From For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (this excerpt is, itself, a quote of H. L. Mencken):
All [that government] can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
Now, obviously, it is well known that the state fears original thinking. Why shouldn’t it? As Rothbard states in his essay “The Anatomy of the State” it is the populace’s adherance to state rule that allows the state to survive. Even if it is the Third Reich, the people under the rule of said regime must, at least a majority must, believe the state necessary and in their best interest (the Third Reich was even voted for democratically) to exist.
If there ever was to be a mass consensus the state is not necessary or is not serving its purpose, then it would be overthrown because what sane individual is going to give their lives and property to individuals if they do not feel it serves their best interest? Remember, in the past there has been use of such abstract justifications as “the divine right of kings” so people do willingly give up their lives and property even if it does cause them immediate harm.
My point being that we need to be more than those who have the original idea and try to influence others and stop there; we must be the Romantics. We must do all that is within our power to promote the universal ideas of personal liberty. We must do more than simply inform people of our ideas, we must take action. “Let them take Arms!” as Jefferson would put (although, at this point in time, I’m not advocating the use of violence).
I bring this up because there are a couple of historically significant days coming up. One is on November 9th. There are already plans to take action on this day, but what I think is being overlooked is the upcoming date of November 5th. “Remember, remember the 5th of November.” Yes, it’s a British day of recognition, but the idea is universal nonetheless. I merely want to invite anyone to do more than reminisce. Do something. Use the significance of this day to promote the ideals of the YAL more than you otherwise would. The creativity I leave to you.
Just remember, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. You must value liberty over everything else. You must be willing to fight, tooth and nail, for so long as it takes in order to achieve it. For if you are willing to give anything for personal freedom, then you shall have it.
*Forgive the multitude of rhetorical flourishes I’ve presented, kind of got caught in the moment.Published in