Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Dull 'Hawk, .....

I would like to try something a little different. Just as an experiment. How about a "liberty advice column", right here on this blog? You can either pose your questions in the comments (avoid using the Haloscan comments for this) or email them to me at: (please reference this blog post in the subject line somehow) and then I will see if I can give you some advice on the blog the next day. Of course, unlike most advice columns, other commenters may disagree and give you competing advice. Free-market advice.

Make up a nice pseudonym and have at it. This is important- If you don't want the question and answer to be public, please tell me and I won't post it on the blog, otherwise....

PS: I am still looking for any "investors" who would like to help get the coins into production.


Different labels describe the same basic concept

Different labels describe the same basic concept

I keep seeing debates about the labels we liberty-lovers may choose to put on ourselves. I see so many trying to claim they are not a libertarian because.... well, they have their reasons, usually having to do with "too much baggage" attached to the word. Still, they act like MY definition of a libertarian. Then there are some who call themselves "Libertarian" who certainly don't normally act like they are. Is there any use applying "labels"?

Labels can divide us and are over-rated. I am a "clumper". I started out calling myself "libertarian", then because of the inadequacies of the word, started using the term "freedom outlaw" and its related term "firefly". Then I embraced the term "anarchist". Now, for purposes of writing for, I am calling myself "libertarian" again, since they didn't want an "Anarchy Examiner". My attitudes haven't changed throughout all this shuffling of labels. If pressed, I could, on different occasions, say that I consider myself a libertarian, an anarchist, a sovereign individual, a self-governor, an abolitionist, and many more. I can find some common ground with conspiracy theorists, minarchists, "right-wing" gun owners, environmentalists, and gay rights advocates. Where our "common ground" ends is where anyone calls for government "fixes" for their pet cause, or if they call for force to be initiated against another person. The only real "fix" is to get rid of government so it can not continue to divide and conquer our liberty.

These definitions that people apply to their philosophy, what do they all mean? Yes, I know you can look up definitions in a dictionary to see what someone, somewhere, thought the word meant when they were writing the definition, but those definitions may not be what you really have in mind when you use the words. They seem to all fall short of the concepts. Yet, we are trapped. If we make up new words they will also drift away from our original intent as soon as someone else uses them. You can't totally avoid using labels unless you are satisfied to use a paragraph (or a chapter) each time you try to relate the concept. It turns out, that is what I sometimes end up doing. This column is an example of that. Labels are a shortcut. I don't think they can be eliminated or completely avoided. I will simply try to be aware that you and I may not mean the same thing when we use the same words, or that we may use different words to express the same concept.

MamaLiberty says she calls herself an "individual sovereign". I can identify with that term, although I think it has as much baggage attached to it as the word "anarchist", at least to those who know what it means.

As MamaLiberty explains it: "I take personal responsibility for my life, my property, my safety and my future. I don't willingly allow anyone to interfere with that and I do not aggress against anyone else. " That's all we're saying. I know a fellow traveler on this road toward freedom when I meet one. That is the important part. So, for the purposes of this column, I will use the term "libertarian" to mean all of those things.