I’m back from a week in Maui with the family, with sun-browned skin despite the twice-daily application of reef-friendly sun block, and with my head brimming with fascinating ideas.
Such as how Kamehameha, a relatively minor chief, was able to conquer all the islands between the years 1789 and 1810, because of a new technology: the flintlock musket.
And how, after his death, the ali’i…the nobility…of Hawaii sold out their own nation’s resources and financial stability to foreign nationals to enrich themselves.
And how foreign governments, including the United States, were inexorably drawn to take advantage of imperial Hawaii’s weaknesses.
Yet individual families survived and even thrived, despite government.
Now, here I am, sitting at my desk, contemplating that the current state of national and state governance is in fact somewhat normal, in the long term. Kleptocracy by whoever is in power is inevitable. Under the veneer of culture and rationality, we live in a world in which people will exploit weakness and take what they can. The assumption that things are different because we are equipped with cell phones and the Internet may or may not be correct.
As evidence, here’s an interesting article about our health insurance debate.
You and I, like the families of Hawaii, are mice among the elephants. We must continue to create success, health, and wealth in our own relatively small ways despite what the oligarchs may do.
It seems likely that the Trump Presidency will accomplish much less than expected. It seems likely that the major goal of Congress is to enrich itself at the expense of the rest of us. All this will happen despite the political party in power. All the political words which empower and energize us are simply tools to enlist us to their fight, for their benefits.
With this in mind, we need to continue to save, continue to nurture our families, and press onward regardless of all the social and governmental chaos. What happens in Washington or Brussels or Beijing will probably not define our lives. In the long term, people seem to thrive DESPITE government, and not because of it. On we go.