An old friend with whom I had not spoken in years saw my post yesterday, and asked me about my “new direction” which does not involve political action. I explained it is not really new, but simply an evolution of my lifelong direction toward freedom.
What I saw when involved in the presidential campaigns of both 2008 and 2012 convinced me the system is broken. It is rigged at the highest levels, and will not allow anyone in who could actually bring about any substantial change from the status quo.
I then understood that we cannot take back our freedom by working within that broken system. Neither am I ready or willing to take up arms.
So I went back into myself for an answer, and this one I know to be true: man is innately free. He owns his life, his destiny, and the product of his labor. He needs ask permission of no one to live, work, reproduce or create. Yet, man is a social creature, and needs the company of others, as well as to improve his lot by gaining from the value of their knowledge and skills.
The most sensible way for man to gain from another man is through free interaction and peaceful trade. The only good trade is when both parties win. If you have something I want, I must have something you would be willing to trade for it. If not, I need to look elsewhere for someone who is willing to trade with me. Alternately, I could abandon that desire, or I could figure out how to produce it myself.
If a third person, institution, state, king or the like steps in and claims to be a party to the trade of the original two people, that party is simply a thief. This thief is a greater threat to either of you than the thief who breaks into your house and steals your television, then leaves. This is because that thief, instead of sneaking under cover of night, loudly proclaims his authority to be involved in your trade. He uses the power he has gained through the invention of “the state”, along with the acceptance of the mass of the people, to control your trade, as well as to take a piece of it (that was his goal all along). He legitimizes this by “allowing” you to keep part of the benefit of the original trade. Without his interference, you would have kept the entire benefit of the trade, saved valuable time, and gained the trust and friendship of another man.
When we take control of our destiny and realize there is no greater authority than each man has over his own life, we are finally free (I do not disparage spirituality/religion here, I believe in each person’s right to choose to worship or not). We then each find our own path to explore and may revel in that freedom. I enjoy the path in which I can see and recognize the (fictional) state jumping up and down, making noise; then walk around it, and continue on about my business. My goal is to make the most out of this short life I possibly can. Therefore, I choose to minimize my interaction with those who claim authority over me. My life belongs to me, no one else.
Here, I quote from the book Inclined to Liberty by Louis E. Carabini: “Those who claim to be a better master of a life not theirs forfeit a part of their own lives, along with a portion of the lives of those who, wittingly or unwittingly, accept such claims as true. He who believes in a master over his life — be it king, queen, prophet or statesman — has already forfeited part of the value of living that life. Often, those who accept a master demand that others accept the same master. The value of being a libertarian is that liberty cannot fall prey to those who claim superiority and authority over your life.”
Now, to leave the philosophical aside, and speak to practical matters, I believe the best route to personal freedom is to find like-minded people, talk to each other, trade with each other, and eventually make the state irrelevant in our lives. Withdraw consent, walk around the noisemakers in your path, and LIVE.
Thank you to my friend, Leslie, for the inspiration for today’s blogpost. Her book recommendation for Christianity-inclined folks: The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher.
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