Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman's tool is values; the bureaucrat's tool is fear.”     Ayn Rand

March 18, 2007

Tyranny and the Right to Leave

by mike

Brad has written previously on Mugabe cracking skulls and governments restricting their populace’s right to escape. The two have now combined in Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe has continued its violent crackdown on dissents after an opposition activist was badly beaten and prevented from leaving the country at Harare International Airport, his colleagues reported Sunday.

The attack on Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) comes amid mounting criticism on the continent and abroad of the government action against opposition activists.

“He was badly beaten this morning whilst he was on his way to the airport by security agents,” said William Bango, a spokesman for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Chamisa had been due to fly out to Belgium for a meeting.

He became the third opposition politician to be blocked from leaving the country this weekend.

On Saturday, state security agents arrested Arthur Mutambara, leader of an MDC breakaway faction, when he tried to leave to South Africa.

Also barred from leaving the country were activists Grace Kwinje and Sekai Holland, who wanted to leave for South Africa for medical attention, after being beaten by security forces last Sunday.

And Arthur Mutambara, leader of the breakaway faction of the MDC, was rearrested on Saturday at Harare International Airport and charged with inciting public violence, his lawyer Harrison Nkomo told AFP Sunday.

Just because it’s happening in a third world nation doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in Britain, or here. Keep that in mind when discussing things like RealID.

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  1. Following the playbook of the Soviet Union, Cuba, etc. I’m actually surprised that Chavez in Venezuela hasn’t shut down the exits yet.

    Socialists know that the people who want to leave are usually the productive ones, and they know their society will collapse if those people are not held in check.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — March 18, 2007 @ 7:34 pm
  2. I look around and see rising Authoritarianism everywhere. It looks like many countries are adopting that playbook. Where is a liberty lover to live?

    Comment by uhm — March 18, 2007 @ 8:08 pm
  3. uhm,

    Unfortunately I’m not sure this isn’t a global phenomenon. I think the only places left are places with a fronteir, like northern Canada, Alaska, or Siberia. Liberty and high population destiny often are mutually exclusive.

    You may someday see a solution. If we can wrestle space flight from government control, I think that is liberty’s true hope. But I don’t know if that’ll happen in my lifetime.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — March 19, 2007 @ 9:57 am
  4. Spaceflight is the key. The template, in my mind, would be something along the lines of what takes place in the Firefly/Serenity universe. (If you haven’t seen that series and that film, rent them. Now. Firefly is the best TV show I’ve ever seen. And I’m a huge BSG fan. Anyway.) What takes place is that mankind branches out from an overpopulated Earth, establishing colonies in other star systems. There is an authoritarian government in place in the central “civilized” systems, but those that want nothing to do with that government are simply able to move further out to escape the government’s clutches.

    I’d also second Brad’s sentiment that about the only place for true freedom is some place with a frontier. However, I’d add that certain states in the western U.S. (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana come to mind, along with possibly the Dakotas and parts of Nebraska and Kansas) have rather liberty oriented societies, where as long as you pay your taxes and don’t kill anyone you’re generally free to do as you wish, provided you live far enough away from the nearest town.

    And of course, there’s the Free State Project, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

    Comment by mike — March 19, 2007 @ 10:23 am
  5. If we can wrestle space flight from government control, I think that is liberty’s true hope. But I don’t know if that’ll happen in my lifetime.

    Costs will have to come down and more technological advancement would have to happen first. Otherwise, it would be too cost prohibitive for the private sector to get involved in space travel.

    Comment by Kevin — March 19, 2007 @ 12:18 pm
  6. We need to find Earth like planets then figure out the means to get to them!

    Yes, that is a dream of mine to buy up some land and retire away from neighbors or a town.

    Comment by uhm — March 19, 2007 @ 10:36 pm
  7. “Liberty and high population destiny often are mutually exclusive.”

    All the more reason to let gazillions of immigrants in! No more liberty!

    “Just because it’s happening in a third world nation doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in Britain, or here. Keep that in mind when discussing things like RealID.”

    Yes, and it’s MORE likely to happen here because of our immigration policies. Who are we letting into our country? People from places like Zimbabwe, where liberty isn’t much tolerated. But we just assume that once they cross that line in the sand they’ll magically morph into liberty-loving Americans.

    It’s not location that defines a nation – it’s the people who live there.

    The government already has far more information on you than what’s in Real ID. All that Real ID does is make sure that you are who you say you are.

    Comment by Craig — March 22, 2007 @ 12:36 am

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