Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nutty for Liberty?

One of my fellow CNJ/PNT columnists wrote something about secession the other day.

He's against it- well, he thinks it's nutty, anyway.  But he suggests all the secessionists be "given" "a fenced-in section of Arizona desert — free from prickly government intrusions."  I don't think a section would be near enough room since I'd feel hemmed in by that limited amount of land even if I were alone- and how does he plan to acquire this land?  Steal it or buy it from the rightful owner?  But we'll pretend for a moment.

His vision for my future?  Well, here's what he believes life would be like inside that fence:

"...unshackled from such Big-Brother meddling as public [sic] education [sic]  bank deposit guarantees, Social Security, mail deliveries, band-width regulations, safe food, water and medicine, police and military protection [sic]  criminal laws and the pesky justice [sic] system, highways, licensed doctors and nursing homes, air traffic controllers, firefighters..."

Sounds pretty good to me!  I'd go for it! Who says only Big Brother can provide those things? If they are really needed and wanted, someone will provide them. If they are provided consensually, subject to market forces, they will be better. They certainly can't be any worse. Most of those "services", when provided by government monopoly, have just about been driven into the ground and have failed so thoroughly that only the constant threat of "the gun in the room", and the coercive prohibition on opting out to find a better way, keeps them hanging on.

And, I seriously doubt that such a free society (even if we left the fence standing) would permit "police and military protection" at all.  Self defense and militia- of course.  But not professional "Only Ones" who are paid through theft and allowed to initiate force and get away scot free.

He assumes that inside the "escape-proof, tumbleweed-lined fence would truly be a government-free, man-eat-dog, shoot-Big-Birds, survival-of-the-nuttiest nirvana" for folks like me.  Sounds like a concentration camp, or one of those FEMA camps we hear about.  Which brings up just about the only flaw.

The only problem with his suggestion is that there is no such thing as "a" secession advocate.  Some want secession for anti-liberty purposes, or just because they happen to hate a particular person who calls himself "president", but would be fine with some other idiot occupying the same chair.  Me?  I've already seceded and laugh at the whole circus act.  I need no "government" or any of its parts and pieces.  It's believers may surround me, but they are the problem, not their imaginary "frienemy".

I'd be willing to move to Mars or any other survivable (with the right technology) planet (or whatever) for just the sort of chance he's denigrating and ridiculing.  That's how sure I am that liberty really works in the real world we inhabit, and is vastly better than any other "system".



  1. The first commercial roads in England were private toll roads, to help facilitate commerce, naturally. In the 18th and, especially, 19th Centuries there were "Friendship Societies" in both the U.S. and England that did a good job of helping the truly needy. They would get food and shelter and job training and had to actively seek work if they were able-bodied, otherwise they got nothing. Again, a private enterprise.

    And, as to secession, there was nothing in the U.S. Constitution that forbade the South from seceding from the North. However, the federal government at that time got 90% of its revenue from tariffs and 75% of those tariffs came from Southern ports. Without that revenue the federal government would have starved so Lincoln did like any dictator would do he fought a long and bloody war to force the South to stay in the Union.

    And don't think I'm defending slavey because I'm not. I was an evil practise and still is (in some parts of the world). But the last nation in our hemisphere to ban slavery was Brazil, in 1888. And they did it without firing a shot. Besides, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation only "freed" the slave in states that were still in rebellion againt the north. HUH? That's right, he pretty much didn't free any slaves, at least not until after all the rebelling states were conquered. But that still left Northern states with slavery. Congress changed that two years after the North won the Civil War.

  2. Mr. Mitchell, also in New England, the "Turnpikes" were all built privately. As were the railroads in both England and the united States, until both countries started regulating and subsidizing them out of business.

    The Future of Freedom Foundation had a series of articles on the New York City subway system, that was also built and operated privately. Then the regulators came, and regulated them out of business. When they failed after the establishment of the Federal Reserve, there was only one institution to which to sell, the city itself, which has run them ever since.

  3. Hawk:

    "...Me? I've already seceded and laugh at the whole circus act..."


    I often declare myself a "free sovereign state".

    I'm sincere, but sometimes I do it to raise the ire of those who chant slogans of freedom while deep down appear to deny its viability. These individuals will often spend much time and energy trying to convince me that I am not truly "free". Normally it's to recruit me to their pet project of one flavor or another.


    "...I'd be willing to move to Mars or any other survivable (with the right technology) planet (or whatever) for just the sort of chance he's denigrating and ridiculing..."


    Whenever I come across denigration of liberty (libertarian philosophy) I am reminded that most -- the majority -- individuals are truly fearful of freedom. It's almost as if a gigantic "spiritual fog " envelops all but a very few. They savor having human icons in charge of them (and everybody else) -- creating rules (under penalty of violence and even death) for everyone to follow.

    And they're getting what they deserve.


  4. I think your friend has a great idea there, only let's put the statists inside the (safe) fenced in land and let we who prefer freedom remain free.

  5. Every time I hear a statist declare all the wonderful “services” government provides, I ask them this question: “If all these services (particularly education) are so great, why does a gun have to be put to people’s heads, FORCING them to finance them?”
    I have yet to receive an answer.

  6. To Curt: I was aware of the turnpikes and probably knew that many, if not most, of the early Eastern railroads were private enterprises, but of the four major cross-continent railroads--Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, Central Pacific, and The Great Northern--only the last one was a true private enterprise. The owner negotiated with landowners to run his rail line. Remember Jesse James' family lost their family farm to immenent domain for the railroads.