A Libertarian Future? Not Really, But…

At the risk of covering old ground, I find it necessary to begin by re-paraphrasing something I believe Dr. Robert Higgs stated quite some time ago — to the effect that one of the biggest mistakes modern libertarians make is the erroneous presupposition that people, by and large, actually want to be free.

The evidence, historically, demonstrates that they don’t. At least, freedom is not their highest-held value, in any case.  That would be safety. Security.  The promised (however falsely) guarantee of such. And not necessarily in any provable, objective sense. They want at least the feeling of being physically defended – again, the promise, however hollow — and to be economically provided for in the event of mishap or misfortune.  Liberty (to the extent that most people even really understand what that word means) is fine…but never when it comes at the expense of those two government-provided prerequisites.

I don’t expect that this will ever change.  That would require a change in human nature itself, and the human race will expire altogether before any such transmogrification is likely to occur.  In other words, as I have spoken about before with Skyler J. Collins, mass ideological conversion to libertarianism is not something that lies in society’s future.

What does?  We can’t, in truth, be certain about much, except continuing technological progress (barring, of course, total human extinction in some cataclysmic event). Technology is a double-edged sword. It can be used to build and liberate, and it can be used to enslave and destroy.  Can we make any predictions about where increasing scientific knowledge will take us in the decades and centuries ahead?

I have been fascinated with – even astonished by – recent revelations by “mainstream” media anointed by the unholy water of government regarding military encounters with UAPs (I guess “UFOs” is now considered an obsolescent term?).  This used to be the exclusive province of “fringe” groups and late-night radio.  And if we’re going to be completely honest with ourselves, I’d say that these now provide us with pretty reliable prima facie evidence that man is not alone in the cosmos – that other beings, who reside elsewhere than our own planet, possess technological capabilities far beyond present human ones.

Is it reasonable to assume that we, too, may one day get there?

Insofar as modern human science understands, gravity seems to be a keystone (perhaps the fundamental) force in the universe. It also seems to be related to space-time in a capacity that no other known natural phenomenon is. It would further appear to garner its power from the electromagnetic energy contained in leptons – subatomic particles that comprise all known matter. The only manner known by human science, so far, by which to create a gravitational field, is to compile mass.  Which, as a practical reality, means repairing to bodies that already exist in nature – such as stars, planets, asteroids…or even quasars and black holes.

Now imagine for a moment that some kind of technological construct could artificially generate a powerful gravitational field absent equivocal mass. Imagine that this field could be amplified, deamplified, lensed, and focused as needed.  You have, inasmuch as present human science understands, now harnessed the capability to bend both time and space to suit your purposes: Interstellar – even intergalactic – travel. Teleportation.  Invisibility.  Time travel.  Possibly even interdimensional travel.  Virtually the entire laundry list of science-fictional capabilities become reality.  This could, in short, be the very science behind the UAP phenomenon.

What government will be able to control any people who possess that?

No doubt, governments, upon catching wind of the human development of such technology, will extend every effort to keep it for themselves.  Perhaps they even have (if you believe stories like those of Robert Lazar).  That said, I’m sure they would’ve preferred to keep the Internet out of our hands forever…but look what happened.

My biggest gripe – other than the fact that for anyone alive at the time of this writing, this future most liberating possibility remains purely academic – is that the death of government will likely thus occur in an entirely anticlimatic fashion, with shrugging shoulders and yawns, rather than massive parades and fireworks. People’s ideological ideas will not change.  Government will simply become an obsolescent, unworkable idea, and letting it slip away will be treated like trading in 8-track tapes for cassettes, or electric typewriters for computers. I almost feel entitled to be a little pissed off about that, to be perfectly truthful.  Something as destructive as government should come to a more dramatic end.  But an end is an end, nevertheless.

And I am now at an end of my present speculations and prognostication. I can only otherwise regret that I, in all total likelihood, will not be alive to see any of this unfold into reality.  But some generation of human beings, I imagine, probably will be.

One more guilty entitlement, if so: I envy them.

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Alex R. Knight III is originally from Groveland, Massachusetts, where he grew up listening to rock and roll, reading J.R.R. Tolkien, and the comic books of the 1970s.  He today lives in rural southern Vermont where he welds, plays guitar, paints abstracts, reads avidly, and writes.  He is the author of the short fiction collection, Tales From Dark 7in addition to the novels The Morris Roomand Empty World.  And, he is a Voluntaryist. Visit his MeWe group here.

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jimmie d
jimmie d
1 month ago

I”ve been telling this to libertarians for years. Libers think they are selling the best thing since sliced bread yet year after year they fail to make the sale. You’d think at some point it would dawn on them that what they are selling is something only a small percent of the public is interested in. Because they are purists and because of their non aggression principle they are doomed to always be a fringe. I’ve discussed this with several of them but it just doesn’t get thru.

Alex Knight
Alex Knight
1 month ago
Reply to  jimmie d

I guess it doesn’t hurt if people try — so long as they’re not making an undue sacrifice of effort or time.