L. Neil Smith's

Number 11, August 1996

From Love to Liberty

By Don L. Tiggre

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         A few days ago, I was corresponding with a woman who said she was a cult survivor who had just recovered her son from his father and the cult he belonged to.
         The boy is eleven and has lived in a violent and coercive environment without his mother for the last seven years. Not only did the cult apparently believe "Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child" to be literal truth, but the boy has been told (had a notion beaten into him?) that the constant beatings were an expression of love.
         The mother is having problems now because her son has been told repeatedly over the last seven years that she is evil and does not love him. To the boy, it seems that she confirms this condemnation because she will not beat him.
         How twisted and sick this inversion seems to us... But wait a minute; isn't there something familiar about this psychology?
         It seems to me that statism itself is a wicked and unhealthy cult, foisted upon virtually all of humanity. Statism is an illness which our species is only just beginning to grasp might not be the wonderful boon we see claimed in the advertisements.
         Think about the parallels:
         Just like the woman's son, we are told by our loving and alternately paternal and maternal state that it does what it does for our own good. While the tanks roll over our burning churches and snipers put bullets through the heads of our loved ones, we are told that the state has to show "tough" love.
         "I feel your pain..."
         Yeah, right.
         But the brutality and hypocrisy of the state is no surprise to any student of history.
         To me, the most striking parallel is in the psychology of the victims of the state. The boy -- in spite of not actually liking his beatings -- felt lost and unhappy in an environment without them. The slaves (taxpayers) of the state -- in spite of not actually liking their muggings -- feel tremendous fear and hostility toward anyone who even suggests that they could and should live free of such institutionalized robbery.
         Strike their shackles off, and nine out of ten modern slaves will scramble to put them back on. Courage has almost been bred out of our culture. The Stars and Stripes no longer flies over the land of the free, because it is no longer the home of the brave. People don't want to bear the risks of true freedom; they want security.
         And we all know what's been said about that trade...
         Until this changes, cooperating with the state in its electoral circus games will accomplish nothing.
         When this changes, cooperating with the state in its electoral circus will not be necessary.
         What we need is cultural medicine for our sick culture. Happily, there are some sources for this medicine: books reviewed in these pages, free-market think tanks, many devoted writers and orators...
         But, let no one be fooled by the sporadic, interesting, and encouraging signs we've seen lately. Let us not forget the oppressive weight of the ongoing and relentless assault on what precious liberty the first American revolution managed to secure.
         Let us all swear our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors toward finding and administering a cure to our unhealthy culture.
         It really doesn't require that much bravery; the alternative is continued illness, institutionalized robbery and murder, and death on the massive scale that only governments have been able to create.
          And there is a cure! The nation-state is an historical aberration that has just about run its sorry course.
         It will have run its course when we can teach our cult-victim society that love is not demonstrated by brutality. When we awaken people to the fact that no love can exist where no respect exists, and that no respect can exist where force is a preferred form of intercourse, then the healing will begin. The victims must be taught that what they feel for their rapists is not love, no matter how loudly the aggressors proclaim it to be so.
         Think about that... Would not a healthy person feel the deepest loathing for someone who systematically initiated the use of force against them? Could respect exist in such an environment? Does this not push love completely out of the picture?
         Maybe the flower children were right, love is the answer. They just got it wrong on how to go about creating a society where loving interactions could outnumber the violent ones. Like the slave who replaces her chastity belt when it falls off, many of the preachers of universal brotherly love seemed to find that the state was a suitable means toward their ends.
         Even that old hypocrite, George Washington, saw that the state is force. He could have told anyone who asked that you can't use the state to create universal brotherly love any more than you can use a single gun to make a single person love you.
         Such a use of force is fundamentally disrespectful.
         So, let us preach love.
         Let us teach that love requires respect.
         Let us explain that respect cannot exist in relationships based on force. This is what our "caring" politicians on the left and right alike are desperate to make sure no one finds out, because their only tool is force embodied: the state.
         Let us persuade the our ill society that love requires tolerance, non-interference, non-aggression...
         ...and that the purest political expression of non-aggression is -- surprise, surprise -- Libertarianism!!!

"Don L. Tiggre is a grant-writer and a would-be author of fiction. He lives with his three sons, who teach him daily lessons in effective ways to resist tyranny. Having just barely survived 16 years of 'education', Mr. Tiggre is doing his best to study the human animal in it's natural habitats."

A Juror's Creed: As an American juror, I will exercise my 1000 year old duty to arrive at a verdict, not just on the basis of the facts of a particular case or instructions I am given, but through my ability to reason, my knowledge of the Bill of Rights, and my individual conscience. -- L. Neil Smith

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