The Importance of Being an Adult

One of the most pernicious effects of the Bismarkian Welfare State is the infantilization of society, the destruction of adulthood. This infantilization renders people incapable of caring for themselves. It places them in a state of permanent dependence. Unable to live without the state, people are put in a position where resistance to the rulers, even in small areas like a personal preference for ingesting one mind-altering substance rather than another, risks their ability to practice their professions, the services they depend on, their children’s education, their access to modern financial institutions, in the future, even possibly affect their access to medical care.

If you want to be free, you must become an adult, which is difficult in this age when society, the media, the state, your family are all suggesting that you continue behaving as a child.

What is it to be an adult?

Every philosophy tackles this question. While there are many nuanced disagreements over the precise description of what adulthood actually is, there is widespread agreement on certain fundamental elements of adulthood.

Quite simply, an adult is widely described as a person who is aware of the consequences of his or her actions, is capable of reason and holds himself accountable for the results of his or her choices. An adult is prepared to provide for his or her needs or to do without.

The modern state discourages adulthood for the simple reason that a person who is prepared to only consume that which they have earned will not accede to being plundered. If the state is to gather the vast riches its rulers desire, the state must place the producers in a state of dependence and fear – two conditions guaranteed to make men malleable.

Dr Stephen Covey has spent his life studying what made people and organization effective – capable of exerting influence over the people and organizations they come in contact with. He observed that the most effective organizations and people all first turn inward and master themselves. He observed that the rational and consistent application of their principles to their own conduct earned the respect of those who observed them.

Too many lovers of liberty fail at this. They talk the talk well, but when it comes to ordering their lives, they fail to walk the walk.

2009 was a bad year for lovers of liberty. The governments of the world continued increasing their stranglehold on humanity. here in the U.S. Barack Obama expanded and continued to socialist policies of George Bush, capitalizing on Bush’s successful efforts to increase government control of the capital markets. The U.S. congress passed laws that increase their control of the medical industry, laws intended to control the Earth’s climate that threaten to send humanity back to the dark ages. And many of our countrymen seem only too happy to submit to the yoke, with over 50% of Americans now consuming state aid in some form or another.

However, the states have also set the seeds of their own doom. They have lost control of mass media; the pyramid schemes of plundering and redistributing wealth are cracking; the unsustainable distortions to the capital structures of the world economy are failing . The governments of the world are doomed. The only question is how destructive their collapse will be.

So, we must now begin looking to laying the foundations for the next revolutions, and the most important foundations stones are the ones we lay in our own hearts, and in the example we set for others.

So how far should we go to end our sependence?  Shall we eschew government roads, pull our children from government schools?  Refuse to use Federal Reserve Notes in our business?

What steps you take are really up to your conscience.   In the areas where the government has monopolized a service, such as its road monopoly, I see nothing immoral in using that service, especially when one considers the impact refusing to use the service has.

But, there are certain principles you should strive for:

  • Support yourself as much as possible.
  • Get in the habit of planning for the future.
  • Limit the services you consume from the state as much as practicable.
  • Be honest in your dealings with your fellows.  Provide good value in your business dealings
  • Enter a profession that is as far removed from state privilege as  possible.

These steps will help you better resist the usurpations of the state and allow you greater freedom, and make you a nucleus around which a free sociey willgrow.

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.
  • Old Rebel

    Excellent advice. I’d also like to suggest we encourage local economies, which will free us of centralized control. Local food, local currencies, and avoiding the MegaloMarts will make us more financially independent.

    Local self-government will naturally emerge from viable local economies.

  • Kitty Antonik Wakfer

    You’ve addressed an important issue, Tarran, one that is ignored by many liberty promoting writers or given very little attention. This is likely because the majority of them still think that government is necessary for an orderly society. It appears that these liberty promoters think that the vast majority of humans are incapable of interacting with others to mutual benefit – never themselves of course, but plenty of others who therefore require a Big Parent (government – “minimal” or “small” or “local”, typically stated) issuing orders to keep them from running amok.

    It is likely that you already know what I will add now, Tarran, based on your description of yourself on this website, but others may not have thought sufficiently about the fundamental reasons for why and the natural self-ordering mechanisms by which a society can exist without rulers. Such a society *can* come to exist precisely because the nature of human beings does *not* automatically lead to the conclusion that individuals must be ruled by others in order that there be orderly interactions between them. Society, just like any other natural system, can be naturally (according to basic human nature) self-regulating by means of interactions between its members, if only humans seek to discover and are allowed to implement the methods by which such self-regulation can be effective, rather than continuing to embrace social systems that need to be constantly held in an unnatural (and very unoptimal) state of balance by the operations of their rulers and other influencers. Individual self-order without rule by others is the social system whose members are fully adult (particularly meaning self-responsible) humans. Just as people can become physical adults, so can they become psychological and social adults – if only they are allowed (and even required in the sense that they will not attain their desires unless they do) to socially mature sufficiently.

    I included a list with some similarities to yours in an article I wrote last April in regard to the insufficiency of public protests/complaints, “Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough: Relationship of Self-Responsibility and Social Order”.

    1. Do *not* make use of “government services” that can be obtained privately;
    2. Initiate/support cooperative efforts that replace “government services”;
    3. Do *not* work for or do business with governments of any form in any capacity;
    4. Preferentially associate with those who do *not* work for governments – positive social preferencing;
    5. Do *not* voluntarily associate with those who continue to work for government despite being encouraged not to do so – negative social preferencing;

    6. Last but not least – and actually primary to the preceding, Practice self-responsibility and encourage the same by all others, especially children and young people.

    ————–For the whole article see

    The whole purpose of the Self-Sovereign Individual Project ( is to first derive a consistent and complete foundation and practical implementation of a stateless stable self-ordered society, and then, by consistently taking the above actions (and more), to eventually (and without violence) cause the State to wither and die because of non-use and non-sanction.

    I was pleased to see you cover a fundamental subject and look forward to seeing other articles in which you do so – I’ll check the archives too but I see that comments are no longer available for most – in fact none of yours prior to the one on December 19 2009. (I do not find any explanation for such a cutoff in the website’s comment policy. Some sites which did this have since stopped – eg.
    Lastly Tarran, if you have the ability to correct several typos in your article, I think it would a good idea to do so; a spell-checker will find most if not all.

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  • DaveinPhoenix

    Perfect message. A nation of adolescents. Can’t imagine why nanny state is thriving….people now days can’t accept responsibility for anything, can’t accept discipline with anything, can’t accept dissent with anyone. I’ve been saying this for years. This hits America’s problems right on the head.