by Neville Kennard, preaching and practising capitalist
“Stockholm Syndrome” refers to an event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973, when some bank robbers took captive a group of hostages and held them for six days while the robbers negotiated with the police. What happened was that the hostages developed an attachment to their captors, despite the fact they were held prisoner by them and their captors were criminals. The name Stockholm Syndrome was given to this paradoxical psychological phenomenon by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot who investigated the crime.
Could the same phenomenon explain the strange attachment people have for their politicians?
Politicians are often held in rather low regard by the citizens of a country. They rank down there with car salesmen when surveyed on trust and respect. And yet there is also a strange attachment the electorate holds for these politicians, these guards and jailors who take the citizens’ money (in the form of taxes), spend it foolishly and wastefully, impose liberty-restricting regulations on their “captors” and they behave like lords and masters of the people who elect and pay for them.
What is this about?
Why do the citizens identify with and protect those “guards and keepers” who hold them hostage with promises and threats? If one has been born in a kind of prison, and then been told that it is one of the best prisons around, that it is a bit better than this other prison across the water, much better than some prisons, especially those Communist prisons we hear of. And there are even people lining up to get into our prison and out of a much worse prison. Our prison has a nice flag, a national song and a pretty good football team. In our prison we get to elect our own guards, which we pay for, of course, but they do let us keep a fair bit of our own money.
In our prison we can say what we like about our guards, and the inmates can’t do that in some of the other prisons we hear about on the other side of the world.
Our prison has a proud history of reforms and we are better off than we were a few years ago.
Yeah, sure, some of our guards are useless and worse. Some are a bit corrupt, and we resent the big bills they run up on overseas trips where they go to look at other prisons. But let’s face it, they are our guards, we chose them and elected them, and we pay them, so technically they work for us. And we are free to leave this prison anytime we like and go and find another prison. But the weather is nice in this prison, our families are here, we grew up here, we went to school here.
- Welcome from Neville Kennard
- Think Tanks Don't Work
- "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
- The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
- Corporate Welfare
- Citizenship for Sale?
- I Don't Vote
- Voting: Right or Privilege?
- Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
- Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
- Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
- Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
- Government Likes War
- Collusion is Our Right
- Why Not the Drug Olympics?
- Unconventional Wisdom
- Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
- Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
- Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
- Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
- Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
- Separating Sport and State
- Your Home is Not an Investment
- Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
- A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
- Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
- Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
- What is a good Australian?
- Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
- The Market Failure Industry
- Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
- Wot if ...?
- The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
- The Tannehills
- Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
- Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
- Minarchy vs Anarchy
- Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
- The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
- Is Howard Our Best PM?
- Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
- Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
- Authoritarian Freedom
- Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
- The Tyranny of the Majority
- If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
- Business Should Exploit Boat People
- The Immorality of Trade Unions
- "America" vs "The United States"
- Sweet Anarchy
- The Illusion of "Job Creation"
- Gold Is Money
- Guilty Capitalists
- Prosperity vs Growth
- Capitalism vs Democracy
- More people = More fun
- Self-Ownership - the very idea!
- Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
- The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
- Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
- My Journey to Anarchy:
From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
- Government Needs Bad Guys –
that's why they like wars
- What Is Obscene?
- Traffic Economics
- Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
- Neville Kennard Obituary