18A013 Freedom's Future by Jim Davies, 3/27/2018    


There are two kinds of professing libertarian. Both must survive in the present hostile environment of archists, but one sort has no plan or expectation of changing society into one free of rulers, while the other sort is eager to do exactly that so that theories of freedom become real in practice.

About survival: it's a minimal requirement, a sine qua non. If we stick out our necks too far, they will certainly be chopped off. The ruling elite will tolerate a measure of criticism and scorn so as to persuade the booboisie that free speech is alive and well, but once a credible attack is made on its ability to rule, such apparent toleration will swiftly end.

So it's necessary to keep a somewhat low profile, to conform to a degree, while doing one's best quietly to undermine the State and to keep one's conscience as clear as possible. It's not feasible to avoid using all of the goodies government provides, when it monopolizes so many things - roads, for a start - and different people have differing views on where to place the limit of conformity. For my part, I cheerfully use and accept anything it offers, while trying to minimize what I give or pay it. Both of those actions slightly reduce the resources it has to wreak havoc and mayhem elsewhere. I would not kill for it, of course, nor vote for it. But like the fox among a pack of hounds, the first priority is to survive. Nothing can be achieved when dead.

So far, so fair. But then a question arises: is that all? Will freedom-seekers have to live for ever a life that is scorned by the great majority of our neighbors, persecuted by the State to a lesser or greater degree? Must we for ever look over our shoulders? Is the vision of liberty we have to be only a permanent dream, incapable of implementation?

A reprehensible number of alleged freedom-seekers answer "yes" to that, and I hold those in very low esteem. Seems to me they are deep into contradiction and hypocrisy. If a voluntary society is the ideal "fit" for humanity, there must be a way to make it happen. Otherwise it would be like saying "I have here a perfect cure for cancer, but nobody can have it." I question seriously whether such people are really libertarians at all; perhaps they are really twisted by some kind of persecution complex, so as to find fulfilment only when being prevented from getting what they say they want.

The second kind, exemplified here on the ZGBlog, holds that on the contrary, the great problem of how to get from here to there can indeed be solved; that action can be taken which will bring about a free society in quite short order. This second variety has subdivisions, but at least all are facing the right way.

Subdivision #1 is political; the Libertarian Party is its manifestation. I belonged to it in CT and NH for almost 20 years, and learned much of what I know from its members, leaders and speakers at its meetings and conventions. It has been quite an effective educational institution. But its nature is to be a political party, to win elections and gain strength so as to replace the R&D duopoly; and in that respect it has been an abject failure. Not for want of trying; there are many dedicated workers in the LP and I'm amazed at their optimism after enduring wipe-out defeats for nearly half a century. Much more to the point: in urgently trying to attract voters, it has repeatedly diluted the message, quite often fielding candidates who favor government reduction but not elimination. This is an obvious temptation, but a fatal one. I think that if the LP ever gets close to victory it will no longer be recognizably libertarian.

Subdivision #2 bypasses politics altogether, and starts with the basic, indispensable question: What has to happen, before government vanishes? Then, How can that event be precipitated?

Possible answers include depriving government of money, by a tax strike; so that it could not pay its workers, reward its supporters and pacify its voters; I favored that for several years, because the biggest tax - that on "income" - is imposed without "authority" in written law. But it's not the answer, for any i-tax strike could readily be answered by making more fiat money or by imposing a sales or Value Added tax to yield a similar revenue. So government doesn't absolutely rely upon taxes to survive, any more than upon votes; but it does rely upon labor. Without workers, it is literally nothing. Therefore, to eliminate the State, everyone must be convinced not to work for it.

If you can find a better way to achieve that result, be my guest (and please, let me know!) but if not, the simple method of exponential expansion is available. Find one friend a year, teach him or her the elements of liberty using the On Line Freedom Academy, so that he then does the same. The population of those understanding the evil nature of government (and so, declining to work for it) is thereby doubling every year. It takes only 28 such doublings (from the start) to reach all Americans.



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How Government Silenced Irwin Schiff

2016 book tells the sad story and shows that government is even more evil than was supposed