On Liberty

An Encounter with Malaclypse the Elder

Recently, I met the most radical libertarian you could possibly imagine. Originally, I thought this fellow was quite crazy, but the more I reflected on his outlandish philosophy, the more I suspect that all libertarians could benefit from heeding his words.

We met in a bank in Luxembourg. We were both buying silver and gold (it's theft-free in Luxembourg). I invited him for a coffee in a nearby café. I told him I was a libertarian.

"Libertarian!" he snorted. "Practically all so-called libertarians are still so conditioned and so far from the truth, they don't know the first thing about liberty."

I looked at him in surprise. I considered libertarians to be the leading edge of human evolution. There followed a sometimes heated discussion about many aspects and principles of libertarianism. Time and time again, this most extreme radical questioned even the words I used. For example:

"What about the laws of a country?" I asked.

"Haw, haw, haw," my friend laughed almost hysterically. I thought he would fall off his chair. Several people in the café looked at him in bemusement. "What about the barking of copulating baboons in the zoo?" he replied.

I was bewildered. "What's so funny?"

"My friend," he said, "like most so-called libertarians, you don't have the foggiest notion of what exists and what doesn't. You believe in magical 'laws' like a spiritualist believes in supernatural 'ghosts'...except...except that your belief is possibly even more absurd than that of the spiritualist. You see, I've heard of people who claim that they have seen 'ghosts'; there are even purported photographs of 'ghosts.' But I've never heard of anyone who claims that he has seen a so-called 'law,' never mind photographed it."

"Anyway," I said, " what does all this have to do with liberty?"

"My aspirant libertarian friend," he replied, "when you free your mind from the false concepts, the misconceptions that fixate your thinking within the mental grooves fashioned by those who seek to enslave you, then you will discover what liberty really is; then you will be able to live free. Most so-called libertarians are like pigs hopelessly floundering in a cesspool of statist concepts. Just as it is impossible for a fish to imagine life on land, so it is difficult, if at all possible, for an aspirant-libertarian locked into statist concepts, to conceive life outside his or her self-created cesspool..."

For a while, we were both silent. Then, he continued, "In actuality, the whole world is libertarian. Individuals are supreme, whether they know it or not. We all have virtually unlimited choice all the time. We may assume beliefs limit our choice. We may also get ourselves into situations that where choice is limited; but those are also choices. Objectively, there are no so-called 'states,' 'governments,' 'kings,' 'queens,' etc. There never have been and there never will be. I have asked many people to show me a 'government' and to tell me what it looks like. Nobody has been able to do that. Of course, there are hucksters who call themselves 'government,' 'king,' or 'president'...just as there are suckers who believe them, who blindly obey them, who blindly oppose them.

"One needs to live one's life in accordance with actuality: What is, what exists, what occurs. So I live my life out of the context of liberty, a libertarian enclave, an anarcho-libertarian enclave. I carry it with me like an aura. I have rights: A right to life, to property, to produce, to exchange, to communicate. And my rights do not depend on the agreement of others. I am supreme. I am responsible for every aspect of my life. My self-esteem, my power, and my liberty can only be curbed by my own limitations. There are, of course, those who think otherwise, who would seek to violate my rights. When making choices, I take that into consideration."

Suddenly, he stood up. "I need to go."

"One last question," I asked, with more sarcasm than I had intended, "Isn't it lonely having escaped from the cesspool?"

"No, my friend," he laughed gleefully, "it is not possible for a truly liberated libertarian to be lonely."

Then I realized that I didn't even know his name. "Please tell me your name before you go."

"Malaclypse," he replied.

"Not THE Malaclypse," I asked in wonderment. "You wrote 'Principia Discordia'?"

"No," he replied. "That was my boy, Malaclypse the Younger. I am Malaclypse the Elder...and???"

Then, he wafted out the café - like a disappearing dream - out the door, happily swinging his briefcase, heavily laden with silver and gold, as if it were a feather...

-from The Book of Eris

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This PMM page published on Bureaucracy 51st, 3172