You've got to love this advice from Southwestern University School of Law Professor, Butler Shaffer:
Professor Shaffer prefaced his advice, in part, with these comments (and ones to which, as a father of 6 and grandfather of 13, I can certainly relate):
"A friend of ours has observed that one of the consequences of having children and grandchildren is that "they give you more people to worry about." As both a father and grandfather, her observation is correct. I have long been of the view that a parent has a moral obligation not to allow his or her children to live under tyranny . . . It is interesting – albeit not pleasant – to witness the collapse of Western civilization. A vibrant system that once was productive of the material and intangible values supportive of human well-being, has reached a terminal state. Civilizing principles and practices that found sufficient – albeit inconstant – expression in Western societies, have deteriorated into an acceptance of corruption – provided it is carried out in high places – and the celebration of violence – provided it is directed against plausible categories of wrongdoers. In such ways has the multi-trillion dollar looting of taxpayers on behalf of an entrenched corporate-state plutocracy combined with the ongoing conduct of endless wars against endless enemies to send a morally, intellectually, and economically bankrupt culture to an awaiting black hole." (Emphasis Mine.)
(My thoughts follow each point of advice below.)
(1) never believe anything the government tells you.
Whether that's in regards to WMD's, global warming, economics, or historiography. I worked in state government for 12 years, trust me on this one - he's right.
(2) never believe anything the mainstream media tells you.
See first response.
(3) pay attention to – but be skeptical of – those whose ideas do not conform to consensus-based definitions of reality.
Sadly, almost everyone.
(4) master the art of contrary thinking, and learn to stay away from herds as well as from those who insist upon herding others into destructive, lemming-like stampedes.
My favorite as the "herd mentality" is what permeates government, academia, and the mainstream media.
(5) do not put your trust in those who offer you "hope," but seek out those who will help you develop understanding.
Seek out those older and wiser than you. Reject fads and our youth-crazed, wisdom-lacking culture.
(6) be prepared – as were your ancestors – to move to new frontiers that are better suited to both your liberty and material well-being.
That's a tough one for me as I'm deeply rooted in Old Virginia. It is, nonetheless, good advice.
(7) find, support, protect, and defend like-minded friends, being mindful of the shared origins of the words "peace," "freedom," "love," and "friend."
True, oh so true!
(8) avoid being drawn into the black hole to which our civilization is destined; whose vacuuming force is made possible by the collective energies of your neighbors; and . . .
Again, avoid fads and the herd mentality, i.e. "groupthink" which dominates just about every aspect of American culture, including the study of history.
(9) mindful of all the above, avoid all sense of despair by combining your intelligence and emotions to help in the creation of a new civilization grounded in peace, liberty, and respect for the inviolability of the individual.
This is true "hope."
You'll notice that his article is neither a Pro-Republican or an Anti-Democrat piece. Both political parties are populated by power-hungry statists who lust for more and more power and control over our lives and our minds.
I've got several follow up posts coming that will dovetail very nicely with the good Professor's advice and which will bring additional clarity to his comments.