A group of friends gathered today to celebrate a birthday, consume good victuals, and fire a large number of small lead projectiles at simulations of an abstract enemy.
Between these activities, we talked at length about how to solve the problems of our world. The same field was plowed with bullets and words: how do we engage people who are not already part of “the choir”; not active in our Liberty movement.
How do we persuade people to care about our cause? This is a fundamental lament, and it is independent of the particular “cause” one might choose to advocate.
Democrats and Republicans expend tremendous sweat and treasure to craft statements they believe will attract support. Then they create tactics to direct groups and individuals toward their cause, using self-interest, guilt, and other tools.
The result of their effort is a surface polarization that obscures the fact that both factions are the same at their core. The political machine, as operated by both parties, is a device engineered to get “stuff” for their constituents.
This “stuff” is the tangible goods and real property manipulated by political favor in order to redistribute wealth and poverty. Political constituents value this “stuff”. The poorest and simplest individual can easily recognize the value of food and shelter.
The machine of politics delivers defined benefits of easily recognized value. These are the “positive rights” of the modern welfare state which must first be taken by force from one group of people before they can be granted to another.
To engage people in the Liberty movement, we face a far more difficult challenge. To value Liberty, people need to understand how to value the absence of something.
A machine of Liberty must be designed and constructed which enables every individual to recognize the value, the direct personal benefit, deriving from the absence of coercive force. To embrace Liberty, men must understand how to value the absence of something.
The Constitution and its Bill of Rights has often been described as “a charter of negative liberties”. These negative liberties derive from concept in common law: that which is not prohibited is allowed.
The fewer the prohibitions, the more freedom available to live a life of one’s own creation. Our founding documents establish specific and limited boundaries on what men and governments may, and may not, do to each other.
Political factions fear freedoms and Liberty. Political factions establish a jurisprudence of prohibitions because their power and control only exists through the exercise of force.
Individuals, who love life and creativity, value Liberty.
We will not solve the myriad problems facing this Republic until we discover a way to help people understand that the core problem is inherent in the structure and function of our political machine.
We have to value the absence of something.