The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
One thing that being a free-stater and witnessing libertarians running and winning in politics has convinced me of is that a large reason that libertarians haven’t had any success until now is because libertarians are, on net, wiser than the general population. With wisdom comes doubt. Our enemy has very little doubt because our enemy is gifted with very little wisdom.
As a result of this general trend, a politician with any brains at all is a very rare thing. When a Ron Paul comes along, it is shocking, inspiring, and motivating simply because they are so able to tell the truth when everyone else is only capable of confidently asserting lies. Who among us would in any way doubt the impact that Ron Paul has left on the cause of liberty? He wasn’t blessed with the gift of eloquent speech, he isn’t an imposing figure that impresses all who witness him, he doesn’t exude greatness in every mannerism, he isn’t a square-jawed celebrity actor. What he did have, however, was the ability to speak hard truths to people who didn’t wish to hear them. The courage to do that is more than enough to stand out on the national stage. Our enemies were required to pull every trick in the book to counter him.
To tell the truth you must first have the wisdom to face the truth, and then you must have the courage to relay it. Fools may try to argue with you, they may try to undermine your message, they may resort to the establishment tricks to try and drown you, but if you are wise and make rational decisions, you are likely to get the better of them.
Take the recent takeover of the Libertarian party by the Mises Caucus. The LP has been run by utter fools for decades. When wise men finally find it unbearable enough to do something about it, forsaking their usual self-doubt and non-confrontational nature, it isn’t long until the fools are purged from power. It wasn’t until Odysseus rejected the luxury provided by Calypso that he was able to purge his lands of those who wished to steal all that was his, and the wisdom of rejecting comfort and dependency was what allowed him to become a king once more.
Contrary to this, many modern libertarians instead prefer to live with Calypso. They prefer exile, rather than liberty. It’s as though they think that the state will just leave them alone, and that if they just go out into nature they’ll be able to find their own liberty. Maybe some of them can succeed in this, sometimes. There come periods in history where it is important to accept responsibility as a part of this world, however. I believe we are currently in one of these times.
In The Lord of the Rings, the Ents refuse to participate in the wars of men and elves and orcs, instead choosing to live in their forests, until it is too late. Though they ignored the wars, the wars did not ignore them. In the same series, however, there is the character of Strider. He does not seek power. When presented with the ring, he refuses to accept it, unlike Boromir. But unlike the ents, he doesn’t avoid taking power when it becomes necessary. He doesn’t wait for half the forest to be cut down before taking the reforged shards of Narsil to reclaim his title as Aragorn, the Numenorian king. He does not wish to have power, but taking it became necessary.
Some would rather stay as Hobbits, little people without an impact on the world, safely tucked away in Hobbiton, but had evil been victorious, there wouldn’t have been a Hobbiton anymore. Such is our current state; we would love to ignore politics, we’d love to ignore the growing threat, we’d love to ignore our part in history.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.1 Corinthians 13:11
It is time for many of us to put away childish things. We must come down from our ivory tower. We must become the leaders to defeat the creeping evil.
But in trickles doubt! Can we actually defeat the enemy? They seem so powerful, they have such control over the media, they craft narratives like spiders weave nets, they own all the communication platforms, they control the police and the militaries and the taxes. They seem to have every advantage, and they are not limited by simple morality. After all, we have rules to follow. We cannot initiate violence, force, or fraud to achieve our ends, but the enemy can do that without batting an eye.
There are two counters to this objection that I wish to provide. The first is simple: Evil is self-defeating. Evil is necessarily counter to productive values, it doesn’t accomplish it’s task. Evil can cause a lot of strife and suffering, it can kill great millions of people, but ultimately that which gives it power is also that which causes it’s failure. No truly evil society ever flourishes, it eventually tears itself apart. You see this on the macro scale (see the downfall of the Soviet Union), but you also see it at the micro-scale (see a group of progressives eating their own in their constant internal struggles). Evil is never truly gone from the planet, it will always resurrect itself in various forms, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to rid it from the world where possible.
The second counter is more encouraging: The enemy is a paper tiger. They’re incompetent. Morons. Nincompoops. Fools. How did they get their positions of prestige and power?
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.John Stuart Mill
Due to the idyllic and apathetic lives that we libertarians have chosen for ourselves over the past century or so, evil has been able to spread and consume almost every facet of our life, but that which we’ve allowed to flourish through our sloth can easily be destroyed by our industry. We are witnessing this first-hand in New Hampshire, we stand as the only state in the US that is more free now than it was in 2019, and that is a direct result of libertarians getting involved. We now know what happens when libertarians try. We win.
Enough exile. Say goodbye to Calypso. Leave the jungle and head back to Pride Rock. Pick up Andúril. You’re a king. Start acting like a king, and lead, because everyone else doesn’t know how to reject power, and you do.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.Alexis de Tocqueville