Thursday, July 16, 2009

Still seeking "Galt's gulch"

Right now, I am still thinking about how a "virtual" Galt's Gulch would work, since we are living in an era that does resemble the collapse of American free enterprise in Atlas Shrugged. While it is very nice to stand and declare your beliefs, most readers can see there is an ever increasing trend towards State intervention in everything, and State oppression is pretty close at hand (if not there already, see the CHRC or the American Congress openly considering a bill of attender against AIG executives...).

Being able to disappear from the view of State censors or other Brownshirt thugs will be a real survival mechanism for anyone who wants to keep liberty alive in these conditions. I am also not so confident that civilization can be rebuilt on Classical Liberal principles as easily as making the sign of the dollar in the air; I am thinking in the worst case we actually need to consider a sort of Irish Monastery project  (although this could also just be natural paranoia peeking through).

Sadly, a physical Galt's Gulch is probably not practical or feasible in the here and now (at least not if we like hot and cold running water), and attempts to stake out a physical space in the oceans or deserts is probably doomed to failure in the face of State competition (and the reason we have "States" is because they were the best form of organization for creating and controlling military power ever devised). Unless someone comes up with inexpensive access to space so communities can be established on the Moon, asteroids and moons of the gas giant planets far away from current State competition, then we are stuck with the virtual world.

I am still heartened by ideas that the Libertarian Revolution is actually a social rather than political movement, and Objectivism is certainly part of this movement. The T.E.A. party movement shows there is a groundswell of opinion against the current political and social situation, but no one has managed to capture it just yet, and of course there is always the danger that the T.E.A. party could either devolve into irrelevance or be captured by "the man on the white horse".

Of course, hunkering down in a real or virtual bunker against the impending Apocalypse is pretty defeatist. As Jerry Pournelle reminds readers of his blog "Chaos Manor"; Despair is a Sin. We need to move outwards in all kinds of unexpected directions, small furry mammals in the Jurassic political park. 

-Using virtual tools to create and operate in an underground economy

-Going Ragnar Danneskj√∂ld and applying for government grants equal to the taxes you have paid

- Boycotting companies and media that actively promote or support statist views and policy (GM anyone?)

- Supporting political candidates of the Freedom Party or Libertarian Party (a small "c" conservative party if there are no representatives of the first two parties available).

- Working at the municipal level against statist policies

- Becoming energy self sufficient and getting off the grid. Minimizing the use of other centralized services as much as possible or practical is also encouraged.

As you can see, there are lots of possible options, and not every one is possible for every person. You will have to decide which ones work for you, and then execute the plan. The individual actions of thousands or millions of people will have a huge impact, and you can vote with your dollars and your actions every single day.

Freedom is a self help project!

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