Re-Learning Liberty

This weekend, I conducted a workshop for the Illinois State Libertarian Party.  The topic was Austrian School economics.  Had I offered such, say three years ago, most people would have scratched their heads and wondered what in the world I was talking about.  Turns out today is different.

Disgusted with business-as-usual, people are educating themselves in the fundamental principles of liberty.  Michael Badnarik, a convention presenter and former Libertarian Presidential candidate, conducts an eight-hour class on the Constitution, regularly filling his minimum requirement of thirty attendees.  A room full of people were willing, even anxious, to hear me explain why Keynesian economics won out over Austrian School economics decades ago and why that has spelled disaster for the economy.

What gives?

Citizens everywhere are waking up.  Too busy being productive to get involved in politics, many of us had not realized that foxes were guarding the hen house.  Now that the alarm has sounded, old ideas that formed and sustained this nation are being dusted off and shined for their replacement at the foundation of our value system.

Note exactly who is upset by all this.  Predictably, Democrats are too clueless to be scared.  Unable to fathom that most people don’t want big government, they stay busy trying to find some sinister plot behind it all.  I fully expect the New York Times to “discover” that water in the Midwest has been compromised–tainted with some mind-altering drug by a Nazi refugee from WWII.

Republicans are also threatened by Tea Partiers, libertarians, and folks who bear neither label but are pretty sure they know who the foxes are.  “You can’t win against their (Democratic) candidate with your guy,” goes the cry.  Thanks, but we’ll risk it.  Are you getting the message yet?  If not, let me help you.  We know what you stand for: crony capitalism and re-election.  The jig is up.

Most refreshing to me is the willingness of Joe and Jane Citizen to crack open the books, surf the Internet, and attend workshops to re-learn what this nation has forgotten.  This is not just some reactionary movement, as press pundits would have it.  This is a re-fanning of the flame that made us great.  This is an assertion by the people who live, work, and breathe in the real world that our individual rights come first.  We are not a collective, and we most certainly are not mules on your big-government plantation.  We are reading the Constitution and plan to hold you to it.  von Mises is a homeboy in our ‘hood, and you’d better know which side of the street you are on.  As we revive the literature of freedom, know that you are not governing illiterates, but citizens steeped in the ideas of liberty.

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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1 Response to Re-Learning Liberty

  1. Excellent! The next TEA party on 9/26 is switching to education. Enough with the sign waving – we’re getting down to information!


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