In the YAL “I Pledge” video, two young men, with English and Russian accents respectively, pledge to “spread the message of liberty throughout the world” and to “join the libertarian revolution in Russia.” I have thought about these pledges more than the others. Which brings me to this recent article:
Is an international liberty movement an idea whose time has come?
While international organization might have been deficient for the liberty movement historically, it appears that that is on the verge of changing. For the first time, there appears to be a growing international liberty movement, springing forth from the roots of our current American civic reawakening.
In recent months, inspired by what they are observing here in the states, Tea Party organizations have begun to rise in up the furthest corners of the world. While these organizations might have different concerns, ones that are specific to their particular nations, it is clear that each has formed around the same concepts: limited governance and individual liberty.
Ironically it was England, who in the 18th century was at the unpleasant end of a Tea Party, which was the first outside of the US to hold a Tea Party rally, launching their national movement in February of this year. In addition, Tea Party organizations have popped up in Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan. Most recently, we have learned that Israel is planning on staging its first Tea Party in Tel-Aviv.
This nascent international movement owes its rise to several factors: First, the financial collapse has sent ripples throughout the economies of most western nations. In doing so, many people have begun to question the ability of governments to effectively control their economies. Ideas like central banking, heavily regulated industries, and progressive taxation appear more and more to be the cause of our current crisis rather than the solution.
Second, modern communication has allowed us to transmit news and ideas in a way that is historically unprecedented. Our ability to network with one another has been a key to the national Tea Parties and is central to the growth of the international movement a well.
Finally, the international Tea Parties are most certainly a reaction to the international progressivism that has been the dominant force in politics for several decades now. Western nations have given in to the temptation of establishing generous welfare states that have caused the slow decay of society from within. The results of these policies can be seen all over Europe including states that are in what might be considered to be long economic dormancies, as well as those that are in danger of full collapse, as in the case in Greece.
Cumulatively, these factors have made the landscape ripe for a movement that rejects the precept that big governments are prepared to take on the burdens they currently shoulder.
An international liberty movement is an idea whose time has come. As a matter of fact, it is one that’s long overdue. We are truly living in interesting times.