"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

January 20, 2006


Libertarian Steven LaTulippe has solutions for handling today's challeges. The premise, prompted by the spiral into social and economic collapse which is lurking on the horizon, sounds reasonable enough:

If society is going to hell in a hand basket, ....what practical advice do I have to offer?

This is a reasonable query which goes straight to the core issue for many in the LRC family. Without doubt, major problems are brewing in our country. America’s finances are eroding badly, the government is dismantling our constitutional freedoms, and our foreign policy is becoming increasingly delusional.

So, given this situation, what can any of us do? Can any of this be changed? How does one live a moral life in the midst of the chaos? How do we raise our children, run our businesses, and prepare for the future?

Be prepared. Good idea. How do we do that? Well, Steven says, most importantly, enjoy the time you have left:

Despite the mess, enjoy life.... While we should not passively acquiesce to the damage being wrought on our society or cooperate with the agenda of our destroyers, I draw a distinction between submissiveness to the establishment’s actions and my own, personal worldview. Too many libertarians are downcast, or even apocalyptic, in their attitudes. Hiding in a bunker with a pallet of canned rations won’t do anyone any good. Having a positive attitude, on the other hand, is the key to living a joyful existence. For the most part, there is little any of us can do to alter the big picture anyway, so why should we give them the satisfaction of making us miserable? Life is too short. Come what may, it should be lived to the fullest.

Sounds almost reasonable, yet a bit selfish and inconsiderate of those around us suffering through a much more challenging existence. What else do you have, Steven?

Within reason, organize your affairs.... First, and most important, is getting out of debt. Pay off those credit cards, make extra mortgage payments, and stash some money away for a rainy day. The more stable your finances, the better you will be able to care for yourself and your family in a pinch.... For those even more motivated, I also recommend a nice stash of gold in your portfolio, and maybe some silver too. But for those at the top of the motivation scale, I advise the cultivation of an "international lifestyle". As part of this strategy, one should diversify some of one’s financial interests offshore. A little place in the Caribbean, for instance, could be a profitable real estate investment…and it might also provide a safe haven if things get rough. In a dicey situation, a second passport could come in handy too.... As for your immediate environs, I recommend choosing a small, stable community as your domicile. In times of political tumult or economic hardship, most small American towns should do just fine. Their inhabitants are the salt of the earth. They obey the law and they look out for their neighbors. Once there, it would also be a good idea to join a church or other religious organization. When times are tough, these institutions provide a nice framework for cooperation that could prove invaluable....

Okay now, wait a minute. Getting out of debt, fine; That should always be a personal financial goal. Buy gold/silver? Okay, if you've got cash laying around (Honey, let me vacuum under the couch cushions today.) Precious metal is historically a good hedge against a bad economy. But offshore diversification? Give me a break! A second passport? Give me a reason. Move to a small American town? Well, fine, if you want to convert to redneckism. Join a church? Jesus Christ! WTF?! Hey, Steven, ya got anything else that I can actually use?

....One of the few practical activities I recommend that may actually have an effect on the future course of our nation is education. Specifically, LRCers need to inform our fellow citizens about the nature of America’s problems and educate them about the individuals, organizations, and philosophies that have brought us to our current circumstances.

You're right. That is one of the few practical activities you've described.

Now you see why Libertarians will never become a significant political force in the world. They are even more self-centered than Fundagelicals. While Libertarians want to crawl into a bomb shelter and buffer themselves from the smelly, exciting world of humanity, at least evangelical fundamentalists want to shed their clothes, soar into heaven and eternally mingle with the "good" crowd. Me, I'll stay here, in the city, keeping my fingers crossed and fighting for freedom, liberty and justice.

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