An open letter to Libertarians AND Liberals
by Jeff Nielson, Bullion Bulls Canada I was having a private correspondence with a colleague, and in that correspondence I wanted to make a general point. By the time I had finished writing that reply, I saw something which I think is worth sharing. We cannot have freedom without structure. Supposed “freedom without structure” is the literal definition of anarchy. A dead end. Thus to be “free” (as individuals) we must unite, collectively, to create the corruption-free structure which is necessary to allow us to be free (and equal). The following letter explains and expresses this PARADOX in greater detail. In order to ever have a society where “the individual” is (truly) free to carve-out his/her “destiny”, we must have sufficient collectivist protections (to protect our individual freedoms) for that society, or inevitably we end up with what we have: the Law of the Jungle – where the biggest/baddest predators make the rules (i.e. there are no rules). Dead end. You cannot have freedom without structure, and to have structure requires collectivism. Supposed “freedom without structure” is the literal definition of anarchy. The irony is that most self-described libertarians see themselves as being opposite to “liberals”. The reality is that liberals and libertarians SHARE an enormous number of core beliefs. Both are ideologies of citizens: people who believe that we must take an active role in shaping our lives, and the world around us. Both are entirely opposed to the sort of corrupt, cronyism we see all around. This is unique. All other ideologies are compatible (to some degree) with institutionalized corruption. The difference is that the liberals believe in COLLECTIVE action to create “a free society”, while libertarians preach a world where (somehow) everything is achieved by individual action alone. That’s Law of the Jungle. It must lead to Road Warrior. Because any society which descends to rule-by-predator is inherently self-destructive. It is only when the sane people UNITE, and they create the society, and they create the rules that the word “freedom” acquires any relevance in our lives. There is no path forward without collectivist initiatives, so that after the Predators have finished completely destroying our present system/society, there are sane people who are already united/organized, and ready to fill the void (power-vacuum). Otherwise, all we end up with are new Predators, and more devolution. We’ve already seen it. It’s called the Dark Ages — aka Road Warrior. To be truly “free” and “equal”, we first require the collectivist (corruption-free) structure to allow us to go through our lives on a free-and-equal basis. Secondly, we require collectivist vigilance, to ensure that the system remains corruption-free. “Policing” is an entirely liberal concept. There is no mechanism (at all) in the philosophy of libertarianism which operates to prevent corruption. Only collectivism can produce justice, thus only collectivism can produce liberty. I’m old enough to remember what that looks like. (Paradoxically) we enjoyed “maximum freedom” at the time we had maximum structure. United we stand. Divided we fall. Road Warrior or collectivism. Those are the only two options.