Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Don't tread on me!

This world could use a few more Ed Browns. Here he is in his own words.

In short, Ed Brown doesn't want to pay property taxes, so he went ahead and stopped paying them, and now the government wants his money. He's currently holed up in his evidently self-sufficient property, and what he doesn't have he gets from supporters who come and visit him every day. Both sides insist that this won't turn into another Waco, but I can't see this having any middle ground ending-- either a) the government leaves him be, or b) the government goes in a forcefully takes him. Cordial daily conversations can't be the long term solution. Sadly, I bet the second option will happen-- it sets too much of a precedent to let one person off the hook.

(Though at worst, I don't think it would end up being on the scale of what happened at Waco.)

A few thoughts:

- Though this a federal issue, the New Hampshire state motto is "Live free or die."

- Some people say "stuff your sorries in a sack," others say "social justice"-- this article contributes "Of course, any group of libertarians has a thousand different opinions." Guesses as to what this could be getting at are encouraged.

- Was Gandhi a libertarian? I've heard that he wasn't, but I don't have a solid hold on that one. If he wasn't, then the "Gandhi-admiring protesters" are really missing the boat. Nice of them to make some campfires, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A wonderful response to "individualism" as the ethos of libertarianism, from none other than De Toqueville himself, who wrote:

"Not only does democracy make men forget their ancestors, but also clouds their view of their descendants and isolates them from their contemporaries, Each man is forever thrown back upon himself, and there is danger that he may shut up in the solitude of his own heart."

As well as, "Individualism is a mature and calm feeling, which disposes each member of the community to sever himself from the mass of his fellows and to draw apart with his family and his friends, so that after he has thus formed a little circle of his own, he willingly leaves society at large to itself. Selfishness originates in blind instinct; individualism proceeds from erroneous judgment more than from depraved feelings; it originates as much in deficiencies of mind as in perversity of heart. Selfishness blights the germ of all virtue; individualism, at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but in the long run it attacks and destroys all others and is at length absorbed in downright selfishness." (Democracy in America, Volume 2, Book Two, Chapter 2)