Free Enterprise: With power being centralized everywhere, it's time to get off this planet and go Kirk

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (5/14/09) Link

 Franklin, Kirk, Moses — they’re all the same

If you've ever held a political opinion, you've probably had a disagreement. On almost any issue, whether it's abortion rights, taxes or war, about a third of the people are for it, a third are against it and a third don't care. It's been true for centuries. During the Revolution, 20 to 30 percent of Americans were Loyalists, actively fighting to preserve British rule.

And what is the point of this disagreement? Have you ever convinced anybody, swayed an opinion?

I've written nearly a hundred columns for the Weekly on freedom. I've published a collection of them as a book, with another on the way. Two years ago, I ran for Congress against Chris Shays and Diane Farrell, won the debates, appeared on radio and national TV, and basically had every success except a victory at the polls.

I learned that when you disagree, there are three possible reactions. For people with whom you otherwise broadly agree — for me, this would be fellow libertarians — the person with the best logical argument can indeed sway the other by appealing to first principles they both share, such as the prohibition on the initiation of force.

Undecided people will agree if you sound sensible — not because they are genuinely convinced, but because they don't care that much, and you don't seem too nutty, so why not?

But people who are actively against the principles you believe in will almost never change their minds. The only thing you can do is make them look silly to others. That's why it is so fun to debate Democrats and Republicans — you can reveal their seemingly fiery brawls to be nothing more than petty squabbles with no more substance than who said what first or who is flip-flopping more. The only hope is that their less-fervent supporters will be embarrassed enough to shun them.

A difference like this can run through families. Benjamin Franklin's own son, the one that famously helped him harness electricity with a kite experiment as a child, was a Loyalist, and was held as a prisoner of war for two years here in Connecticut. Franklin disowned his son, leaving him nothing in his will, writing that had the British won, he would have had no wealth to leave him.

If Benjamin Franklin can't convince his own flesh and blood of the appeal of liberty and the fruits of freedom, what chance have we got? I don't know why we bother — especially now that the new Star Trek movie is out.

I loved the original Star Trek show. Captain Kirk would beam down to the planet each time and get right into the thick of things. Critics like science fiction author Orson Scott Card argue this was a breach of reasonable military protocol. "Any captain of a ship or a commander of an army who behaved like Captain Kirk would be stripped of his command for life," Card wrote.

Card never liked Star Trek because he saw it as bad science fiction. But I loved it because it was great pioneering. Sure, there was all this talk of federations and empires, but the day-to-day life was exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new civilizations. They were migrants, like the Puritans who fled England, or the Hebrews who fled Egypt, or the families who fled the Holocaust.

On Vulcan, the planet of logic, there are only government-run schools and an oligarchy of leaders. Income anywhere is earned as global "credits." Across the entire universe, there seems to be only a handful of superpowers constantly shifting alliances.

Against that backdrop, a single ship led by a fiercely independent captain suddenly seems a lot more romantic. James T. Kirk is not an officer of a hegemony; he is Moses, wandering in the desert.

Other than the occasional revolution, which even in our country worked only half the time (the South tried it and lost), there was one great tool that those who loved liberty could resort to: They could leave. The unique and once-free land of America was the result of a colossal selection bias.

But where is there to go now? Europe, Australia, Asia, the Americas — all the same. Central banks, central war, central taxation, central spending.

Warp speed can't get here fast enough.

See Chapterhouse Dune: after

See Chapterhouse Dune: after the scattering.

Orson Scott Card has a loose autonomous collective in the later Ender's novels. 

He also wrote that the only way to win the war on Terror is to invade and occupy Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan(Maybe Korea too, it was an axis of evil article).  I tend to get wary when I see 'only way.' 

1 Comment from Fairfield County Weekly

Until such time as we can start living "off world" I think that moving out of the USA which is increasingly becoming more socialist would be a high priority for anyone who values things like freedom. Where to go? Look at Belize, Uruguay, Panama, Dominican Republic for starters.

Posted by Rocketman on 5.15.09 at 6.47