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The Liberty Movement: What Now?

Ron Paul has officially dropped out of the race for those who live under a rock and/or are attending college for a ministry degree.I was left unsurprised and shocked at the same time. Many of my libertarian brethren told me that there is still hope and that we should continue fighting for what we believe in. I was very cynical of those statements and I was seriously considering leaving political commentary altogether. People in this current American culture have willfuly shut their eyes to the great alternatives that this movement has offered. How can one find hope in it all?These thoughts came to an end last night when my room mate gave me some ethnic food. He has come directly from Africa to study psychology and the Bible. He made this tasteless, mashed potato-like substance and put spicy shrimp-like sauce next to it. As I grabbed a nearby spoon, I saw him just take his fingers and grab it. At first, I was taken by surprise. Then, I realized that I was judging by collective standards – standards in which most Americans judge. This culture tends to see people by the communities that they’re a part of and not by their individual uniqueness. That’s when it hit me: this is what I stand for. The idea that no government or person has a right to tell you how to live your life and that your destiny was created for you alone is an idea that I love. It’s an idea that communicates freedom and security. It’s an idea that communicates that it’s okay to be a little weird by cultural standards. I can go on and on with the “It’s an idea”-ities, but I think you understand my point. Let’s face it: Gary Johnson will not win the election and he will not be another Ross Perot. However, we’re not about winning or having an overly-optimistic attitude. That philosophy is essentially a party view of both the Republicans and Democrats. What we’re really about is spreading the message of individual freedom and nonconformity in the face of cultural prejudices. If we give up now, then we communicate that the ideals we’ve adopted aren’t worth fighting for – that we were just going through “phases”. The truth is that we can’t give up now. Our children and grandchildren will pay the price for our lack of action if we do. Edmund Burke once said that the only way that evil can triumph is if good men do nothing. Good men can come from all political parties and persuasions. However, what we need now are people fighting to stop unnecessary wars and unnecessary state-interventions. History constantly tells us that bloated governments are often the cause of societal collapse.It’s our duties as both freedom-lovers and true patriots to wake people up and help them realize that the evil tearing us apart is not something that can be ignored. We need action and we need courageous men and women to help society advance towards a more freer place.We need to have the attitude that Patrick... Read the full thing

Why Easter Should Be Important For Everyone

I have been studying the Bible since Good Friday is approaching and I have decided to look at it from a secular perspective. I attended a lecture by a Palestinian Jew who was a part of Kairos Palestine a few months ago. I was drawn to it because I have always had an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to my heritage. The speaker at this event was Mark Braverman. The thing that caught my attention the most was that he spoke warmly of Jesus in a societal activist context. He was still a Conservative Jew too. This made me very curious, so I decided to investigate the story of Christ from an outside perspective. When I looked at it from the outside perspective, I discovered that it’s all about the state and society tearing down someone because of His beliefs. It was almost like a libertarian fiction story in the way it talks about ultra-conservative zealots and big government. I don’t believe in using the Bible to justify my political beliefs. I am, instead, looking at it in a strictly historical context. Unfortunately, this seems like a theme in every society. If you were to ask me which was worse in terms of discrimination, I would have to say that it’s the leftists. Everyone and anyone heard about the infamous Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke story. The leftists immediately stood up and started to label Limbaugh as a sexist and a chauvinistic pig. They also demanded lawsuits to silence Rush and to kick him off the air. I even had a conversation with a leftist about the incident and she said that she refused to forgive Rush for what he said.  I didn’t see what the big deal was. It was horrible that he said it, but we shouldn’t be focusing on it so intensely. Everyone who is passionate about politics always says something stupid or derogatory. It happens.  When the Reverend Al Sharpton was caught on video calling an audience member a “punk faggot” recently, there was absolutely no massive media coverage about the event. The only way to really describe what’s going on is discrimination against less-than-acceptable opinions and calling for the state to come in and intervene. The people that I tend to tick off the most with what I say are leftists. I’ve had my fair share of encounters with social conservatives who questioned my faith and some even went as far as to say that I’m an apostate. I’m used to being criticized though. It comes with the territory when you adopt libertarianism.  It is plainly obvious that it is usually the leftists who want to censor unpopular opinions and force people to think like them. Not every left-winger does that, but it’s usually the case when it comes to censorship.  Easter is a lot more than that though. It is strictly focused on Christ. However, let’s not forget the historical context it has and how to apply it to our own society.   (And check out this article by... Read the full thing

Kony 2012: A Call For Rationality

I’m sure several of you have seen this video at least once. I feel the need to address this due to its popularity.  If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do so (even if you disagree with it). It’s very well done. It’s so well done that I, in fact, supported an actual military intervention in Africa to take out Kony. Then again, it was 2 AM and I was dealing with some teeth pain.   And yes, that is why I haven’t been able to grace you all with my presence.  I wasn’t the only libertarian to feel that way about this either.  As a decent human being and a Christian, my heart breaks for Uganda and the children there enduring these hardships. There is absolutely no excuse for evil like that.  As a person who tries to stay based in logic, I am a bit disturbed at the rallying behind taking out Kony simply because of a thirty minute video that displays his atrocities. People, in general, don’t seem to be that aware of how massive of a call they’re making.  They also seem completely unaware of how corrupt the Ugandan government is too.  Why should that matter?Invisible Children is advocating that the US Armed Forces work with that corrupt government to bring down a corrupt cult-like guerrilla army which just so happens to have huge attention right now.  I honestly do believe that we’ll be doing more harm than good by intervening. It will send an unintentional message to some countries that it’s perfectly okay to not be self-dependent since the American government will come in and save them with our armed forces.  It’s okay for private charities to come in and help. I see nothing wrong with that. I just don’t believe that our government should be viewed as this great savior who saves the day whenever a civil war breaks out in a foreign country.  In fact, Invisible Children have played a massive role in decreasing the violence in Uganda simply because of them exposing Kony.  However, that’s not what this post is about.  I’m asking people to stop and rationally think about this.  This is not a simple issue with a simple solution. We need to stop and remember that there are unintended consequences with everything.  We need to ask ourselves if this is truly worth the future suffering that can come out of this.  Some children soldiers from the LRA will most likely die and more corrupt men could easily rise up and take Kony’s place.Where will we stop after this? If we continue to go around the world and take out war criminals, where will we get the money? On what grounds do we justify future interventions?  Invisible Children is an organization that is seemingly shadowy and it just doesn’t seem right to jump fully on the bandwagon with the issues people have raised about it.I don’t care where you are on the political spectrum now. What I’m concerned about is the fact that people are... Read the full thing

True Education

This post is a critique of the school system and the way I see it.  It’s not necessarily an endorsement of homeschooling, but it’s pretty close. This entire thing was actually inspired by a few people telling me about their massive debts from student loans and my observations of people around me. I went to a charter school for about twelve years.  The teachers there were mostly very good and generous.  My somewhat negative viewpoint is not a reflection of them, but of the system. The first time I noticed something was severely wrong in the educational system was when my 8th grade English teacher said that he wasn’t allowed to say his personal political or religious views due to the risk of offending someone. This charter school had a very good mixture of both liberal and conservative students.  Even though I was a very right-wing oriented teenager, I couldn’t see the harm in him sharing his views as long as he said that it was a reflection of himself and not the school. It wasn’t politically correct for him to challenge students to think.  He had to stay by the strict rules of teaching or else he’ll get fired. He was a staunch leftist from what I gathered, but there was still some things that I feel students could have taken away from him.  Literature can have very strong political and religious biases and his opinions on those things could have made students actually think for themselves. I also noticed that people always put emphasis on things like getting good grades and graduating to an upper-class university. That doesn’t sound bad on the surface for many people, however there is one thing that we are not really seeing. Odds are, the youth that are graduating now weren’t taught to use their heads and to actually apply logical knowledge in to what they’re doing.  They think that once they get that college degree, everything will magically click in the real world. I don’t believe it’s the school’s job to teach students things like that.  If anything, it’s the parents’ job. However, I do see a huge amount of dishonesty within it all. I have a variety of things that people consider to be “learning disabilities”.  I personally consider them blessings because they’ve given me very unique viewpoints on everything. The charter school tried very hard to make me apply myself to their method of doing things. I also went to an online school that wasn’t very different when I compared it to the one I transferred from. I probably had a dozen meetings with school administrators and counselors explaining to me that it was essential that I learned to do things their way. Don’t get me wrong, they were trying their very best to help me succeed within the boundaries they were given.  Again, this is not a critique of who they were. I felt horrible inside and I tried to do it their way, but I found that many things that they were trying to... Read the full thing

What is a Libertarian?

A person on a forum I frequently visit asked the group about what a libertarian truly is, since he didn’t believe in natural rights or the non-aggression principle. For the record, he was opposed to tyranny and the government through Biblical support and his spiritual/religious beliefs. The anti-government attitude was there, but the motivation is completely different. This question really got me thinking about the various divisions there are in libertarianism and how it would be very hard for an outsider to understand what one truly is. I am a self-confessed minarchist (or a “Limited Exortionist”, as some may say). This is much more of a mainstream brand and I’ve met several others who are 100% anarchist in their beliefs. I really have nothing against them either. In my view, we all follow the same moral principle of letting others live their lives without interference. The question still remains though… what is a libertarian? My answer, in a nutshell, is: someone who believes in the concept of liberty and individualism above everything else. I used to be a very Sarah Palin-esque conservative five years ago. I believed everything that the Republican Party said and what various talk-radio hosts blurted out over the air. My parting with conservatives was when I took a step back and realized that they were just as bad as statists when it came to issues of personal morality. After doing a lot of research and coming across a novella by Ayn Rand called Anthem, I suddenly realized that people had different paths and destinies. Who are we to interfere in someone’s life because we see them as a part of a group? Everyone is an individual.  No government should have the power to come into someone’s life and punish him or her for the crimes that others have committed. The way I see it is this: libertarianism is more than a political philosophy, it’s a way of viewing things. When I was a conservative, I used to look at someone who the conservative community looked down on and see someone horrible. Now, when I look at someone who is in a lifestyle I just so happen to disagree with, I put myself in their shoes and I don’t judge.  I let him or her live the life they want to. This is due to my very strong beliefs that I’ve adopted through this philosophy.  I don’t think every lifestyle is right, but I do believe that people should pursue their own destinies without my forced interference. I don’t think you can be a leftist and a libertarian due to support of massive government intervention and the belittling of true individualism.  However, if your beliefs all come to the conclusion that liberty and freedom are a necessity in society, then I say that you’re a libertarian. -ZA “Like” me on Facebook (best contact method): The Zen Anarchist Read the full thing