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04/29/2007 Archived Entry: "Trade for sustainable freedom"


Violence is THE tool of the state. In the end, everything the state does rests on the promise of using violence and coercion to achieve its goals.

Silver here. Fellow blogista Thunderís recent post, and a post by his partner Lightning, spoke eloquently about how fighting government and all its innumerable evils tends to give us exactly the opposite of what we want. I would add just one thought to their eloquent words: It's not fighting the government at the root of the problem, it is fighting. Resorting to confrontation and violence brings us down to the level of the state.

Recently we saw the power of the internet used to destroy the career of Jim Zumbo. His thoughtless outburst aroused hundreds, perhaps thousands of firearms enthusiasts to email his sponsors, most of whom promptly dropped him. But when it was over, were we really any freer?

I want more freedom. I want to build up people and institutions that respect and nourish sustainable freedom and the qualities of free men. I have renounced the use of violence to achieve my goals.

I know a way. Itís a small way, a humble way, but ultimately it is more powerful than boycotts or even bullets. Whatís more, itís something we all do every day. Adding just a tiny bit of thought and care can change a chore into a tool to build freedom.

Itís called trade.

One of Jim Zumboís sponsors was Hi Mountain Seasonings. They were among the first to drop their sponsorship.

I was in the market for jerky makings. I love the stuff, but itís pricey, and the quality of the store-bought stuff I can find in evil Taxachusetts varies from tasteless to salty shoe leather. Worse yet, I knew that several of the mega-corps pushing the stuff made a lot of money selling their wares to the government. Instead of free trade, they sought stolen tax money. Itís probably a lucrative business, but I donít support those who serve the state.

I learned about Hi Moutain because of the Zumbo controversy. I was impressed by their forthright response. So instead of finding another place to send an angry email, I visited their website and bought a jerky kit and several varieties of seasonings. Iíve made one batch, and while this isnít the place for a full review, I can report that it was easy to make, delicious to eat, and kept for a full month in the refrigerator, if only because my travels kept me from gobbling it all up sooner.

What I want to emphasize is that by choosing Hi Mountain, I scored a double blow for freedom. My freedom. I supported a good product made by good, freedom-loving people. At the same time, I withdrew my support from the poor products, reducing the income of those support the state.

My small purchase may not seem like much. Given my experience, I wonít be making just one purchase, but a lifetimeís worth. That particular choice is easy. I can use the time saved to research other purchase decisions, be it for food or gasoline or services, and take care to award my custom to people who support freedom. Not with slogans or pictures of (in)famous hunters, but by acting as free men should act.

My purchases alone wonít amount to much. Combine my choice with millions of others and it becomes an unstoppable tidal wave. If even a small but determined minority starts voting for freedom with their wallets the world will change for the better. Thatís the wonder and the power of the free market.

I want to learn who makes a quality product while respecting me as a consumer and a free man. I want to build a market, and a society, where freedom matters. Destruction of careers or entire civilizations is the work of the state. Building and trade is the work of free men.

Posted by Silver @ 09:02 AM CST

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