How Anger Ruins Liberty

AngerRuins

The libertarians are right about many things, and the general populace is notably libertarian in many ways. And yet, relatively few people have any interest in the libertarian “movement.” At this point, two or three generations of libertarians have wondered why they couldn’t get more people, but they have few answers, save for being more and more flamboyant.

There are many reasons for the lack of libertarian ideas spreading of course, but my point today is a very simple one:

Libertarians major in anger, and that chases millions of decent people away.

I’m sympathetic, you understand. Once you see what coercive institutions have done to mankind, it’s completely understandable to become angry. But if our writings are a one-note symphony of complaints, we doom ourselves to the fringes, no matter how right our ideas may be. There has to be more than that if we’re going to draw people in.

Doing more of the same things that are failing – but doing them louder and with more “edge” – hasn’t worked. If we want people to receive our ideas, we’ll have to give them a positive image to move toward, and few libertarians ever do that.

Positive Libertarianism?

Yes, positive libertarianism. Please see this article, which makes the case for it pretty directly.

Many libertarians complain simply because it seems to be “the libertarian model.” But that’s a silly reason. And what’s worse is that complaining ties us to the things we complain about. That keeps us from covering new ground and keeps the same old abuses in the forefront of our minds. In other words, it’s a recipe for stasis.

What the World Sees

A young friend of mine is particularly engaged in this issue and recently sent me these comments:

These people are very angry… they all seem to talk with a “screw you” tone of voice and connotations.

People with this philosophy are almost universally lacking in kindness. Perhaps they have it, but they don’t express it in their words.

In my head, the philosophy is a kind one. When you think through the logical implications, you realize that this would produce benefits… but you have to actually tell people that, rather than just say, “Screw you; taxation is theft!”

The delivery of the message is sending people away.

It’s not about the taxes. It’s about people. It’s about respecting and valuing people, and libertarians are really failing at that.

Where Anger Ends Up

I hate to post the following images, but I think they’re important to see. All of these come from the social media feeds of people who boast of “freedom,” “ancap,” “libertarian,” “anti-state,” and so on. This is where anger can lead, and part of the pathology involves picking on women.

HowAngerRuinsLiberty001

 

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So, why aren’t there more libertarian women?

Yes, I know this isn’t representative of all libertarians (thank God), but the people who post this kind of filth have hundreds of thousands of followers and likes.

So, the libertarian movement has a problem, and at the root of it lies anger.

Anger Is Poison

Let’s get to the bottom of this: Anger, while it may be an understandable response to abuse, is highly toxic if not purged. And it is definitely not suitable as a modus operandi.

Not all libertarians deal in anger, of course, but the many who do are poisoning their own progress. Pointing out evil is fine at times, and occasionally necessary… but not all the time.

If the choir we’re preaching to demands negativity, it’s a choir we need to leave behind. If our “click-numbers” sag, then so be it; if we can’t put goodness above numbers, we’re poisoning  the people who give us their time and attention.

We need to build what’s right, not to complain about what’s wrong.

* * * * *

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It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

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TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Moritz’s Journey

It was in 2013 that I first encountered freedom philosophy, after randomly stumbling upon this weirdly beautiful term, “libertarianism,” on a blog in some lonely corner of the Internet. An iTunes search later I was listening to a podcast explaining what is now the cornerstone of my personal ethics: the non-aggression principle.

MsJourney

A very thoughtful friend once told me that I had bypassed teaching some important lessons, simply because I had learned them decades before… that they had passed out of my active consciousness and I was taking them for granted.

So, this week, I’d like to publish an article from someone who is currently young. 🙂

This is the story of a young man named Moritz Bierling. I talk a lot about doing, rather than talking, and I’m please to post this because it’s all about doing.

* * * * *

It was in 2013 that I first encountered freedom philosophy, after randomly stumbling upon this weirdly beautiful term, “libertarianism,” on a blog in some lonely corner of the Internet. An iTunes search later I was listening to a podcast explaining what is now the cornerstone of my personal ethics: the non-aggression principle.

Like so many libertarians before me, I learned about the fact that laws are opinions with a gun, that unencumbered human action in entrepreneurship and science was the cause for prosperity, and that government was not there to protect me; quite the opposite. Going down that never-ending rabbit hole was an intense journey of disorientation, as one firmly held belief after another was exposed as a socially conditioned illusion I had fallen victim to; and the journey continues to this day.

But now that I knew all of this, what was I to do about it?

Deciding what to do had been the result of one year alternating between intellectual exhilaration (when learning something new) and extreme bouts of depression (upon realizing the implications). It took me six more months to follow through on my commitment. On the 26th of September 2014, with €2,000 in my bank account and a gold medal in my hand, I boarded a plane to Santiago, Chile, where I would spend the next two months at an entrepreneurship bootcamp.

What I Found

The eight weeks I spent at the bootcamp were the time when I felt the most alive up to that point in my life. I reflected deeply on the power of radical self-reliance with Emerson, stayed up long nights to code an Android app, and started businesses with some of the brightest people I’ve ever met. I lost and won some money, gained a great deal of experience, and in the process:

All of this was only possible because I was willing to leave behind the well-trodden path, was fortunate to work with trustworthy individuals with whom I shared basic values, and trusted enough in my ability to adapt and to put my money (and time and effort) where my mouth was.

Continuing Adventures

Since I’ve taken that step it hasn’t gotten easier. But living a life of integrity doesn’t make all your problems disappear. If anything, it makes things more difficult, because as you start solving all the little problems you have, bigger ones emerge that were previously hidden.

But then again, isn’t that the only thing worth living for? In the end, what’s the point of saying, “F*** you,” to the world if you’re not going to do anything about the problems you criticize? I very much like this thought:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

In my conversations with fellow freedom lovers over the past year, I’ve noticed an escalating urgency when talking about expatriation. Many of them are looking to go off the grid, both in literal and metaphorical terms. Indeed, a rather sizable market has developed over the last decade to sell easy solutions to libertarians looking to get out of Dodge. Knowing how bad the situation is, many are so desperate to satisfy their thirst for real freedom that, like travelers in a desert, they are happy to buy snake oil just to whet their palate.

However, solutions to difficult problems are always and ever either difficult or expensive – and often both. So if you understand that there are never easy solutions, what concretely can you do about taking that first step?

In any real change of basic patterns of life, the first step is recognizing that there is nothing in the external world that will make your problems go away. That part always has to come from within yourself.

The second (and much harder) step is taking that plunge and trusting yourself to handle whatever comes your way. You have to get out of your head and manifest your values in the real world in a meaningful way in order to make any progress. If all you do to call yourself a freedom lover is read blogs, comment on YouTube videos, and argue with your coworkers about their politics, you don’t really believe in the power of your ideas. Or you are simply not able to back out of commitments made to family or business partners.

So…

Since making my fateful decision over a year ago, I have come full circle and am now the Hydra Program Manager at Exosphere*. The purpose of our meetings is the same as it has been:

  • To reflect deeply on the most fundamental principles of living a good life through solving your own and other people’s problems;

  • To learn the ins and outs of building and running a business and take the first real steps to get it up and running;

  • To understand and work with several emerging technologies, including virtual reality, drones, biohacking, and 3D printing; and

  • To meet international experts in entrepreneurship, science, and technology.

We only accept people who understand that we don’t have all the answers for them. What we do is offer an environment far away from home where you can focus on building the foundational habits, honing your skills and discipline, and acquiring the network you need to succeed in the long run. Because success is a matter of surviving long enough to get lucky. (And luck can be engineered.)

Adieu

I will leave you with a quote from the post I made the night before my departure from Germany:

My beliefs are simple – yet hard to uphold in a society demanding I cheer for violence. My beliefs are principled – yet no one cares to listen for fear of being a radical. My beliefs are rooted in reality – yet everyone decries me as utopian. My beliefs carry deep emotion – yet I am perceived as uncaring and cold.

Such is the nature of a sick society. Lies are truth, violence is love, sociopathy is leadership, and most important of all, slavery is freedom.

I vow hereby to myself and everyone who cares to know:

I will live to know truth, experience love, achieve meaning, accumulate wisdom, produce value, speak honestly, act virtuously.

**

*Moritz’s Hydra Bootcamp will be held at the Exosphere project headquarters, just off the beach in Viña del Mar, Chile. The camp runs for eight weeks.

As an FMP subscriber you may take advantage of a 10% discount by mentioning FMP on the application form.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Word Formulas Are the Wrong Path

formulaRecently, an argument was made that libertarianism is okay with hate, since a word formula that libertarians like, the non-aggression principle, or “NAP”, didn’t exclude hate.

Therefore, I’ve concluded that it’s a good time to address the subject of word formulas and rules. And I’ll begin by being explicit about this:

Word formulas are the path to destruction. They are the wrong path.

Word formulas are the province of academia and politicians, of people trying to prove things. They are part of the “winning” game, which goes nowhere except to support domination.

Again, I will be explicit:

Liberty and life are not about proving other people wrong and proving ourselves right. That is the wrong path, and it leads back to bondage.

The case I mention above is one of many, and I’m not interested in attacking the person involved, whom I believe to be a decent man. I’m trying to make a point, not to “win.”

Why Word Formulas Fail

Liberty is a means, not an end.

Liberty matters because it is a condition in which life flourishes. And that’s all.

Our goal is not to achieve liberty; it is for life to flourish.

Hate, as you must know, is the enemy of flourishing life. So, if a “libertarian” word formula preserves hate, something is wrong somewhere. And the problem here is not the specific word formula, but all word formulas.

Words are necessary tools of communication, but they are imperfect symbols of reality and are easily abused. If then, we use these imperfect symbols in formulas and then claim that they define the most crucial things, we place the symbolic above the real, and we lose our bearings.

Then What Is Right?

It’s a telling commentary that so many people feel utterly lost without rules. But we don’t need rules when we have reality right in front of us.

For example, private property is right, not because we have ironclad arguments from famous people to prove it. Private property is right because it derives from nature.

Earlier today, I ate a few oranges, and by doing so, I made them utterly unavailable to any other person or animal. They were mine, and if not previously, they certainly became my private property when I ate them.

Likewise, I must sleep somewhere tonight. And when I do, that space is mine and cannot be used by any other person at the same time and in the same way. And when I drive my car, the gasoline I use must be mine; no one else can burn that gas.

So, life itself – reality itself – requires private property. That is primary, and our explanations of the principle are secondary.

A word formula does not justify my private property; reality does.

We Are Not of the System

We are living in a tight, intricate world system that has its own ways of justifying things, and those ways have degenerated Western culture significantly over our lifetimes.

We see the insanity of the “war on drugs,” the irrational fear-baiting of the “war on terror,” the emotional manipulation of “do it for the children,” and so on. All of these are based upon word games, and frequently on word formulas. They go like this:

We believe in supporting democratically elected governments, right?

Yes, of course.

Well, XYZ was democratically elected, so we must support them.

XYZ, unfortunately, likes to bomb innocent people in suburban subdivisions. But according to the word formula, the bombers must receive our support. The word formula says so.

Let me be clear:

The system that surrounds us is not like us. It is a system devoted to dominance and control. That’s why they always end up playing the “winning” game.

Their game is not our game. We are not like them.

We’re not going to “win people to our cause” by using the tools of oppressors; by doing that we would undermine ourselves… and we see precisely this when we excuse hate in the name of our formulas.

Their game involves the abuse of symbols and defeating opponents. Our game involves spreading life. We are not like them and we shouldn’t try to be.

Rules Are Not God

More often, rules are idols.

I’m not going to take a great deal of space on this subject today, but I would like to make the point that rules are all too often tools for evading consciousness… a way to skirt the responsibility of seeing and deciding.

Here are two quotes on the subject that are worth your consideration:

The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions.
– Mike Krzyzewski

I have only two rules which I regard as principles of conduct. The first is: Have no rules. The second is: Be independent of the opinion of others.
– Albert Einstein

When we appeal to a rule, we are stepping right past the real reasons and appealing to authority… and authority is the foundation of our oppressors.

To quote a wise man of many centuries ago: If we rebuild the things we have previously destroyed, we make ourselves transgressors.

Word formulas are our enemies, and hate has no place among thriving life.

We are not like them, and we will not improve ourselves using their tools.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com