Tag: peace

The Distortion of Liberalism

Joshua D. Glawson | United States

 ‘Liberalism’ originally meant a system that recognizes the freedom of the individual while ‘liberating’ them from the chains that bind them. Modern liberalism has gone far past this idea of freeing the individual from systematic oppression to what we see as the tyranny of the majority found in democracy. Modern liberalism suggests that whatever the newest idea of oppression is, it should be fought against at all costs, even when the data and evidence does not hold up, such as “women make less than men,” “ban straws,” “force businesses to trade,” and almost every other idea that constantly changes on an almost monthly basis. This does not mean their intentions are bad, or that everyone who is a modern liberal is ignorant. Rather, it is of the Kantian philosophy that suggests a government should pursue what is deemed noble, no matter if the outcomes are constantly terrible and oppressive in their own right. Modern liberals are willing to advocate the oppression of one group in order to suffice the needs and wants of another group. This perpetuates votes and a false sense of confidence in order to gain votes.

Simple Libertarian Concepts:

  • If your friend needs money to survive, is it moral for you to coerce others with the threat of violence and death in order to pay for your friend’s needs?
  • If theft is immoral for one person, it is just as wrong for a thousand people, a million people, or a billion people, etc. to steal from one person as it was for the one person to steal.

These Aristotelian principles, along with the Non-Aggression Principle (or the Randian ‘Non-Initiation of Force’), and several other principles are what is core to libertarian values, and the principles of the Libertarian Party.

Libertarians recognize that every law established by a government is backed by the threat of force, while understanding non-compliance can escalate the violence up to the point of death.

E.g. Eric Garner was killed by police because he was supposedly selling cigarettes on the streets of NYC, and he denied the allegations and was trying to talk to the police as they began arresting him. The officer was not charged, although choke-holds were also deemed ‘illegal’ for police officers to use on people.

Libertarians also realize that the freer people are, the more economic prosperity there is for the vast majority of people as opposed to other systems of governments and economics.


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Improve Your Life and Conquer Your Monday

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Many people fear their Mondays. They suffer the week just to live it up on the weekend, and then dread the return of the workweek once it arrives. Of course, not everyone has the same “Monday,” as it pertains to being the beginning of their working days. In either case, many people still fear the start of the week as reality and duties hit each of us, seemingly all at once, like a slap in the face.

It is time for you to help change that mentality and conquer your Mondays!

 

 

I, too, used to live the life of the humdrum, mundane, workweek with the fears that come with the return of Monday and all the responsibilities it accompanied. Instead of getting through Monday with gloom and depression, by just pounding cups of coffee and surfing the web when I got home, I decided to make some changes to reward myself for successfully making it through the day.

This began a shift in my understanding of Monday, as before I had always complained, both sincerely and half-jokingly, about it being the beginning of the workweek. Once I began rewarding myself on this day, I quickly saw the day as being different, unique, and now special.

By rewarding myself on this day, I don’t mean splurging, or doing anything that would completely harm my Tuesday morning. Rather, I sought enjoyable personal hobbies to partake in on Monday, which is something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

(NERD ALERT!) I first started going to a weekly chess club, playing in official tournaments. I was making friends, winning some tournaments, and improving my chess-playing abilities. After a few months, some friends told me about some free dance lessons that took place every Monday. So, I began oscillating between chess and dance for a few months, and eventually just attended dance so that I could start my own chess club on Thursdays instead. At dance, I made more friends, learned so much about the art and my own body movement, and the amazing people there helped me advance in my skill while we each honed our craft.

Unfortunately, I had to move in pursuit of higher education and accomplishing my other goals in life. Amazingly, once I moved, I found out there was a free comedy show near my new place that happened every Monday and without a drink minimum. I really enjoy watching stand-up comedy and people progress over time. I made several friends at the comedy show, just from attending, and I believe comedy is also great for the brain. Who knows, I may find other great activities on Mondays besides just comedy shows eating pizza and drinking beer, but I can honestly say that I now love Mondays and I look forward to every Monday.

This shift in thinking has led me to now be grateful for every day of the week, even the days that I do nothing but work, study, read, write, etc. It has helped me to realize that if I am willing to put in 8 hours for someone else, I should also put some time in for myself, and helping me to grow and expand my network. As cliché as it is, we do only live once; so, why should I let a day of the week and my responsibilities get in the way of my happiness and growth?!

Take control of your “Monday.” Find things to do in your area that are both fun and helpful in your growth as a person. Don’t let your life pass you by. Don’t let the arbitrary days of the week be the stresses that hurt you and stunt your development.

Some ideas:

  • Search meetup.com for groups to join in dance, chess, comedy, improv, public speaking, martial arts, book clubs, learning a language, cooking classes, etc.
  • Search your social media for events such as SoFar Music, or ask your friends and family if they also feel the same about their Mondays and see if you can do something together.
  • Check to see if ToastMasters is in your area to better public speaking.
  • Have a family day every Monday, playing board games and eating fun foods, or watching movies, etc.
  • Search if there are music or comedy shows every Monday in your area.
  • Try a new restaurant every Monday.
  • Try learning to cook a new dish every Monday.
  • Go on a date on Mondays.
  • Attend your religious institution every Monday.
  • Start your own club or meeting every Monday if you see there is a desire and a need.

What are some ideas you have for conquering your Mondays and looking forward to them every week? Leave your comments in the comment section below.


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Libertarians Must Reject Violent Figures Like McVeigh

By Nate Galt | United States

Timothy McVeigh has been a controversial figure in the contemporary history of America. Some argue that he was a patriot, trying to defend his country from a tyrannical federal government. Most, however, recognize that he was a terrorist whose actions were unacceptable.

Why did Timothy McVeigh Murder?

Many of McVeigh’s defenders point to certain measures such as the USA PATRIOT Act and state that this is an example of what McVeigh meant to destroy. Instead of destroying tyranny, his infamous Ryder truck fertilizer bomb destroyed the lives of hundreds of families. His actions killed 168 people, including several children, and injured hundreds more. 

The Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City had a daycare inside. Under no circumstance is blowing up a daycare center moral. McVeigh’s co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, said that he and McVeigh knew that a daycare center existed inside the Murrah Building and that neither of them cared. The two knowingly blew up the children inside. How could that possibly be okay? No matter how righteous he claimed to be, he had no right to destroy property or kill innocent civilians to prove a point.

No Better than the State

Of course, the government does the exact same thing in many situations. Recently, they blew up a school bus in Yemen, killing dozens of children. Moreover, the state institutionally taxes its citizens under punishment of imprisonment or death. Surely, it acts coercively in many situations. But Timothy McVeigh’s actions, equally coercive and destructive, were not any better.

Furthermore, the deaths of those innocent 168 people simply antagonized people towards his beliefs. Does the liberty movement need more people drawn away from it because of its members supporting a terrorist?

Practice what you Preach

Currently, many say that the Libertarian Party and other libertarian-leaning political groups need to get more votes. Its members supporting the actions of a man who killed 168 will never achieve that goal. Similarly, they should not support other violent figures in the modern era.

Without a doubt, peacefully advancing what you think is right is the only just method. McVeigh claimed to stand for American liberty and thought himself to be a part of the liberty movement. But, people who advocate for freedom must universally recognize John Locke’s concept of the natural rights of a human being regardless of any factor: the right to life, liberty, and property.

McVeigh took the lives of 168 men, women, and children and destroyed property on April 19th, 1995. This is anathema to everything that liberty advocates stand for. Indubitably, he clearly violated the civilians’ rights to their lives and property. Thousands mourned the loss of their relatives and friends. Timothy McVeigh’s actions were absolutely immoral, devastating, and reprehensible.

There is a fine line between understanding someone’s motives and supporting their actions. Someone partially agreeing with McVeigh on gun rights is different than them supporting his despicable actions. While his position is understandable, his deeds are not. How could any person consider themselves moral yet go on to commit mass murder?

Rejecting Violence in All Forms

No matter their position on gun rights, constitutional infringements, or the federal government, liberty advocates as a whole must reject Timothy McVeigh. In the eyes of the American public, McVeigh is a murderous terrorist who took the lives of 168 innocent people. His deeds on that April morning of 1995 will never be forgotten. Thus, the liberty movement’s members should try to advance their cause by supporting peaceful people, not violent individuals.


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The Right to Rebel

By Benjamin Olsen | United States

The right to revolution is a concept that seems to have its roots at the beginning of time. The first widespread idea of the right to rebel and the overthrow of rulers was started in ancient China. The philosophy was known as the “Mandate of Heaven.” The Mandate can be summed up as: “If a monarch is behaving poorly, then bad things will happen. If bad things happen, then heaven has withdrawn its support and the people may rise up to overthrow the ruler.” This sentiment is mirrored in a more secular way with the idea of the social contract, the idea that we continue to allow ourselves to be ruled as long as the ruler protects our rights. This idea has been promulgated by John Calvin, John Locke and the Founding Fathers of America. The idea of the right to rebellion has been seen all throughout history, but the most successful execution was seen in 1776.

The philosophy of the American Revolution was rooted in the ideals of the age of enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson and other revolutionaries saw the power these ideas had to change not only their country, but the world. Most of the founders were hesitant at the fact of starting their own country and rather sought to reconcile their grievances with the magistrates of Great Britain. It was John Adams, a founder with an ideology leaning towards monarchism, that lead the charge towards a full separation from the island of Great Britain. This idea was deemed radical and the Congress debated the idea for over a year before finally ratifying the Declaration of Independence. Even after ratification, the general populace was against the idea of revolution. Only 25% of the population was active in the fight against Great Britain. The idea of splitting from a government that the majority of people had familial and other ties to was beyond belief. Revolutions can start small but can grow to be an unstoppable juggernaut. The American Revolution was truly started by a small organization known as the Sons of Liberty. This small fraternity was responsible for the Boston Tea party and the opening shots at Lexington and Concord. What the American Revolution exemplifies the best is how successful a small revolution can be. Starting with a small fraternity and ending with an independent nation and a modern day powerhouse.

Another example of revolution is the Easter Rising in 1916 that took place in Ireland. This revolution is different from the American one as it takes place in what is considered the modern day and it is a failed revolution that sparked something bigger than itself. The Easter Rising is rooted in an ancient rivalry between England and Ireland. Dating back to 1169, England tried to exert its dominance over the British Isles, and in particular Ireland. Irish history, as a result of such occupation and colonization, has a history rife with tragedy and turmoil. Irish rebellions stretch back to the first occupation and extend all the way to the 1990s. The true turning point in the same story of a failed rebellion came in 1916.

In the midst of the great war, a small organization of Irish patriots, ranging in ideologies from socialism and monarchists to classical liberals and fascists, planned to rebel against the English crown while it was occupied in the trenches of northern France. The rebellion gathered its strength in secret and trained with what arms it could manage to procure. On Easter Monday, 1916 the small band of revolutionaries struck. They first seized the General Post Office and rose the Irish Tricolor, that continues to be the flag of Ireland to this day. By the end of the week, the rebellion was defeated. All of the signers of the proclamation of the provisional government were executed. The Easter Rising had failed to free Ireland from the British. However, within the next two decades the Irish people would rise up, their eyes opened to the British atrocities. Ireland would become independent in 1937. Throughout the rest of the century beginning in the early 50s and continuing until the late 90s, Irish freedom fighters fought for the freedom of the North and the ability for it to join the Republic of Ireland. The Easter Rising shows how even a failed revolution can lead to an independent nation.

All people that are governed have a right to overthrow their governor if their rights are not protected. In today’s world, we are taxed at a rate unimaginable by the Founding Fathers. We have atrocity after atrocity perpetrated against us. Rebellion does not always have to be with fire and bullets like the Easter Rising and American Revolution, but we cannot continue to allow our rights to be curbed in the name of security and safety. As Thomas Jefferson put it “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” We should all seek such freedom and the ability to decide our own destiny free from intrusion by a government, that may as well be foreign. Revolution can come through the ballot box such as the Civil Rights Movement. Revolution can be peaceful such as Gandhi’s liberation of India. Only if necessary must a revolution be violent. Let us not suffer to be ruled, but to be rulers of our own lives. A revolution is needed to be freed from the bureaucratic quagmire and corrupt governance that plagues this nation.


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True Libertarian Presidents II: Warren G. Harding

By Dane Larsen | United States

“Warren Gamaliel Harding sweeps country in a GOP landslide” (San Francisco Chronicle, November 1920). After the 1920 Presidential election, the country had high hopes for a man who promised peace, progress and prosperity. Harding won the EC with votes 404-127, and stuck to his vowed code of ethics, by keeping the government out of the economy, bringing peace to the world after WWI, and protecting citizen’s personal liberties. An enormous portion of the United States voted him in so that they could see the results in categories like such.

Economic Freedom

Being preceded by Woodrow Wilson, a man notorious for his blasphemous economic positions, Harding was set up with a massive Depression from 1920-21. It’s not a big surprise that this was one of the depressions that hit us hard, but we never hear about it in the context of some of the worst in our nation’s history. This is because the former POTUS in question had about some of the finest economic stances, that he rarely went back on. Coupled with a post-World War economy, and the creation of the Federal Reserve, Harding was arranged to fail, as the economy as we knew it, was structured on faulty foundation. One future President, and Secretary of Commerce at the time Herbert Hoover, loosely defined himself as a laissez-faire advocate, and pushed for Keynesian tactics in the wake of a 17% GNP fall off, and a raise of unemployment by 8%. Harding ignored this.

Instead, Harding changed everything he could in his power, while keeping the checks and balances in D.C. that our forefathers envisioned, and not stepping over any boundaries. The Federal Income Tax started with a cap at 7% in 1913 but at the end of WWI skyrocketed to 77%. Secretary Mellon of Harding’s cabinet proposed tax cuts that would get the economy going again, with more money in the pockets of Americans in all tax brackets you could imagine. This cut in these taxes eventually led to a rapid growth in the US citizen wealth and all. In the passing years, GNP steadily rose 4.7% annually, and unemployment fell to 6.7% in 1921, then 3.2% in the following year. Furthermore, Harding cut spending of government entities by nearly 50%, and along with his almost 40% tax reduction, him and his administration cut back the national debt, with no bail-outs, government catalyst programs, etc.

Although he did enact a small tariff known as the Fordney-McCumber protectionist laws, he only had good intentions. Only one small crack in an air-tight economist of a President, the man “always decried high taxes, government waste, and excessive governmental interference in the private sector of the economy,” as Robert Murray wrote in “The Harding Era”. He was an honest man, who just wanted to see prominence in the economy of his home country, with the people he legitimately cared about.

Non-Interventionism

Foreign policy is the regard where Hardings reputation begins to become tarnished. He was a product of his time, and it’s hard to envision anybody in power at that particular time not wanting to grab at immediate power when there were so many vulnerable assets up for grabs. The occupations of many satellite colonies in the age of Imperialism was something every power of the Western world partook in. Harding wanted to do as much as he could in power to put these activities to rest, but it’s a shame that he never developed his words into actions. During his Presidency, the affairs regarding control over territories in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua were still in tact. This cruel behavior was sinister, yes, but in the context of the 1920’s, not uncommon in the slightest. At least then, there was very little conflict or civil disruptions in the territories from 1920-22, besides the D.R. citizens fighting soldiers positioned on sight, which stopped after Harding retracted troops to ease tension.

He was, however, an advocate of world diplomacy, at least when it came to the world superpowers. The Washington Naval Conference was put on by President Harding from November of ’21, to February of ’22, pre United Nations, here Harding brought together a lot of the powerful countries of the World, in another of the conferences of the League of Nations. Along with pushing for disarmament around the globe, being the first world consultation of arms control, it also enacted three main treaties, among others, that stood out as being a type of foreshadowing of things that the world would see in the near future. After a long time coming, China eventually launched an “open-door” foreign trade policy that would stimulate the World’s economy, only following the Nine-Power Treaty introduced and signed by none other than Warren G. Harding. Furthermore, many attribute the breakdown of Imperialism itself to Harding, who knocked over one of the first dominoes with the Four-Power Treaty, which made sure that the members of the star members of the League of Nations wouldn’t exceed their status quo of stationed troops in Oceania during colonization. This was meant as a plea to give the citizens of their homeland some breathing room.

Individual Autonomy

Through thick and thin, Americans could cont on Harding pushing for personal freedom in the oval office, on behalf of his supporters, but for the good of everyone in the country. At one time, it was him valuing freedom of speech, when he pardoned Eugene Debs, wrongly imprisoned under the Democratic President Woodrow Wilson for speaking out against the USA’s participation in WWI, whether he agreed with it or not. He thought that through free speech and advocacy of the American people, the federal government could take some notes on how to run the country that gave them their power in the first place. He seems like an honest and good-hearted politician? No wonder it sounds so foreign to us in the 21st century.

Furthermore, in a time of turmoil, post-Emancipation Proclamation and pre-Civil Right Movement, Harding was one who always pushed for legal and God-given rights to all, no matter their skin color, or potential criminal background. On one hand, he endorsed equal political rights for all, especially African Americans. He got rid of double standards when citizens in the South applied to vote. In a campaign speech in Birmingham, a notable Democratic, segregated city, Harding once said “Whether you like it or not… Unless our democracy is a lie, you must stand for that equality”, pertaining to the equal voting rights he proposed.

Furthermore, on the other hand, Harding pushed for legislation on all fronts in favor of rehabilitation over punishment as well. In a more extreme case, the POTUS signed into law an anti-lynching and/or mob violence bill, only to be hated by a Senate filibuster. Although he didn’t push for the death penalty or anything of the sort, he wanted maximum punishment for the type of people who would do these things to other humans. In some cases, lynching was a branch of the punishment, and Harding didn’t approve of such an act in his United States.

A Prosperity Story, from Rubbish to Riches

Harding’s success story aligns itself right up with the story of the USA during his tenure as President. Harding lifted himself up through the ranks of the governmental positions. Born in Ohio himself, he was elected as a State Senator, elected Ohio’s Governor four years later, and the to the US Senate in 1914. He was thought of as a gamble in the RNC and when elected in the primaries, but his fresh ideas served as a springboard for America’s success in the Roaring Twenties.

Known as one of the most prosperous time periods in the United States’ history, economically, socially, spiritually, and in every other category, Harding overlooked and set the states up for a great boom. From WWI and a body count too many to fathom at that time in the War, the USA was coming from nothing. Under Harding, the country was built on a great infrastructure, thanks to his core libertarian beliefs.

“Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little.” –Warren Gamaliel Harding


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