Along for the Ride

Regular readers who also delve into the comments will have noticed that one of this blog’s most valuable contributors is Kyle Bennett. I wasn’t aware, but Kyle also has a blog. Though it looks like he hasn’t done a lot with it lately, his latest entry reveals that he may have found just the inspiration he’s been looking for. It’s an important post that merits your attention. Of note:

…politics, libertarian or otherwise, is most definitely not the future. Politics is a system that has utterly failed to solve any real problems.


The scattered and chaotic state of the libertarian movement makes more sense to me now. It is a result of the idea, implicit in everything it does, that the main purpose of the libertarian movement is to advance the libertarian movement.

Do you see how Kyle’s first identification is a direct result of the second, applied to the whole scope of politics? I was talking about this subject a bit, here.

The simple fact is that politics, in the widest philosophical sense, is nothing more than the application of ethics to social interaction. If you can get your mind around that, then it should not be difficult to see how practical politics (i.e., modern politics in action) can never really achieve anything great, at least from the value perspective of individualists. To the extent politics accomplishes anything, it is typically only to deal with problems that have arisen because of practical politics in the first place.

Fundamentally, practical politics can’t work because it subordinates the individual to society. That’s an inversion of a natural, immutable hierarchy of metaphysical proportions. The individual comes first. Everything that is "society" must flow from that, non-contradictorily. This is the problem that is created by modern practical politics. To think that modern practical politics will in any way solve this problem strikes me as rather like a woman looking up her rapist for the purpose of getting rape-victim counseling from him.

The other thing I find interesting about Kyle’s post is that my whole interest in the blogosphere has been waning, significantly, and this touches on precisely why. With few exceptions, at least in the political sphere, it’s only about advancing one political agenda over another, i.e., same shit, different medium. That will never get anyone anywhere–and the primary reason is that nobody has the slightest clue as to where they’re going. They just want to be along for the ride.

What this has come to is that we have a whole population of people with no idea of where they are going–or where they want to go–hitching a ride with those they’re most comfortable with. Everybody thinks somebody knows where they’re going, but no one really does. "Legalize drugs! Privatize Social Security! Cut taxes!" Those aren’t destinations. Hell, they aren’t even pit stops. They’re actually unreachable fantasy "destinations" along a road that has only a single direction, and the only thing that can be varied is the speed (fast or faster).

Kyle’s right. What we need to be talking about is where we actually want to be.

I discovered that what I really want to talk about, what I really want to get the world talking about – if I can be so bold as to assume I have any power to do so – is where we are going. It’s nice to talk about how we’ll get there, but it’s meaningless without the why that informs the how.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Kyle Bennett on April 18, 2005 at 08:04

    I just registered the name, and will be moving the blog to proper blogging software with comments and everything this week. I think the name sucks, but I can't find a better one, so I am open to suggestions.

  2. jack on April 18, 2005 at 15:52

    that's the smartest thing i've read in a long time. really. and it's the first thing i've read that says anything about what i've been thinking about politics. too bad we can't go backwards to where the government was a side project and a group of people with guns and ideals could change the fate of a country. but now we get raped and ripped off and we accept it. docile as hindu cows. too bad no one in "power" has realized that we're all headed for the slaughter.

  3. Kyle Bennett on April 18, 2005 at 16:34



    It will be a strain for me to keep up with this, but I'm really jazzed about it, and I've got about six follow-ups already bursting out of my head – I just have to find the time to convert them to ones and zeros.

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