Common Sense Liberty

Those of you familiar with my Empty Nest Egg blog know that I am a supporter of the idea of limited government.  That blog also covers issues associated with entrepreneurship.  Though the two topics are closely connected, I believe that my readers are better served by separating the two.  Common Sense Liberty will focus almost exclusively on arguments for limited government.  I will be discussing current events, but also the history and philosophy behind such ideas and how they can be implemented today.

The form of government embodied in the U.S. Constitution is extremely robust.  It has withstood decades of attacks by people who are opposed outright to the idea of freedom and by those who destroy liberty in the name of supposed “good” causes.  The true philosophical roots of liberty have slowly been forgotten over the years until we as a people are no longer outraged at governmental intrusions that would have caused a public uprising just a few years ago.

It took decades for the seeds of financial and political ruin to sprout and grow into the menace we see now.  I fear that while the past was characterized by governmental “creep,” the future promises a rapid descent into chaos.  Crises are nearly always the excuse for tyrants to grab more power.  Look for those in office, both Democrat and Republican, to argue for a radical curtailment of our freedom in the aftermath of even worse financial crashes than our current one–crises for which they are almost solely responsible.  Expect the next terrorist attack on our soil to be answered not by a declaration of war on the governments that support the vermin, but by further invasions of our privacy.  Know that when you are called a traitor for insisting on your liberty, something has gone terribly wrong with your country.

The answer is not ranting, but knowledge.  This blog will do its share of pointing out the outrages foisted upon us constantly, but mostly it will provide arguments against those who would take freedom away in the name of the “public good.”  It is not enough for us to shout at each other across the street at demonstrations or across the aisle in Congress.  We must relearn why freedom is so precious and why attacks on individual liberty nearly always originate with those who crave power.

Yours in freedom.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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3 Responses to Common Sense Liberty

  1. One thing I know for sure–the future you describe will likely be very different from the one you predict.

    Also, the focus here is on “fear”. That plays right into the wheelhouse of most politicians. I think we need to work more in the area of responsibility and duty, even citizenship. Fear is not a good teaching tool and it sure as hell doesn’t work in the long term as a way to learn. I don’t want add to the paralysis that seems to engulf us. I want people to rise up and do on a local level what they can manage to do. Tolstoy hated the great man theory of history and I do, too. We don’t need great men and women to lead us out. We need ordinary folks attempting great things where they are. We need folks pointing out exemplary public goods at least as much as the travesties foisted upon us.

    I recommend Doug Rushkoff’s great podcast, “Media Squat” here: http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2009/03/new-podcast-the-media-squat-with-douglas-rushkoff.html

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    • Terry Noel says:

      Thanks, Terry. I appreciate your taking the time to respond. My focus is not so much on fear as it is indignation. Having said that, it is perfectly rational to “fear” the outcomes I predict. I do agree that everyday men and women can accomplish great things, but not through government. Collective action through private enterprise or voluntary organizations are viable ways to bring about good. Coercion through the public sector is not.

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    • Terry Noel says:

      Rushkoff is at least partly correct. The corporation, understood as a monopoly or partial monopoly granted by the state, is an abomination. The corporation understood as a freely contracting set of investors who pool money to accomplish a business purpose is desirable for any number of reasons. It is forgotten sometimes that one purpose of a corporation is to limit one’s liability to the amount invested. For example, a ship laden with more goods than could be financed by one investor could be funded by several. This would be impossible if every investor were responsible individually for the whole shipment if it were to sink. Instead, each investor could limit his/her exposure to the amount put into the deal. In this case, a corporation is created to distinguish the entity doing business from the individuals contributing investment money.

      It would be more accurate to say that corporations and politicians being in bed together are the cause of our current financial woes. Were people allowed to contract freely with a completely neutral state that reserved only the power to enforce contracts, “corporations” would simply not be able to wield the power that they currently wield. Some would be big, and some would be small, but NONE would be “too big to fail.”

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