adventures in dysthymia

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

LIBERTARIANS, Anarchists, Free Will and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Once upon a time, I was strongly attracted to the libertarian philosophy. After a while, however, I realized that most libertarians were not truly committed to personal freedom, but only to the degree that it benefited them. Most were unwilling to do away with the strictures and structures of private ownership and capitalism.

If libertarians truly believed in freedom, they would not believe in restricting others from using any resource, rather than protecting it through ownership laws. Or, even allowing for capitalism, they should not wish to keep such artificial structures as corporations, that allow investors to relinquish personal responsibility.

True libertarianism would be anarchism. I'm not necessarily opposed to an anarchist society (which of course still has societal guidelines even if there are no laws) but maybe not right now! The goal of Marxism, you may know, was to ultimately have an anarchist world. Anarchism might be described as libertarian communism.

Unfortunately, Marx and those who followed (more or less) his ideas, thought that a socialist state would eventually 'wither away' leaving the communist/anarchist society. It didn't work, did it? That's because you don't get rid of government by making it stronger, by centralizing authority. Any state will try to continue increasing its power.

I'm not particularly libertarian, in a political sense, anymore (even if my heart is anarchist). It won't work in a world where international corporations wield so much power. Oh, I'm all for personal freedom to do anything that doesn't hurt someone else. And I still very much dislike authority figures of any sort.

Indeed, all my life I have refused to do any job that required me to wear a uniform. I consider that a giving up of my god-given freedom and individuality. Actually, I've not been too good about working for anyone else in general. Needless to say, that made the military very much out of the question. I'd have to admit, that had as much to do with me refusing to serve as my beliefs in non-violence. No one should should have to put aside his free will and subordinate himself to another person.

After all, having been given free will, is it not a sin (i.e. a turning away from God/Being) to give up our freedom? Should we not strive to become who we are rather than subjugate ourselves to the will of others?

There is the idea of God as 'Lord,' the concept that we are subject to his will. Yet it is God who gives us our free will. God IS free will. He is Being.

We all share in that free will. God is within us all and each of us is Lord of his own destiny. Each of us must choose for our own self or we deny this gift.

Some might say they 'choose' not to use it and, thus, have exercised their freedom. Is this anything more than an excuse for their failure, their fear to be free?

As an aside here, this is why I somewhat disapprove of gambling. To gamble, to leave things to chance, is a relinquishing of our control and our ability to choose. I'm pretty tolerant of most things but gambling is not one of them. Not that I would prohibit anyone else from doing it but I will not be involved nor in any way promote it. I have chosen not to take gigs where gambling occurs. Good thing Vegas hasn't been calling!

I can not take responsibility for the world but I can take responsibility for myself. I can choose freedom for myself. I can put the idea into words, into art, for others to perhaps choose as well. And it may be futile task, most of the time, but so be it. I choose to do it.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

Just as a little addendum to this ramble, I thought I'd include a song lyric from my anarcho-punk rocker days. Oh, wait, these are my anarcho-punk rocker days.


I don't need your rules, I don't need your fools,
Telling me what I've got to do.
I don't need your kind to make up my mind;
I won't get in line for you.

Anarchy forever. Anarchy forever.

I don't need your whores, I don't want your wars,
Go sell yourself somewhere else.
I won't go to work to support some jerk;
Turn off your time clocks and bells.

Anarchy forever. Anarchy forever.

Break all your laws, see all your flaws,
Didn't vote for you, don't tell me what to do.
I won't let you run my life.

I won't hear your lies, I won't let your spies
Watch me like I am a criminal.
Give me freedom now, don't care what you allow;
I'll tear down all your walls.

Stephen Brooke ©1988

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