Open letter to online libertarians

You all disappoint me immensely. Immensely and constantly. Obviously I have not encountered all of you. Those I have, though, have been so unreceptive to real discussion that I am immensely disappointed. However, I value persistence and communication more than I do grudges and ostracism, so I’m writing this as one last attempt to persuade you of my critique. If this doesn’t work I’m washing my hands of you.

Why should you care? Why should you read this letter? I’ll make it very simple for you.

1. I have good ideas. I have researched widely and looked in some of the awkward corners of philosophy where a great many of you simply have not looked. There is much I can share with you which will be of use to you, I promise. If you don’t believe me, test me.

2. The main barrier to this sharing, however, is the dogmatic approach most of you employ. You find a school of thought you like, or a cause or icon you can rally around (Ron Paul anyone?) – some of you have even stumbled upon ‘the cause of freedom’ purely by accident – and then, most of you, you close your mind, and if someone challenges your beliefs, you defend that position with the zeal of the newly-converted, or like a rabid dog in an alleyway, standing over the corpse of its master. If you’re a propertarian absolutist, or a big-tenter, or a ‘return to the constitution’ theist, do you really think there is nothing for you to learn or gain by looking into those ideas that challenge your current beliefs and mindset? In short, many of you don’t see the need for philosophy at all. :(

3. Demographically, most of you are from North America, and one thing you guys have missed out on BIG TIME is continental (European) philosophy, especially those elements of the post-structuralist and existentialist traditions that pose many questions you should be considering: questions that deeply challenge your engrained Norteamericano conceptions. I’m willing to be more specific about this with anyone that gives a flying fox, but every time I’ve tried before, you guys simply aren’t getting it. Most recently, I had a guy harping on at me about abandoning common definitions and exploring new ones. See this page for details. If you aren’t going to question things properly (such as getting into the real meanings behind things), why do follow the cause of freedom at all? What does freedom mean to you? What are your goals? The transformation of society? The downfall of your government? The downfall of ALL governments? Or concrete changes in your own life?

If I have your attention now, you might be wondering what I’m all about. In short, I’m ‘here’ on the internet in order to explore two questions:-

1. Can the masses be awoken to the fact that ONLY by means of a coherent and consistent social movement and ever-increasing proselytisation will they ever achieve concrete freedom?

If at some point I have to resign myself that the answer to the first question is probably ‘no’, then that leads me onto –

2. Can I at least use the internet to make contact with some like-minded people to join with me and my existing friends, to form a small enclave that can put enough geographical and cultural distance between itself and the incumbent civilisational paradigm, and try to eke out an existence separate from the global wars and economic collapse that have been in the post for some time now?

I recognise that the ideas contained in my philosophy are challenging. I had to break through a very large number of ideational hurdles before I reached the clarity I have now. I didn’t free myself of the “limited government” unicorn until 4 years ago, for example.

I also know that there is a lot to take in, and that my ideas are spread over a too-large number of individual articles, essays, and discussion threads. This is why I have been trying to prepare a new site, that will bring all the major ideas together in one place, for a while now. But juggling the pressures of a day job, a personal life, a family life, future plans, AND writing summary documents for my philosophy, is often taxing. Often I am filled with frustration that the people I try to share my ideas with do not ‘get it’ from the 100 or so articles I have already written.

So, I’ve not given up on a ‘manifesto’, but this letter serves, in the interim, as an attempt to build a bridge and invite you lot over it so that – if you’re open-minded, positive-minded and friendly – we can share ideas with one another in order to see if there are any clear answers to the questions above. I am always happy to answer individual comments and queries.

Sorry to bother you, you can go back to that JPEG of Obama saying “Weapons of war have no place on our streets”, and upvote it, and feel good about your upvoting, and then go get some lunch. I just hope that later on, you’ll come back and have some dialogue with me.

Suffolk, 1st March 2013

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