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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/1875/what-should-freedom-lovers-do/

What Should Freedom Lovers Do?

April 20, 2004 by

How can one combine professional life with the advancement of liberty? There is no way to know in advance what is right for any person in particular. There are so many wonderful paths from which to choose (and which I will discuss below). But this much we can know. The usual answer—go into government—is wrongheaded. [MORE]


Gil Guillory April 20, 2004 at 9:33 am

The thrust of this article is correct, in my opinion; but, there are specific recommendations that can be made to freedom lovers that want to devote their lives or property to advancing freedom:

1. mediation is a growing field that is still largely unregulated. Mediation is a private dispute resolution process, where the mediator is neutral, facilitating, and non-judging. A basic course is offered by many dispute resolution centers, where they accept volunteer mediation services. Once you secure some experience mediating, you can then market your services. A great way to build civil society!

2. arbitration tends to be more highly regulated, and usually requires a law degree to practice. Similar to mediation, it is a dispute resolution process. Unlike mediation, it is more like a courtroom, where evidence is presented and the arbitrator makes a ruling. Some arbitrators are also mediators, offering both services.

3. private security is a growing field ripe for entrepreneurial opportunity. Why not be a business owner and producer of security? Security is, as Molinari observed, the primary good. Without it, no other goods can be secure.

Also, don’t neglect your investments. Why not invest $10-20K in a local security company or mediation or arbitration startup?

mike April 20, 2004 at 9:36 am

I dispute your point about not joining the gov’t. Arguably, Alan Greenspan is the greatest libertarian hero. He is almost single-handedly setting up irrefutable proof of the evil of a fractional-reserve, central bank system and the urgent need for abolition of the Fed.

Speaking of our lovely govt: http://www.hayekcenter.org/prestopunditarchive/003012.html

David Heinrich April 20, 2004 at 10:04 am


If the remark with regards to Greenspan was sardonic, forgive me. If you were serious, I don’t buy it. I don’t buy that Alan Greenspan is some kind of Randian undercover agent who’s infiltrated The State to show just how bad it is. I find it difficult to believe that Greenspan is living out the role of a character from one of Rand’s novels.

Jim Waddell April 20, 2004 at 10:08 am

Gil, these are all worthy areas, but the problem is that anyone entering these fields will have a competitor (govt) who, however inefficient, can give away his product “free” (or at low costs) to the end-user, secure “investment” funds by force, and impose regulations on new entrants. This will tend to limit new entrants to market niches. I’m not saying don’t pursue these, just think these factors through before you put your own money on the line. Some good could certainly come, especially in a time of crisis if the government agency performs poorly.

Dan De Roo April 20, 2004 at 1:28 pm

I concur mostly with the article. I disagree, however, that one should not enter government whatsoever. One should not enter government full-time, and rely on that government for his/her paycheck. As the old saw goes, “A dog does not bite the hand that feeds it” and the same can be generally true for the person entering government, whether he/she be a Libertarian or Liberal.

On the other hand, a person who enters a government position either part-time, or without compensation, has less incentive to please his/her employer. A good case of this is the New Hampshire House or Senate. Each member of the House receives $100/annum (each Senate member receives a whopping $200/annum). Thus, the people who enter the NH House or Senate are generally more interested in the health of NH (and thereby more pro-liberty) than promoting their own self-interest, as they will not see a rise in their income. This has resulted in NH having very low taxes, no helmet or seatbelt laws, non-existent zoning in some places, etc.

In conclusion, I think it is generally true that promoting liberty should be through commerce or the arts, but one could be effective if one is employed in part-time position.

mike April 20, 2004 at 1:45 pm

David: sorry, emoticon omitted (pun intended)

> ; )

Anon April 20, 2004 at 2:32 pm

I work as a teacher in the State sector in Europe.
Whenever I can I introduce my pupils to the ideas of Freedom. But it is an uphill struggle.
- Sample essay from a recent school wide exam from colleagues : Why is advertising a form of violence? Present arguments in favor of this thesis ( text of a sociologist accompanies this question)
- Sample text used in a language course : about a maid exploited by her rich employers in a southern european country.

Can one speak here of the invisible hand of socialist propaganda ?

I won t mention details about the economics course guidelines that mandate the teaching of the usefulness of the state s “interventionism, due to the market s slfe evident failures”…the entrepreneur is a non entity right up to the last year before graduation…This governmental mantra is (force-?)fed from age 14…

One has to preach where the sinners are !

Steven M April 20, 2004 at 3:38 pm

I think Gils point is a good one. Private companies should push the boundaries of what is thought of as the legitimate domain of businesses. I know that when you sign a contract here in California, you usually must agree to submit to arbitration before going to court. This is becuase private arbitration is much less expensive than the “free” government court system.

When a statist is robbed he calls the police and goes to state courthouse. A libertarian scenario might be as follows: When you are robbed, your security cameras from SecureSight capture evidence of the robbery on tape. The tape is decoded by LegitVideo to assure its authenticity. You submit the tape to a private investigator company PIs Plus who track down the perpetrator by running the picture through their massive database. You send a letter to your agressor requesting that he submit to arbitration. As is customary, you give him a list of three arbitration companies and he chooses which, if any, he will abide by the decision. He agrees to abide by the decision of the respected RbitrationRUs company. The private arbitrator reviews the evidence and assesses the damages. Upon hearing the reward, the perpetrator balks and rejects the verdict. Rbitrators-R-Us, has no enforcement resources, but submits its finding to the community councils of both the victim and perpretrator, both of which were granted limited enforcement powers by their respective communities. The community of the victim trusts the findings of Rbitrators-R-Us and petitions the gang/community of the agressor for justice. The aggressor’s community could choose to defend the victim by paying compensation on his behalf and mete out a punishment themselves, deliver the agressor to victimized community, or stand and fight for their agressor. Having a strong sense of community identity, they choose to fight for their “brother”.

At this response, the victimized community realizes that they would be overpowered by the agressor community should they choose to fight, but they had the wisdom to have been subscribing to InternationalAngels. As it turns out, the agressor community has also been buying security insurance from InternationalAngels. Smartly, InternationalAngels has an ajudication process in place and they rule for the victim community. Ordinarily, they would simply note the offense and compensate the victim using money from the insurance fund, but since this it the fiftieth offense of the agressor community, they not only compensate the aggrieved victim through an aggrieved victim fund, but drop the agressor community from their policy. The next offense will mean war.

Alex April 20, 2004 at 9:00 pm

I think two of the most important things someone can do to help liberty would be to lead by example, and to educate.

A lot of people here have made excellent recommendations on jobs, but I think we have to also educate people. If you’re an arbitrator, tell people why they would be safer with private police; if you’re one of the men who is employed by a growing number of private commando organizations, tell people how well you do your job compared to some lazy government counterpart.

People take too much of the market we have for granted. They need to see that markets care, and that the government doesn’t. They also need to be shown that the market, while robust (hey, it survived even in Communist Russia) is choked off every time a new regulation, tax, or alphabet soup agency is created.

People need to worry about the state of capitalism. The problem with Americans is that they don’t worry enough (I’d say, they don’t worry at all) about our economic system. They seem to have an odd view that no matter what the government does, we’ll still be able to enjoy high production movies, massive quantities of goods, cheap products, PlayStation 2′s, etc. Even worse, many of them seem to think that the market has ‘failures’ which must be corrected by government intervention – and that it works better with the State regulating it.

I think Lew should be given a pat on the back for recommending marriage and the ministry. To be more specific, I think the traditional role of fatherhood is an important one in the struggle for liberty, and a noble calling.

Without fathers, children are at a higher risk for self destructing; anything from drug use, to prostitution, to incarceration (among males). Fathers, by teaching their children morals, liberty, and legitimate authority take the mantle of ‘babysitter’ from the State, it’s liberal media, and TV. Lowered crimes, and economically stronger households greatly reduce dependency on prisons and the welfare state. Also, a man raised by a good father who teaches him good work ethics will be a respectable businessman, and good community leader and adviser.

A good businessman helps to legitimatize and counter the bad image that the socialist liberals and popular media give them. Good community leaders (in the ministry, and fathers in the home) allow communities to come up with solutions to their moral and economic problems, instead of looking to Washington DC (and it helps decentralize legitimate authority).

There are so many benefits, economically and liberty wise, that I think more libertarians and anarchists should talk about the importance of fatherhood.

David Heinrich April 20, 2004 at 9:21 pm

Also, let us not forget the importance of good motherhood. It is important that a child have both father and mother enforcing positive libertarian values.

Rex Bell April 20, 2004 at 10:16 pm

“In the first half of the 20th century, libertarians knew how to oppose statism. They went into business and journalism. They wrote books. They agitated within the cultural arena. They developed fortunes to help fund newspapers, schools, foundations, and public education organizations. They expanded their commercial ventures to serve as a bulwark against central planning. They became teachers and, when possible, professors. They cultivated wonderful families and focused on the education of their children.”
And how has this worked out for everyone? I would suggest; get involved, and stand your ground.

adam hogan April 21, 2004 at 8:23 pm

But is the growth of government completely ireversable? Is there nothing we can do? While I recognize Mr. Rockwell’s point in the article, and have taken it under great advisement, I fear losing hope. Is the growth and stagnation of government a natural progression? Will the state always pervert freedom into socialism? Mises proved Socialism doesn’t work, but that doesn’t mean people won’t try. And it doesn’t mean socialism won’t rear it’s ugly head again. Will there now be a “government cycle?”

Alex April 21, 2004 at 9:08 pm

Woa there Adam! There is hope that the liberty movement will win out in the end. The real question isn’t whether or not it will triumph; the real question is what form it will take (a classical liberal, city state government system, or possibly market anarchy).

I think that the market is simply moving too fast for the government to regulate, and thanks to places like the Mises Institute, more people are becoming alert to the government’s follies. Socialists are around, but they are more of a laughingstock than anything else. Socialism is dying, because all of the radicals are dying.

We’ll still have socialists when we move to a laissez faire market. But then, we’ll still have terrorists, murderers, and thugs too. The difference will be that people will understand why socialism is destructive, instead of believing in it’s current high moral posture that it receives at many liberal colleges.

The growing Mises Institute and other Austrian (and even neoclassical free marketers) is a testament to the increased interest in human freedom and it’s benefits. If the Mises Institute started shrinking, then perhaps we might be justified in getting more than a little worried. But such is not the case.

In the meantime, why don’t you read some books on liberty, or make a donation to the Mises Institute? It might make you feel a little better.

adam hogan April 21, 2004 at 9:20 pm

I don’t worry about full blown socialists, but social democrats and big government centrists with a fabian bent. The US Constitution was supposed to keep government out of our business – see how that’s working out? So what’s a better way?

Thank you though – good advice. For the record I do feel better. I’m finishing up “Making Economic Sense” and tomorrow I turn in my application to Mises University. :-)

Alex April 22, 2004 at 12:38 am

I think you make a good point – and I think you’ve hit the main reasons why I believe classical liberals and libertarians have a much more sound approach to limiting the State.

Conservatives go on about the Constitution as if it is some all powerful piece of paper. But it’s just that; a piece of paper. It has no power that is not given to it by the people of the United States.

Also, I think conservatives get off on the wrong foot by talking about ‘taking America back’ by reinstituting the Constitution. If this was possible, it would be certainly far better than what we have today.

But I think they fail to see that the Constitution was a means to an end; the end being limiting the State’s power to what is absolutely necessary. Getting to the Constitution is therefore only a good thing in that it makes the State as small as ‘necessary’ (although the works of some market anarchists have cast a large doubt as to whether or not the State is necessary at all.)

If we look at the Constitution for being a means to an end – the end being liberty – we see things in a better way, I think. The Founding Fathers created the Constitution because they had some fundamental knowledge about how the State grows and how it infringes on liberty.

Just as the Founders discovered that a centralized State apparatus is infringement on liberty, we have discovered that a Constitution created to stop the the State from centralizing is practically useless in stopping the State from growing.

So what’s the solution? Some have proposed a classical liberal ideal of massive State decentralization, wherein cities would have their own unique body of laws and taxes. The city-states would be more limited in their ability to tax people and regulate them and the market; it would be in their best interests to keep taxes very low and regulation very small in order to attract the most people, and increase their revenues. Also, because of their limited ability to tax, they would also have a much more limited ability to regulate and legislate – laws would likely be much simpler and less burdensome.

Another strand of the liberty movement is that of market anarchism. It’s considered to be the the most radical political movement out there, and for good reasons; it advocates the abolishment of the State and a fully privatized society – law and defense included. You can grab books on market anarchism here on Mises.org, from Rothbard and Hans Hoppe. Also, a brilliant market anarchist by the name of Bob Murphy has a (relatively) new book out now called Chaos Theory. It is the single best introduction to market anarchism, and I think it’s more practical than many approaches that some market anarchists have. It’s small, easy and fun to read, and easy to grasp. Here is a link to the book;


If you find more validity in the true liberal tradition, you might want to pick up Mise’s “Liberalism.” You can find this on Amazon.com.

Doug Smith April 22, 2004 at 11:45 am

“I don’t worry about full blown socialists, but social democrats and big government centrists with a fabian bent.”

Me too. I also worry that so long as the money supply is kept within certain parameters, the minions of the centralized state will have the magic formula for their permanent hold on government.

A very thoughtful individual I know on an internet forum said that when he was young he saw potential for change. Now, as an older man, he worries that such opportunities have been thwarted by a terrible power.

Tracy Saboe April 22, 2004 at 1:53 pm

If nothing else there were things in the Constitution that shouldn’t have been. The Post Office, and Federal Building of Roads are two obvious examples. It was because the Fed had a loophole in the building of “postal roads” that Lincoln was able to start corporate welfare in this country with the trains. It’s because of government “ownership” of roads, that they can require Driver’s licensing, License Plates, Registration taxes, and numerous anti-liberty and anti-privacy laws.

Artical One, section 8 of the Constitution gives the Fed way too much power. As Hoppe has demonstrated in other articles, government being allowed to build roads is a HUGE loophole.


shabir June 7, 2010 at 1:41 am

hi,how r u.ihave a problm thats iwant to consult with u.iam in pakistan,my parents wants that i maried with her cousion but me not interested in girls.i like a boy and i wanted tu mariage with them.he is very close to me.we can not live without eachother.he also agre tu merry me and we want tu spent her life togeather to get marriage but our parents and other comunity of pakistan never doing this.in sence weare very confused tht wht we do.its not posible in my country.can u do somethin for me in this situation,pls tellme and pls dont highlight my problm.in that situation much more problms create for us.first i consult only with u.i shall waiting your answer…….thanks.byby

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