"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." -John Adams

Welcome to Patriot's Lament. We strive here to educate ourselves on Liberty. We will not worry ourselves so much with the daily antics of American politics, and drown ourselves in the murky waters of the political right or left.
Instead, we will look to the Intellectuals and Champions of Liberty, and draw on their wisdom of what it is to be a truly free people. We will learn from where our Providential Liberties are derived, and put the proper perspective of a Free Individual and the State.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Sovereignty Movement vs. Being A Free Man

The Sovereignty Movement leads down many fascinating rabbit holes: some of which are built on historical fiction, significant other portions of which are quite revealing truths. Many of those who get involved are already "at the end of their rope" and still view an appeal to the state as their last resort. They often lose it when the state says, "We don't care if you are legally correct." They forget that the legitimacy of the state does not rest on law, contract, or even force, but on the perception of the majority that the state's use of force is legitimate. The state only needs the perception of legitimacy from your neighbors to use force against you for any reason whatsoever. Thus, to appeal to the state is to miss the point. The only conclusion one reaches if one does not eventually let go of these ideas is that he must project greater force against the state than it can project against him. This is a race to the bottom that the state always wins. Far more important is to attempt to de-legitimize the state in the minds of those around you. Far more important is to remain peaceful and let the truth of what you speak inspire those around you to question the very nature of the state. As Victor Hugo observed, "Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come." Indeed Christ himself showed us the way forward when it comes to demonstrating the power of resisting the "powers that be" without ever fighting back.

So what of the legal and administrative battle that is the Sovereignty Movement? We must realize that paperwork cannot enslave men, nor can it set men free. Only men can enslave men. Conversely, the condition of liberty can only be found in a society made up of free individuals. What is a free individual? One who seeks to live a life based on a congruent and peaceful ideology. An ideology free of internal conflict (peace being the absence of conflict). Since the only person we can improve is ourselves, the question of "how to be free" then becomes a question of, "What conflicting beliefs do I hold, and how can I resolve this inner conflict?" Liberty comes about one person at a time as we each decide to examine our own thoughts and motivations, and resolve the conflict within ourselves. Again, Christ reminds us of this: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

Towards this end, I have also found Butler Shaffer's book Boundaries of Order to be highly enlightening. It caused me to reexamine considering myself to be a "Rothbardian" or "Voluntaryist" and to think in ways that are much less formal and far more internally peaceful.

-David Giessel

1 comment:

  1. Good post.
    The Sovereignty Movement misses the point, legitimizing the state that it is supposedly against, trying to find "legal" ways to fight a system using the systems rules and adding a few rules along the way.
    The worst part is they usually become as tyrannical in their rhetoric as the tyrants they claim to be against, and want to set things up to force people to see things "their way", cause they have it figured out and are more enlightened than the rest of us. Of course it would be for our own good. Regardless of whether you have to be shot.