Dwight Writes


Freedom Enclaves

I don't know about you, but I don't want to just talk libertarian. I want to do libertarian.

The only question is how. So let me take a shot at answering that question. Let's say that we get together in local chapters just like any other benevolent, fraternal association, like Kiwanis or the Elks. We'll call these local chapters Freedom Enclaves. We'll meet once a month or once a quarter in rented hotel meeting rooms, discussing the latest things libertarian.

And every year on some nice warm day, the first Saturday of June perhaps, each chapter will have a nice picnic in a local park. We'll have barbecued chicken and hotdogs. We'll also have information booths, to sell cool Mises paraphernalia, and, more importantly, to teach people what it could mean in their lives, and the lives of their children, to be libertarian, to be free. And gently but forcefully, without violence, but persistently, year after year, we will demand the right to be free. And we'll let everyone know that we intend, someday, to really be free.

We Americans have some support for this pursuit in the Declaration of Independence. The very first line speaks of the right to dissolve political bands. Further on it says "it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security". It's our right and duty to be free.

In short, we claim the right to personal secession. In the meetings and events of every Freedom Enclave we will speak of the human right of personal secession and proclaim our right to it. As Gandhi and his followers did, we will figuratively walk to the sea and extract our own salt.

Not everyone will want to secede. Surely it is the right of those who wish to live under government to do so. Just as surely, it is our right not to.

Will the politicians "grant" us that right? Well, let's think. They will look at our small numbers. They will sit smugly in the security of centuries of history where governments have prevailed. They will say to themselves, "these people are a noisy bunch. They don't have a chance of succeeding in building a society without government. Let's cut them loose, quiet their noise, and let them hang themselves on their freedom. You mark my words: they will come running back to us before you know it, crying to let them back in!" Yeah, you know, they are certainly arrogant enough to "give" us our freedom.

So, what do you say? Are you going to just talk libertarian, or are you going to do it?

I work just a few blocks from the home of the first American revolution, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were hammered out. Across the street is the Liberty Bell. To get into the pavilion where the Liberty Bell is, you have to pass through a security screening tighter than any airport I've ever been in. You have to remove your shoes and your belt. The tiny Swiss Army knife I carry, less than two inches long, was enough to keep me out. Philadelphia was once a city synonymous with freedom. It seems like a good place to establish the first Freedom Enclave. Let me hear from you if you agree.

Dwight Johnson