In Ayn Rand's
the one-letter word that was outlawed and punishable by death was
"I". But, even without punishment, the word "I"
has become much less used in today's world and stands in direct
contrast to the most dangerous word in the world.
The most dangerous
word is only one letter longer than I. It's small, but is responsible
for hundreds of millions of deaths, billions living in slavery and
mass impoverishment. It is the word that should be abolished.
The word? We.
shudder whenever they hear the word "we" uttered by anyone
in politics or the media. Almost without exception, whatever follows
that word is going to take away your life, fruits of your labor
or your liberty.
The first time
I conciously realized how dangerous this word is was a few months
ago. I was in the Soviet Republic of Canuckistan, also known as
Canada, a place where the word "we" is used with great
abandon. I had flipped on the TV for a few minutes and found myself
watching the "news". The worst kind, actually, local news.
The big story
of the day was that out of a city of more than one million people,
someone had died!
someone was swimming and got hit by a motorboat and died. The government
was called in to investigate, of course. As they interviewed the
locals I knew what was coming - probably from years of seeing the
same script repeated over and over - it was all but inevitable.
a middle aged woman who was clearly upset about the accident, despite
not knowing any of the people involved or having any involvement
or interest in the event except that she happened to live nearby.
As she attempted to fight off the tears she said it:
We can never let this happen again!" she sobbed.
And with those
words she all but is sure to take yet another small piece of liberty
away. Inquiries will be set-up. Signs will be erected. Men with
guns will be extra vigilant out on patrol to make sure that this
never happens again.
Lots of money
will be spent and wasted to ensure that a few housewives feel a
would never say, "I can never let this happen again".
Then she would actually have to do something. Instead, she uses
the much easier word we, and thanks to the magic of government all
of a sudden all of us need to do whatever is necessary to try to
stop the impossible from happening: accidents.
That is the
local version of the word "we". Once the word goes national
it goes from being irritating to dangerous.
On CNN, recently,
the announcer stated after an emotional piece on one of the "wars"
(occupations) the US is currently "fighting" (occupying),
wistfully, "I guess that's why WE are over there, isn't
To say the
reporter is making a fairly bold assumption is an understatement.
He is assuming that he has the same beliefs as 300 million+ people
and they all have the same desires and fears and that "we"
are doing something that all 300 million+ people think is necessary
against millions of other people on a different part of the planet
who, presumably, aren't like "we".
Not to mention
the fact that "we" aren't over there. I am not currently
in Iraq or Afghanistan. And it says right below his name that he
is broadcasting from Atlanta. So, what is this grand "we"
who we are talking about?
says it best in his bit about how "we" saved the French
in World War II, below.
So, the next
time someone talks about some large group of collective people as
"we" or take credit for events they never had anything
to do with, be like Doug Stanhope and tell them, maybe "we"
should just shut the f*#k up.
Berwick [send him mail]
is an anarcho-capitalist freedom fighter and Chief Editor of the
libertarian, Austrian economics grounded newsletter, The
Dollar Vigilante. The Dollar Vigilante focuses on strategies,
investments and expatriation opportunities to survive & prosper
during and after the US dollar collapse.