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

February 14, 2006

What Is The Liberty Papers?

by Eric

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.


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