Brad Pitt Teaches Us About Libertarians: Fight Club Message More Relevant Today Than Ever

There is a part of me that has come to the realization that material things don’t really matter in the long run, since in the long run we are all dead anyways. Material possessions always eventually degrade into the stardust they are made out of, even humans. The world of form is temporary, fleeting, and ultimately unimportant. You are more than the stardust you are made out of.

The elevation of consciousness is what is important. The realization that we are not what we own is what is important. Forgiveness and compassion for those who have harmed you and your family is what is important. These things are important because ultimately they bring inner peace to one’s consciousness.  

Rejecting the state comes naturally when you have total compassion and forgiveness for your fellow man. A sane society would take criminals and coddle them like children who simply didn’t know any better. We put people in cages and threaten people with violence strictly because our identities are tied to the world of form. If people truly put the elevation of consciousness above the material, there wouldn’t be a state running around threatening people over violations of property and person.

Material things are nice, but does the theft or destruction of material property justify violent responses by society against the perpetrators? If a child runs down the beach and destroys a sand castle that another child was building, do we throw him in a cage over it? Of course not. However, if a man walks down the street and breaks or steals something that took another person a few hours to create, we do throw him a cage. What’s the difference? The man obviously has the same level of consciousness as the child or he wouldn’t have done what he did. And society’s response is obviously the same as that of the child who had his sand castle destroyed. Society throws a temper tantrum and lashes out violently over the destruction or theft of “stuff.”

The realization that the material isn’t important makes writing articles that ultimately revolve around the improvement of material production to be a drag on my psyche. I can see why the Buhddist monks limit themselves to a wood bowl and a tunic. By rejecting material possessions, it prevents a person from identifying themselves with the things they own. Most people in this world derive their sense of self from the things they own. You’re not going to see a Buddhist monk pull out a gun to defend his wood bowl or tunic. Perhaps that’s why statists have historically persecuted the monks so heavily. The monks’ lifestyle represents the rejection of the reason to have a state in the first place.

I watched Fight Club again last night, but this time I saw the deeper meaning the author was trying to convey with the story. It’s actually a very deep movie that revolves around identification with form. In the movie, the narrator (Edward Norton) provides us a detailed overview of his condo, where he goes into very fine detail about all the possessions he owns and how they define him as a person; just before he blows up his condo and starts squatting in a run down abandoned building.

Consider some of these lines from the movie:

"Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off."

"You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."

"We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra."

"I am Jack’s wasted life."

In case you haven't seen the movie (or forgot the plot), ultimately it’s about blowing up all the credit card buildings in order to eliminate the debt record. In our debt = money world, such an event would not only destroy the debt record, it would also destroy the money supply. If you follow Austrian economics, you’ll realize that the destruction of the money supply is going to happen anyways, no matter if the debt record is destroyed physically or not. Austrian economics also predict that the debt record is going to be wiped out through a debt default spiral, which may or may not be propped up by state sanctioned money printing.

I’m getting bombarded by signals from the universe that are telling me to stop caring about it all, because it is all self-correcting. The material isn’t important, and what needs to happen in order for consciousness to be elevated will happen no matter what.  As the narrator says, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” I’m a firm believer that society is about to lose a lot of things that aren’t important, after which, we will be far more free than we are today.

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Michael Suede

Michael Suede is an Austrian economist and author who holds a business degree from the University of Wisconsin. Michael's articles have appeared in numerous economics publications. Michael is also one of the few economists who is well versed in the economics of voluntary crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. Michael is a veteran of the US Navy and an advocate of voluntarism. Michael authorizes the use of all his content under Public Domain copyright. Any organization or individual may freely republish, edit, modify and distribute Michael's works without restrictions.

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