Liberty on the Margins

Recently I published a piece on how human society may inherently have a socialist streak. While regrettable I am prepared to stand by that claim. Governance on conditions of principle has only ever existed where there is naught else but a frontier and willing idealists. That is why as Libertarians and Liberty lovers in general we should be prepared to accept the idea of “liberty on the margins.” By this I mean the margins of society, I no longer believe that it is feasible to reform the state from within. If we are to embrace freedom we must do it on the frontiers.
This is the very same method that worked for the American colonialists and there is no reason it can’t work for us now. Practically speaking the requirements are few, but may potentially prove hard to come by. We need political candidates willing to keep the state off our backs while we establish ourselves. We need the means to go to these frontiers, wherever they may be. We need to arm ourselves with the bravery and audacity to believe that such methods can work. Finally we need to cultivate the virtues and skill sets that would be required to survive on these frontiers of tomorrow.
First of all is the necessity of willing candidates. This may actually be the most difficult resource to attain. We live in an era of instantaneous communications and as such the state can find us nearly anywhere. On the previous frontiers of human history these technologies lagged enough that if you fled far enough away they could not contact you to bring you into their fold. This is no longer the case. This creates the need for a small handful of legislators and possibly corporate sponsors who could effectively screen off the rest of the state as they try to interfere with the development of these frontier communities. However, these individuals or organizations would have to be selected very carefully as even the most libertarian politicians and organizations of today have some vested interest in preserving and expanding the state as it currently exists. For this reason, if possible it would be best to recruit and place these stay behind volunteers from among our own ranks.
Second prospective frontiersmen and women need the physical resources to relocate to the frontiers. This seems pretty straight forward and I won’t waste too much of your time explaining it. We need money. We may need certain equipment. We will certainly need the human capital to be sustainable.
Thirdly, we will need to cultivate the spiritual and philosophical qualities that lend themselves to surviving in these environments. Courage, there is nothing safe or easy about what I’m proposing here just as there is nothing safe about freedom itself. It is a dangerous concept and not for the faint of heart. Audacity, radical self-confidence with a dash of faith in your fellow man and the institutions you will forge together will be must among the pioneers of tomorrow. Responsibility, without which there can be no accountability and this project, will be doomed from its very outset. Finally a sense of charity and a willingness to give with an open heart, some people argue that greed is good. I would tend to disagree but it does fundamentally explain at its root all economics. I would not dare to ask that it be set aside entirely but it does have to be curbed because at least in the early stages the failure of any part of the community could mean the failure of the community as a whole.

Finally we need to talk about the skills to survive. Biochemistry specifically as it relates to agriculture will be most important as we develop the means to feed ourselves. Machining and repair skills will rival it for most important as it will be critical that we are able to repair, maintain, and if absolutely necessary fabricate new equipment from the resources on hand. A good knowledge of engineering and architecture should be developed for the purposes of shelter and common buildings. While land will be plentiful it will be important all the same to build efficiently. A strong work ethic should accompany all these and any others deemed essential. Someone who is not willing to work will have no place on the edges.
There could be multiple books written on this subject. Instead I have done my best to boil it down to its most condensed requirements. Life has never been and can never be easy on the frontiers. Those who love liberty and value their own freedom should prepare for it however because the frontier has been the only place that self-sufficient freedom has ever existed.


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