Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Jeffrey Tucker, editor of Laissez-Faire Books, gives an interesting and worthwhile exploration of Rose Wilder Lane's libertarian classic The Discovery of Freedom, a work that has inspired freedom lovers since its publications.

Says Tucker:

People schooled in the libertarian idea are prepared for the thesis that freedom is productive and protective of human rights, whereas despotism is neither. Many years ago, I first glanced through Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom and assumed that it was an eloquent statement of known truths, so surely there was nothing much to learn here. Maybe it was right for beginners. 
In my second reading, some ten years later, I was struck by the depth and sweep of her argument and how it goes far beyond conventions. The problem, as she sees it, is not just the state, but rather, the universal penchant for repressing the human spirit. The state is only the most egregious form of authority. 
Finally, on my third reading, I got it. This is a supremely radical and challenging work, one that essentially turns the world upside down. Nearly every expert on the topic of the history of civilization will tell you that the regime is what makes the difference between whether a nation rises or falls. 
Lane takes another view entirely. She says it is not the regime but the absence of the regime that sets the human spirit in flight and permits it to create and make beautiful things out of the uncivilized world of the state of nature. She pictures the whole history of humanity as a struggle to be free of authority — not just this or that authority but all authority.
I recommend this great article for reading and sharing, even though it is not explicitly Christian-oriented (though a Christian spirit is infused in it). I would also like to comment on the mention of Islam as a tool for freeing humanity and liberating civilization. While it is a false religion from a Christian perspective, God did use Islam in its initial stages to declare His glory through the liberation of civilization and the flourishing of arts, culture, math, science, and other things, before it turned into an authoritarian and militaristic religion. In some ways, God used Islam to help the Christian world and Christendom in many ways, even in leading Christendom to cast off its former bias against commercial dealings (which are not so much rooted in apostolic and biblical teaching as it is to post-apostolic doctrines later infused into the church).
Anyways, this article and the book will be of service for interesting discussions and thoughts in the ages to come.

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