There is no better time than now for some common sense. The fact is that we are a nation in some disarray. On the one hand, we are concerned that we may be subject to terrorist threats should we let our guard down. On the other hand, we are concerned that our liberties are eroding for the sake of safety, and that there is no end in sight but the police state. This balance between liberty and safety is the matter when it comes to politics. The Republicans are known as the military party, but the democratic spending is all defense spending of a social sort. In the end, it is the balance between this spending as a whole, together with our residual liberties, which makes our nation what it is.
The recent ‘Libertarian’ uprising is a reaction, first and foremost, to the fact that our liberties seem to have become just that: residual. That what matters in government is the control they have over our lives and not the protection of liberties at all. In this light, it is not surprising that the people are rallying behind the “Tea Party” movement. The promises that liberty can be restored, the promises that America can return to a golden age post-revolution.
But one cannot turn back the clock without also destroying the blueprints on all modern weaponry, including something as simple as the PC. Realizing this, a restoration to the days of the constitution is not feasible, since for one, it is not really what anyone wants. And should we like the comforts of technology, then we must also appreciate that the Constitution does not provide enough guidance on the matter of balancing liberties with security. What we can say is this: the fig leaf is on the ground. We have bitten from the apple for better or worse and we cannot go back. So we must consider the amendment of some of those liberties, to some degree. The romance of utter liberty has long been dead – for it was anarchy – but going back to the days of yore is not an option. If we are to be Libertarians, we must make compromises.
**This is the first installment from a short piece I wrote in early 2010. It has not been made public – in any part – until now**