Liberty, Charity and Defense of the WeakSubmitted by Menschken on Sat, 11/16/2013 - 02:24
Many of us watched that front page video of the troubled boy telling the drill sergeant on some trash TV 'I have no daddy,' in response to the driller's tough-guy question 'Do you want me to be your Daddy the next 8 years?' Drill sergeant softened up, hugged the boy and it was a happy moment, but in the end the boy was still fatherless and likely still troubled today.
The clip got me thinking. In the past, if a boy lost his dad, a common enough thing, there was rarely any doubt he'd have plenty of others figures in his life to fill the role of father. Today, the child is often left with no one, not even siblings.
This has wider implications.
If libertarians want to do something really constructive, something not merely ideological, I think a "big brother" sort of thing (ironic name) would be good.
Along with volunteering with the old and dying, who have no young people to care about them, I can think of few better ways to spread the message of self reliance and community solidarity away from the state, which we all share. That, along with providing tutoring for kids in need and stuck in public schools.
Think of how the two mesh together -- these lonely old people and these kids without adequate parents could also be company to each other in some over arching volunteer activity.
Providing tutoring for free is also a not so shabby way of building an educational base for homeschoolers to contract able educators to teach from an ideologically sympathetic perspective.
Here we would need to drop the purism and tap into a broader current of ideological anti-statism that embraces conservatives, christians and other alternative views which oppose the big State.
If we can work with ideologically acceptable Christians, we can tap into a huge vein of anti State potential.
Not to mention just being good people and gaining positive meaning in our own lives. Too much of libertarian ideas are merely negative and don't have content.
They merely negate claims to power, but don't recognize that there are genuinely legitimate needs of society that are missing at present and which the state is filling poorly or not at all.
If we ever wonder why some radical movements in other countries are so successful when fighting their own state or in fighting real enemies, it is often their role as protectors of the weak and as a social force for good in the place of a weak or corrupt state.
Even groups we don't agree with in ideas or tactics, we can learn from their success politically from their outreach in protecting and serving the weak and providing defense and order in hard times.
If the world ever really does hit really hard times, of the kind so many of us expect, then whoever provides those functions will be the group to succeed and eclipse the state.
Don't be surprised it its radicals, religionists, socialists or some other group of non-libertarians, if liberty does not commit itself to the twin pillars of any healthy society -- defense of order and charity.