Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 597, November 28, 2010

"If you want to be free, you must grant that freedom to others"

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David F. Nolan, RIP
Photo from Advocates for Self Government

Mourning the Passing of a Giant: David F. Nolan, Rest in Peace
by Jim Davidson

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

There will be a great many eulogies, sermons, obituaries, and condolences in the next few days and weeks. David Nolan was a great man, brilliant intellect, courageous speaker, and dedicated activist. He died of a stroke while driving. He will be missed by the freedom community.

You may know of him from his work founding the Libertarian Party. He remained active through his final day, seeking to keep the Party on track, dedicated to the principles of freedom. He is also well known for his work in creating the Nolan chart, a two-dimensional projection of political space. Its well-known axes of economic freedom and personal freedom showed four quadrants of political thought.

But I have come here not in praise of David Nolan, but in his honour. I have come not to bury him, but to remember him. And I believe his accomplishments, his dedication, his intellect, his energy, and his sincerity, all speak for themselves. David may rest in peace, knowing that he devoted his life to the great work of freedom.

What David cannot do in days to come is left to we who live on. David sought to advocate for self-government. His last wish was that his birthday, which would have made him 67 tomorrow, be remembered by his friends with donations to Advocates for Self-government. His goal in life was to make self-government and individual liberty a reality, not only for hundreds of millions of Americans but also for people all over the world.

So I come here today to ask you to complete his vision. I ask you to take your part in teaching others about freedom. I ask you to take your part in making freedom real. I say you and I, working together, peacefully, can build the lasting legacy of freedom that David sought.

Statues? Some build them. Monumental edifices? Some are pleased by them. But all the works of mankind are eventually ground down to dust. Where his departed soul is today, David cannot see such things, would likely not ask for them, and if they stood for tyranny and injustice, would not be pleased by them.

We should build freedom. We should build freedom for ourselves and each other because it is beneficial to each of us to live in a world with greater freedom. We should build freedom because it is the right thing to do, because there cannot be any justice without freedom, nor any peace without justice, nor any freedom without tools, ideas, and weapons to defend it. We should build freedom to remember the brave men and women who have come before our time, who have fought, and worked, who have bled, and sometimes died. And we should build freedom for our children, our grandchildren, generations yet unborn, because it is the great gift that we can leave behind us when we move on—to distant planets or to a life beyond this veil.

So I am asking you, brothers, sisters, will you help me? Now is the time, here is the place. Let us take a stand for decency, for integrity, for honour, for justice, for peace, and for freedom. Let us raise the flags of statelessness, of life without rulers, of anarchy, of freedom, of free markets. Agora, anarchy, and action—may they be our watch words.

As you live, dedicate your life to freedom. Do with your time here on Earth what you think is the right thing to do. Remember, death is there, waiting for us, ever lurking. May you be remembered after your day as David Nolan is being remembered.

David F. Nolan, rest in peace. Condolences to his friends and family. Energy to those who shoulder his burdens and carry on.

Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and anti-war activist. His 1990 venture to offer a sweepstakes trip into space was destroyed by government action as was his free port and prospective space port in Somalia in 2001. His 2002-2007 venture in free market money and private stock exchange was destroyed by government action in 2007. He's going to Mars if he has to walk. His second book, Being Sovereign is now availble from Lulu and Amazon. He is currently working on a book about travel to Mars with John Wayne Smith, a book with international fugitive Chad Z. Hower on his story, a book on sovereign self-defence, and a book compiling his letters and essays in The Libertarian Enterprise since 1995. Contact him at or Davidson has withdrawn from public life and does not make speaking appearances.


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