Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do You Really Want Freedom, Or Are You Just Kidding Yourself? (Wilt Alston)

Wilt Alston writes an excellent article on why he agrees with Stefan Molyneux that much of the damage to the fabric of voluntary interaction in society stems from violent, coercive behavior in the family unit:

“The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
~ Plato

“Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.”
~ Disraeli

A recurring theme among some of the libertarians with whom I interact is: How can we bring freedom and liberty to pass more quickly? How can we mobilize our efforts to topple the coercive state, starting now? One might also ask why these pleas always have an inherent collectivist bent. Why must “we” do anything? I’ve written about this quest before, although contrary to popular belief, I am under no illusion that a fully-anarchic, i.e., stateless, society would be a utopia. That’s not even the point! In fact, I don’t even care one way or the other. (I am not an advocate of freedom for utilitarian reasons.)

The unspoken belief seems to be that freedom and liberty arise from strategic planning. (After pretty much every essay I get published, I receive a note from some well-meaning soul who has the next can’t-miss new strategy that will topple the State by the end of the week.) While one could argue that much of the prose on Internet sites such as this one is similarly intended, I would disagree. What I attempt to do here, and what I see others doing here, is exploring the fullness of the libertarian paradigm. That paradigm is based upon individual choices made without aggression upon others. It is only when one’s choices infringe directly upon others that anyone should have a genuine concern. Generally speaking then, the focus is within, not without. Education is a primary goal. Philosophy is the primary focus.

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