Monthly Archives: November 2005

Humble equality vs. haughty equality

In the history of the United States, the word equality has been held in the highest esteem. It has also been subjected to a multitude of meanings. Our understanding of equality has drifted far from what it was when Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” In Jefferson’s day, had one seen one man rich and one man poor, he would wonder if the two men we being treated equally in the civil realm. If they were, then the two men would have been considered equal. This is humble equality. Now, when one sees the same sight, he assumes that there must be an inequality between the two that society must rectify. This is haughty equality.

First, let us look at the concept of humble equality—that we can only level the playing field in the public realm (law, the courts, government, etc.) by ensuring that people are treated equally regardless of race, class, and gender. We do not know you should live your life, nor do we know how you should run your business. You have the same chances to succeed, and fail, as we grant ourselves. We do not care how you live your life not because we are mean or selfish, but because we are simply not qualified. Sadly, we are in the minority.

Now, let us contrast that with haughty equality. Such equality, in fact, is not equality at all. It is illusory. It relies on a fundamental inequality—that some people know, better than you, what you should have or how you should live your life. In thinking about equality, it is an amazing proposition—that people are truly not equal, and should not be treated equally, so that they may appear equal to observers. It is also an incredibly dangerous proposition, since it relies on people to determine what way of life is good and how to enforce it.

Imagine you come upon two people, one rich and depressed, the other poor and happy. They are clearly not equal and your goal is to change that. What do you do to change it? Do you take from the rich man to give to the poor man on the rationale that money is good and the poor man does not have enough? Do you do the same thing on the rationale that the rich man is too rich to be happy? Do you reckon that the poor man is happy as he is and take from the rich man to make him emulate the poor man, keeping the takings for yourself? What is the right course of action for these people? How do you know? Do you even care what is right for them, instead focusing on what you think is right?

How much information would it take for you to make a good decision in this case? Would you need to know why the rich man is depressed? What if he were normally quite happy but had just lost a close relative? Would that impact your decision? What if he had gotten where he is by betraying everyone around him and he was burdened by guilt? What if he were suffering from cancer and needed the money to fight it?

What about the poor man? Would you like to know why he is happy? What if he were married to someone wonderful and wanted nothing more than he had? What if he were about to have a child? What if he were an artist or writer who cherished the way he lived?

Would you make a better decision if you knew any of those things? Absolutely. If the rich man were suffering from cancer and needed his riches to fight it, you would (hopefully) find it unconscionable to take some of those riches to give to a happy, albeit poor man. Likewise, if the poor man actually cherished his lifestyle, you would probably think it futile to give him riches he did not want.

Believe it or not, I gave you more information about the two men than most “haughty equality” crusaders have. Usually, they can only see the cold bottom line: one man makes a lot of money, another makes a little money. They, based on this, decide that the rich man should—must—give up some of his riches to help the poor man. Of course, they do not often deal with two individuals. Instead, they seek, through government, to impose their beliefs on a multitude of individuals—a multitude of lives, of circumstances, of temperaments.

They may deprive a rich man dying of cancer the money he needs to save his life. They may give money to a poor man who does not want or need it. It does not matter. The advocates know, by virtue of intelligence and belief, what is good for each of those individuals even without knowing the details of each life. The advocates are more equal than the multitudes they impact.

This ego trip, though, is not the end of the issue. If, in a democracy, a minority used its power to the detriment of the majority, they would not hold that power long. The “haughty equality” advocates always manage to garner a good amount of support for their efforts. How? The advocates get a good number of people to believe that they will benefit from the scheme. Listen to FDR, perhaps the greatest of the “haughty equality” advocates:

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:
Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.
The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.
These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding straight of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement. As examples:
We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.
We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.
We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.
I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed to get rich out of the program, and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.

-From FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech.

With words like this FDR convinced an entire generation to trade away their liberty, and the liberty of their fellow citizens, in return for the promise of a brighter future. Roosevelt convinced a good part of the American population that the government could make better decisions for them than they could themselves. They saw the promise of mighty civic heroes acting to save them from the vagaries of circumstance.

The decision to give up control of one’s life to another, of course, is one every individual is free to make. The problem here is not that people are choosing to do this for themselves, but rather they are choosing to do it through the state, an institution that affects everyone. We all participate in and pay for FDR’s “great defense” program, even though a good number of us would rather not. Because FDR’s program is run through the state, a democracy, our preferences were ignored in favor of the majority.

Sadly, this process has been repeated time and again in this country and many others. Time and again, people decide that they deserve to run the lives of others. Time and again, they convince those others that they should be running their lives. Time and again, they will do this in the name of equality. Time and again, these people declare themselves more equal than others. Time and again, these people inflict harm. Yet, if enough time passes, it will happen again, unless we stop it. We should not bow to “haughty equality” again.

(Cross-posted at News, the Universe, and Everything.)

Why Leftists Hate Thanksgiving

Leftist author and University of Texas Professor Robert Jensen wrote an article for Alternet (hat tip: Instapundit) where he bashed Thanksgiving as

“the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers. “.

In 2003, Mitchel Cohen had a Thanksgiving Day bashing article for Counterpunch where he describes himself as

“I am an American in revolt. I am revolted by the holiday known as Thanksgiving. I have been accused of wanting to go backwards in time, of being against progress. To those charges, I plead guilty. I want to go back in time to when people lived communally, before the colonists’ Christian god was brought to these shores to sanctify their terrorism, their slavery, their hatred of children, their oppression of women, their holocausts.

Clearly, these two leftists use Thanksgiving to attack America for its “genocide” against native Americans. What these men forget is that native Americans and white settlers fought a series of wars, wars that the native Americans happened to lose everytime. For reasons why Westerners have mostly won in warfare, I recommend Carnage and Culture by Victor Davis Hansen. I especially recommend the chapter dealing with the conquest of the Aztecs and Hansen’s explanation of the native American’s collectivism and lack of individuality held them back technologically.

But when you read both the linked articles, you also see attacks on capitalism as well. This is assisted by the leftist dominated government schools which omit the real story of Thanksgiving, which is that the real story of Thanksgiving is that capitalism works better than socialism. Mike Franc has an article about this at Human Events Online:

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

Just how did the Pilgrims solve the problem of famine? In addition to receiving help from the local Indians in farming, they decided allow the private ownership of individual plots of land.

On the brink of extermination, the Colony’s leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. “This had very good success,” Bradford reported, “for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

The famine that nearly wiped out the Pilgrims in 1623 gave way to a period of agricultural abundance that enabled the Massachusetts settlers to set down permanent roots in the New World, prosper, and play an indispensable role in the ultimate success of the American experiment.

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims’ economic recovery. Their success, he observed, “may well evince the vanity of that conceit…that the taking away of property… would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford surmised, “God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

The real story of Thanksgiving is the triumph of capitalism and individualism over collectivism and socialism, which is the summation of the story of America. This is the real reason why leftists hate this day and seek to turn into a day-long Blame America fest. The Pilgrims are the historical reminder of the defeat of socialism, over 380 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. My biggest fear this Thanksgiving is that America is steadily abandoning capitalism and individualism, which why we as classical liberals (I like this much better than neo-libertarian or the other names that have emerged to describe people like me) must work to preserve the ideals of our Founding Fathers and those who settled America.

Crossposted to Louisiana Libertarian

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Why <span style="font-style:italic;">progressives</span> really aren’t

The so-called progressives of whom I speak are actually collectivists, in that they abhor individualism and individual rights, insofar as such are symbolic of self-reliance. Generally, they think in terms of all-for-one and one-for-all. What’s more, they’re not satisfied with a mutual and voluntary communal arraignment. No, self-styled progressives seek to use the police power of the state to coerce others—those who cherish personal responsibility and freedom from tyranny—to fund their utopian welfare state. There are many such neo-liberal voices; e.g. the usual suspects.

The problem with collectivist ideology—beyond being morally indefensible—is that it does not work in practice. Ultimately, it turns individuals into wards of the state, rather than creating a truly egalitarian society. As pboettke of The Austrian Economists puts it: “When the State oversteps its bounds and constrains or chooses for us, we loose the capacity to live a self-governing life.”

I’m actually an advocate of egalitarianism. That is, I favor full equality for everyone, with respect to individual rights and treatment under law. However, I adamantly oppose the forced equality of stuff, which utilizes wealth redistribution and other such tools that deplete liberty. Roderick T. Long explains it this way:

But to ignore or mask the violence upon which

socioeconomic legislation necessarily rests is to acquiesce in the unconscionable subordination and subjection that such violence embodies. It is to treat those subordinated and subjected as mere means to the ends of those doing the subordinating, and thus to assume a legitimate inequality in power and jurisdiction between the two groups. The libertarian revulsion against such arrogant presumption is ipso facto an egalitarian impulse. Those Chip cialis who feel no such revulsion should not expect their egalitarian credentials to pass unquestioned; they may revere equality in theory, but they fail to recognize it in practice.

Coercion is the means, but what are the ends of progressives? Their purported goal is to achieve a classless society, where poverty is eradicated and—perhaps more importantly—the accumulation of wealth by individuals will cease. A strong centralized government—according to statists—is necessary to bring this to pass. Theoretically, state officials would be democratically elected and utterly selfless. But in practice, such a society inevitably devolves, resulting in two distinct and very unequal classes: the ruling elite and the impoverished masses. To be sure, there are exceptions. Some have slightly more resources (relatively speaking), but like the rest, they are subjects of the state; they are by no means free citizens.

A notable current example is the ironically named Peoples Republic of China, whose Marxian revolution has certainly not lived up to its billing. Such is the subject of a balanced analysis of China’s social experiment at Monthly Review.

The political apparatus that was used to destroy old inequalities had itself given rise to a new set of inequalities. The power of the state was supposed to be wielded in the interests of the working people, to be sure. But in fact, the subordinate working classes were at best to be the dependent beneficiaries of a paternalistic bureaucracy—not to mention that such hard-won benefits can be easily taken away as political circumstances may change, as recent developments in China have so clearly demonstrated.

In a similar vein, Eric points out that free people participating in free markets is a large part of the solution to the problems attendant to disparate socioeconomic classes.

In fact, this continuous characterization of upper, middle and lower class is part of the problem. Our economic system is one of the most classless in the world, although the imposition of socialist and quasi-socialist government programs is having the effect of stratifying the classes more and more firmly.

It would seem, then, that the goals of modern liberals (e.g. state run healthcare, individual transfer payments, increased government pensions, etc.) are actually regressive. For the motivation of America’s founders was to move how much cialis away from tyranny and towards greater individual liberty and personal responsibility. Therefore, in light of numerous historical examples, true progress is exemplified by increased freedom for individuals, rather than its antithesis, which flows from collectivism.

[cross-posted at Eric’s Grumbles]

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Stop That Loitering!

With a hat tip to View From The Porch, we have this lovely photo from Rochester, NY.

Dangerous Loitering

Just to be clear, this man was stopped and arrested because he was “loitering”. He had not actually committed a crime at the point that the police began arresting him. The full story is here.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

The United States: An Authoritarian Oligarchy?

After a variety of conversations with people on how our country can move forward I have come to the conclusion that most of them need to read the Constitution before having that conversation. There is a very limited understanding of what that document says, and yet it is written in plain English and is not difficult to understand. This country was set up so that most power was retained by the states and the people, not the Federal government. But, to avoid situations that many are concerned with, for example a same sex couple who is legally married in California being considered not legally married in Nevada, the framers put this in.

Article 4, Section 1: “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”

The men who wrote the Constitution thought it was obvious that the Federal government had only been granted the powers and privileges enumerated in the document. But Jefferson convinced them that this was dangerous and so they included Amendments IX and X in the Bill of Rights to ensure that the government would not take upon itself more powers than had been granted.

Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

That seems pretty straightforward and obvious to me. I have a really hard time understanding how we have managed to get ourselves into our current situation where the Federal government is involved in every aspect of our lives and consider this to be legal, but I’m not a lawyer. The intent was that if the federal government needed additional powers because of a new or changed situation then an amendment would be proposed and passed. In order to protect us from ourselves, passing amendments was deliberately made difficult. Of course, they didn’t foresee that we would simply put judges on the Supreme Court who would find obscure ways to interpret the words in this document to mean things that were never intended.

What most of us who are for having a federal style of government (which we de facto do not, even if we de jure do) want is a return to the Constitution, not 50 separate countries. The argument against a return to a true federal system is that it would result in a patchwork of laws and standards across the country. That is just what the founders intended because they were well aware that each state had different cultures and needs.

An argument against decentralization of power is that you could find yourself moving from a state with substantial welfare programs and to a state without such programs, which could cause you significant problems. My answer to that is that you should take responsibility for yourself and either not move or make plans to adjust to the situation in the state you are moving to. It’s called personal responsibility.

The men who founded this country certainly had no intention that the government should provide welfare and there is plenty of evidence to support that view. If you disagree with them politically, that’s fine. But realize that they tried to create a situation where the government would not be involved with the welfare of the individual citizen, and such things happened then too. Welfare is not a modern invention. In fact, one of the reasons that they set things up as they did is the lessons they drew from the fate of the various Greek and Roman governments.

On to my issues. It’s not selfishness, although many “liberals” will characterize me as selfish. In fact, I believe that the welfare state is worse for the individual citizens of the state than individualism. The socialist or statist approach is inherently inefficient and deprives individuals of their rights. It’s paternalistic nature leads to a weakening of self-reliance and responsibility. This can be seen by the change, in just a few generations, from most Americans believing they and their family are responsible for their welfare and safety net to most Americans believing that the government is. The welfare state, by its nature, limits economic growth. The best solution to poverty is economic growth, not welfare. LBJ’s Great Society did not end poverty, nor did it even ensure that a lower percentage of people would be below the poverty line.

On the other hand, the rise of the welfare state in this country has, directly and indirectly, given the government more control over the citizens and eroded their liberties and privileges. Long before the Patriot Act the government had a tremendous amount of information collected on all of us and it could be (and sometimes was) used in unscrupulous fashion. Taxation is one of the main ways for the government to take and maintain power from the people, which we recognized when we revolted because we were being taxed without representation.

As mentioned many times before, the men who wrote the Constitution understood that they could not foresee all of the needs of the future. And that is why they built the amendment process into the Constitution. It has been argued that their intent cannot be the only factor when implementing the political system in this country because of those changes they couldn’t foresee. Why can’t their intent be the only factor considered when determining what powers the federal government does or does not have? How would you feel if you signed a contract 10 years ago with your employer and then your employer came to you today and wanted to change something they had guarunteed you in the contract because the situation was different, but they had no intention of renegotiating the contract with you? Remember, one of the premises of our political system is that the government only has those powers that we, the people, grant to the government. The instrument for granting that power is the constitution. Do you feel it is reasonable that government bureaucrats should renegotiate the meaning of that political contract without the input of the citizens? We have a word for that. The word is tyranny.

The purpose of the document was to guard against the problems that democracies, republics and confederations had faced in the past. Of course, we have managed to do just about all of the things they were trying to guard against, with altogether predictable consequences. Many of the things that both the left and right yell about today are consequences of those actions and inactions. I’m always surprised by people who say “all that history is nice, but it doesn’t tell me what to do now”. Of course it does. Either by showing you the way to move forward or showing you the ways that are not good ideas. But our country in the past century or so has had a significant segment of the population decide that history and science are of little value. Indeed many, especially in the so-called intellectual classes, actively dislike and hate the lessons of history and the value of science and technology. The rebirth of the Luddites. We also seem to be of the opinion these days that we can get something for nothing, the proverbial free lunch. The lesson of history is that entropy always increases, free lunch schemes always fail eventually. In the immortal words of Robert Heinlein, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”, aka TANSTAAFL.

Things I hear on a daily basis convince me that we probably can never move forward and out of the oligarchy we have gotten ourselves into. I hear things such as “the low income earners are the majority in this country” and that leaves me more and more pessimistic by the day about the hope that we will peacefully undo the damage we have done. If you look at the real income distribution of this country you find a solid majority in the middle class, income wise. Most of the wealthy in this country are one generation away from being middle class or poor and they got to where they are through hard work, not exploiting the lower classes. In fact, this continuous characterization of upper, middle and lower class is part of the problem. Our economic system is one of the most classless in the world, although the imposition of socialist and quasi-socialist government programs is having the effect of stratifying the classes more and more firmly.

How do we move forward? By realizing that we, individually, are responsible for ourselves, whether we are poor or rich. By recognizing that the government cannot fix things, that government programs do not solve problems but merely create more problems. By believing that we, the people, grant power to the government and the government has no right to take unto itself any power we have not explicitly granted to the government. We reject the oh so genteel and paternalistic desire of some to “take care of us” and stand on our two legs and take care of ourselves. We stop allowing bureaucrats and the oligarchs that we now have in our Congress to twist and interpret the Constitution to allow themselves more and more power and abrogate more and more of ours. We stop trying to use the Constitution to benefit our narrow special interest. Realizing that the power to tax is the most important power of the government and the one most likely to lead to tyranny we vote against any politician who too freely chooses to take our money as taxes and spend it on government programs. We realize that the government can provide for our security against foreign threats, can track down and jail those who cause us physical injury, but cannot make us prosperous or happy, those are things that only we, the people, can do.

How can we move forward? Well, I think it would help tremendously if each and every citizen of this country read and understood the Constitution. The average high school graduate should be able to, it is neither complex nor written in difficult legal language. That would make a tremendous difference when the boys in DC wanted to do something that the Constitution says they can’t do.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

“… Against All Enemies, Foreign…”

“… And Domestic.”

If the facts of the case are as reported here, sounds like some Federal employees and officers have forgotten a few things. Like, oh, their allegiance to the Constitution?

(See: the Bill Of Rights, you wretches.)

zombyboy may be right; for all I know, Ms. Davis may well not be “a person I would like”. It hardly matters in such a case; there is no reason that bus riders, merely passing through a piece of federal property, should be subject to random ID checks — much less charged with crimes, much less told she will be arrested if she ever goes to such-and-such a place again.

What good will it do us to win victory over Islamicists and other foreign threats to our liberty, if petty government functionaries take it away from us at home?

I hope the bullies who acted in this matter find new careers.

Food services, I’m thinking — “…fries with that?”

I will watch this case with some interest.

(Cross-posted at the Institute.)

Thanksgiving: My Favorite Time of Year

I enjoy Thanksgiving. I really enjoy it. It is, in fact, my favorite holiday. It’s the one holiday that doesn’t seem to be, for the most part, commercialized. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those who thinks it is simply awful that other holidays are about white sales, or getting presents, or buying fireworks. I think, though, that there is something to be said for a day that is about family and friends, good food and celebrating our plenty.

And the truth is, we have plenty. Even our poorest families won’t starve, nor go without shelter. They may have to swallow their pride, but food and shelter is there for the asking. We don’t worry about death squads, daily terrorism, secret police or the cellars under the prison. As much as I talk about the nanny state and the slow eroding of our liberties and rights in this country, the truth is that we live in a virtual paradise of individual liberty compared to countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and so many other countries around the world. Even in comparison to countries in Western Europe, supposedly a free and tolerant place. I discussed some of this on Eric’s Grumbles, for those of you who think I’m making things up.

Stan, Did I mention (no, I didn’t, I know I didn’t) that our wonderfully Democratic German allies require that you register with city hall when you move into a new town. That they can hold you for 72 [this number may be 24 or 48, my memory isn’t what it once was and I didn’t go check: Eric] hours without telling anyone where you are. That a police officer can, as you related, require any citizen to show identification at any time, with or without cause?

Just think about the scenes we have seen from France these past weeks. A government mandated curfew, battles in the streets, suspension of civil liberties. I’ve travelled fairly extensively in Europe and the Middle East and I haven’t seen, even in countries that are supposed to be Liberal Democracies, a country that comes close to having the degree of individual liberty and freedom that we have. This does not mean that I think we ought to settle for what we have, it still isn’t the ideal, or even close. But we should take a moment to think about how much worse it could be. We should remember that individual liberty and free markets are at the root of the prosperity we enjoy.

And then we should sit down to our turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and stuffing, gravy, vegetables, pumpkin pie and whatever else and enjoy a great meal with our families. That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

Sorry About That

I forgot that Internet Explorer cannot handle certain standard features of a stylesheet design. So, in the past 12 hours if you visited and the site looked really stupid in IE, it’s because I didn’t test a stylesheet change in all browswers. It’s fixed now.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

Three Quotes

Sometime soon I’ll get a random quote generator on here. In the meantime, here’s a few quotes to ponder for the day.

“Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent… The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.”
— John G. Diefenbaker (1895-1979) Prime Minister of Canada

“Who are a free people? Not those over whom government is exercised, but those who live under a government so constitutionally checked and controlled that proper provision is made against its being otherwise exercised.”
— John Dickenson (1732-1808) Source: Farmer’s Letters, 1767

“Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.”
— Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) Historian and author Source: Freedom and Order, 1966

Think about them, talk about them.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

About Quincy – The (highly) abridged version

In the blogosphere I go by Quincy, which is a nickname I picked up in high school. I’m a twenty-something working as a software designer at an insurance company here in Marin County, CA. Odd place to find someone with my pro-liberty beliefs, I know. More on that in a moment. I spend my off time as a trumpet player, classical singer, composer, and conductor. I also spend it blogging, obviously.

So, why the nickname? Well, as you may have imagined, Marin County is not exactly friendly to those who don’t ascribe to the progressive ideology, and as you can gather from my presence at this blog, I don’t. Actually, my interest in liberty was born out of Marin’s progressive orthodoxy. I grew up here, and for a while as an early teen bought into the progressive ideology. Then I began to compare Marin’s politics with the writings of the founding fathers and realized something was wrong. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was quite Jeffersonian in my beliefs and a constant pain in the rear to my civics teacher, who was a devotee of FDR.

So, that’s it. If you want to get to know more about my personal views, come on by my blog, Pith ‘n Vinegar, and check it out.

Robert: a thumbnail sketch

I, along with my co-contributors, recognize that liberty inheres to the generic viagra individual; liberty is not that which is granted by governments or benevolent rulers. It's as an individual that I think and act, with the full understanding that I, alone, am responsible for the consequences of my thoughts and actions. In light of that, it is incumbent upon me to cultivate a set of core principles—guided by ethics and morals—by which to govern my life. But don’t misunderstand, I’m not speaking of moralism, but rather morality. Among other things, that is what informs my world-view, my political philosophy, etc.

I’m not real fond of any of our major political parties, but I have, in the recent past, held my nose and

voted Republican. However, the way things look at present, I’m seriously thinking of voting for gridlock. It may be the best short-term solution to the problem of ever-evaporating individual liberties.

While I happen to be a Christian, I'm somewhat atypical. My beliefs are inconsistent with the religious right, as well as the religious left. In short, I’m not a proselytizer, so suffice it to say: my faith will rarely, if ever,

be the subject of my posts on this particular blog.

I’m happily divorced and the single father of three kids: Kelsey, Levi and Amaris. I’m viagra or cialis a residential architect, primarily focusing on the various classical European styles; those of the 17th through the 19th centuries.

One more thing. I just want to emphasize the fact that I own my life…who owns you?

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Who Am I ? Why Am I Here ?

A very good question, some people who know me might say.

I’m a 37 year old attorney living in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Those of you who know Washington know that it is surrounding by an eight-lane highway called the Beltway. My homestead is about 30 miles south of the Beltway, hence the admittedly unoriginal name for my blog, Below The Beltway

My experience with politics goes further back than I care to remember sometimes. I can remember following the Presidential election of 1976 as a class project in 3rd grade. I was in 6th grade when the Iranian Hostage Crisis took place and recall celebrating with a few friends the day Ronald Reagan was elected President. For a time in high school and college I was involved in politics on the local and state levels in the Republican Party, volunteering on campaigns, serving for several months as unpaid volunteer/intern in the District office of what was then the only conservative Congressman in the entire State of New Jersey. And, it was probably my interest in politics that most signficantly motivated my decision to go to law school.

On the intellectual side, I guess its fair to say that I started out as a conservative of some variety and gradually became a libertarian. In college, I was a subscriber to National Review and started reading Milton Friedman and other economists. That eventually led me to Hayek, Mises, and Rothbard. Then the floodgates started to open. I discovered Ayn Rand and read everything she wrote as fast as I could. For a time, I considered myself an Objectivist but, that infatuation started to fade as I became more familiar with some of the more cult-like elements of that philosophy.

I’ve also distanced myself from the more extreme elements of the libertarian movement. I was, I will admit, not entirely a supporter of the first Gulf War. I found the idea of American soldiers being sent into battle to defend the Kuwaiti and Saudi Royal families and their 15th Century ideologies to be offensive. I opposed the interventions in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia. But then, September 11th happened. Call me a pro-war libertarian who watched the Twin Towers fall live on television. All I know is that the evidence is clear that Western Civilization is in a fight for its own survival right now. Following the naive foreign policy advocated by the Libertarian Party and its pacifist allies is, quite frankly, a prescription for suicide.

Anyway, I started blogging, most appropriately I might say, on July 4th 2005. I’d been reading blogs for years before then and had told myself on more than one occasion that I would start one myself. Along with research, writing is one of the things I enjoy most about being an attorney and its nice to have an outlet to write about the things that interest, amuse or annoy me on a daily basis.

In addition to writing, I enjoy listening to music, specifically jazz. Being from New Jersey, I suppose its inevitable that I’m a big Frank Sinatra fan, although the one regret I have is that I passed up the one opportunity I had to see him in concert. When I’m not enjoying time with my wife and dog, writing, practicing law, or listening to Sinatra, I am also a fan of the New York Yankees and, thanks to my lovely bride, the Ohio State Buckeyes. I am a huge science fiction fan and have read pretty much everything written by Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke; currently, I am in the process of continuing to discover the alternate-history fiction written by Harry Turtledove.

Cross-posted at Below The Beltway, because I’m really in need of a biographical post.

Freedom OF Thought, or Freedom FROM Thought?

A comment on a previous entry led me to think a bit about how we let what we read, hear, and see affect our opinions and thoughts. Freedom of thought (not freedom from it) is vitally important to our survival in the future as people who love Life, Liberty & Property. As the old saying goes, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there are many things going on in the world today that bear some careful thought and consideration.

In our day to day world, there are many occasions when we make judgement calls about things in which we have valid, useful, first-hand information. These are situations where we can be relatively certain that our judgement is accurate. We’ve looked at all the angles, and using the knowledge we’ve gained, we’ve determined the correct way to proceed.

How many times, though, do we see, hear, or read about situations in which we make a snap judgement based only on what we’ve watched on TV, heard on the radio, or read in the newspapers or online? Have you ever changed your mind after that snap judgement? Do you ever go seeking to find out if what you saw/heard/read was accurate? You see, it a world filled with so much media, we must really be sure that we’re exercising our freedom OF thought – not our freedom FROM thought. Freedom of thought allows us to step back and say, “Wow, that really sounds interesting – I wonder if it’s accurate?” Freedom from thought says “well, it must be so or they couldn’t produce/publish it.”

Freedom of thought will lead us to search every avenue available on a subject of interest rather than jumping on the nearest bandwagon. And, if you exercise your freedom of thought, you might just come to some really interesting conclusions – conclusions that may turn your original thoughts or established beliefs completely upside down. This kind of thinking, be forewarned, is not popular – and may cause you a great deal of grief, because bucking the establishment in any form will cause you to be ridiculed or held up as an imbecile to others. Yet it can be richly rewarding to self – if you can get past the need for accolades from others – to know, within your own heart and mind, that you’re not just blindly following the crowd.

My dad, whom I mentioned in a previous post, is a Minister. Dad taught us well – by example – that we should never pass anything along to others without doing our homework to try to insure that we were not passing along gossip or garbage. Incidentally, LOL, friends can tell you that I have never passed along chain emails and spam – and that more than one of them has received a link back to one of the urban legend debunking sites!

Recently, dad and I were talking about the word “Knowledge”. Dad laid it out to me in a way that I’d never thought about. Breaking the word into its separate syllables, it becomes “Know Ledge”. When we think about acquiring knowledge, we think of it as a climb up a ladder. When we’ve learned something concrete, we’ve reached a “know ledge”. We can stand on it. It’s firm. It’s a ledge on which we can place our trust, and from it we can rest and “chew the fat” about what we’ve learned until we’re ready to climb to the next level of “know ledge”.

Now, getting back to the ideas of freedom of thought and freedom from thought, whenever we gain knowledge from our research, we must sometimes use all our senses to discern truth. As the saying goes “the truth is out there”. While there are things that we can’t ever know for certain, if we at least take the time to search, using the knowledge that we can stand on (be it understanding of human nature, concrete science, or first hand information) we can at least be sure of using our freedom of thought to do the best humanly possible to grasp the realities of any situation. And wouldn’t that be better, always, than letting our brains atrophy in the mire of freedom FROM thought?

Edited from original post at Left Brain Female

Homeschooling Security Mom, Political Junkie, Believe in upholding the Constitution – and subscribe to the theory that gun control is the ability to hit your target!

Introducing the Liberty Papers

Over the past few days I’ve been teasing folks with very brief posts about “The Liberty Papers”. Well, the teasing is over. We are here and live.

So, now it seems that it’s time to introduce the Liberty Papers.

We are a group of people who hold some very specific beliefs. We believe that the theories of individual, inherent rights and government of what is now known as classic liberal theory are the correct political theory. We believe that failing to understand the reality of market economics, individual motivation, and politics leads to tragedy as the world has seen so many times over in Russia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, Cuba, France and many other places around the world. The Declaration of Independence is not just the document that told the British Crown that its American colonies were an independent nation. It is a Declaration that henceforth men would no longer be subject to oppressive government that traded their individual liberties and rights for the paternalism of government. It is the best single expression and declaration of the rights and responsibilities of the individual, including the source of the powers of government. We believe that the United States Constitution is the best attempt by man to take these ideas and turn them into practical, political reality.

All of us are experienced bloggers, we’ve written, in the aggregate, literally hundreds of thousands of words on a wide variety of topics. Always, though, there has been a steady theme of classic liberal belief running through those words. Some people, today, might call that set of beliefs “libertarian”, but there are differences between libertarians and classic liberalism. We are not pacifists, we are not libertines who merely want our vices to be legal. Most, if not all, of us believe that the use of drugs, for example, is a very bad idea, and one that creates issues for the individual, the family, the society. But, we believe the oppression that comes with dictating morals and personal behavior, through collective action and the law, is far worse, and far more destructive to society, than the use of narcotics. We are not anarchists. There is a legitimate purpose for government. Government derives its just powers from the consent of those who will be governed by it. In order to promote the ability of individuals to consent, we must provide a means for them to consent. That can be by the act of participating, by voting, by becoming part of the government. It can also be by the ability to move from one location to another in order to select a government that better fits the desires of the individual. And thus a system such as our Founding Fathers proposed, where the Federal government has extremely limited powers, just those needed at the national level, such as money and coin, national defense, treaty making and the like, while the states and the individuals retain all other power. Then, if you don’t like the government of California, you can move to Nevada, if it is more to your liking. Voting with your feet is a powerful mechanism for consent. Unfortunately, with the states emasculated and most power vested in our Federal government, this is no longer possible today.

So, why this blog? Our goal is a place where we can write on Liberty. We aim to be the place you come to when you want to read political thought from a classic liberal perspective. There’s many other places on the web you can go for freedom and liberty writing. You can visit Catallarchy for anarcho-capitalist writing, or Q And O for neo-libertarian writing (a blend, really, of neo-conservative and libertarian perspectives). So, we aim to be the place you go for liberal thought from a classic perspective. Expect to see a wide variety of writing, as we have a wide variety of contributors. If you look to the left side bar, you’ll see a list of our contributors. Each of them is introducing themselves and the list gives you a link to their introduction. Stop by and visit them, and you’ll find some interesting folks, all of whom are great writers.

We expect to have a lot of good content every day. With this many contributors, if each of us writes 2 to 3 good pieces a week, you are going to see a lot of content coming out. Some of it long, some of it short. One thing you can expect to see, I hope, is some longer liberty writing. Our goal is for the Liberty Papers to be the pre-eminent location on the web for writing on life, liberty and property. And that means that sometimes we need to write more than 800 to 1000 words, which is about the extent of what a blog entry can contain and be effective. We’ll publish those longer pieces as “Liberty Papers”, possibly in a PDF format as well as an HTML format.

So, come one, come all and visit The Liberty Papers. Tell your friends, while you’re at it. Link us, vist us, write about us, disagree with us, engage us in comments and dialogue.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

TANSTAAFL

What the heck is that word, it looks like something a deranged Russian Commie who’s had too much vodka would say. Well, it’s actually an acronym and it stands for “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”. In other words, everything has a cost. The key to living life is to understand that statement and act accordingly. If you choose to tell your wife that you don’t like her new haircut there will be a cost to that action. Deciding not to tell her carries a cost as well. Every decision you make, or don’t make, carries a cost. If we decide that every child in the nation needs health insurance coverage and the government will provide it when the parents can’t there is a cost. The money for that must come from somewhere. Either other programs have to be cut back or taxes have to be raised or money has to be borrowed. Each of those choices has an impact as well.

The bottom line, everything has a cost associated with it. The pretzels in your favorite bar are free because they are salty and you will drink your beer faster and buy more beer, or maybe the owner factors the “free pretzels” into his overhead, which is applied to the cost of the beer before he sells it to you. I think every citizen should have to do the cost proposal for a bid for new business. They should have to build up the cost of an employee, including salary, bonuses, raises, floor space costs, computers and software, email, unemployment and social security insurance, benefits package, vacation, sick days and holidays and see just what it costs per employee. Then figure out how many employees in a given category they need to do a given amount of work for the company or government agency that requires the work to be done. Then figure out all of your other expenses, electricity, water, municipal, state and federal taxes, community improvement, charity donations, servers and software applications to enable the business and so on.

Now do that for something like unemployment benefits. Not only must the money for each and every unemployment check come from somewhere, but the money necessary to do the work. Either the government agency does the work, or it contracts it out to be done. Either way the cost is still there. And that money has to come from somewhere. TANSTAAFL.

If you want to be free you have to be willing to pay the price to defend your freedom. TANSTAAFL.

If you want the joy of having children (an awesome experience that I wholeheartedly recommend) you have to be willing to pay the monetary cost and the heartbreak and frustration that goes with them. TANSTAAFL.

If you want a job that pays $100,000 per year and has great benefits then you have to be willing to do something that is worth that much money to the employer. You may have to work more than 40 hours per week, pay for your own training, work for years at much lower wages to gain experience, travel away from home, etc. TANSTAAFL.

Everytime we forget this most basic rule we set ourselves up for really bad consequences (like a $400 billion a year deficit because both Democrats and Republicans refuse to admit there’s no free lunch). Or hurt feelings when your wife discovers that you really don’t like her new hairstyle but didn’t want to say so because she might get upset. Or not getting a pay raise because you aren’t willing to do anything for your employer above the bare minimum needed to keep your job.

It seems so obvious, yet so many of us forget it each and every day. TANSTAAFL is the corrollary to my other perennial favorite, personal responsibility. With these two principles you are armed to deal with the real world, not wishful thinking. Too bad the politicians in Washington, D.C. have tossed them right out the window.

Originally posted at Grumbles Before The Grave.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

A Bit About Kevin

I am a 21 year old university student attending Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. My majors are history and political science. My politics are roughly classical liberal, like everyone else here, and I normally self-identify as a libertarian though I have been described and self-identify sometimes as a conservative. I believe the only legitimate use for government is to protect the rights to life, liberty, and property against those who seek to violate those rights.

My political experience is mostly in the Republican Party. From September 2004 until March 2005, I was the Director of Communications for the SLU College Republicans. Then in March, I became Assistant Minister of Truth for Bureaucrash and in April, became Minister of Operations until I left in September after Hurricane Katrina.

I believe that our Founding Fathers were the continuation of much older and broader trend toward liberty that began in Classical Greece and Rome, developed further in Britain, and was exported throughout the Anglosphere and blossomed into our own revolution and successful (so far) Republic. I also believe that the way to preserve the libertarian-conservative alliance is for us to rediscover our Anglosphere perspective that yes calls for a strong civil society including families and other voluntary community and cultural institutions, but at the same time supports the free market, individual liberty, and keeping these institutions voluntary.

Other than writing, I enjoy listening to both new and classic rock, reading great writers like Clancy, Heinlein, Pournelle; playing strategy games on my computer, debating history and politics with my friends, shooting my Mosin-Nagant 91/30 and .22, and occassionally watching baseball and football.

My other blog is Louisiana Libertarian where I write about everything from foreign policy to heckling the idiots, lunatics, populists, and socialists who run Louisiana.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Carnival of Liberty XXI

Carnival of Liberty XXI is up at Left Brain Female’s blog this week. This is one of the best weeks ever. Some of the writing, from such folks as Warren Meyers, Eric Raymond, Brad Warbiany and many others, is absolutely fantastic thinking on individual rights and liberties, freedom of speech, intellectual property and more. I can’t pick out any one favorite, go check it all out.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball

Who is Kay?

Wife, Mother, Political “Junkie”, Teacher, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Photographer . . . Not necessarily in that order! As a home-schooling mom, I wear a lot of hats.

I’m Kay (known to some of you as Left Brain Female), a 40-something who loves her life, family, and freedom. In my work life before children, I was a secretary, sales representative, catering manager, reservations manager, typographer & editor. In my personal life before children, I was a student pilot, amateur actress, genealogist and bookworm. My widely varied background has translated fairly well to being a stay-at-home mom. I no longer fly (never did get my pilots license – I was young and it became cost prohibative – but I did solo a few times). I’m no longer involved in little theater (although that could change one day), I still love genealogy and have traced my family history back to the 1500’s in early America. I don’t read as much as I used to read, and I tend to be more familiar these days with children’s authors than others. I generally prefer great literature rather than bubble-gum non-nutritional junk food for the mind, and I’m trying to instill that preference in my daughters, who at 9 and 11 enjoy reading and learning about history.

My hubby, Tony (aka SurfinDaddy) is a 50-something who enjoys surfing (having grown up about two blocks from the beach) and rather than be a surf widow, when the waves are good, we go with him to play on the beach and I do some amateur surf photography. Tony is very laid-back and has patiently listened to me over the years as I’ve ranted over political issues that irritate me – and in the process has become a great sounding board as well. He often helps to congeal my thoughts into something a bit more cohesive – and encourages me to put them in writing.

I became a real computer geek after I quit my job when our youngest was born – I’ve built and maintained several computers and played around with a number of websites. I really got inspired after 9/11 and the Iraq War began to try to see if there were anything I could do to make a difference. Bloggers 4 Freedom was born of that thought, and while it hasn’t set the world on fire, it certainly helped with my mental attitude – just the act of “doing something” is cathartic for me.

While my family attends church regularly, and I am daughter of a minister, you won’t hear a lot from me on the subject of Christianity. For one thing, it was (and is) ingrained in me that talk is cheap – and actions speak louder than words. Words are powerful – but only if they’re directed at someone who is interested in hearing what you have to say – and as most people are not looking to be “converted” to anyone’s way of thinking, my personal credo is that in the public forum, God doesn’t need me to open my mouth to anyone – He just expects me to conduct my behavior in such a way that others will see and glorify Him. And believe you me, when I don’t, I suffer the pangs of my own transgressions. And, politically, there are a number of so-called Christian “hot-buttons” that I refuse to touch, because, frankly, I don’t believe they have any business in politics. So while I may personally hold strong feelings about the morality of those issues, don’t expect to see me asking the government to legislate on them.

So you see, I’m very much on the side of the Sovreign Individual be it Libertarian, Rational Anarchist, or whatever you choose to call it.

Homeschooling Security Mom, Political Junkie, Believe in upholding the Constitution – and subscribe to the theory that gun control is the ability to hit your target!

The World’s Youngest Curmudgeon

There are many roads to becoming a classical liberal, and I would be sure that among the various contributors to this blog, we’ll have traveled a wide variety of them. Many people older than myself once held faith in the institutions of government, only to learn over time that their faith was unfounded. They were part of the system until they learned how asinine the system was. I took the opposite road.

I’m a bit of an introvert. I grew up without a lot of confidence in social situations, and accordingly, found myself a fly on the wall observing the behavior of others. You learn quite a bit about the world when you close your mouth and open your ears, and what I saw increasingly just didn’t make sense. I watched the group dynamics of my “peer group” throughout school, where more importance was placed on which clique you were a part of than what occurred between your ears. It became more important as people got older that you acted to “fit in” to a group than be yourself and let the chips fall where they may.

And it’s not gotten any better with age. I sit now and watch the bickering between the Democrats and the Republicans, knowing that neither group considers principles or ideas to be the guiding force in their actions, it is partisan politics and satisfying interest groups that’s important. It has become a clan mentality, where protecting members of your clan is a moral imperative regardless of whether or not they deserve it. Where you regularly proceed with slandering members of opposite clan, even if they’d normally be someone you’d be friends with. It is now more important to fit in with your political party, or your race, or your class, or your gender, or any number of manufactured cliques than it is to even hold beliefs and stand up for your own thoughts.

I observed all this from a vantage point on the outside, and I became disgusted. I resigned myself to make up my own mind on every issue based on the evidence and the arguments I had available to me. I named my personal blog the Unrepentant Individual, which has led some to believe that I hold myself above reproach and act without apology for things I do. This is not true. What I will not apologize for is being myself and only myself. I consider myself to be an individual, and any “membership” I hold with others of my political party, my race, my socioeconomic class, my gender, or any other manufactured clique is just ancillary. I am not a “classical liberal” because it sounds fashionable, rather because the arguments I’ve found towards classical liberalism seem much more compelling than any other political philosophy I have yet found.

Eric has asked me, as well as many other bloggers, to blog here because we tend to agree on a wide variety of issues. We look at the world in much the same way, and we have very similar goals. But I am not here to kowtow to the wishes of a group, because while this is a “group blog”, it is a coalition of like-minded individuals, not membership in a club. Most of these bloggers are people who I consider to be my closest friends in the blogosphere, and are all people I respect very highly. I can’t say that for all conservatives, all libertarians, or even all people who consider themselves to be classical liberals, and there are quite a few people on the opposite side of the debate who I highly respect, no matter how much I may disagree with them. These are individuals that I respect, not members of my clan.

To people that don’t understand the way I think, I tend to appear far more obstinate, stubborn, and curmudgeonly than anyone born in the late ’70s has a right to. But part of being an unrepentant individual makes me not care one iota about that. I am who I am, and people who don’t like that know where to go.

I write primarily for The Unrepentant Individual, and am also a contributor at The FairTax Blog.

Who Is Eric

I’m an American who served in the US Army and fought in Operation Desert Storm. I have two kids, David and Karyn. These days, after “paying my dues” in the industry, I’m an Information Security Manager/Officer for a company that provides IT services in the healthcare industry. I directly support a government customer, so I don’t seem to be able to escape the government, maybe that’s just a fact of life in modern America. I certainly didn’t plan out some program to get where I am today, but I am also apparently a HIPAA/Healthcare Privacy and Security expert.

Once upon a time I used to be an avid skiier, but as I age I seem to be less interested in that. I must be getting old, I recently took up golf and found a bunch of good reasons for it that I would have laughed at in my younger years. I love to read, especially science fiction & fantasy, military/action adventure, politics and history. My favorite authors include Heinlein, Pournelle, Dickson, Clancy, Larry Bond, Tolkien and Stephen King. I recently read “The Stand” for the first time ever, great story.

I’m a computer geek, I’ve been on the Internet since about 1991, before that I was involved with Prodigy, CompuServ and FidoNet. I’m also a Unix/Linux geek, with Linux experience going back to sometime in 1996. I like to play military strategy and simulation games. My current favorites are Hearts of Iron, a grand strategy game of World War II and Sid Meier’s Civilization III.

Why do I write and blog about politics? I assume that’s what you all really want to know, right? I came of age, politically speaking, in the Reagan years. I remember the slow transition from the malaise, angst and lack of focus during the 1970’s, the rejuvenation of the belief in the individual. More than that, I remember how clear it was when Reagan said that the problems we faced were due to government. As I look around today, 25 years later, our government is larger and more intrusive, and people are even more resigned to it, that it was then. In the intervening years I have read Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, Adam Smith and many others who wrote on classic liberal theory, and various sorts of objectivism and anarchy. I’ve read the works of the other side too, the collectivists and socialists and the rest who believe in absolute egalitarianism or the efficacy of the state more generally.

What I’ve found is that I believe, deeply, in the morality and utlitarian value of individual liberty. Not only is it right, but it works. And I’ve seen the other side, in Europe and the Middle East. I’ve seen the places where the state rules the individual. I write and blog and expound on these topics in the hopes that I touch at least one other person. I do it because I enjoy it and I believe in Liberty.

Security executive, work for Core Security, veteran, kids, dogs, cat, chickens, mortgage, bills. I like #liberty #InfoSec #scotch, #wine, #cigars, #travel, #baseball
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