"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." ~ Frederic Bastiat
I Have a Dream
Exclusive to STR
November 6, 2006
I have a dream where we build a free community that embraces the free market, where traders of the world unite with each person peacefully exchanging goods and services between willing buyers and sellers without restriction.
Where the word 'society' and 'community' are understood only in terms of individuals, not as a collective term that has an identity and existence apart from those who comprise it. A place where people are free to pursue their lives as they see fit without interference.
I dream of a place where the fruits of the individual rational mind and productive ability are valued. A place where everyone is measured, not according to their colour, religious beliefs or culture, but based on their ability to create and produce value and trade. Individual creativity and free expression are valued over recycled pop music and repackaged media hype. This place attracts the best and brightest persons from around the planet and 'one hundred flowers bloom.'
A place where there is no taxation (forcible theft of earned property), no conscription (enslavement for military or State purposes) and indeed no State, with all services, including policing and justice, efficiently provided by private enterprise at competitive cost. No one is forced to pay for a good or service that they do not need, or subsidise someone else. There is a high standard of health and education as there is free choice of competitive private providers.
In my dream, buyers and sellers of labour freely contract among themselves, trading digital gold and silver--from each person according to their ability, to each according to their contribution. Unemployment and poverty no longer exist--no minimum wages restrict employment of the less skilled, and individuals prosper as all contribute and learn. The opportunity for wealth is available to anyone, free of the threat of property confiscation and unnecessary or arbitrary regulation.
There is no protection of inefficient businesses at the expense of the consumer. The most competitive product is always available without subsidies, import duties or quotas.
In my dream, the State does not exist. Politics has become irrelevant, as there is no State power to wield and politics therefore offers no prospects of self-aggrandizement. Individuals interact, one trader to another, focusing on personal achievement rather than power. Those interested in exerting power over others find no opportunity in this place--those who are truly free do not submit to re-enslavement.
Laws here protect personal safety and property rights, but do not restrict any other activity. In my dream, everyone recognises that the State does not grant rights, but that rights already exist and that the State is in fact generally the enemy of rights rather than their protector.
I dreamed of a place that has no desire to maintain a standing military force--this community is peaceful, existing only to trade profitably, and abhors the use of force. Where necessary to protect life and property rights, defense is provided by 'a well regulated militia' of the people who freely bear arms.
In my dream, this community was open only to the productive and responsible--those who look after themselves and their families. The mediocre and those who wish to parasitically exist off the labours of others are not welcome, and the community is closed to them. There is no 'welfare system' here. The term 'victim' no longer exists, as everyone is regarded as equally able to trade and contributes at their own level.
Is this place far away? It is as close as the heart of anyone who believes in liberty and free enterprise and recognises that they are actively opposed by Government. 'It is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government.'
Is it for everyone? No, just for the independent and competent. Membership is not by default but by conscious, deliberate choice.
Can it exist in our world? Yes, but as this dream threatens the very existence of State power and its associated looters, it will not come to pass through the political process. It will begin through conscious grassroots action to take back what has been stolen from us--our privacy and wealth.
Given time and stealth, we will find places where we can live our dreams away from those who seek to label us 'terrorists' or crush our independence. Perhaps on ships in international waters, in tax havens, or via encrypted data in cyberspace. For those who share this dream, it will eventually become reality, as the dying States become more oppressive, and as free minds tire of supporting the non-producers and yearn for freedom.