An Intellectual RevolutionPosted: February 19, 2012
Well, I have decided to start a blog…obviously.
I have always been one of the few people who actually pays attention to and cares about the political issues of the day. The irony is that in so many ways I despise politics. Leonard Read described politics as a “lagging indicator” of prevailing opinion. The existing system we live in was created from decades old ideas. I believe that we are ruled by a system that is intellectually bankrupt at its foundation. It is fundamentally flawed and corrupt at its core. The nobel laureate economist and intellectual F.A. Hayek called it a “fatal conceit” – the belief that a central authority, one man or a group of men, a cabinet of officials, or a planning committee could gather enough understanding or information in order to reshape the world around them according to their wishes – to reshape human nature.
I feel like our society is decaying into the mindset of looking to the State to try and solve every social problem that we have. We must reject this foundation of statism. An institution that has the monopoly on the use of force should not be the savior we look to in order to solve the problems in this world. The government is not the solution.
What we really need is a paradigmatic shift in political thought. That shift can only happen through an educational process of intellectual and philosophical development.
What has inspired my focus with this blog is what Hayek said about social change. Hayek explained that social change occurs when the intellectuals, or the “secondhand dealers in ideas” accept and spread a doctrine that is then filtered through public opinion. Only then are those beliefs projected into the political system. It will take a diligent educational effort to produce transformative social and political change, and there is a growing movement in this country that is committed to advancing the ideas of liberty. It is a movement that I consider myself and this blog a part of, and it is what Albert Jay Nock called “the Remnant”.
Nock, a great intellectual for the ideas of liberty, wrote an incredible essay called “Isaiah’s Job”. The essay focuses on the biblical story of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. Isaiah’s ministry began at the end of King Uzziah’s reign, which lasted almost a half century and was apparently prosperous. However, at the end of that reign there was a sudden and resounding crash. Can you sense a parallel?
A spiritual decay had infiltrated the hearts of the people. The Lord commissioned Isaiah to call for their repentance even though they will harden their hearts and refuse to listen to the prophecy of their coming self-inflicted destruction. This calling raised the very obvious question – if they are doomed from the start, what use is it to even try? (I guess if I had heard the voice of the Lord, seen Him on His throne of glory in a vision, and was called by Him to go, I would still do it anyways…)
Part of God’s call was that Isaiah was to be a prophet to the Remnant – a group of true believers that still existed. They needed to be encouraged and built up in their faith so that when everything went to hell in a hand-basket, they were the ones who were going to come back and rebuild society on a solid foundation.
I do not profess to be some sort of great intellectual. I do not pretend to have any special knowledge of anything in particular or even to be especially intelligent! I simply hope that I can be an effective intermediary for the ideas of liberty that can one day have a lasting effect on society.
I also am no prophet. It would be presumptive and arrogant to try and equate myself to that level of authority, but we have plenty of prophets in our midst that are urging us to change our ways before we ruin ourselves. This blog will be a resource to connect people to what some of these thinkers and intellectuals have to say. There is a wealth of knowledge, resources, and ideas out there. We just need to connect to them.
I will connect my readers with articles and resources on important issues and stories happening around the world on both foreign and domestic policy. One of my goals is to help provide historical and narrative context to what is going on throughout the world. One of my constant criticisms of the media is the complete disregard for the proper context of a story. Events do not happen in a vacuum, and an effective propaganda tool can be to avoid the important contextual aspects of developing events. I will develop archival references and articles for the issues I focus on in this blog. I will provide hyperlinks and connections to facts and sources in all of my commentaries wherever they apply. I ask that you please challenge me to do this if you feel that I am inadequately addressing this promise.
I will try to be an intermediary in spreading the ideas of liberty to help promote a new paradigm of thinking. From time to time I will write some original material whenever I feel inspired to put my developing ideas into words. I hope that this blog will help to challenge my thinking and understanding, and inspire me to honestly explore myself.
“There can only be one permanent revolution – a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.” – Leo Tolstoy
Most importantly I hope to challenge and dismantle the ideology of statism. If I can be effective in gaining an audience I hope to inspire others to understand and believe in a free society. The biggest threat to the prevailing system and the tyranny of the current political ideology is to challenge the fundamental ideas and premises of the system. The only power that the State has is what we give or what it takes from the rest of us. All of the State’s resources come from what it confiscates from the society that it rules over. It’s only legitimacy comes from the degree to which we consent to live under it. Therefore ideas are the most dangerous threat to its existence. We do not need some sort of violent revolution to overthrow the existing order. In fact we should reject that notion. Violent aggression and force is the weapon of statism. We need an intellectual revolution. We need nothing more than the will to be free.
“…you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces…” -Etienne de la Boetie