Saturday, December 29, 2012

Are Libertarians A Bunch of "Do Nothing" Complainers?

By, Chris Rossini
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Bob Wenzel's post yesterday on Justin Amash's gradual stroll away from liberty brought out the following from an Anonymous commenter:
...can't libertarians like Wenzel and other commenters come up with better strategies and tactics than sitting all day theorizing about ideal society. By the time we are done debating we'll all be dead. So instead of complaining, think about doing something positive and turn it into action. Do it. Do it now. Tired of complainers and haters and theorists.
This isn't an uncommon view. So I'd like to assist the above commenter (and anyone else that holds that view).

But first, a necessary look at what we're up against here.

The State, and its employed politicians, are parasites…plain and simple:

They're a special kind of parasite though, because the entire time that they drain the life out of us, they're constantly making sure that we believe in their necessity; that we cannot live without them latched on.

The State pulls this off with plenty of help.

First, for the highbrow, it has very dignified Nobel Prize winning experts, like Paul Krugman; as well as $40,000 per speech geniuses like Robert Reich. You're gonna need a nice suit and tie to be graced by their intelligence. Their entire careers rest upon keeping the belief alive....that without The State, you're toast. Any type of freedom can only get you into trouble.

But it doesn't stop with the black tie crowd. The State has a line of defense tailored for everyone.

For the more visual people, there's Ezra Klein, who will crunch any numbers necessary, and will show you any pie chart necessary, to once again keep you believing.

For those who don't have a mind for charts and statistics, you can turn on Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh to tickle your base instincts. Anyone who thinks that life without the parasites is desirable must be some kind of wacko or idiot.

The State's lines of defense go beyond the talking heads. The belief is creatively woven into all parts of our lives, even down to the children. In schools across the land, kids are taught to "pledge allegiance"; and every sporting event starts with a "national anthem". If it's a professional sporting event, there are flyovers by fighter jets, and a member of the military to sing during the 7th inning stretch.

The whole thing is to reassure your belief.

And it works.

Millions upon millions, all over the world, genuflect at the altar of The State. In democracies, the idea was sold that you even have the privilege of praying to it. You can "make your voice heard" by casting ballots with the hope that your prayers will be answered. If you're lucky enough, the false god will bless you, favor you (and punish your neighbor instead).

Now, let's get back to the commenter who accuses sites, like EPJ, of being a bunch of "do nothing" complainers.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

By reading EPJ, you'll find a whole different set of beliefs. The belief in freedom, private property, contracts, the non-aggression principle...To sum it up, that we'd be much better off in a society that lives by the simple statement "Live and Let Live," so long as you're not harming anyone else.

The commenter needs to realize that this is a battle of ideas.

When Krugman perpetuates the illusion that Obama has the power to levitate, EPJ will point out the wires hanging from the ceiling. When Robert Reich exclaims that government really does have 50 rabbits in the top hat, EPJ will point out the trap door.

Now, if someone is coming to EPJ to find out which politician needs to get elected, or whether or not a politician needs to vote for H.R. 12345, than yes, he/she is going to be disappointed. If that's the idea of "doing something" then there are plenty of Beltway libertarian sites and organizations that can keep you entertained.

Here you will find a steady stream of work defending the ideas of freedom, and that contrary to what Leviathan's pawns say, we'd be just fine without them.

Leviathan lives because the citizens that it leeches off of are operating on a confused set of beliefs that allows the leeches to operate. Only when the understanding of the importance and value of freedom advances will a free society be able to hold its ground---and EPJ is about advancing that understanding of freedom.


  1. "plenty of Beltway libertarian sites and organizations" fo sho

  2. Well said! We certainly are up against a state that has woven its nefarious tendrils through every aspect of our life: from conception to death, but we also have the power to spread the word of liberty and the teachings of Mises et. al. via the most open and regulation free place in the world: the internet! Education is the best way to convince the masses and certainly is not 'doing nothing' (of course Mises would argue that doing nothing is indeed doing something) and the internet is (currently) the best way to convey our ideas without the jackboots of the state crushing our ideas through licensure and other means. Remember and take heart everybody: IDEAS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN ARMIES!

  3. Well said. Ideas. Percy Greaves said it well too:

    “Economics is sometimes thought of as a very dry and dismal subject dealing with dusty tomes of statistics about material goods and services. Economics is not a dry subject. It is not a dismal subject. It is not about statistics. It is about the human life. It is about the ideas that motivate human beings. It is about how men act from birth until death. It is about the most important and interesting drama of all – human action.

    “The main objective of economics is to substitute consistently correct ideas and actions for the contradictory ideas and actions inherent in popular fallacies…

    “We all want things that are not necessarily essential, but we always choose those actions which we think will best improve the situation from our viewpoint. This means that the ideas that men hold determine their choice of actions. This means that the most important thing in the world is ideas.”

    - Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Understanding the Dollar Crisis

  4. But, which contributes more to the cause of liberty, criticizing Justin Amash or criticizing the views of Obama&Reich ?

  5. EPJ is about like having Murry Rothbard commenting on current events. It is extremely valuable because when current events are reported, they are ALWAYS reported from a particular point of view and that point of view is often the more important aspect of the report - more important than the event itself. Having current events viewed through the Ancap lens is essential to educating rebels and revolutionaries.

    Also, I weary of the complaint that everyone is complaining but no one is DOING anything (a favorite ploy of exparasite Paul Craig Roberts). In fact, it is illegal to suggest DOING anything specific, other than complaining. Complaining is still legal. Protesting is merely complaining by another name. When those who are impatient demand that we stop complaining and DO something, note that they dare not say what they would have us do, since that would be an illegal suggestion. Only the enemy can suggest violence against us, called a "legislative proposal", but we can not suggest our own self defense, which is called "inciting violence".

    It needs to be understood that the perverts in power have made all the rules they need to not only rule us, but also to prohibit any self-defense against them. Self-defense will therefore have to be a crime. It will be committed by individuals, not by wordy public 'organizations'. In public, all that can be done is to educate and encourage the individuals.

    Three cheers for EPJ. And three more for LRC.

  6. What's described in the article is the sort of the long term version of 'doing something', putting out content that exposes the invalidity of what's called government. But my issue with relying on that alone is that it kind of puts one at the mercy of the sheeple-like and often violent public who probably are not going to all wake up en masse any time during this lifetime. The state is not the only entity of coercion in society. It wouldn't exist as it does without a public that believes in the principle of coercion and practices it themselves in their own private life. I experience this even when driving. I find that drivers often don't respect the rules of the road and the concept of right of way and I have to be bobbing and weaving just to keep them from plowing into me very often.

  7. Ok, question then. Vermont and New Hampshire, both small states, have active liberty movements. Why not encourage a move en masse to realize at least something closer to the ideal libertarian society within these two states? There are surely enough libertarians to significantly have an impact were even 10% to move to these locations.

  8. Don't blame the anonymous commenter. It's a virus of the mind.