Monday, August 03, 2009

Personal freedom is possible today

Personal freedom is possible today

I am just a little conflicted.

I know I can live free. I also see the power of the state grow each day to the cheers of the ignorant individuals who make up our "Idiocracy". I know that the long-term direction of civilization is toward greater individual freedom, even though short-term (still often longer than a human life-span) detours through horrendous slavery and coercion ("enforcement") are common themes. If I could only be happy; if I only considered myself "free"; if all of society recognized and respected freedom and turned its back on authoritarianism the way I do, I would be very sad indeed. Fortunately, that is not the case.

Some days I focus more on my personal freedom to live according to my principles no matter what surrounds me. Other days I focus, at least in my columns, on the growing threat of the state. Yet other times, I celebrate the general historical trend toward freer individuals. I see no contradiction in this. Some seem to. Perhaps the perceived " contradictions" (comment from 1:25 PM) are only seen by those who can't think beyond the false "conservative vs. liberal" patterns. Or maybe I am missing something else altogether, and I am contradictory in other ways.

Even when exposing the state for what it is, I am not pessimistic about long-term freedom. I am not even pessimistic or worried about my own future. I do not sulk, pout, or look with suspicion or hatred at every person who is going about their own business. I almost never encounter anyone who is behaving in any way other than glorious personal anarchy. Most statists prefer to send agents of the state to initiate force on their behalf rather than committing evil acts in person or instead of risking alienating those they must deal with in order to survive, and actual violent aggressors are really pretty rare. I attempt to avoid those organs of the state, who, by their dress or attitude reveal themselves to be without principle. It may not always work, but so far it has been a decent strategy.

As to the state's expectations and demands: I will not comply. I will not submit. I will not consent to be used against innocent individuals by the coercive state. I will not allow the state to use me as an excuse to steal from you, or to kidnap you. This is the essence of my individual freedom, and it is something for which agents of the state may one day kill me. I refuse to worry about it, though.

I will just keep trying to live by my (grammatically clumsy) credo: "On my honor as a human being, I will give zero respect or obedience to counterfeit 'laws' or systems of belief, present or future. I do not give, nor have I ever given, consent to be subject to the whims of the criminal collective known as 'government'. I will strive to avoid aggression, and will defend myself and others in whatever way I see fit against all attacks. I will seek to live as free in my body as I already envision in my mind."