Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Big Picture

Here is the novelty: Our new enemies are not political enemies in any traditional sense, belligerent in the service of certain interests of their own. Their belligerence is focused rather on the very existence of an alternative to their vision of beatitude, namely on Western democracy and its commitment to individual freedom and economic prosperity. This was put with all possible clarity by Hussein Massawi, a former Hezbollah leader. "We are not fighting," he said, "so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
From Armavirumque HT Austin Bay

This reminds me of something I read many years ago and refer to now and then. A Short History of Liberty by Dean Russell, which was published in The Freeman, January, 1955. How far along the way is America? he asks. Bondage, Faith, Understanding, Courage, Liberty, Abundance, Complacency, Apathy, Dependency, and back into Bondage.

Do libertarians have the courage to recognize the danger we face and to fight it? Or are they complacent and apathetic enough to let us go back into the bondage of a theocratic state? One of the personal responsibilities we face is the need to recognize that sometimes we need to act AS A NATION to defend, as best we know how, liberty. Most libertarians are anti-war, but they fail to recognize that once again, for the 4th time since 1900, there is a global enemy who hates liberty and would exterminate us because we are not like them.


Blogger Seth said...

I'll grant that radical Islamists want to exterminate Western (read: Christian and secular) civilization. I'll grant that the proportion of Muslims who feel this way is probably about on the order of the proportion of Christians who are "fundamentalist" (somewhere between 20 and 50%, although most of them are only passively so).

But I simply can't buy that they hate "liberty." They hate the ways in which we act within our liberties, sure, but hating the idea of liberty itself? There's a clear line between liberty and actions within liberty that often gets blurred in the haze of politcal rhetoric. It's the same line that gets blurred when people start to think that because they have the right to do something, that to do it is right.

There's an easy way to test this theory that they hate "liberty, though: Get rid of the liberties that Americans enjoy, which is a road we seem to be heading down. Once we're a totalitarian state ourselves, will radical Islamist continue to hate "us"?

I'd wager so.

1:23 PM  

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