Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not A Time To Despair!

On March 2, 2012, lewrockwell.com published the article "Either Kick Butt or Be a Loser (With Gratitude to Frank Luntz)" by Allan Stevo. While I loved the enthusiasm and overall spirit of the message, something about it kept gnawing at me for days. So much so, that I felt like I had to get it off my chest. 

Even though I live in Canada, I follow American politics more closely than most Americans. Growing up in a capitalistic family in communist Yugoslavia, "Amerika" was indeed the Promised Land for me. My dream came true when I got to spend my high school junior year in St. Cloud, Florida as an exchange student, just in time to witness the Bush-Gore recount. I realized that the US wasn't the country I had thought it was when, within the first few days I learned that the public school that I attended provided not only textbooks, but also digital calculators, and even paper to the students! Meanwhile, in communist Yugoslavia, and consequently in Macedonia, you had to buy all your school material yourself. At the time my family was in the process of fleeing my former homeland and the realization of how socialized the US was got me worried that my parents—who had never visited North America before—would be so devastated by this fact that they would simply prefer to make the trip back home. This in particular, since they were Canada-bound, which we knew to be more socialized than the US. Thank God that my father's a "glass-half-full" kind of guy—which is why I'm still here!

Learning the 20th century political history of the United States, it's difficult to find a time when liberty had a better chance of being restored than now. Our champion, Dr. Ron Paul is riding high at rather consistent 20-25%, which compared to the low single digits of the past election cycle is in itself cause for joy. At the same time, I can understand the frustration expressed by Mr. Stevo in his "call to arms." Those of us who love lady Liberty, love her indeed. We cannot live in chains, even if they were made out of gold. To us, Liberty is the only cause worth working for.

This is no exaggeration. Our Masters (as in teachers) all could have been much richer and lived better off than they did, yet they poured their hearts and souls for the cause. Mises, Hayek and Rothbard, they all could have been Establishment stooges if they wished it so. Diddo for Block, Napolitano and Salerno; Woods, Murphy and Thornton—to name but a few. I'm not spewing gibberish here: case in point is lewrockwell.com, a site that due to its following can comfortably charge a subscription fee to line the founder's pockets, yet it doesn't, because disseminating the ideology of liberty is far more important to Mr. Rockwell than making a sure profit. Likewise, my family has been running a non-stop anti-Statist campaign devoted to Macedonia for the past decade, at a pure monetary loss. Lady Liberty, she is some mistress!

The trouble is, however, that not all are equally naturally predisposed to love Liberty. Don't let the Paul surge (2008 to 2012) deceive you. Our work for our cause is far from over. In fact, I'm not even sure it has begun. Those of us familiar with the teachings of Rothbard and Paul are aware of the New Political History. If there is anything to be learned from it is that it takes a really long time to accomplish a social revolution. It took the Yankee Purists most of the 19th century to assert their dominance of American politics. Why are we to expect that it will take us only one election cycle? Another lesson is that leaders of the laissez-faire movement had to be creative. They presented the issues such as that of the gold standard in ways that were tangible to the voters. I think we are yet to figure out our "pitch."

Right now we are only beginning to get together. We—zealots, devotees, true believers—are only learning of each others' existence. We are yet to form the coherent bodies of our movement that will work to persuade those less inclined to Liberty—those who are more prone to be content with the status quo, even if they were being slowly boiled like frogs—than ourselves. And it will not be easy: we may have the Truth in our corner, but the Establishment has the might of the State in its. I've been here once before: when Communism supposedly fell in Eastern Europe. We thought victory was ours for the taking: little did we know how much harder it would be from there on. The Establishment is a wounded lion now, but that's when it is most dangerous.
Regardless of whether Ron Paul wins or loses this election, our movement will have gotten stronger. Sure, there may be fair-weather followers among us now, but the seeds of Liberty have been sown even into their souls. So, Mr. Stevo, please, don't despair—now ain't the time for it!

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