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Natural Liberty List

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The Natural Liberty discussion list has been created as a forum for the discussion of basic freedom issues. (See Respecting the Levels of Freedom for a description of our Three Levels of Freedom.)

The Natural Liberty List was inspired by author Mack Tanner's article 'Why I'm a Libertarian.' Mr. Tanner writes:

"I'm a libertarian because I don't want anyone else telling me what to do. I don't care whether it's a teacher, a priest, a friend, a cop, a bureaucrat, or even a golf pro offering advice on how I can improve my swing. I especially don't want anyone telling me what to do, and then threatening me with force if I don't do it. I've been like that ever since I was a small child.

I did learn at an early age that I sometimes had to do what other people told me to do or face serious personal consequences, but I still didn't like it. I have always resented deeply and unforgivingly being forced to do something I didn't want to do because I was going to be physically or emotionally punished if I didn't do it."

Natural liberty could also be called "gut-level liberty" or "gut-level freedom." Mr. Tanner's 'Why I'm a Libertarian' suggests a powerful approach to spreading liberty:

I'm a libertarian because I can't stand others forcing me to do what I don't want to. I'm naturally free to do whatever I want to, as long as I don't harm others and their property. I own my life. I'm not a slave of any "authorities." A parent tells a child what to do and what not to do -- until the child grows up. Politically, people who accept Big-Daddy Government telling them what to do and what not to do are like children who haven't grown up. Politically, Republicans, Democrats, etc., who accept Big-Daddy Government as their "authority" are like children who haven't grown up. Accepting that you need permission from Big-Daddy Government (in the form of a business license) to start a business is to think like a child who hasn't grown up.

To be forced (essentially at gunpoint) to hand over 30% or more (or even 1% for that matter) of my hard-earned money to Big-Daddy Government is unacceptable to me. I'm not a slave of Big-Daddy Government. I own the fruit of my labor. Putting money into the hands of parasitic, mostly corrupt, politicians and bureaucrats hurts me to the core of my being. What's worse is that the bastards use the money largely to expand their power and to brainwash and oppress their victims in countless ways. They tell us they obey the "US Constitution" and "Bill of Rights," but in practice they apply only one "constitution": ANYTHING GOES... THAT WE CAN GET AWAY WITH.

The Natural Liberty List could be the beginning of the Natural Liberty movement. Mr. Tanner's 'Why I'm a Libertarian' and the above Natural Liberty statement could be developed into a number of very powerful, very simple Natural Liberty messages, ideal for propagation via Internet, books, games, radio, TV, and film. High-quality digital movies can be made at a fraction of the cost of traditional movies. The primary focus of the Natural Liberty list should be on how to spread Natural Liberty.

In 'Why I'm a Libertarian,' Mr. Tanner also writes:

"The naked fact of human nature is that most of the time, we don't decide what we really want through a logical process using moral or utilitarian arguments. The more we want something, the less logical we are about the reasons why we want it. People do what they want to do for a lot of reasons that are determined by instinct, training, culture, environment, and heredity. The smarter of our species may sometimes use a rational process in deciding how to act in order to get what they want, but they don't start with a moral principle or a question of social utility in determining what it is they really want.

If we engage in a rational process beyond answering the question of "what do I want and how do I get it?", it is almost always a process of self-justification. We first define what it is we want, then we look for the philosophical arguments that will justify our wanting what we want. The young person who wants sex, but who has been taught that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong, thinks up a justification that will allow him to drop his previous beliefs and take what a willing partner is offering. Most often, the rationalization comes after the deed is done. Usually, we only bother indulging in such a rational process when we are challenged by others and we don't want to admit the basic selfishness that drives us. Then we think up the moral arguments for why our course of action is the right thing to do. Once we decide what we want, all the moral or utilitarian arguments in the world won't change our mind, except possibly an argument based on a threat of force."

In his book Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History, Walter Mosley coins the term "neoslavery."

In Your Money or Your Life, Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin indicate that for most of human history (and prehistory) people have had to work only two to three hours a day to survive. To me it seems that, given all the machines and technology available in our "modern" world to do all kinds of work, it shouldn't be necessary for anyone to work more than about one hour a day to be able to survive comfortably! The main reasons why many of us have to work so hard and so long just to survive (often at jobs we don't particularly like) is because:
(a) Much of our work goes to make company owners rich;
(b) Many of us effectively work from January till May for Big-Daddy Government;
(c) Another big slice of our work effectively goes to banks and other financial institutions;
(d) The "dead hand" of Big-Daddy Government regulation makes practically everything about three to five times more expensive than it should be;
(e) The voracious hands of the "legal profession" (the worst money grabbers of all!) that make many things a further three to five times more expensive than they should be.

To escape neoslavery, we have to shake off all the "dead hands" that impoverish us and cause many of us to work 8 - 10 times as long as should be necessary for comfortable survival.

The Natural Liberty list is a great place for:

  • Discovering that you're naturally free.
  • Finding out how to get more of what you want out of life.
  • Developing and formulating powerful liberty and freedom messages.
  • The dissemination of freedom and liberty ideas generally.
  • Discovering how to shake off all the "dead hands" that impoverish us.
  • Discussing economic means to freedom -- how freedom-lovers can increase their wealth and use their economic power to expand liberty.
  • Gaining more control over your own life, becoming the master of your destiny.
  • Increasing the positive, desirable options available to you.
  • The financing of Natural Liberty projects and how they can be made profitable.
  • Networking among Natural Libertarians.
  • Learning basic freedom philosophies.
  • Discussing basic issues like, "If government doesn't do X, what will happen?"
  • Participation in the Libertarian Party and other freedom parties.

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