The World Beyond My Time

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

Some time ago, I wrote a piece here on STR about some of my experiences as a practicing alcoholic, and how my initial years of substance-abuse denial are directly analogous to the philosophical position of Statists. And I’m about to come out of denial again.

In the 22 years now that I’ve been aware of it and involved, the libertarian movement has grown dramatically. In 1994, almost no one even knew what the word meant. Today it’s household – even if, like so many other terms and labels, gross misconceptions about its actual definition run amok . . . even amongst the initiated.

I speak now to those who, wishing to dissolve any ambiguity whatsoever about their understanding of libertarianism, feel most comfortable referring to themselves as voluntaryists (voluntarists), libertarian anarchists, free-market anarchists, freed-market anarchists. In other words, those who carry libertarian philosophy to its ultimate conclusion: That in order to be both intellectually and morally consistent, the State Concept itself must be unilaterally rejected in favor of non-coercive provision of goods and services as the sole means by which a truly free society operates. Individuals must be 100% in control of their own lives and property 100% of the time – except to the extent that they have willingly, explicitly, and contractually entered into any form of alternate agreement. Correspondingly, such individuals should be 0% in control of anyone else’s life or property – unless of course as the executor of a contract in any such aforementioned arrangement. In short, a stateless, voluntary world, absent any form of political governance.

Now the sorry truth. It's not going to happen. Not in our time; the time of anyone reading this at date of publication. Not barring a miracle that would make winning Powerball look like winning a coin toss.

Not in 10, or 20, or even 50 years. Seventy? Eighty? One hundred and ten? Perhaps a different story. Perhaps. But not in our time. The insistence upon having--the demand for–government (the initiation of violent, coercive force in order to attempt to affect a given socioeconomic outcome) is simply too high among 99.9%+ of the population. It's going to stay that way for decades to come, at least. Perhaps even if the Big Economic and Social Collapse continuously predicted in so many quarters happens. Maybe even especially if it does.

I’ve seen and heard a lot of urgency over the last several years about the importance of civil disobedience, outreach, debate, various upstart projects and how we can get to a zero government society by next month or next year, if only we’ll just push that much harder and devote a little more of our energies and time to the effort.

You can push as hard as you like, and if that’s what truly makes you happy, I certainly don’t want to try to stop you, but the reason I now feel no particular sense of urgency is because current – and foreseeable – conditions don’t really warrant it. Post to social media all you want. Make videos. Launch websites. Do broadcasts. Print out and distribute newsletters. Publish books. Talk to people incessantly. All good stuff.

And all of it running up against the stalwart inertia of the human mind.

Consider history, and its progression so far: From the cradles of “civilization,” through the Middle Ages, not much credence was lent to the concept of the individual. All importance and authority was vested in both Church and State. Most human beings saw themselves as mere cogs in those inscrutable machines. Since the Renaissance, however, the steady – if not always consistent – trend has been towards greater secularism and recognition of the individual. The extent to which this attitude has thus far refined and developed in any concrete sense was the American Experiment with its Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and corresponding Bill of Rights. I might add Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations too. That was all from 1776 to 1788, give or take. So in 228 years, then, nothing of any widespread accepted nature has arisen to replace this failed (and still failing further) socioeconomic gambit. This is certainly not to say that nothing ever will – if anything, again, history shows a continual progression towards greater and further emphasis on individuality – only that nothing thus far has in almost two and half centuries. Most prior phases (Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, Industrial Revolution, etc.) have taken at least this long in between each other to arise. You might postulate that these extensive time frames have been rendered obsolescent and unreliable as indicators due to the presence of modern communications and transportation technologies, but that doesn’t account for what hasn’t changed, and I’ve already made mention of it, of course – the human mind.

Jim Davies has a great idea in The Online Freedom Academy wherein, if one does the math, virtually everyone in North America might be exposed to the ideas of Voluntaryism within a couple of short decades (TOLFA was founded in 2006), and the final collapse of the State then happens during or around 2030. The problem as I see it – and personal experience has confirmed my view – is that the average person will only endeavor to learn something new if they see an immediate, tangible application to their daily life. The carrot on the stick only looks attractive when it means a high school diploma, a college degree, a better-paying job, an easier life right now. They will study, to some extent, with such a self-imposed gun to their head, under such conditions. But not otherwise. There simply isn’t a wide enough swath of humanity who fall within the TOLFA purview both intellectually, and in terms of attention span (and of course the two are generally interconnected). True, there exists a plethora of other voluntaryist media online and elsewhere . . . but these same people will not pay attention to it. Not while sports are on TV, and video games are available, and Hollywood gossip abounds, and pizza and beer are in plentiful supply. People want effortless fun. And they want it right now, this moment. Not some pie-in-the-sky philosophy they only half understand, and don’t even believe in anyway – especially when it means that “free” government “services” go bye-bye, and most of their friends will think they’ve gone weird and stop calling them.

This mean average of human conduct will not change. Not in the, say, 20 to 35 years I can expect to remain alive. If you’re old enough to be reading this, then probably not in your time, either. That is the most likely probable truth, no matter how distasteful you may find it. No matter how much you may wish to bury your head in denial, and try to prove me wrong. For the record, I hope you do prove me wrong. But I don’t think you’re going to. And I wouldn’t want to see you unnecessarily waste a lot of your valuable time and effort attempting to do so.

Strangely, this all brings us to a not half-bad place: Once we accept (or at least learn to live with) this state of affairs, things actually get easier--in a sense. There's a lot of freedom in just that act of letting go, believe it or not. More than you realize when you begin to put activism--as you may be presently practicing it--on the back burner. When you do away with any sense of urgency. When you face reality.

We're going to be living--in all total likelihood--under State coercion for the rest of our lives, in one form or another: Taxes, laws, cops, paperwork, bureaucracy, government-monopolized services, inflation, increasing tyranny.

But we can try to have fun--and pretty much just say to hell with everything else, frankly. Pursue personal goals, artistic endeavors, love affairs (or just plain sex), good food, good friends, good times. We can continue not voting, finding ways of doing things that minimize taxes (and in some limited cases, avoid them altogether), and ignoring politics and the system it perpetuates.

When I feel like speaking my mind on a topic, I write and publish an essay. I make a small stipend monetarily, knowing that ultimately a few thousand people will read it, and I go on my way, feeling expiated. If someone wants to engage in a discussion, I might revisit such subjects then and there--especially if I'm talking to another Voluntaryist--but if not--or if they seem even slightly hostile to it--I’ll get on with my day and my business. My life and time and talents are too precious and they are finite. So are yours. Stop wasting them.

Am I giving up? I haven't "given up" so much as--like that drunk coming out of denial--I've acknowledged reality. We can keep adding to the number of people who hear our ideas and set an example by virtue of our conduct, but that's about all that's going to happen in the next, say, 40 years, at least. At which time, under even the most optimistic of circumstances, I will almost certainly be dead. Meantime, I can stack, and prep . . . and live, and love, and learn. The world you and I seek to create is beyond my time – and yours too.

Unless you’re reading this somewhere up ahead, in the far future, long after the publication date you see at the top. You might already be living in a free world . . . or be within very close reach of one. If so, know that I was glad to have helped, if only on my own terms. It was next to utter futility in my lifetime, you see, to do much more than spread truth to the very few who would listen. Realizing this, ultimately, I chose happiness over bitter struggle. Resignation instead of continuing remonstration. Self-development, rather than attempting to enlighten others. Nothing less was consistent with realizing, for myself, what freedom I could.

And the end result, in the progression of things, was the same anyway, wasn’t it? Just not in my time. Not here. Not now.

I found the only way I could to live with that; the only way that made any sense to me. This may sound like a valediction, but I hope and trust that it is more a vindication of my reasoning.

I wish you the very best.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 135

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales.  He has also written and published poetry, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues.  He currently lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University.  Alex's Amazon page can be found here, and his work may also be found at both Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.  His Facebook page can be found here.  Receive Alex's occasional Tweets here.

Comments

Mark Davis's picture

My feelings exactly. After fighting this fight for over 30 years one must eventually come to some hard realizations. The overall trend is toward freedom, but the road twists and turns and is full of potholes. The states of the world will eventually go bankrupt, like they all do, and there will be a major shift toward individual political autonomy due to technology, but the collectivist cult won't go away without a fight, perhaps even a scorched earth end-game.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

Activism can be a positive thing, but when it translates into endless frustration and a poor quality of life, then it has become counterproductive.

Getting others to embrace the full vision might be ideal, but it does not generally work with folks who are in a full-statist mindset. Better to try to change their minds on a single topic, where they can grasp the facts/rationale in a concrete manner. If that happens, then they might be willing to do a deeper dive. Though, truth be told, many people are simply so worried about what other people think that they will not cross certain lines, no matter how (intellectually) compelling the case may be.

 

Glen Allport's picture

Great column, Alex. Clear thinking and sleek writing on an important topic. Your timeline to freedom of "sometime after we're all dead, if ever" seems a pretty sure bet, and your response to that seems sensible and healthy. 

mjackso6's picture

First off, a nod to Jim Davies, and my sincere hope that he's right, and his TOLFA program is a success. I went through the TOLFA process a couple of years ago myself, but the thing is, in all of the time since then, I've not come across even that crucial one other person to induct. My family is tolerant of my "eccentric ideas", but none of them, despite being intelligent and thoughtful, is remotely ready or interested in giving up the paradigm that they know and have been indoctrinated to since kindergarten. Not to mention, in some cases, the religious dogma that they've been exposed to for even longer. And those are ~family members~... I think what Jim often misses is that some people simply ~aren't~ rational, and that most, rather than give up their treasured ideas to logical arguments will simply dig their heels in and hold on for dear life. Throw on top of that the sociopaths-in-power and their media toadies doing everything they can to keep the flock thinking that they're indispensable, including indoctrination from an earlier age every year; this may not be insurmountable in the long run, but I have a hard time seeing the process as a simple arithmetical progression. Until that happens, I'll keep looking out for that TOLFA recruit, but I'll also be doing my best to fly under the radar, and enjoy as much freedom in this paradigm as I possibly can.

Glock27's picture

I simply find that there is too much history established, and mistaken definitions included or attached to some of the terms as voluntarist, anarchist, libertarian and etc., they rank of evil in the minds who hear them and see them, Alice In Wonderland. John Kennedy once said, three days before his assignation "There's a plot in this country to enslave every man, woman, and child. Before I leave this High and Noble Office I intend to expose this plot." Unfortunately he was unable to achieve this goal. What would it have been like if he had exposed the conspiracy.
I have experienced this personally when I attempted to affiliate with the ideology of anarchist, when I have made my zombie attacks on Congress, holding out on the idea that if just one of the puppets who reply for the pathocrats stumbling along the waxed halls. The ideologies presented in STR are radical for too busy Americans whom are fighting the fight to pay bills, pay taxes, among the other homages required by the pathocrats. They struggle to make something in their lives, and becoming involved in these philosophies take away what moments they have with family and for personal relaxation from their labors. T.V., beer, sex, chasing after kids activities. They are numbed with life and scourged by government
For me, I have come to the conclusion that I subscribe to no one of these ideologies, but rather consider myself a survivalist; I pick and choose what meets my moral and ethical disposition. I make it one day at a time by whatever means necessary. I haven't figured out how to make my navel the center of my universe. I am aware of only one man who has achieved this and I am sure he has to be the freest of free people.
The idea of freedom began somewhere around the 15th or 16th century, times when governments dominated the earth. Another Kennedy quote which I find has meaning, and even puzzles me about his is "Let us not seek a Republican answer, or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, but let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

Samarami's picture

Strange. Now that I'm old, tired of the fight, the thing has begun to come together. Striking realizations loom to the fore.

If there is one thing Bill and Dr Bob hammered into my cranium some 55 years ago, it was that I can't wait for others to change in order for me to become free. You can help -- and you do -- indeed you do help. But my freedom is not in the hands of you or anybody else.

If freedom's to be, it's up to me.

I'm not talking here about drinking -- that constant "slipping" back into alcoholic stupor that seemed to beset me the first 10 or 15 years in the fellowship. Strangely, the book doesn't address drinking and getting drunk all that much. Throughout the AA experience, the emphasis is changing the way I think and the way I behave and the way I react to the thoughts and behaviors of others. In fact the book urges me to step up to the nearest bar, order a drink or two, just to see if AA "...is right for me..." (to borrow from the incessant TV drug commercials).

Turns out AA was and is the most libertarian organization in town. Before I even understood the word "libertarian". There's a joke around the meeting halls, "...You can always tell a drunk. But you can't tell him very damned much!..."

I remember how angry (and righteous) I became when local judges would "sentence" people to AA, and "require" signatures from chairpersons at meetings. I called one judge after a meeting, and was quite insulting (think I probably had another of my "slips" right afterwords), that he had no more right to sentence people to AA than he did to sentence them to Catechism down at the Catholic Church.

The longer I stayed, the more vividly it sank in that nobody is in charge of the show. Nobody has authority to stop judges or alcoholism counselors from telling their victims that they are "required" to attend AA. That's anarchy, my friends.

And, the program works (if you work it).

Keep up the good essays, Alex. Sam

Samarami's picture

One more thought, and then I'll go away:

My mantra over the past several years has been that I can be free. Here. Now. Where I'm "at".

And so can you.

Sure, it might be a nice dream if some libertarian knight in shining armor were to gallop up and set us all free. If all the Obama's and the Trump's and the Clinton's and the Sander's, et al., -- and all their sycophants -- would resign and get honest work and quit "running" for grand wizard of the klan and this or that "office". If all the sociopathic and dangerously armed thugs in costumes and bristling with battle gear were to simply resign and go home to Mama and the kids.

I need to view those lunatics as I view snakes. Except, of course, snakes serve useful purposes. I can wear protective gear to the woods and the swamp. I can look before I reach. I can clear away the brush and detritus where snakes like to lie in wait from the proximity of my living quarters.

And I can circumnavigate the beast that once vexed me. He is stupid, pompous, fairly easy to sidestep. Cease "volunteering", secede from his "citizenship". And hope that some day you, my family, neighbors and friends will do the same. S/he can only exist as long as s/he has support from her or his "constituents".

And above all, abstain from beans. Sam

Glock27's picture

Sam: I note that you are moving to a finer sandpaper getting closer to the polishing finish. From your posts and some PM that have crossed between us you have been the chisel for me by removing some of the rough, old crud built up out of time past. My philosophy now seems to be that of a survivalist along with the ear marks of the -ologies I have read from here and other places. I still cannot manage to make my world revolve around my belly button though. Before it becomes too late I wish to thank you deeply for your words of wisdom, your kind and gentle responses you have provided to me over the passing years. Thanks Sam.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

First off, thank you one and all for all the great, insightful, and in truth, encouraging words and compliments here.  I'm glad I was able to express myself in a way that evidently proved to be so thought-provoking, and resonated so well with so many.  :-)
 
And Sam, please DO NOT go away.  :-)  Your input is always poetic, welcome, and even -- quite often in fact -- useful.  :-)
 
Best,
 
Alex
 
And P.S. -- Don't worry; there will be more STRticles emanating from my gray matter, to keyboard, to you.  :-)

Jim Davies's picture

Alex has fought long and passionately for liberty, and if this withdrawal from the battlefield were a temporary thing, we should congratulate and thank him and wish him a well-earned period of R&R, before returning to the front.
 
But he makes clear that he intends it to be permanent. That will gladden the alleged heart of every statist reading it; for while Alex may quit, they will not. Government will go on waging this war until every last drop of freedom is wrung out of human experience. The assumption that such degree of it as we now enjoy will continue indefinitely is flat naive.
 
Unless we stop them.
 
Soon after TOLFA was launched, STR published my Quiet Revolution, to reiterate the simple and non-stressful way in which one-to-one replication will terminate the state. When it first appeared the Editor drew out one key phrase, to act as a "teaser":
 
"...if every knowledgeable, passionate freedom-seeker reading these words cannot gently persuade one of his 200 or so friends every year to take a free, world-changing course online then really, we don't deserve to be free."
 
Nothing less will do, and nothing more is needed.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Jim, I think you've grossly misunderstood me.  You seem to still be approaching the subject of government/statism from the standpoint of: "People don't really want this, they're just a little confused." 
 
However, I've come to see and believe that most people, in our present time, do really want this.  Maybe not quite in its present form, maybe not directed at themselves personally, but oh, they do really want the State.
 
Society is very sick.  And doesn't want help, however much we might like to offer some.  Thus, it cannot be helped.  So I'm done wasting my time and energies trying, by and large.  Other than, of course, things I'd ordinarily do anyway in the course of day to day life.
 
TOLFA is a superb idea, but has appeal only to a remnant -- an intellectual minority.  As does most of the rest of voluntarist media.  The average Joe or Jane would rather watch sports, play videogames, and stay inside their own little "mainstream" world.  Nothing we do will change that, I'm afraid.  99% of the population in 2016 are unreachable or as good as.  Even the ones who will listen pretty much forget it all just as soon as the commercial break is over and the game is back on TV.  The rest love government and its monopoly of force.  They laugh at our ideas, and hate us for them on top of it all.
 
I'm not going to waste what breath I have left wrestling with that anymore.  I don't know what else to say that I haven't already.

Jim Davies's picture

Alex, you're probably right; there are some things I misunderstand.
 
In your article, for example, I find in one paragraph "In the 22 years now that I’ve been aware of it and involved, the libertarian movement has grown dramatically." but in another, "The insistence upon having--the demand for–government... is simply too high among 99.9%+ of the population."
 
Now, in my opinion neither of those is true - but I'm quite certain that both are not. They contradict each other, and you know what Aristotle said about the minds of those who embrace contradictions. So clearly, I must have misunderstood you.
 
Here'a an alternative view, which seems to me about right: the libertarian movement has been on a plateau for the last three decades. I find that a very sizeable minority - about a third - of the population is discontent with the status quo, and (yes, incoherently) blames government for the ills they perceive. I doubt if that fraction has changed much. And contrary to something else you wrote, I hear that discontent mostly in the NON-intellectual part of society; people who work more with their hands than their heads. And I'm very pleased about that, for that is our primary market.
 
Now, they certainly stop far short of anarchism - today. Of course! But there is a "hook" there, an area of common ground, a discontent upon which the Acedemy can build. It shows why things have gone awry, working from basic principles. In our various ways, everyone who is now an anarchist, including you and I, went through just such a learning experience; we saw things were fouled up, and then discovered why.
 
I freely grant that TOLFA is too academic for some (those with unusually low IQs, perhaps) and too primitive for others (professional academics, for example.) It would be good if someone better qualified than me would create two alternative versions, to fit those categories; a TOLFA-lite and a TOLFA-heavy, as it were. But meanwhile, the plain vanilla version fits nicely the great majority of those we know.
 
Now, you have said you're quitting, and that's very bad news and no, I don't understand that about you either, or not very well. But here's a possibility; I don't know if the cap fits, but wear it if it does. Might it be that you have striven to argue or debate with those you meet, instead of just expressing sympathy and then, when the moment is right, asking whether they might be interested in spending time exploring the freedom alternative?
 
That is all that Segment 18 requests. To do the argumentation is absolutely not required; it's tiring, and usually unproductive. The Academy itself is designed to undertake that heavy lifting. Your only job is to get a "yes" response to such an invitation, and answer any questions that arise as the student works through it sequentially, step by step.
 
In other words, it occurs to me that you might have been trying to do much too much, and got exhausted as a result. Little wonder. But if so, the fix is not to quit, but to correct the error.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Jim, I see no contradiction whatsoever in what I wrote.  Yes, the libertarian movement has expanded greatly from where it was 22 years ago -- thanks in large part, I think, to the Internet and the alternative media which has grown up around it.  That said, even such expansion has inflated it to little more than a blip -- well within, in my estimation, that .1% I alluded to.
 
It is just this side of futility itself to encourage people to make a full-on study of TOLFA, unless you're already speaking to the initiated who don't really need it anyway -- except maybe as a refresher or expansion of existing knowledge -- in which capacity it's probably most useful.  But even the rare person who will deign to do more than skim it, will then fail utterly to "replicate" their experience.  Most people see it as just another website, frankly.  And are more than happy and willing to forget about it, and get back to what they understand as Life As Usual.  That is its profound weakness and its limitation:  The inherent apathy and laziness of humanity.  You might as well endeavor to teach Latin to a herd of cattle.
 
So my original assessment stands.  I'm done.  Other than continuing to publish here, and a few other perfunctory things that I'd likely do anyway since they don't take me far out of the path of my day to day activities, I'm done.  People aren't going to change the way they do things in my lifetime.  So I'm not going waste the rest of mine trying to convince them to.  And that's all.

Jim Davies's picture

No question about it, Alex, you are a highly talented writer of horror fiction.

Glock27's picture

Alex: Brilliant summary. At 71, I have not gotten tired, just more pissed off, but you are prophetic in that Americans do want government to come into their lives and make them better off of mine and your back. I can recall a man years ago, working as a janitor at a school, when he said he was tendering his resignation and going on welfare. Why? Because according to his calculations he can make more out of welfare than he can ever achieve as a janitor. This is a growing mold on the minds of so many Americans today. If I bleed over it, they don't give a s--t, they have no concern about me or anyone else
What you have expressed here is something I have observed for a lot of years. Most Americans have lost hope and have grown into a sense of helplessness. Note: this is from anecdotal observation as I have no documentation to validate what I say, only my personal experience and exposure over the years that involve conversations on a one to one basis.
However, during this course of campaigning I notice a true anger from the American people as they are beginning to wake up to the pathocracy of the federal government and ??representatives??

Samarami's picture
    "...Now the sorry truth. It's not going to happen. Not in our time; the time of anyone reading this at date of publication. Not barring a miracle that would make winning Powerball look like winning a coin toss..."

If I can't be free -- today -- then I might never become free. And I can't help many others to acquire freedom -- today. I might just as well fold my hands and wait for...wait for....wait! What the hell do I think I'm waiting for??? For one to tell one, then two to tell two, four to recruit four -- and on, and on (the math is beautiful)??? Until there is a great groundswell of folks like my eldest daughter (now eligible to retire with more wealth than I'll ever have, presuming you're measuring "wealth" in terms of federal reserve notes) -- head of an egregious state agency ("department of inspection and appeals") -- for folks like her to come in one morning, turn in her badge and her keys and tell the good folks in the governor's office that she's decided to quit and to go find honest employment??? Good luck.

I sort of hope these guys elect Hillery. Or Trump. Or somebody who has the wherewithal to bring this house of cards crashing down -- soon. Maybe Sanders -- or McAfee. "We" need a grand wizard of the Klan who can "...change..."!!!

B..b..but maybe "we" should wait...wait until w...we get enough liberty-minded people who can stop "reconstruction" before it begins. Like 2025. Or 2030.

I have an advantage -- dotage. My "productive" life appears to be behind me. I don't have a lot to lose by bein' free. Younger folks feeding families and climbing corporate ladders don't have (or don't feel like they have) that latitude. Many of them feel trapped. Incapable of discovering freedom in an unfree world.

That's where we come in. I'm talking to you, Alex.

I don't want to be a bleeding deacon. I'd far prefer to be an elder statesman (cut "state" from that, please). Because I believe the state as we know it will self-destruct. I have no idea when. How long these lunatics can keep a huge, multi-trillion (what's the figure now -- 28 "trillion"?) "dollar" bubble bouncing along is anybody's guess. Or keep sending boys and girls to die in wars and rumors of even more war.

If freedom's to be, it's up to me. And thee. To set the example. Each will set it in her own way -- or his. But set it we must.

The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Thanks, Sam, for your wishes of "good luck". Read Transition to Liberty and you'll see why not a whole lot is needed. In fact, a short piece I wrote for LRC may do the  job for you: The Fix. That took the example of a cop rather than the head of a department, but something very similar will apply. The key of course is that government "grunts" will quit first, leaving the muckety-mucks with no staff. Then whatever will they do.
 
In your daughter's case she still has time to enjoy her ill-gotten gains, so that will hardly apply; you'll have advised her, of course, to turn some of those LTNs into gold. Then she'll be able to leave something of value to your grandchildren.
 
So far I've seen no alternative plan whatever, for terminating the state; TOLFA is the only game in town. Setting examples is praiseworthy, of course, but that doesn't even have the appearance of a strategy. As for waiting for the state to implode or collapse under its own obscene weight, allow me to borrow  your own phrase: good luck with that. There are examples of failed states in history; not one of them led to a free society. Why would it?

Jim Davies's picture

(re-posted as a reply.)

Samarami's picture

Word games fly in the face of liberty.

One of the things for which I'll salute Alex is once again bringing up the alcohol quagmire. Had I not been forced by my own behavior to seek a warden ("AA sponsor") I would no doubt have died from my self-inflicted morass some fifty years ago. As it turned out I was forced to understand concepts that would serve me well when the message(s) of personal liberty began to sink in -- starting with my last bread-and-circus event ("U.S. political election") in 1964. As I stated in an earlier comment, it became absolutely necessary for me to come to see clearly that the actions and/or behaviors of others could not dampen my freedom or my liberty.

Timely to this little foray in connection with Alex's essay, a new STR friend sent me a link to Delmar England's "Mind and Matters" -- the full presentation. He had painstakingly edited and published it in "Liberty Me" from a copy in "Way Back Machine". Was glad for the link, as I had copied part of it from another site some years back, but only a chapter or so. Per Bylund had told me two or more years ago that England's family was going to try to have it completed, edited and published, but I had rather given up searching for it. I'm now anxious to read it; but have started working to keep my brain and body active (14 mile round-trip bike ride through ice and snow and bitter cold), so will have to do a page or two at a time for now.

I'm convinced there are two and two only thought processes: collectivist and individualist. Unless you were born with an anarchist spoon in your mouth you began collectivist. Slowly through time you (and I) assimilated individualist thought patterns. Anarchy. But the world around us inculcates collectivism. Insanity is the social norm.

My kids and grandkids and great grandkids and kids-in-law have come to various levels of "anarchy" (and/or lack thereof). My pound of gold through all this is knowing that your governing cannot ruin my freedom. Your guns might -- temporarily. I always believe a man (or woman -- L-ord have mercy!) with a loaded gun.

Whether my family, my friends, the world at large, ever accept my philosophy and/or teaching and/or preaching and/or presentations regarding liberty and freedom -- will not incite the natural rage that seems to permeate us old men when frustrated over the acceptance of our life-long tirades.

Recovery from alcoholism induces immunity. :-)

Sam