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Liberty Series
Why the Liberty Movement is Doomed
by   Richard   Rieben
Chapter 3 - First Posted – 1 January 2004 
It is difficult to describe how the vast array of liberty movements have been co-opted by people with a vested-interest (financial or moral) in the continued subversion of liberty. These movements preach liberty and say many true things about what is happening in this country and in the world. They are accurate harbingers of evil events and conspiracies, with side-notes on small wins here and there for the cause of liberty.

These small wins are a matter of sticking fingers in the dike. They are not stopping the tide, nor even slowing it down. They are simply signaling that some people are sufficiently "unhappy" to take action. The forces let loose in the world today can bide their time, and overturn these small wins within a few years, then advance to another front. The wins do not matter, like fingers in a dike, they are meaningless against the tide.

There is no form of organization that can be effective in turning the tide. It is not that there is no way to turn the tide, but that all forms of organization can and will be co-opted by the leviathan (which is more than just "the state," but extends into the media, the education system, the corporations, and many religious organizations, as well). The form of organization – the manner of organizing – is structurally based on hierarchic orders, which are, themselves, anti-liberty, and which end up playing into the hands of the framework of "domination-over" government. They are cut of the same philosophical cloth, and that cloth is what suffocates liberty.

Liberty is composed of different "stuff" and requires a different nonhierarchical structure. It also requires a different approach to implementing it – a different sort of revolution.

The organized movements for achieving or "saving" liberty have been mowed-down for the past 200 years. The proven ineffectiveness is what has many "former" libertarians turning to anarchy in an attempt to turn the tide abruptly and decisively. Anarchy, however, is the same "stuff" as tyranny – that is, it is just as oppressive as formal dictatorship, though more bloody. And it "settles" into a strong, formalized tyranny in the end. There is no such thing as anarchy – completely removing a government – that does not fall into tyranny. More to the point, there is no method by which to do such a thing, except by violent upheaval.

Those anarchocapitalists who are preaching peace and the non-initiation of force are living in a fantasy world. In that fantasy world, they are expecting to defend themselves, by force, against the tide of the leviathan. But they will be swamped and forgotten. They are making a stand of principle, but even they know it is a feeble, idealistic and fatalistic stand. They will go down with honor, but they fully suspect that they will go down. Just as many other individuals and small groups have gone down before the tide for the past 10,000 years.

This "Armageddon" is nothing new. History is full of many "end of days," and untold noble last-stands. The most honorable are the unrecorded ones ... the ones whose records, history and values have been erased by the leviathan – destroying people, libraries and philosophies.

In the way that it is presently being attempted today, by all brands and stripes of "liberty-fighters" – in the USA and elsewhere – the liberty movement is a wasted effort.

Achieving liberty on this planet at the present time – with our current set of values – we would trash it forthwith. Freeing the slaves is going to make a lot of slaves very unhappy with you – in fact, most of them. We cannot "project" liberty from the philosophical muck we are presently standing in.

It would be nice to stop the monster that is fast destroying all human values on the planet, but what are you going to put in its place that would work any better? Ah, the temptation of anarchy and its fantastical solutions (drawn from fairy tales), but anarchy creates nine monsters for every one you eliminate (and that's no fairy tale). Anarchy not only has no chance of succeeding in the short term, it has no chance of establishing a peace. It would accelerate the decimation of the population (which is already on the leviathan's agenda, so why give it a boost?).

The alternative – real liberty, by contractual self-government – has been partially attempted here and there, beginning with Solon in ancient Greece, but only partially. Wherever it has been attempted, it has always been compromised with incompatible domination structures, such that, over time, the part that was self-governed becomes overridden and obsolete. This is not because of a lack of vigilance, nor because people are lazy or inherently corrupt. It is because the compromise with domination structure is a compromise of principle which sabotages the effort at its inception. It is doomed from the start ... doomed to turning into a typical domination government, that grows and becomes oppressive over time.

This is why the efforts of any movement toward liberty have always been co-opted, throughout history to the present day. And into the future, as well.

Until we understand what liberty is composed of philosophically – the composition of its nondomination foundations – in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, we will never be effective in achieving the "political" end of it.

Liberty is not "politics" in conventional terms. In every sense of government that you have ever studied or experienced, liberty rejects all forms of politics, politicking, and organization. The end is different, the structure is different, and the means are different. You can't get there from here.

Oh, you can get there. Quite easily. Just not from your present understanding of what government or politics means. Not in the experiential reality of what government is anywhere on the planet, nor in the idealistic fantasies of any kind of projection of liberty, libertarianism, anarchocapitalism, communalism, or socialism that have been dreamed-up within the context of domination societies/values/cultures/philosophies. Because true liberty is composed of different philosophical "stuff."

You don't have to convert to any sort of belief system in order to apprehend liberty, and implement it. You just have to understand what it is ... and in your understanding of it, you need to acknowledge that it is not similar to what you are familiar with.

Anarchist daydreamers are always trying to explain how much better things would be without government, but even they base their views and expectations from within the domination philosophy of their culture. They can imagine doing without government, but even if they grasp the structural requirements and essence of true liberty, they lack the imagination to see that this form of government is a greater break with conventional government than their utopian visions of anarchy. It is a philosophical break – the end of a ten-thousand-year abuse cycle.

Precisely because abuse is a cycle, it is perpetuated by those who have been victimized by it. This is why we have such a tremendous problem acknowledging our own cultural victimization and our puppet-like perpetuation of that abuse in our projected "solutions." In the liberty movement, the elements of authoritarianism and anarchy are self-sabotage. It's not just a matter of shooting ourselves in the feet, but of maiming our children and future generations – of making sure that we continue to foster this hurt and impose it upon others, even as we lie to ourselves about our goals, our motives, and our intentions.


The only form of political governing that is capable of resulting in lasting peace, productivity, social ebullience, and individual sovereignty is uncompromised liberty. Uncompromised in content and uncompromised in structure. It must derive from nondomination, nonauthoritarian, nonhierarchical, and nonpatriarchal (all of which mean the same thing) philosophical principles without compromise. If you compromise it, you are sabotaging it.

It does not matter – in the result – whether your sabotage was intentional and conscious, or unintentional and subconscious. Wittingly or witlessly, you've made a choice, and your protestations that you are "pro-liberty," "pro-freedom," "pro-peace," "pro-free-market," or any other kind of idealistic jockeying you care to invent are a cover/self-delusion for perpetuating abuse. You are responsible for being ineffective in the fight for liberty.

I would like to repeat that last sentence, but it is not my objective to hit anyone over the head with anything. I am trying to explain something, and trying to be helpful.

What I am trying to explain, in this article, is that your efforts to gain freedom are as doomed to failure as all similar efforts have been doomed in the past. And that there is nothing that you can do from within the present, conventional philosophical understanding of government that will succeed in the long haul. Nor will it make any difference, even in the short term.

What can you do that will make a difference? See my other articles in this online series. But don't expect a solution that looks "strong and convincing" in domination terms. Domination terms (and means) lead to domination ends. If you want liberty, then you need to be open to the possibility of winning liberty with liberty, by means of liberty, using the same philosophical methods (and ethics) with which you believe or expect liberty will sustain itself. You need to think outside the box.

Oddly enough, the only thing that I am asking any liberty-fighter to "give up" is his/her anti-liberty premises. It is a small thing – with major ramifications. I don't know if you can do it. I know you don't want to do it. Pretend is much easier than facing reality. I empathize, even.

But the alternative is to continue wasting time and energy, and losing vast shores of ground to the encroaching tide of domination. You may take pride in being doomed idealists, but I see nothing grand or noble in such a stand. I think it is sad, unnecessary and a tragic shame.


Chapter 2 - Liberty Series - Chapter 4
copyright © 2005 by Richard G. Rieben