chicken will snatch a crumb away from another hen that had it first. Redistribution is the moral standard of these good people “ goodness defined as he who redistributes the most.
The right-winger, meanwhile, pursues ideologically random violence as opposed to the left-liberal’s economic violence. There are entire categories of Them who must be extirpated “ or at the every least, brought to heel “ merely by dint of being Them as opposed to Us. The Chimp “ apotheosis of this mentality “ put it just so: You are either with us (that is, a lockstep follower of The Chimp) or you are against us. And we all know what happens to those who are against us.
Pre-Chimp, right-wing good people were somewhat discomfited by the auto da fe of the Branch Davidians at Waco “ but only because the match was struck by a political opponent. Once The Chimp “ a good man, as they saw him “ held the reigns, actions far worse were routinized. Today, Barry carries on the work. And note: The work is not objected to (in the main) by the very people who did object when the same work was performed by The Chimp. And who no doubt will renew their objections in the event their good man replaces the other side’s bad man next January.
Of course, none of these people are good people. They are in fact bad people. Very bad people indeed. They are people who live by violence only directed toward different ends. But do these ends make any difference to their respective victims? Here is a way to separate the wheat from the chaff:
Good people do not have victims. That is how you shall know them.
A good person is someone who does not want to put you in a cage “ or point guns at you “ unless you have done something to warrant it. And to a good person, the only thing that warrants such treatment of a fellow human being is maltreatment of another human being. The initiation of force. Absolutely nothing else. Not how much you have relative to what others have; not how you live your life or what you believe or who you are. Nothing “ other than force used first.
For all evasive language aside, government is force “ nothing more. And force is only applied justly when it is applied against those who have initiated its use. It is an injustice to use force against your neighbor “ against your fellow man “ to compel him to furnish you (or others) with funds. To force him to help you “ or anyone else. To compel the conformity of his behavior; to dictate the terms and conditions of his life. To deny him, in even the smallest measure, the right to pursue happiness “ as he, not you, defines it. To interfere with him in any way whatsoever “ unless he has caused you or some other person an injury. Not before “ and not otherwise.
If that is, you wish to think of yourself as a good person.

[AOA:  So, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in the business of providing housing for others? I’m  biased, but it seems obvious to me:
Housing Providers have never used force to make a renter stay in his or her apartment building.  Renters are free to come and go as they please.  Owners have never used force or even tried to use the law to make a renter provide unearned benefits to owners.  Therefore, there are no victims “ only benefits being provided in varying degrees so¦ you must conclude that housing providers are good people!
Politicians always use force in the form of jail or fines if we do not do what they say or accommodate what they say is good.  Rent control (tenant welfare) and inspections of our private property are only two of the tools they use against the good people who provide housing for about 50% of the population.
They force owners to provide benefits to others at less than a fair market price “ disobey their good intentions and you go to jail and/or pay scandalous, monetary penalties.  YOU are their victim!
They are using even more force with their so-called inspections of private property.  If they don’t approve the condition of your property and you don’t make it the way they say right away, they take your building, lower your rents by 50% and leave you up the creek!  This is in addition to other penalties.  Don’t believe it could happen in America?  The City of Los Angeles has confiscated over 1,700 buildings and is collecting the rent right now as you read this!
They use the private property of housing providers to buy the votes of renters at the expense of the rightful owners.  And, these sociopathic politicians really believe they are good people.  They use housing providers to get what they want and are unable and unwilling to provide from their own personal resources.
Are the politicians good guys or bad guys?  They do have a victim.  And that victim is you!
Be sure to vote on election day “ our only problem is that we have to elect what is probably not a very good person.
P.S.  Please make a copy of this and mail it to every politician you know.  Thank you!]