I got discouraged with the whole liberty community thing last fall. So I took an 8-month break. You probably didn’t notice and don’t care. That’s quite alright!
Why did I get discouraged?
- Sometimes I feel like I’m doing my thing all by myself over here. It gets lonely and frustrating.
- I was being ridiculed by fellow libertarians for trying on new ideas that threaten libertarian orthodoxy. I consider this anti-intellectual behavior and incredibly disappointing.
- When a certain person decided to launch baseless, repeated and nasty public attacks on my character, some people that I respected quite a lot chose to defend him. Some criticized me for pointing out the elephant in the room and a few even praised him! This sucked.
- I was still recovering from the Allentown US Marshal attack.
- We Won’t Fly left me feeling burned out and unable to top myself.
- An important project fell through when a fellow libertarian I value failed to deliver something I paid for.
- I felt like crap at PorcFest 2011 (which I spent a lot of money to attend) because (1) a certain craven person got another very nasty person to insult me publicly from the registration table and (2) when I called them on it, I got the thousand-yard stare from an open-carrying Free State Project insider (I was open carrying, too). I got the sense that he was thinking of drawing on me.
What did I do over my “bummer” break?
- I lost 40 pounds.
- I experimented with a vegan diet and loved it. I consider myself a vegetarian now.
- I spent a lot of time with my son.
- I took up Aikido. It rocks.
- I took up Zen meditation. It is incredibly powerful.
- I studied leadership.
- I overcame a lot of fears.
- I took up hiking. I can’t get enough of it.
- I read a ton of books.
- I started a business.
And I realized that I am a leader. I don’t care if you disagree. Oh, and I have a special vocation to bring liberty and goodwill to the world. Go ahead and laugh. It’s corny but it’s true. I’m also 41 years old. I don’t have time to screw around. It’s time for me to get as serious as possible without unduly risking another Allentown.
So that’s why I’m getting back to work on libertarian stuff. It’s my mission. And there are many more people in the liberty community that I really like than those who disappoint me. You guys are really cool!
What did I learn?
- I have to be blind, deaf and dumb to the negative.
- I’m on a mission. This is between me and the universe. It’s not about anyone else. I’m taking this to the wall whether I have someone next to me or not. Think Julian Heicklen.
- A relentless focus on the voluntaryist imperative of self-improvement is the best policy. I’ve got to live it.
- Be ready to die at any time. Expect it. Look forward to the opportunity for a great death. This doesn’t mean I want to die. It just means I have to constantly put myself into challenging situations in order to continue growing and avoid rotting. Otherwise I’ll never be up to the challenge of taking a run at my mission.
What now? Here’s what I’m working on:
- A way overdue pamphlet about the courts and jury nullification. (Sorry Nate!)
- Blogging useful stuff daily here. What should I write about?
- I’m bringing Agora I/O back. The next conference is September 21-23 this year.
- I’m bringing Shield Mutual (mutual aid project) back but with a different twist.
- I’m working on an idea called the Peace League. The League is a group of people, highly trained in satyagraha (Gandhian nonviolence), who freely associate and form groups to go into places of conflict and nonviolently assist the combatants in reaching a sustainable resolution. It would take inspiration from Buddha, Jesus, St Francis of Assisi, Tolstoy, Gandhi, MLK, Rusesabagina and so many others. When people call for the US army to handle a humanitarian disaster or to intervene (think Kony 2012 or Darfur), we go instead. It’s like the opposite of an army.
- I’m working on an environmental and human rights activism project here in Colombia that involves a Spanish-Italian multinational and a small band of campesinos. I’ve got hours of video that I will edit and publish soon. I was even already detained! (See tomorrow’s post for the video and story.)
For my three faithful readers, thanks so much for bearing with me during the break. I promise great things to come!