Thursday, December 29, 2005

Getting "reoriented" for the new year

I find that there’s no better time to “get my head re-straightened” than as we approach the beginning of a new year. So I’ve just re-read (for the zillionth time) Murray N. Rothbard’s seminal essay for Left Libertarians, first published 40 years ago, “Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty.” Rothbard’s piece offers an exquisite historical summary of the long struggle of liberty against power. It presents a genuine and proper reorientation of just where we lovers of freedom belong on the ideological spectrum. And it brims with an optimism that is hard to find in most of today’s libertarian movement:

“[T]he Old Order was able to persist in its slave system for centuries precisely because it awoke no expectations and no hopes in the minds of the submerged masses; their lot was to live and eke out their brutish subsistence in slavery while obeying unquestioningly the commands of their divinely appointed rulers. But the liberal revolution [of the 18th century] implanted indelibly in the minds of the masses — not only in the West but in the still feudally-dominated undeveloped world — the burning desire for liberty, for land to the peasantry, for peace between the nations, and, perhaps above all, for the mobility and rising standards of living that can only be brought to them by an industrial civilization. The masses will never again accept the mindless serfdom of the Old Order; and given these demands that have been awakened by liberalism and the Industrial Revolution, long-run victory for liberty is inevitable. ...

“For the Libertarian, the main task of the present epoch is to cast off his needless and debilitating pessimism, to set his sights on long-run victory and to set out on the road to its attainment. To do this, he must, perhaps first of all, drastically realign his mistaken view of the ideological spectrum; he must discover who his friends and natural allies are, and above all perhaps, who his enemies are. Armed with this knowledge, let him proceed in the spirit of radical long-run optimism...”

Now, on to my re-reading of Murray’s “Anatomy of the State”!


At 10:03 AM, Blogger Tito Maury said...

Hi Wally Conger, I found your blog while doing some research on king kong toys. I like your blog, thank you for sharing the information and keep up the good work!.
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At 7:48 PM, Blogger Don Bangert said...

While I'm not hocking King Kong toys, I did want to stop in and say hi and wish you a Happy New Year!

I find it interesting as I go about my day-today life how foreign the notion of personal liberty (or living a libertarian's life) is when people who have been raised to be subservient to their leaders surround you. People generally do not understand that there is a better way to live their lives. They think they have to pay taxes, obey all the laws, good or bad, and basically go along to get along. They don't realize that they can question authority, practice civil disobedience and keep their own property whenever they can (taxes). I'm not saying that you should take up a life of crime, but to understand that there is some very much more to life than ignorant complacency.

Take care and keep on blogging!


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