“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” – Ayn Rand
I wish I was wrong but I’m convinced.
John Adams said “The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their…sentiments of their duties and obligations.” It is this same spiritual process I’m going through with the Liberty/Anarchist/Agorist/Voluntarist movement. The best analogy I can think of is that it’s like a girlfriend you’re wildly attracted to and you’re even interested in the same sorts of things, but in your heart of hearts you know the relationship is deleterious; that it’s somehow holding you back.
Someone once said to me, “Judge the relationships in your life as though the negative and positive aspects were placed upon a set of scales. If the positives outweigh the negatives it’s worth maintaining. If not then it isn’t.” The fact is, while the freedom movement remains extremely attractive to me, I have come to realize that it is as malignantly dysfunctional as the aforementioned girlfriend, and at this point the negatives outweigh the positives.
As I stepped back to contemplate my future, I began to think about how the various “sects” within the freedom movement are simply too sanctimonious and fractious to garner any real change. And despite what anyone says to the contrary, what freedom fighters seek is a paradigm shift in political power; from the hands of a few back to where it rightfully belongs, with the individual. However, as unfortunate as it is, I am starting to think that Mao Zedong was correct when he said “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” If you believe in the principles of individual liberty as I do, Chairman Mao was wrong in believing that “might is right,” but in one way he was correct because it is the way the world is and always has been.
So the question is, when the time comes that I feel physically threatened by the jackboots, will I rise up and fight or will I choose to remove myself from the situation, at least until it is impossible to do so any longer? The answer is, I don’t know. But when that day arrives, that’s when I’ll make my “fight or flight” decision. Suffice it to say, I will prepare for that eventuality as much as possible.
But this is my grain in the sands of time and the truth is, I need to bring more joy into my life. I’m in my prime and yet I’m beginning to feel like I’m wasting it; pissing it away on some fool’s errand. Am I really making the best use of my time on Earth by advocating freedom for 300 million angry cowards?
Life is about the journey itself - the divine struggle that is the Human Condition. There is no destination; only a journey of learning and self-discovery.
One of the things I’ve come to understand is that true libertarianism is a state of enlightened being that is unattainable by most people, either by nature or by nurture. As we have evolved, we have become far more intelligent but we are no more enlightened. We remain wretched, self-absorbed, and easily manipulated slaves because we are intrinsically motivated by our animal desires. And although we are creatures who can survive in the most hostile environments as a result of that innate selfishness, we know better. It is the knowledge and ability we have to meet our needs without predating upon others that separates us from mere animals. In most cases we simply choose not to. Once we reach Erikson’s Early Childhood developmental stage, we realize that taking from others is wrong because it hurts when it happens to us. Knowing right from wrong is the definition of conscience, and each time we ignore what our conscience tells us, the path toward our own enlightenment grows a little longer.
The bitch of it is, on this plane of existence we are also bound by the laws of physics, and one of those laws is the path of least resistance. In this context, it is often easier to take what we need from another than it is to provide it for ourselves. The duality of knowing right from wrong coupled with our selfishness and the tendency to take the path of least resistance is a cruel paradox and I believe that finding solutions to the paradox is, or at least it should be, a primary directive of Homo sapiens.
It is these realities that make libertarianism the dream that it is and nothing more.
As human beings, we are failing in the quest for enlightenment as miserably now as we ever have. So, to my peers in the Freedom Movement, please don’t think I’m turning my back on you – it’s just that, for right now, my chosen path to create a better world for me and my family is diverging from the movement’s. But please don’t think that I regret the time we’ve spent shoulder-to-shoulder for a single minute. I’ve grown so much from my experiences and I’ve got nothing but love in my heart.
And finally, even though this is the equivalent of a “Dear John” letter, can we still have a “booty call” for freedom now and again?