We walk a lonely road.
We liberty soldiers, those of us pledged to the defense of human freedom, are few and far between. That’s precisely why many thousands of us decided to concentrate in New Hampshire for the Free State Project. It’s understandable, then, when some of us can get emotional when one of our fellows exits the movement.
Many feelings were stirred up by the recent departure of activism legend Ian Freeman from the Free State Project. He’s still around, still doing what he does best, still working with the same people as always. The only thing that’s changed is that he won’t be at a couple of FSP-sponsored events. To some people, this is the entirety of their interaction with Ian, so it’s understandable that they would be upset, but for the rest of us, everything is exactly the same.
Nonetheless, several people (I hesitate to say many) have lost their minds over Mr. Freeman’s on-paper departure, declaring the movement dead, the FSP a tyranny, and Ian a martyr bleeding out on his cross so that the sins of Keene may be forgiven. Here’s a couple things they need to understand.
People come and go in the movement. Let’s be honest, this is not a sustainable path for almost anyone yet. It takes a lot of work, passion, and sacrifice to fight for freedom, and most of us simply burn out. Activists give their all for a couple years before going back to a normal life, making way for the next generation of liberty warriors. Ian Freeman remains near and dear to so many because he has done his time several times over, tirelessly maintaining his contribution level during the crucial early years when there were few others to fall back on. He will continue to do so, but we have to understand that this is an anomaly. Most fight but for a season.
Fighting for liberty isn’t for the faint if heart. Here’s where I shed my peacemaker’s hat to address some haters with the scorn they deserve. Wearing a Tapout shirt doesn’t make you a tough guy, and a “taxation is theft” bumper sticker doesn’t make you a liberty activist. You have to have dedication, stamina, sacrifice, passion, and have your life priorities aligned with your words. So many have indignantly stated their reconsideration of moving to New Hampshire to become a liberty activist, the implication being that we here in the trenches will drop down and beg them to reconsider. Well, we won’t. We want doers here, not troublemakers. You see, the rest of us have already proved our worth as assets to the liberty movement, and the last thing we need is dead weight making our work harder while masquerading as our friends. If you have nothing better to do than to cause grief over the internal workings of a private organization that don’t affect you in any way, please stay home.
Liberty isn’t a tribe of people. It’s a cause, a concept, and hopefully someday an achievable reality. The liberty movement is composed of people actively trying to make this dream real, and its membership changes constantly. Some do their time and leave, and many others talk a big game yet never deliver results. And that’s fine. The cause marches on regardless.
We walk a lonely road, but at the end lies liberty in our lifetime.