Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Why We Fight

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Given the statist direction in which our nation continues to head, one might be tempted to succumb to despondency. After all, everywhere you look, there’s a crisis, with calls for even more statism to address the crises. The worse things get, the more hopeless the situation might seem for people striving for the triumph of libertarianism.

There certainly is no guarantee that we libertarians will succeed in restoring liberty to our land within our respective life spans. Many champions of liberty have passed away without seeing the restoration of liberty.

But the fact is though that none of us is in charge of saving the world or the country. The most we can do is fight to restore a free society to our land. We have no control over the outcome, and so there is no need to despair over it.

One thing is for sure, however: If we don’t fight, the chances of restoring liberty to America are virtually nil.

Why do we fight? Not just because it’s a necessary prerequisite to winning but, more important, because it’s the right thing to do. We are who we are — libertarians — and it is incumbent on us to be true to ourselves and to the philosophy that is part of us.

How do we fight? Through the power of ideas. There really isn’t any other way. The statists have their philosophy and we have ours. It’s a matter of whether we libertarians can end up attracting a sufficiently large number of committed, dedicated, passionate people who ultimately reach a critical mass that brings about a major shift toward liberty in American society.

Consider what must have seemed to be insurmountable odds facing statists in, say, 1890. Americans were living in a society without Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, income taxation, paper money, a Federal Reserve, economic regulations, farm subsidies, immigration controls, public schooling, drug laws, a standing army, a military-industrial complex, a CIA, foreign invasions and occupations, torture, regime-change operations, and assassination.

Yet, did the statists throw up their hands in despair and exclaim, “Oh, we’ll never win. Let’s give up.” No, they continued expounding their ideas of socialism, interventionism, and imperialism because they believed in them.

And no one can deny that the statists were persuasive. Within a few decades, they had revolutionized American life, bringing to America the welfare-warfare state under which we now live, under the rubric of “freedom, free enterprise, and national security.”

One of the advantages we libertarians have today is that the results are now in for everyone to see. The welfare-warfare state has brought us an extremely dysfunctional society consisting of political plunder, coerced charity, envy, covetousness, torture, assassination, wars of aggression, masses of drug users, periodic massacres of people, a submissive citizenry with stultified consciences, perpetual crises and chaos, not to mention ever-growing severe infringements on liberty and privacy.

So, at least now we have two different systems and results that we can point to: the system the Founding Fathers brought into existence, which produced the most prosperous, charitable, peaceful, and harmonious society in history, and the system the statists have foisted upon our land, which has produced the opposite. Americans can make the choice.

But regardless of how things work out, the fact is that we libertarians are part of one of the grandest, most glorious movements in history, one that ranks up there with those that brought us such monumental achievements as Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right, habeas corpus, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, due process of law, and the right to keep and bear arms.

Can we prevail? Sure we can. But that’s not why we fight. We fight because we’re right.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.