A Momentous Occasion
by Larken Rose
It was only a little over ten years ago when I thought it was so impressive and cool whenever FOUR whole anarcho-capitalists were in the same place at the same time! It would be an understatement to say that back then we voluntaryist/anarchists were few and far between. We were the fringe of the fringe, the minority of the minority of the minority. Constitutionalists were "right-wing extremists," libertarians were "fringe kooks," but we were so far outside the mainstream that there wasn't even an insult for us.
Fast forward to 2011. Suddenly, the idea of a stateless society is showing up all over the place. Now, I won't pretend this is a scientific proof of anything, but in 1996, I knew maybe six people who dared to wear the label "anarchist," and now I've probably heard from six thousand or so. Once upon a time, the most radical political discussion you'd hear almost anywhere was a debate on whether to have 10% "draconian cuts" in "government" spending. Now you don't have to look very hard to find educated, intelligent people (and that rules me out) addressing questions such as, "Do we need government at all?"
Sure, voluntarists are still a very small minority of a population. Even if we've grown exponentially, what does it matter, if we're still a fraction of one percent of the country? The reason it matters is called "momentum." As someone who used to do tree work, I know that when a hundred-foot tree goes from being straight up, to leaning a few degrees, it's time to clear the area. And the "tree" of statism, as tall and strong as it may still appear, is now leaning. A lot.
Now, I don't want to boast or gloat (well, maybe a little), but a few of us have been publicly hacking away at the roots of statism for years, even back when 99% of pro-freedom activists were saying we were crazy. (When the fringe kooks call you a fringe kook, that's really saying something.)
Then again, others have been bashing the foundations of state-worship long before any of us current rabble-rousers were even born. Poor Nock, Spooner, Bastiat, et al. They spent their lives throwing the truth at a world of people who, for the most part,
I wonder what those olden-day rabble-rousers must have thought about the future of mankind. Was there any hope of humanity ever giving up the lunacy and destruction of statism? Well, I'll tell you this: If Nock, Spooner, Bastiat, et al, were alive today, you can bet they would be at Libertopia later this month.
People love to throw around terms like "historic," but I really do believe that things are happening now which, in the future, will be recognized as hugely significant, quantum leaps forward in human civilization. Heck, some day there might be a memorial at the site of Libertopia, where people come to honor the beginning of the end of the cult of "government." And I'm only half joking.
Okay, I'll stop ranting. But I strongly encourage anyone who can (and even some who can't) to find a way to be at Libertopia, in San Diego, this October 21st through the 23rd. As far as I can tell, it will be the biggest gathering of anarchists and voluntaryists ever.
That's why I'm driving several thousand miles to get there. (And thanks again to those on this e-mail list for making that possible.) To find out more, or to register, visit: http://www.libertopia.org