"Scorched Earth, Baby..."
Last month I wrote a fairly blunt analysis of the main cause behind the Henry Hazlitt Foundation's shutdown (HHF is the organization that ran Free-Market.Net, libertarian.org, ifeminists.com, and other web sites). For those of you who might need a recap or who haven't read it, the HHF board voted to cease operations because promised support hadn't come in and they were unwilling to risk further debt, even though at the time of the vote contributions had begun to pick up again.
Not surprisingly to me, much of the feedback I've received regarding the article has been negative. I've been accused of being too hard on people during tough economic times, misunderstanding the definition of the word "principle," self-pitying whining, and expecting people to donate to pro-freedom organizations irrespective of their financial situations, among other things. Based on the defensive tone of many of the responses (and the tendency of others to focus on barely relevant items I mentioned, such as war-mongering libertarians), I think I struck a nerve.
To that I can only say, "Good."
Now, if people will only do something in response, instead of slipping back into a stupor or continuing to debate, argue, talk.
I don't believe in New Year's resolutions; either a change is worth beginning on at the moment one decides change is desired or it isn't worth doing at all. It was just coincidence that at the end of 2002 I was reflecting on career choices and goals, and the increasingly depressing assault on freedom in the U.S. Rather than becoming depressed anew by it all, I somehow found a hitherto unknown source of strength to keep fighting. About the time I felt this resolve welling within my mind, I received an email from a good friend which happened to contain the phrase "Scorched earth, baby ..." With that, a crystal seed dropped into the solution and a clear path emerged.
I have committed to focus my activities in new areas and with some new tactics, and ignore the fair-weather, supposedly pro-freedom crowd as much as possible. If others choose to remain individuals of talk rather than action, that karma is on their souls, not mine. If the time for the cattle cars is at hand, I'm not going to be among those meekly boarding the trains. I am not a slave, I am no one's property, and I refuse to be treated by anyone as such. I similarly refuse to allow my energy to be sapped by those who are all talk and no action.
Freedom is my goal, and I intend to be focused on it with little regard for offending the delicate sensibilities of those who are apparently content to posture, then meekly present for mounting when the Thought Police troop into town. This isn't to say that I'm uninterested in working with others: I am, very much so, but the focus must be on getting the boots off our necks. Browse Doing Freedom! for several ideas that span the gamut from fairly anonymous but effective monkey-wrenching to shooting the bastards. More are on the way.
Many people seem to think that the fight for freedom is necessarily in conflict with earning a living. And so it becomes easy to rationalize not doing more in defense of liberty. But without freedom, is life worth living? Are you content to consign the rest of your life, your children's lives, and so on, to the thrall of the state because a comfortable middle-class lifestyle was worth more effort than resisting USA Patriot and Homeland Security?
If more individuals who claim to love freedom were to shift focus and dedicate more energy to resisting tyranny -- really taking action -- most of the threats to liberty would evaporate. Like schoolyard bullies, most of the Thought Police thugs are more bluster than punch, and when challenged, they back off. Eliminating them from the equation changes it dramatically, and will have the effect of putting the real thugs on notice that their numbers aren't what they thought. It will probably still come down to a battle with them, but one we'd have a much better chance of winning. Think of the energy we can command if we adopt this approach toward defending and advancing freedom.
Scorched earth, baby ... and if you aren't with me, get the hell out of my way.
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