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Freedom's Phoenix

Dreaming of Freedom

October 30, 2009 - 10:53am
Nick Coons by Nick Coons


I have the oddest dreams, especially when I don't fall asleep until 3am and then try to sleep beyond 8am when my wife is up and about. Falling in and out of sleep must make for some interesting neurochemical activity. This morning, I dreamt about discussing freedom with a fellow libertarian, and the purpose of talking with people on the subject.

He put forth the same reasons that I would have a year or more ago. We don't "change the world" via politics. You don't get elected to office and make a significantly positive difference. More legislation is certainly not the answer. You need to change the way people think, and the political system will follow. That's not to say that running for office is a bad thing. A candidate gets a much greater opportunity to voice his views than does an average person.

But throughout history, government has never shrunk or increased liberty. Government's have been replaced, violently overthrown, or simply collapsed under their own weight. But government never gets smaller, and freedom never expands under a government. So I'm not exactly what you might call "hopeful" that it'll be any different this time. I fully expect the US Government to collapse under its own weight, and I expect it to happen within the next two decades. Perhaps if it was 50 years ago there might be a chance, but we're too far gone on the wrong path. The state has a natural tendency to grow, and it's beyond critical mass.

So why do I bother, you might ask. Because when a government collapses, you have a hole that tends to be filled. Sometimes this can be filled with a more benevolent government (temporarily, of course), or it can be filled with a dictatorial system. It all depends on the attitude of the people at the time. Hitler gained power because Germany was in economic ruins. He promised change and was an excellent orator. At the time, as well as now, people look to the state for solutions. These were ripe conditions for a power-hungry individual. As we know from history, economic prosperity never actually came under Hitler's policies. Some might say that the conditions today are similar (though not as severe), and that the path being taken is similar as well. This is not to say that Obama is Hitler, or has any intention of, or will ever order the deaths of millions of people. But thus far, the similarities are striking.

And I say this with full understanding of how annoying it is when people try to make someone look bad by comparing them to Hitler. I'm not trying to make Obama look bad. Frankly, he doesn't need my help in that department. But this is an excellent example of history repeating itself, so that even with "good intentions" we can see where we are likely headed.

When the dollar crumbles and the US Government collapses under its own weight of financial ruin, what will take its place? If someone comes along and says that they have the answer, we only need to grant them the authority to implement it, are we going to fall for it? Do the vast majority of us solve problems on a daily basis in our own anarchist microcosm of families, circles of friends, and co-workers? In fact, the question is, do we even need a government. This is why I spend a large portion of my time discussing alternatives to the state. It's not because it'll change the current system, but because it'll determine the shape of what comes when the current system falls by the wayside.

Related Content:

Murder In The Streets - Nick Coons
Risks and Opportunities - Richard Sutton
Are You an Anarchist, or a Statist Thug - Nick Coons

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