"He's got good ideas but he's never accomplished anything with his own life, why should anyone want to follow him?"
Those words have been said about many a man or woman who came to show us a better way but in the Western world we expect our leaders to have built monuments to themselves, fortunes or revolutions all on their own before we'll take their advice or invest in their ideas and so the man or woman with a dream of their own must first prove it will work before others will risk investment.
Makes sense I guess. Why take a chance on unproven ideas when we already acknowledge the world is going to hell in a hand-basket? Besides, nobody helped you when you were young and had ideas of your own and you made it.
Or maybe you didn't make it but still, nobody helped you so why should you help anyone else?
That, my friends, is what I'm referring to as the Dreaded Libertarian Streak.
The Dreaded Libertarian Streak isn't something that just affects members of the Libertarian Party. Oh no, Democrats, Greens, Republicans, Libertarians, Communists, Socialists, Anarchists... everybody seems to sufferer from it to one degree or another.
The difference seems to be who the members of whatever affiliation happen to direct their own dreaded libertarian streaks at-- Who they're willing to help and who they're not willing to help.
If an idea is good for the community then the idea is good for the community no matter who thought it up. And instead of not supporting a good idea because of who thought it up we'd all be better off to support the idea and figure out a way to keep the idea alive should that person fail.
But as a society we don't do that. Instead we require that man or woman to prove the idea works.
Again, that makes perfect sense except for one thing: Once he or she has proven the idea works the rest of us are no longer needed to make it happen. He or she then says, "Nobody helped me, why should I help them?" and we get left behind.
Or the person with the idea fails and society as a whole fails to benefit from yet another great idea. Either way we suffer, victims of our own dreaded libertarian streaks.
So the next time you hear someone with great ideas being put down because, "He's got good ideas but he's never accomplished anything with his own life, why should anyone want to follow him?" ask yourself, could that be because he or she spent his life thus far doing not for self but for others?
You see, most of the greatest ideas in the history of the world came from people who never really had anything to show for themselves. The very arts, science and even the religion you practice was probably made possible by people who "...never accomplished anything with his own life..."
Think how far we could have been if not for the Dreaded Libertarian Streak that runs through us all.