Though his mind is not for rent to any god or government, always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren’t permanent, but change is. — Neil Peart, Tom Sawyer, from Moving Pictures (1981) by Rush
A libertarian, the definition of which I best fall under among various political orientations, is no more discontent about society than others who have got things all wrong by embracing the state in any shape or degree.
Sure, he may not experience whatever victories are experienced by people who identify themselves with political parties, but there is a peace in being so consistent in principle and theory against the state.
Not only is a libertarian no more discontent than morons of other political persuasions, but happiness need not be beyond his grasp. One’s wishes for humanity, no matter how distant in the future or in reality they may be — and even in a society without institutionalized states, there will be some level of coercion, the conflict of which is necessary for evolution — can go hand in hand with everyday happinesses that require no upheaval but that of one’s mind.
The more I am aware of the libertarian movement, both abroad and among people I personally know, the more I see its inadequacies, its flaws, its outright lamenesses. Yet for every tasteless, arrogant, stuck-up, hard-headed, phony, narcissistic, spineless dork who considers themselves of like mind, there are three or four genuinely nice people worth knowing and sharing ideas with.
And the more I see, the less like a ‘movement’ it seems. Worthwhile change happens not with a bang. There is no revamp of people in charge; heck, the very concept of people having to be in charge is discarded. Political revolution quietly creeps in like inception.
Any noise that is heard, is in glory of specific entities, think tanks, foundations, politicians, etc. These are marketing successes, nothing more. They do not concern me, nor anyone who insists on being scientific in their views.
They’re morons. So what?
The gap between sound political thinking, and of today’s intellectual morass, is huge. There’s this diagram I saw sometime back, showing a hierarchy of entities, wherein God supersedes Country supersedes Family supersedes Barkada supersedes the Individual. As though there just had to be conflict between levels, or as if the individual could benefit himself in any long-term, holistic sense by hurting others or by defying science and nature (i.e. God, for those wanting to be figurative about it).
Instead of looking at the individual and society as complementing one another — wherein the interests of both are promoted sans coercive acts — conflict is thought to be inherent. No wonder people turn to the state, i.e. initiated, institutionalized violence, to sort their problems. If you look at society as a class war instead of, well, a society composed of individuals, life will always be one versus the other, of which government is the epitome.
Luckily, not many actually embrace the implications of statism to its end. Unluckily, because they do not take the time to study its implications at all, most still unwittingly embrace statism and the theft and murder it entails, even though if questioned, they would say that theft and murder are harmful and despicable.
What is to be done?
1. Keep your head down. Stay away from politics (not to say, don’t discuss it altogether).
2. Keep your head up. Take time to appreciate the liberty you do have, which is considerable. Even Andy Dufresne, stuck in a dark, stinky hole in ‘The Shawshank redemption’ (1994), had the music in his heart that no warden could take away.