The Ultimate Right

I have come to the striking conclusion that the ultimate right – that which secures all others – is the right to leave.

If that right is not respected, however well you are treated, you are indeed a slave.

Advertisements

Just A Bunch of Sign-Waving Blimp Renters…

The Campaign for Liberty’s Shadow Republican Convention is moving on up – to the Target Center! I’m so excited for all of us, and if I wasn’t moving so close to the date, you bet I’d be there. I expect our revolution to light up Minnesota (to be clear, that’s a metaphor).

My favorite part of the article linked above was where Paulites were described as “loud and sometimes rowdy, usually young, sign-waving blimp renters.” They might as well have called us ‘wacky, waving, inflatable, arm-flailing tube men.’ I guess there are worse insults…

Whatever his strategy, Dr. Paul moved liberty from an ignored concept to a ridiculed concept. So, according to Schopenhauer, we’re on the map! Now, we must face violent opposition, and finally acceptance. I sure hope I live to see that last one.

P.S. Did you hear Dr. Paul just received a huge advance for his memoirs? Congratulations, Doc; you deserve it.

I am a liberal. They are not.

It’s amazing how many different words the statists have used, over the years, to dress up their same, tired philosophy. They’ve called it Conservative, Progressive, Fascist, Nationalist, Communist, Socialist, Egalitarian, Centrist, Third Way, Green, Monarchist, Loyalist, Revolutionary, but, here in North America, the one that really grinds my gears is liberal.

Liberal is our word, the ‘our’ being what are presently called libertarians. People are identified as libertarian if they are “socially-liberal and economically-conservative.” It seems in this parlance, liberal means free on the social spectrum and conservative means free on the economic spectrum. Doesn’t that seem like a language trick to confuse people? The powers-that-be give you two labels from which to choose: liberal offers you social freedom and economic slavery, and conservative the opposite. That way, if you believe in something like social AND economic freedom, you either have to take on one of the existing labels with some silly modifier (market liberal, paleoconservative, et al) or accept a less-catchy term like libertarian.

The great injustice is that the term liberal was outright stolen from libertarians by the socialists of the early 20th century. ‘Liberal’ comes from the latin root liber, meaning free. A liberal has always meant someone who believes in freedom, in other words a modern libertarian. In Continental Europe, it is still largely used in this manner. Over here, the early socialists had a problem they didn’t face in Europe: no one believed their bullshit. Americans discovered political liberty, and it had served us well. So, the socialists figured out how to turn our own language against us. They called our notion of liberty ‘negative liberty’ and their notion of government interference ‘positive liberty.’ You see, now it wasn’t enough to have the potential to fulfill your desires, you were now entitled to fulfill them. What that meant for the people who now had to work toward YOUR goals was ignored, as was the debate over whose goals would be pursued (usually it translates into the politically well-connected). So, now we had moved from liberals to negative liberals. Once the socialists got their foot in the door linguistically, many people found a way to justify their instinctual drives for cheating and violence. Soon after, liberal came to only mean socialist, and lost all of its libertarian connotation.

Some of us now call ourselves classical liberals, while a great many others identify as true conservatives. The latter is laughable, though it has translated into electoral success, because libertarians have always fought the conservatives – those who wanted to maintain their grasp on power through monarchy, aristocracy, theocracy, or else-wise. Even the modern ‘conservative coalition’ is just a nonsensical mix of libertarians, nationalists, and christian democrats set up by a man that I would call a (classical) liberal: Ronald Reagan.

Well I say we ditch the epithet and take back our word. I am a liberal: I believe in severely-restricted government, reforming our electoral system, returning power to the States, voting independent, and increasing personal and economic liberty in every way. I do not vote Democrat: those people are socialists. I do not vote Republican: those people are nationalists. I am neither left-wing nor right-wing, left-leaning nor right-leaning, for the only true dichotomy is between freedom and slavery. I do not believe there is such a thing as positive liberty, except insofar as all liberty is positive if you exclude other ideologies masquerading as liberty. I am a liberal, a libertarian, a free-marketeer, a propertarian, a minarchist, but mostly I am a liberal. And they are not.

Pedemapia: A Step Forward

This newspaper’s article, entitled “Neighborhood Maps & Meetups” drew several worthwhile responses. The article made a call for work to commence on neighborhood and pedestrian maps of major cities. In turn, it drew the interest of those who are already working on these important endeavors.

Pedemapia is one such proposal. Created by a Maen Zaghloul of Amman, Jordan, it is astounding in its simplicity. The idea, contained in a unassuming Microsoft Word document, is primarily to urge map makers to add pedestrian routes to maps, but secondarily it depicts a particular symbol set to depict gradation. Changes in grade are important bits of information to walkers and cyclists.

Pedemapia appears to be the kernel of a future pedestrian mapping site. I recommend that the author pursue this goal. However lofty it may seem now, it is a chance at greatness. With a meaningful investment of time and money, and perhaps a partnership with Google Maps or Mapquest, the dream of Pedemapia is well within reach. The yield would most likely be a small fortune, and the gratitude of pedestrians worldwide.

In other news, a company called Maponics now offers detailed and researched neighborhood maps for sale, if anyone is so inclined to purchase one. If you are looking for some free entertainment, Google Labs is developing another revolutionary product: Google Transit. So far, it allows residents of select cities to chart a route on mass transit as easily as one can chart an automotive route on Google Maps. There’s still no Toronto. Hear that Google? Add Toronto. And New York for Spooner’s sake! Regardless, it is the latest salvo against the car-focused modern era.

I still believe that pedestrian and neighborhood maps are highly relevant informational tools for the postmodern era. Current maps reinforce cars and governments as the sources of legitimacy. For isn’t it only ‘public’ landmarks, highways, and roads that are featured. They are all we see of cities, so they are how we see cities. It’s no wonder Robert Moses was allowed to have his way with New York City for so many years. The pragmatist in me rejects this thinking. We should identify ourselves rather than being labeled. Neighborhoods emerge through the names on store awnings and local clubs. Pedestrian pathways are still often within the realm of private development. Both need charting, so that we can view ourselves in our own image – not contorted into the unforgiving motorways that clog and suffocate our cities.