We live in a marvelous yet dangerous time. Marvelous because the miracle of technology allows the instantaneous flow of information and ideas. Dangerous because existing power structures often use violence to maintain their power and control information. We’ve seen evidence of this already with past and present legislation that further legalizes the murder, theft and kidnapping of innocent people.
I can’t help but think of where I’ll be a few years from now. Will I be in a jail cell as a political prisoner because I dared to write these words? Or will I be rejoicing with my fellow human beings who have welcomed and implemented the ideas of freedom? Will I still be writing these ideas of liberty or will jack-booted thugs have kicked down my door in the early hours one morning, shot my pet, terrorized my family, and shipped me off to Guantanamo for “indefinite detention” and torture?
Percy L. Greaves, Jr., an under-appreciated hero of liberty and a student of Austrian Economic Theory, had this to say about the power of ideas:
“Economics is sometimes thought of as a very dry and dismal subject dealing with dusty tomes of statistics about material goods and services. Economics is not a dry subject. It is not a dismal subject. It is not about statistics. It is about the human life. It is about the ideas that motivate human beings. It is about how men act from birth until death. It is about the most important and interesting drama of all – human action.
“The main objective of economics is to substitute consistently correct ideas and actions for the contradictory ideas and actions inherent in popular fallacies…
“We all want things that are not necessarily essential, but we always choose those actions which we think will best improve the situation from our viewpoint. This means that the ideas that men hold determine their choice of actions. This means that the most important thing in the world is ideas.”
– Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Understanding the Dollar Crisis
What does economics have to do with liberty you ask? Economic freedom (property rights) and political freedom (human rights) are indivisible. They are merely two sides of the same coin – you cannot have one without the other.
As I write these words I can’t help but think about the power of ideas and the tipping points that can follow.
Dictionary.com defines “tipping point” as
-the culmination of a build-up of small changes that effects a big change
To see what I mean, click on the following link to view the number of people who are currently reading, or have recently read, these words and others like them:
The white flashing dots are those who are currently visiting this site. The red dots are those who have visited in the past. Imagine the potential for change if each of them became the example of kindness, forgiveness and personal responsibility amongst their own circles of influence. Imagine if we did the same.
There is no doubt that many of you who are reading this find yourself actively employed by institutions that possess destructive power. My heart goes out to those of you who are experiencing personal conflict as you learn more about the nature of freedom and violence. Hopefully you will not simply “follow orders” if asked to commit aggression against another human being.
I appreciate that many of you may have entered into these positions out of economic necessity before realizing the full consequences of this decision. Now you may be searching for a way out. While removing yourself from this situation is first priority, you have the opportunity to effect change where you currently stand. Look deep inside of yourself and find a way to rise above your circumstances and then become a part of the tipping point. Decide today to not participate in aggression against a fellow human being. Formulate a plan and then take action to free yourself. Help those around you who also wish to be free.
How do we spread the idea of liberty?
First we must understand it. Read books like Boundaries of Order – Private Property As A Social System – by Butler Shaffer and essays like Robert LeFevre’s A Way To Be Free and No Treason VI: The Constitution of No Authority – by Lysander Spooner. Stop believing in fictitious, external authorities. Take responsibility for your own actions. Study online at places like The Freedom School and The Mises Institute. Learn the rules of logic so you can discover and expose the fallacious ideas that enslave you. Flood the newspapers and internet with well-written arguments for freedom. Make it a goal to poke holes in unsound ideas.
I long for the day when a pivotal number of people discover the Philosophy of Liberty and begin to live by it.
Am I a dreamer?
Yes, I am. But it is the nightmare of the alternative that drives me – the nightmare of lethal ideas that will surely lead to our mutual destruction if left unchecked.