I’m not pessimistic about the future, mind you, I’m optimistic. Once we get through the present transition (and presuming the world doesn’t descend into deep darkness), human life will massively improve. Our descendants will look back at our time as “the dark ages.”
All in all, things are going fairly well for us at the moment. The decade of government worship is falling behind us, the Internet remains, the NSA has been exposed as a criminal hacker collective, and Bitcoin has burst onto the scene.
Sure, there are the usual petty squabbles and distractions, but the younger crowd is learning to ignore them and to keep moving forward.
But adversity is coming. In situations like this, it always does. Forks off the main cultural line – which is what we are – are accompanied by problems from without and problems from within.
We’ve all seen libertarian movements and projects that shot themselves in the foot. For whatever reasons, that’s just part of the current landscape. We’ll see more of it.
We’ve had attacks from the outside also. And while the state is generally declining in potency, they still have millions of employees who are willing to authorize and/or use violence on their behalf.Learn to Take the Blows
There will be blows, and they will hurt. I wish I could assure you that all will be sweetness and light, but I’d be lying.
The first big blow is rough. It leaves you questioning what you really believed. It may also leave you afraid for your own reputation, and even your safety. Probably the deepest issue is shame: a dread of people ridiculing you and casting you out.
I’m sorry that these things are so painful. None of them will be as bad as the first big blow, but we live in a screwed-up world at the moment, and these things happen.
Such things also happen to people who hide in the corner, obsessing over every rule and assuring their rulers that they love them. The difference is that they are given crowds to hide in – we stand by ourselves.Then What?
Once you’ve taken your first big blow, you are left with a choice: What to do next.
You’ll have to make your own choices, of course, but I know I didn’t start caring about liberty because I was hoping to get rich out of it or to find the easiest path through life. I was interested because it was good and true. I wanted to learn and to grow.
So, if liberty is the better way, what else is there for us to do? Shall we try to forget everything we learned and recondition ourselves to passive state worship? Shall we go back to believing lies and repeating vapid slogans for the rest of our lives? Could we, really?
We are building a better world, person by person, piece by piece. What else is there for us to do? Should we deny our own minds because people think we’re weird? Should we disregard the value of lives because people are terrified of ideas that lack an official stamp?
Liberty requires you to value yourself. Shall we pretend that this is a bad thing?
Huge numbers of people are sure that leaving the approved path will call punishment down upon them. They are terrified of being different and doubly terrified of being different and better. Bad new ideas may bother them, but when a clearly better new idea comes along, they fall into an existential panic.
Jesus wasn’t killed for being a bad man, after all. He was killed for being better.
In the end, this is about living and thriving. Everything else is merely a means to that end. We’ve chosen life, and if we occasionally suffer for it, our only real alternative is to walk away from ourselves.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes, from Helen Keller. These are true words, and worthy of your consideration:
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To Freedom in 2014!