We’re Not Anti-Government, We’re Anti-Stupid: Government needs to be the refs, not the players in the game

We’re not Anti-Government, Just Anti-Stupid

I’ve heard what Steve Bannon has said about Elon Musk on the War Room podcast, and I understand it to a point. Yes, Elon Musk has made deals with China, and knowing what we do now, in hindsight, it was a terrible idea. It’s the same situation with other billionaires like Ray Dalio. He has invested heavily in the prospect of an expanding middle class in China, where corporations think all the new money in the world will come from. I would not say Steve is wrong. But he’s only partly correct. People evolve their beliefs over time depending on good and bad ideas that transpire through the course of events, and they do change their minds; and I see in Elon Musk a mind that is evolving in the correct direction. Our job as change agents is to allow changing minds into our tent for tactical reasons, but without losing ourselves in the process. For instance, during the ESPN2 Manning podcast of the Monday Night Football game, Aaron Rogers abruptly started talking about Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged. Here we have a sports jock speaking in popular culture about Ayn Rand, one of the most controversial writers in American history and world history. Many of the ideas discussed on the War Room and here on the Gunfighter’s Guide are percolating into popular culture, which is a great thing. But with new interest from people who may not have been thinking about such things in the past come all their past mistakes. So, I think it’s a good idea to bring them into the camp, allow them to get warm by the fire, and keep our eye on them as to misdeeds. But in the case of Elon Musk, he said something recently that is irrelevant to his patriotic status and is entirely accurate and worth talking about as a critical strategic need within the freedom movement.

I heard it in a couple of different interviews; one was with Musk and the satire website The Babylon Bee. I can understand the skepticism of Bannon in what Musk’s intentions are since he has been so profitable in relations with communist China. But I see other things going on with Elon Musk. He is a problem solver, and he’s looking at the potential for a Mars colony and thinking about what kind of government will allow it to thrive, based on what we all know now from history and what is working up-close here in the present. He has been told no on several permits to fly Starship into space on test flights due to environmental concerns, so he is seeing the negatives of a communist type of government up close and personal. He may have profited from those relationships, but he has also learned some valuable lessons that are worth listening to. These days Musk is saying that governments should be more like referees in society than players in the game. That, in essence, has been the goal of the Tea Party movement for years, and it is undoubtedly the intention of the MAGA movement. Musk said it nicely in a way that many have struggled to put words to for a long time when talking about limited government.   What is it, and why does it work better? 

People have always associated me with an anti-government movement. That is how they often see the freedom movement in general, whether we are talking about the Tea Party, MAGA, or the current America First Policy Institute. The people who make up the name-calling are usually significant government types who love Karl Marx so that less government would be detrimental from their point of view. And by default, whether it’s a sports jock like Aaron Rogers, a political strategist like Steve Bannon, or an eclectic engineer with vast financial resources to make what he wants, the name-calling by the left usually defines the political reality because all the names mentioned are too busy being productive to work together on a counter-punch. But Musk and his need to solve the problems of interplanetary sustainability must figure out the puzzle of good government, and it has taken him more toward the freedom movement than toward communism. For that, many should be grateful. Because once thought like that enters popular culture, to the point where Aaron Rogers is talking about Atlas Shrugged on a football broadcast, there are significant cultural shifts on the horizon that few are really prepared for. Arbitrary definitions of people are not as crucial as proper utilization of the sentiments.

I would never have called myself “anti-government.” Instead, I have always been “anti-stupid.” There are many stupid people in the world, and the bigger the government is, the more of a chance that stupid people will end up in government, causing all of us a headache. So, it’s quite natural not to want stupid people to be in charge of our lives, so in that way, we want the small government to weaken the impact that stupid people will have on our lives. But what Elon Musk said was more on target. Government is there to make sure that the rules of the games we play in managing our society occur to bring about the best outcomes.   As I say in the video above, we can look at an empty field and consider it without value until we decide to play a soccer game or football game on it with all the rules that have been created to allow the drama of such an event to transpire. Government should referee those games; they should not be the players themselves. Because many of them are stupid and valueless types of people, our current government wants to use the protection of the referee position to rig the games for wins instead of letting the games play out and evoking a winner and loser based on skill and persistence. 

And that is the real goal; we aren’t trying to get rid of the government; we need the government to make sure that things work right in society. But we must distinguish that government is not a player on the field but are just there to make sure the game is fair. In essence, the heart of all our problems is that too many in government presently want to be the players, not the referees, and they got into politics for all the wrong reasons. From Elon Musk’s point of view or Aaron Rogers, they have previously functioned quite well in the world with the political rules bent slightly toward corruption. Still, nobody cared as long as they got what they wanted out of the deal. But upon success, and continued frustration in dealing with the government, whether it’s over a permit to fly into space or Covid restrictions and vaccine mandates, the bug of awful play-calling has affected just about everyone these days, and they are looking for solutions. Our task within that movement is to find them a place around the campfire and expand the reach of our shared objectives, which is to see that our games in life are fair so that we can then concentrate on being the best we can be within those rules. And in any healthy society, whether on earth or Mars, that needs to be what we spend our time on, and not trying to fend off referees who want to be the players of the game, without the risk of being exposed as unskilled and stupid.

Rich Hoffman

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