“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” — Theodore Rubin
Life isn’t an easy thing for most people, and it shouldn’t be. To have lived an easy life is to have lived an unfulfilled one. Men excel when they have difficult tasks to accomplish, whether it be just getting through life by the skin of their teeth, or a momentous work is undertaken.
Labor of some kind is the ethical way to support our lives. To not labor for one’s self and expect to feed off of another’s labor is not just cheap and lazy; it is immoral.
If a man clears off some wilderness, builds himself a home; he is completely entitled to it. It takes a lot of labor to build a home. If a dust-proof greased-hair individual from the government comes to the man and demands a room of his house to quarter in, should he just acquiesce? Hell no, I say! Send him and all of his friends packing!
Quartering looters in one’s house is no different than being hired to dig a hole, where one finds for every four shovels of dirt removed, three are put back in. Would you be pissed? I sure would.
This is also no different than the forced payment of taxes on one’s labor. It doesn’t seem as bad initially, because you have finished the job; but, in the long run, you must do more work to achieve the same effect. And since you have financed the thieving of your sweat, you further finance the thieving of more. Money taken in the name of ‘public good’, only serve to finance the thieves.
Eventually, there are too many thieves running about demanding protection money. And protection money it is; for one is threatened with death or imprisonment otherwise.
If it is declared good for some morally exempt group called government to seize one’s livelihood, then it follows that it is good for all men to steal from their brothers. This is, of course, logically false; therefore, an imagined entity like government, which can only exists as a parasite on the backs of the productive must be immoral.
One phrase supremely comes to mind when thinking not only of the value of labor, but of the value of one’s self, and one’s accomplishments, and that is the Objectivist Oath :
“I swear — by my life and my love of it — that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” says it all.