Skip to main content

the resurgence of liberty

Political awareness and activism at the grassroots level is rising in the United States. The political spectrum in the United States is changing. Long seen as one-dimensional (left vs. right), there has been a strengthening and orthogonalization of at least one more axis -- that of liberty, and the lack thereof. Libertarianism is most certainly on the rise -- with a rising concern, across all demographics, for broader economic (laissez-faire capitalism and Austrian economics) and personal freedoms (civil libertarianism). While a majority of the new libertarians come from the right, there is also growing number of left-libertarians as well as a significant exodus of liberals and progressives toward classical libertarianism.

Fiscal conservatism is a defining characteristic of the traditional right-wing. This ideology is generally hawkish on spending, budget deficits and taxes and moderate on business regulation and social safety-net programs, advocating for fiscal and monetary restraint and balanced budgets. Fiscal libertarianism takes these attitudes a step further -- advocating for laissez-faire capitalism, free(er) markets and the reduction of taxes, entitlement programs and regulatory burdens, and, in general, the reduction of the size and scope of governments. 

The new libertarians share with most conservatives a disdain for the bloated, elitist nanny-state and bureaucratic welfare-state engendered by statist progressive (and, occasionally, "compassionate conservative") policies. They are also characterized by a disdain for political-industrial complexes of various shades (e.g. militaryprison, etc.), and, recently, are increasingly concerned with civil liberties and with emphasizing a non-interventionist foreign policy. In these latter two regards, they have much in common with many liberals (except only, perhaps, the Democratic Jewish lobby) and most progressives. The new libertarians diverge from the traditional right-wing on matters of foreign policy: they reject the neo-conservative interventionism of national security hawks and the political-industrial complexes that result and arise from maintaining a perpetual warfare state.

Civil libertarianism emphasizes the protection and increase of personal liberties, a.k.a. civil liberties -- such as free speech (e.g. First Amendment of the US Constitution) and general freedom from government intervention in matters of conscience, expression and association. More recently, civil libertarians have expressed grave concerns over the potential and actual violations of individual liberties by the government, in the name of domestic and national security (see indefinite detention and the NDAAmass surveillance, the surveillance state and PRISM). Also, recently, there has been an increasing concern for the protection of individual digital rights & privacy (see the protests against SOPA and PIPA).

Right-wing libertarians are finding common cause with the libertarian socialists (for e.g. as found in the Occupy movement) in their equal disdain for crony capitalism and with civil libertarians in their suspicion and distrust of an oppressive police & surveillance state.

Libertarians in the US, esp. right-wing libertarians, oftentimes find support for their viewpoints in the American Constitution -- and esp. in the idea of Constitutionally-limited government. This has led to a strong confluence of thought and activism between libertarians and the Patriot movement, esp. among right-leaning libertarians. The Tea Party is essentially the love-child of these two strains of thought in recent American civil and political life.

The idea of liberty rises steadily and naturally in many hearts and minds throughout the world. Robert G. Ingersoll, extols it best:
What light is to the eyes
what air is to the lungs
what love is to the heart,
liberty is to the soul of man.

Popular posts from this blog

Migrating from MS SQL Server to MongoDB

The following contains notes from various attempts at migrating 2.5GB of MS SQL Server data to MongoDB, on an 8 GB, quad-core, 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise machine.
[TERMINATED] : Simple to use. Exponential slowdown observed in migration. For a total of the 50 million records spanning two tables, the following migration times were observed: 1 second for the first 100,000 records,  30 minutes for 1,000,000, 20 hours for 16 million (after which I terminated the process).[DID NOT WORK] : A ruby-based approach. Use Ruby 1.9.3 (tiny_tds dependency causes problems with Ruby 2.0). Install DevKit before installing the mongify gem. Also, use 'sqlserver' as the adapter in the .config file. Then, before running 'mongify check <config-file>', install the gems activerecord-sqlserver-adapter and tiny_tds. At this stage, it fails. 'mongify translation <config-file>' fails as well.[MODIFIED/WORKED!!]…

Prohibition of envy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

"One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others." (attributed variously to Robert Heinlein & Archibald Rutledge).

The idea of envy (or, covetousness) is an important subject in the Abrahamic faith traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The prohibition against covetousness rounds out the Mosaic moral code, codified as the 10th and final commandment in the Ten Commandments -- the injunction against coveting one's neighbor's property. The rationale behind this is the acknowledgement that all blessings arise from God's sovereign providence and it is not for his creation to question whom and how and when he chooses to bless.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines covetousness as :

1. "feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else", or
2. "marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessi…

the brave new economy

A free(er) market is emerging and has been emerging ever since the advent of the Internet and the Web. Newer technologies have accelerated this. Old inefficiencies in knowledge and access to the market are quickly disappearing. Participation is increasingly peer-to-peer (P2P). Participants can produce, create, curate, give, lend, sell, share, auction, consume, take, borrow, buy, reuse, rent and/or barter goods, services, cash, credit, currency, equity, debt and/or knowledge. The resultant economy is highly collaborative and is sometimes referred to as the ‘sharing economy’. Efficiencies are being introduced and value is being created in the smallest of markets. Non-profit activities are thriving as well, in addition to for-profit ones. The marketplace is becoming, at once, global and local. An important subset of the new economy is collaborative and crowdsourced, and may be described as commons-based peer production. Asymmetries in information are diminished by algorithms (Google, of …