What if you took a stand and threw all your weight behind the fact that 2+2=4?
What if, while taking that stand people accused you of being an oddball? What if they called you a “mathematical extremist?” What if they said “Yeah, most of the time 2+2 does equal 4, but there are certain extreme situations where that idea has to be abandoned, and you must believe that 2+2=5.”
Would you stick? Or would back down and drown yourself into the herd?
Most people when reading the above would confidently say that they would stick. Of course 2+2=4, and there are no “extreme circumstances” that can change that.
But the pressures of the herd are not on them, so its easy to affirm that they would stick.
Now let’s move from a mathematical absolute to an absolute about man’s nature: Every person is naturally endowed with individual liberty. Every person is the final arbiter on what he or she believes, and how to act to make him or herself happy.
This individual liberty is not without restraint. There are very important and concrete “built-in” restraints, so to speak.
Since everyone is free, each is limited by the freedom of everyone else.
In other words, your liberty is limited by my liberty. That is, you can do whatever you want with your life and your property as long as it does not harm or injure my life and my property.
At the same time, I can do whatever I want with my life and my property as long as it doesn’t harm your life or property.
If someone chooses not to abide by this “built-in” restraint, they are choosing to act as a tyrant, and against man’s nature.
For thousands of years, all the major religions and civilizations have acknowledged these principles: Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat…For these are the destroyers of life.
Again, if I were to present these ideas to most people, they would agree with every word of it. In fact, a vast majority of people live by these principles, whether they consciously think about it or not.
But the tune changes when a person is confronted by the herd. What if, while taking the stand for individual liberty people accused you of being an oddball? What if they called you an “liberty extremist?”
What if they say: “Yeah, most of the time individual liberty is great, but there are certain circumstance where it must be disregarded and abandoned.”
But once the principle is compromised, that it’s OK to steal, kill and violate a person’s individual liberty, the floodgates open and a deluge of excuses pour out to steal, kill and violate liberty.
Civilization then decays and declines; gradually at first, and then very rapidly.
It would be no different then if 2+2=5 was believed to be true en masse. Everything would start to fall apart…Everything.
The Sunshine Patriot, mentioned by the eloquent Thomas Paine, waits for it to safe to proclaim the ideas of Liberty. He puts his finger in the wind and waits. He can’t throw his weight behind the truth until he’s sure others will approve.
There is no need to wait around for the Sunshine Patriots. They’ll eventually show up. They always do.
Now is the time to defend the ideas of Liberty; when the insults are flying, when the name-calling is abundant, and when the herd is racing everyone towards the cliff.
Liberty is the truth, in the same way that 2+2=4 is the truth.
America, of all places, should have plenty of patriots that are not afraid to speak it and proclaim it with conviction.