"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will." ~ Adam Smith
The Way Out
Experience and what wisdom I possess have shown me that if a person pretends to be something else for long enough, they end up becoming that thing in truth. What does this have to do with liberty? What has it to do with your life? And, honestly, is there anything that you can do in the real world to avoid this unwitting "character assimilation"?
Let's begin with an example that has some application to real life. Consider
For those people who don't reenact, consider the face you put on when you're
Well, it's back to our old questions. What does this have to do with liberty? Maybe we should ponder this for a moment. Did we come to the same
Think for a moment about yourself. Do you have one set of political views
What does this do to you? The first and most damaging effect of this moral posing (delude yourself no further, my pretties, you know exactly what I
But wait, doesn't everyone do that? If you asked 15 people right now, about five would say yes, seven would say they weren't sure, and the remaining few might have the temerity to remind you that small children don't, but that doesn't count since they're not adults. That last could be true, but neither of us have time for an extended elegy on the pains of growing up. Just think--being one person in public and another in public is what has gotten this nation and we personally into trouble for all these years.
So you're now guarded. Well, what else? You're an intelligent human being, so I'm sure you can follow my logic when I tell you to think long term.
It is time someone acknowledged these things. Will it be you? Will you stand up and say "Hey. I'm a guarded and morally amorphous lump of matter who is letting my heart's desire slip away for the sake of convenience and a good laugh with a bunch of sods who don't know what they're talking about anyway. However, I can change. I will stand up for my beliefs--I don't have to yell from the mountaintops, but I can sure put my true feelings out there when called upon. I don't have to be one of the ones who are sabotaging the cause of freedom."
Maybe you don't want to do that. Well, why are you here then? Go click on
Still here? I commend you, brave soul. You now want me to tell you what you
1. Acknowledge your values. Sit down at the table with a pen and a pad of paper. Ask yourself what liberty means to you. What would you be willing to die to defend? Less melodramatically, what do you believe is essential to a good life? Do you need the ability to make as much money as ability lets you and to keep all that you earn? Maybe the ability to say whatever you like so long as it avoids personal injury to people? The list goes on and on. The most important bit is that you *do not* say what you think your wife or your neighbor or I want you to say, but that you write on that pad what you yourself must have. This is why the first step is called acknowledging
2. Make a conscious decision to stick by these values. This means no backpedaling, whether in public or in your own mind. When and if you are
3. Take your views to the people. This is analogous to #2. Do whatever you can to let other people know that you believe strongly that man must have
4. Keep informed. Information is--though it might sound trite--the best weapon against any foe. Read the news, be it online or in paper form. Sign
5. Avoid double standards. You don't wish someone to harm you? Don't harm anyone else. The reverse applies. If someone hurts you, hit back with all your might. "But that is childish!" you cry. Did you ever think that maybe the children have something there? If you let someone coerce you, you only show that you're a sucker for any parasite who comes waltzing in. If you coerce someone else, you show only that you're one of those parasites.
Personal responsibility can be difficult. Avoiding the assimilation of so-called "societal values" can be difficult. Neither is impossible. You have a reason to be a person that others can look up to. You have a reason to push for liberty in your thoughts and actions. You have no reason to be a poseur. You have no reason to become a creeping sod such as everyone despises. Show the world what a fine and rational spirit you posses! If enough people do it, we just might get our world back sooner.