The idea in this case is big. It is human liberty itself, something very much under fire these days. In fact, it has been for at least 100 years. It could use a new injection of energy, something capable of shoring up your own belief system and helping others too.
I’ve got just the book for you. It’s Inclined to Liberty: The Futile Attempt to Suppress The Human Spirit, by Louis Carabini.
Some readers may know Carabini as the brains and entrepreneurial horsepower behind precious metals dealer Monex. As amazing as that is, actually sitting and talking to Carabini is like speaking with a Renaissance man. He has been in the ideas business only part time. His talents have primarily gone into building a precious metals empire.
Carabini is a reluctant author, but was inspired to write by an evening of political discussion that took place at his home. Though I wasn’t present for the party in question, having been to the Carabini home on the Pacific Ocean for dinner, I know the ambiance, food, and drink had to have been spectacular.
In a footnote to the first chapter, he lists the menu, headed by barbecued rack of lamb and various pastas. Several bottles of wine, foreign and domestic, washed down the sumptuous dinner and fueled an animated discussion between those “inclined to liberty” and those “inclined to mastery.”
As the wine flowed, he began to hear assertions such as:
“No one should be allowed to inherit wealth”
“The salaries of company executives are too high”
“It is not fair that companies can terminate their workers just to increase profits.”
We’ve all been in situations similar to the author’s. Heavy-handed responses are a killjoy. Silence seems cowardly, but logic, voiced aggressively, most often comes off as bad manners.
Carabini takes a different approach. He closely examines each point with logic, data, and personal experience. His responses are thoughtful and give the reader an effective way to respond to those that advocate “permitting others to live their lives only as another sees fit.”
The author doesn’t brusquely dismiss the views of those believing the state should intercede to attempt to right what they see as wrongs. He understands that it’s easy for people to be misled by a sensationalistic news media.
Carabini doesn’t spend time, nor does he advocate wasting time, fretting about our lack of liberty or the statist views of others. He is especially suspicious of following leaders or media mouthpieces. Spokespersons tell the crowd what they want to hear.
Unfortunately, we seek out opinions to confirm our existing view of the world. “It’s easier to become a parrot when aligned with any group, be it political, social, religious, or racial, than to think for oneself,” writes Carabini.
These Pied Pipers that seek to divide and incite envy can never deliver on what they promise. “Blaming others for what we don’t have directs our energy and ingenuity away from the only reliably effective source of achievement in the world — self-reliance.”
The need for self-reliance is Carabini’s overarching message. There is no free government lunch. Prosperity can’t be created from nowhere or by decree. Cooperation and virtue more effectively create wealth than coercion.
The promises made by a democracy are the antithesis of individuality. “The very essence of democracy encourages everyone to express opinions about human activities that are none of their business,” writes Carabini in one of my favorite chapters, titled, “The False Lure of Democracy.”
The book doesn’t cast itself to be an economics book, but the author is well trained and passes on sound economic wisdom, making overlooked points. He shows, for example, how buyers are more excited about the purchase they just made than the money they once had. However, it’s most often portrayed that sellers take advantage of buyers. He also shows how money began and explores the characteristics that actually make it money. Additionally, he explains that money itself does not create prosperity.
Carabini relishes the inequality his dinner guests railed against, explaining that billionaires are wealthy because they make our lives richer with the products they create. There is no need for these billionaires to “give back” to society. We are all more prosperous because of them.
Oh, and what about that comment about hiring and firing? First of all, customers are the boss. They will decide who can keep their job and who gets a pink slip. Besides, employers must compete against other employers for labor. They must constantly keep their employees happy enough to stay and to produce while customer demand is in control. Employers must be allowed to fire, because demand may dictate it. Government intrusion will stunt hiring. Carabini’s pithy explanation is simply, “If you can’t fire, you don’t hire.”
Anyone who has met Louis Carabini knows he is cheerful and upbeat. He ends his book reminding us that it is not liberty that is fragile or requires eternal vigilance, like so many in the political sphere claim. It is mastery, in fact, that is fragile. It fails time and time again, “while the liberty inherent in the human spirit is resilient.”
For liberty lovers who need no convincing, reading this book will make you feel good. And for those that have friends and relatives that need convincing, this is the perfect book to start the conversation.