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Feb 28 2013

The Liberty Movement: A Minority Coalition

Perspectives:

The Liberty Movement: A Minority Coalition

By Samantha Lindsay

February 2013

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up…Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 NIV).

 

It is February 28, 2013 and the New Year is well under way. The Liberty Movement has made great strides over the last year and has seen rapid growth in its numbers, thanks in large part to the work of Ron Paul, internet anarchists (both “left” and “right”), and many local outreach projects across the country and around the globe. It is possible that we will be able to use the momentum gained moving forward to our advantage in our opposition against the state. Because of this new growth, many new people have been brought on board that are still learning the depth of our shared philosophy and its many variations. With the presidential elections being over and Obama having been sworn in for his second term, it is probable that the growth in our movement will slow down for a while. This is probably a good thing, as it will give us the opportunity to educate those who have joined us in our quest for liberty. So, where do we go from here?

We all know that there are tough times ahead. The U.S. is more than sixteen trillion dollars in debt and climbing, the drone strikes continue in Pakistan and other points on the globe, our civil liberties are increasingly being eroded, encroached upon and violated, the economy of Europe is “hanging by a thread,” and the U.S. still threatens war against Iran. However, even as liberty seems farther away than ever before, the number of those who hunger for it has radically increased and this should give us hope. But, will we stand together?

One of the truths about the Liberty Movement is that we are a divisive and divided lot. Libertarians and anarchists range from as far right as Constitutional minarchists, many of whom supported Ron Paul in the last election, and as far left as anarcho-communists who would like to abolish the state, capitalism, and property and live in small communal settings. Besides the division between capitalists, socialists, and communists, there is also a divide between Christians, Muslims, and other people of faith, and atheists. Throw people representing all points of the spectrum into the same room, and it is like watching a bunch of strange cats meeting for the first time. Sadly, much of this division is fueled by those in leadership positions within the movement. While there is a great deal of outreach going on, it seems that the majority of anarchists would rather spend their time arguing with each other than trying to persuade others to join us and many have no desire at all to stand with those with whom they disagree. On top of this, in the U.S. and elsewhere on the globe, the liberty movement represents a small minority of the population, despite its rapid growth in the last year. All of this raises the next question; is it even possible to move forward given how divided, and few in numbers, we are? I think the answer to that question is yes; however, we have work to do if we are to move forward effectively.

There are many things that all of us across the spectrum have in common. For example, all of us oppose war and are opposed to any U.S. action against Iran, all of us wish to radically decentralize the federal government or to abolish it entirely, and all of us wish to free the market. We might disagree on the meaning of that last statement, but that we all wish to FREE the market is a point of agreement. These things could unite us, and united, our message would be stronger. Working together, we would be more effective in our local communities and, on a national and global scale; we would have a better chance of effecting change. The message of non-violence that we advocate, would be far more believable if we did not spend all of our time arguing among ourselves and, instead, began offering peaceful alternative solutions to the problems facing the world. There is strength in numbers and, united, I think we may have more people willing to stand with us than we currently realize. This raises my final question; how many of us are willing to stand together?

I have personally been blessed to have friends across the entire spectrum, genuine friends who are capitalists, socialists, mutualists, communists, Christians, Muslims, Pagans, and atheists. There have been occasions where I have seen a debate on FB swing our way simply because we were able to present more than one perspective. And, it is true that points of disagreement come up between us all the time. Yet, the majority of my friends have remained committed to that which unites us in the face of our disagreements. Sadly, I have also lost friends over as little as a single point of disagreement. I can honestly say that, should the day come that the U.S. launches its war against Iran, I will be standing right there in opposition to that war with those who presently will not stand with me because of our differences. I am sure that the majority feel much the same way. Nevertheless, how much more effective would we be if we could stand together now on those things that unite us? This is a question I think of often and, it is the question I think we should all ask ourselves moving forward.

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