Monday, July 07, 2008

Eating Our Own

Recent discussions with Joey of The Freedom Symposium have illustrated to me what I think trips up the liberty movement*. The debate has really made me think, and has been very educational and helpful to me. It has helped me understand even more clearly why I believe what I believe (even if am not able to articulate it completely). None of this should be construed as an attack on him or his website, because I certainly don't mean it that way.

If you are a libertarian, you are already free, or at least well on your way to being a free anarchist (don't let that shock you. Just give it time). No one can truly enslave you without your consent, and often-times, with your help. Your body can be caged, it is true, but that isn't the worst enslavement. As long as you refuse to submit, in your mind, you remain free. That is the deepest freedom there is, and forms the foundation of physical freedom.

Most of us want to do so much more, though. We want the rest of the world to experience the joy and wonder of liberty that we experience. There is a stumbling block in our path: libertarians and anarchists will never get far in our quest for freeing the rest of the world if we can't stop "eating our own". It turns off those who may be interested by giving the appearance of a hostile environment. If they want that kind of life they can join the mainstream statists.

So many times we fall into the trap of "the only way". We decide our carefully, logically, thought out approach is the only way that will work to free everyone else. We tend to forget (because liberty is so important to us) that many people are scared of liberty and don't think they want to be free. Those people can be ignored for now. We can only help to free those who want it. The others will come around later, or they will join the statists in trying to kill those of us who insist on "liberty for ALL".

Look at history. "The only way" in any area is almost always wrong. Even paths that have led nowhere in the past may work in the future since the landscape constantly evolves. Don't limit your options, and don't denigrate others who are honestly trying. As for the in-fighting....I don't think it leads anywhere except to more centuries of statist domination.

*Just a joke. But sometimes I feel we are about as relevant to the world-at-large.