On Liberty…

I would suggest liberty is out of fashion. Who fights for it? Few do. How many prominent leaders or politicians are touting self-reliance and privacy? Almost none. In fact, most of today’s so-called thought leaders and elected officials are preaching income equality and trying to ban cash instead of reducing taxation and promoting freedom to transact with anyone. The answer to the problem of a weak economy and income disparity is not more restrictions on individuals. The answer is not more social welfare programs. It’s not more stimulus or extending credit to the large banks via the Federal Reserve. The answer is more liberty.

There is an innate desire in humans to believe they are in control of their lives. Study after study shows that true happiness for a person comes when they believe they free to shape their own destiny. So this begs the question, why do we continue to elect people who expand government? All government is, after all, the opposite of liberty. It is the antithesis. So why does it grow if people want to be free? One word: fear. People are afraid of many things, but mostly they are fearful of each other. James Madison, architect of the Constitution, famously stated, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” True. Mankind is not angelic. Watch any news channel for five minutes and you’ll know this is true.

So, we decide to surrender our liberties to another entity for protection. We delegate our right to self-defense to a third party. We delegate charity to a third party. We allow a third party to rob us through taxation in the name of fairness. We allow banks and government to regulate how much legal tender we can have and deposit without being molested. We allow our privacy to become extinct through mass data collection by government agencies. Why? Because we have been groomed to be afraid: afraid of drug dealers. Afraid of terrorists. Afraid of wild gunmen. Afraid of the greedy rich.

I would argue that most of all we are afraid of the free market, of self-reliance. Providing value in the marketplace through voluntary transaction is a scary proposition. (It’s much easier to know that we have a net to catch us if we fall. A net to protect us from the bad guys.) But as that net grows, it blocks the rays of liberty that cause all living things to grow. I urge you to embrace the fear of self-determination. Self-reliance is a virtue, not a dirty thing. The next time your hear a politician talk about keeping you safe, eliminating cash because of “illegal” transactions, providing a safety net for the poor, free education for all, or the need for “NEW LAWS”… run away as fast as you can. Think scam artist. Their intentions may be pure, but the consequences will be diminished liberty. Diminished self-determination. Diminished happiness.

So if you are faced with the choice of comfort versus freedom…choose freedom every time. No one can make you safe or comfortable except you.

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