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Independence: I Still Seek It

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July 04, 2009 – Comments (9)

Today I spend Independence Day as I normally do, working and studying.  This is a joy for me and an exercise of my limited freedom.  Thankfully, I get to exercise this freedom every day, not just on a State designated holiday.  I also get the opportunity to express my thoughts on this blog and share with others - a subject that I will return to later.

I know that I am different.  I am not moved to tears by the singing of the National Anthem. I am not captured in awe by the roar of fighter planes or the pomp and circumstance that surrounds State gatherings.  I don't repeat patriotic slogans like "Support the Troops" or "Freedom isn't Free," although I do spend a great deal of time (too much time) wondering what motivates people to say these things. I would like to see good young men and women working in America, rather than combing the desert in search of the boogeyman. I don't volunteer my labor for strangers. I don't even think it's a good idea.  

I've spent my fair share of time serving the State.  I have regrets and I occasionally feel guilty.  During my time as a tax consumer I was woefully ignorant and downright hostile to any opinion or idea that ran contrary to those pre-approved for me by the system.  I was an enabler for the State to crush the free exchange of ideas and property among individuals, usually with the blessing of our gang of witch doctors and cranks we call Intellectuals.  Unfortunately, there is little that can be done about this.

Some may argue that I am being too hard on our rulers. After all, didn't the State invent the Internet?  Even Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner has said so.  I suppose it would be biting the hand that feeds me if this were true.  However, the Internet as you see it today is the product of the free market.  The Internet under State control was a weapons system.  The State attempted to employ the inventions of private citizens as a system to kill other human beings.  The fact that these targets of State wrath may or may not have been "evil doers" is irrelevant.  To compare the DARPA-Net to the Internet is to compare nuclear weapons to nuclear power.  The fact that the State uses a technology for death, while private citizens use them to improve society, should not be a reason to applaud our masters.  I applaud them only for liberating this technology from their illiterate mandarins. 

With that being said, my struggle for Independence is only made possible because others have struggled as well.  I love the community here, even the ones who despise my political beliefs, because they have forced me to think about stock market investing in new ways.  I have improved a great deal as an investor because of Motley Fool.  The bloggers here deserve much of the credit, as does TMF staff.  Enjoy your day off.  You deserve it.  The accumulation of wealth brings greater independence.  This website is proof that anyone who wishes to improve their financial well-being can find the resources - as long as they can plug into a router.

Finally, I wish to say two positive things about America. 

The two greatest things about America, as opposed to some of the places I have lived or visited, are the American's tolerance of other views and the American's understanding that the free exchange of ideas and property creates wealth.

Tolerance does not mean acceptance.  You don't have to agree with me, but as far as I am aware, no one is plotting to jail me on my next visit to America for speaking my mind.  That is a wonderful thing.  Freedom of speech is not granted by the Constitution.  It is protected by the Constitution. If I needed a piece of paper to tell me what my rights are, they would only be priviliges.  Rights need to be protected, not granted.

No country has ever risen from the ashes by virtue of coercion.  People can not be forced to engage in productive behavior. Almost all Americans understand this, even if few understand how the State causes market failure. There is no central plan from Lords on High that will deliver people from poverty.  Only by allowing people the freedom to exchange what they own - namely their own bodies and minds - has society advanced.  But that free exchange of ideas and property must extend beyond the arbitrary borders of the State, to individuals everywhere.  The protectionist ideas of central planners have destroyed liberty in the past.  Should they succeed again there will be tremendous suffering.

If we still seek our Independence, rather than celebrating that which we don't have, we can avoid the fate of previous generations.  I don't wish to be the next Carl Menger, bitterly watching the world slip towards destruction.  I would rather be surprised by our resilience.

So let us celebrate our continuing struggle for Independence rather than accepting the priviliges currently granted to us by the State.  We are not free, nor are we enslaved. We are somewhere in between.  It is only a question of which direction we wish to travel. 

David in Qatar 

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 04, 2009 at 1:01 PM, Bays (30.12) wrote:

David,,,

What brings you to Qatar if you dont mind me asking?

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#2) On July 04, 2009 at 1:43 PM, kaskoosek (57.77) wrote:

I'll answer for him. I am in the same pickle.

 

It is money. 

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#3) On July 04, 2009 at 3:23 PM, Bays (30.12) wrote:

Well I want more money.

I'm young, educated, ambitious...  What's the pay like there?

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#4) On July 04, 2009 at 5:53 PM, ajm101 (31.84) wrote:

"Tolerance does not mean acceptance.  You don't have to agree with me, but as far as I am aware, no one is plotting to jail me on my next visit to America for speaking my mind.  That is a wonderful thing.  Freedom of speech is not granted by the Constitution.  It is protected by the Constitution. If I needed a piece of paper to tell me what my rights are, they would only be priviliges.  Rights need to be protected, not granted."

It's safe to say I disagree w/ you on a number of subjects.  But I would fight to the end for your right to express yourself freely.  Happy 4th.

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#5) On July 04, 2009 at 6:15 PM, starbucks4ever (97.54) wrote:

A rec.

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#6) On July 04, 2009 at 10:22 PM, whereaminow (20.03) wrote:

Bays,

If you would like to know me on a more friendly level, I invite you to visit me on Facebook. (I mistakenly did not include the link to my profile in the blog above.)  If you need to talk about more serious issues, feel free to
email
me. I extend this invitation to everyone.  If you do request my friendship on FB, please include a note saying "TMF" or "Motley Fool" as I don't know many of your real names.

kaskoosek,

If it was just about the money, I'd be in Iraq.

ajm101,

Thanks. Sorry if I've ever offended you.  I'm bipolar :)

zloj,

Thanks!

bostoncelitcs,

Please stop posting auto-play videos on my blogs.   

David in Qatar

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#7) On July 07, 2009 at 3:54 PM, DaretothREdux (39.87) wrote:

David,

This may be the best thing I have read from you. It's honest, thought-provoking, and straight-forward. And it issues a warning that many in this country need to hear.

Wake up or go the way of Rome,

Dare

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#8) On July 07, 2009 at 4:04 PM, Bays (30.12) wrote:

David,

You got to meet Ron Paul???!

How in the world did you manage that?

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#9) On July 07, 2009 at 11:40 PM, whereaminow (20.03) wrote:

DaretothREdux,

Thanks!  I suppose if one spits out blogs as frequently as I do, they're bound to be a couple of winners. 

Bays,

You saw the pictures, huh? The story never gets old for me, so I'll happily retell it:

I was on vacation, traveling the States with my fiancee.  Before we got to DC, she looked up his office phone number (knowing about my man crush and all) and suggested I give him a call.  Now, I've called Congressmen before (usually to bitch, but at least once to say thanks), so it's not a big deal, but I've never actually asked for a meeting.  So I called them up and told his staffer that I was in from out of town, a donor to his campaign, and... it's my birthday (all true statements).  Still, I didn't think she was going to say yes.  But she asked how long I was going to be in town. I told her just a few days. And she says "I can give you 10 minutes at 4pm tomorrow."

So we head down there and it's pouring rain.  Turns out that she scheduled me in between voting sessions.  So he had to hustle back to meet me after the first vote.  He invites me into his office and we start bullshitting.  He says "I've got something for you" and pulls out a pocket Constitution, signs it, gives it to me and says,"I want you to read this. No one around here ever does."  It was pretty funny.  We took some pictures.  I had a copy of Meltdown and A Foreign Policy of Freedom and he signed those (I met hiim at a rally in Phoenix in 2008 and had him sign Manifesto.)  So then his staffer comes in and tells him he's got to get back for the vote and there is a radio interview waiting for him.  He looks at her and then looks at us and says, "I'm busy. Give me about 5 more minutes."

David in Qatar

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