Freedom

Get Them Drunk on Liberty

Encouragement to those who want to spread the message

Most people value liberty.  At their core, most people prefer freedom to coercion, choice to mandates, and peace to violence.  Many people just don’t know it.

Libertarians often lament the difficulty of convincing the world that freedom is the most moral and practical choice.  But understanding the nature of the struggle is key to overcoming it.  As tough as it seems, convincing people of libertarian ideas is seldom like pulling teeth.  It’s more like introducing them to alcohol for the first time.

It’s unfamiliar, a bit too strong and kind of weird.  The first taste doesn’t sit well.  The second isn’t much better.  A little more time and a few more tries and it’s tolerable, but certainly nothing to write home about.  Before long life is enhanced by it's frequent enjoyment and the initiated find that they do things under its influence they couldn’t have imagined before.  (Inevitably, some pictures of those things end up on Facebook, but before long they go from embarrassing to brag-worthy)

With drink and liberty, you must start sweet, without much potency.  Starting with Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action is like introducing an abstainer to alcohol with a keg-stand.  The uninitiated typically respond to “foo foo” very well.  At first they’ll tell you it’s the sweetness they like, and that they could do without the potent ingredients.  Keep serving them.  Soon, the sweetness will be an unnecessary afterthought, and they will imbibe to get the good stuff and get it fast.

There’s something in human beings that almost universally reacts to alcohol.  It’s nearly always an acquired taste, yet throughout history the peoples and societies that have tried it have fallen in love with it, created new versions of it and even invented elaborate games and festivities around it.  It is enjoyed by people of every race, religion, language and custom.  So it is with liberty.

If someone coughs and winces a bit when you offer them their first taste of liberty, don’t be discouraged.  Sweeten it up, serve it again and wait for the results.  Soon they’ll be a “social” libertarian; next they’ll brag about how much liberty they can handle, and finally, if the substance works its magic, they’ll be consuming Human Action even when alone.

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Note: Don't get carried away. Like all analogies, it obviously breaks down at some point. Too much alcohol is very, very bad.  Freedom on the other hand, like truth and justice, is not something that can be had in excess, as it is itself the mean between vices.  If you're in a huff about this claim, read this.

...Like a Horse and Carriage

...Like a Horse and Carriage

How to rescue marriage from the government

By Joe Holmes

 

Marriage is one of the most important social institutions. It is the cornerstone of the family unit; it binds people together in spiritual, practical, and legal ways. There is overwhelming statistical evidence that children who grow up in a two-parent household are more likely to succeed in life and less likely to get divorced later in life. Thus, it seems logical that state-sponsored acknowledgment of such a valuable institution exists. However, legal and spiritual commitment to another person is also arguably the most personal decision an individual can make. As such, while the state should acknowledge certain legal rights between married parties, it should also allow individuals to define marriage for themselves, given the wide variety of religious and moral opinions people hold.

Why I'm a Libertarian

Why I'm a Libertarian
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By Joe Holmes

The contemporary political landscape is pulled in two directions – social paternalism (our Republican friends) and economic paternalism (our Democratic friends). A neutral definition of paternalism can be seen as a system, principle, or practice of managing or governing individuals, businesses, nations, etc., in the manner of a father dealing benevolently and often intrusively with his children. The core character, then, is that the government knows what’s best for you. The Republican Party, by fighting against gay rights, abortion rights, and seeking to preserve a generally conservative society, can be said to be socially paternalistic. Similarly, the Democratic Party, by seeking to employ people in collective bargaining contexts and unions, increased taxation, and providing a whole host of expensive and largely inefficient government resources, can be said to be economically paternalistic. The libertarian would say that both forms of paternalism are equally invasive and destructive.

Don't Arrest, Invest

Don't arrest, invest
What ending the War on Drugs can buy
by Justin Hartfield

Jeffery A. Miron finds that by decriminalizing cannabis, the federal government would generate $2.4 billion in federal tax revenue annually, and that an additional $7.7 billion would be saved as the cost of incarceration, policing, and processing offenders. Now, that's too much money to for the human brain to fully conceptualize, given the air quality around April 20th, so your friends at the Prometheus Institute have provided this handy quantitive index in order to show exactly how much the U.S. can earn each year from cannabis decriminalization. The math: $2.4 billion per year + $7.7 billion per year = $10.1 billion gained in total per year. You're welcome.

That's Gay

That's Gay
Why homosexuality may be unpopular but gay marriage is still a fundamental right

By M. Harrison

 

Many rational heterosexuals are repulsed by homosexuality. Often, this is not an artifact of their bigotry or hatred - it is a reflection of natural sexual preferences. Ask many gay men what they think of the sexual allure of the female and you'll observe a cognitive repulsion identical to the one previously mentioned.