President Obama does not get a lot of things right nowadays, but he hit the nail on the head when he said, "The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
The impact that Steve Jobs left on our lives is indelible. I will even go so far as to say that nearly everyone reading this owns at least one Apple product, or has at least seen a Pixar film or owns some piece of technology that resulted from the revolution he helped facilitate (and I am sure that there is no one reading this who does not at least know someone who owns an Apple product).
If you believe in capitalism, if you believe in the American Dream, and if you are a Young American for Liberty like me, then today I humbly request that you honor the unsung heroes in our lives: The entrepreneurs, the visionaries, and the business tycoons who have vastly changed our lives -- Steve Jobs surely rests near (if not at the top) of that list.
Steve Jobs is my hero. Thank you for forever changing the course of human history and improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world.
If there should be any idolitry today, I would hope that in lieu of idolizing those who live at the expense of others, we idolize those who vastly improve the lives of others.
Ben Sommer, an edgy progressive rock artist who has been featured on YAL before, provides his newest releases for a YAL Exclusive preview.
Sommer's newest songs touch at consumerism, militarism, and cadaverism, all delicate issues for society. Sommer describes the songs as, "pretty 'out there' -- compared to the rest of the album" and "more than a bit tongue-in-cheek."
Recently, one of the most interesting and innovative ideas in the political field has come from The Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Sunnyvale, California. Patri Friedman, the grandson of Milton Friedman, founded the institute in 2008. The core idea, in simplistic form, is this: Build self-sustaining islands and experiment with different political systems. With help from libertarian Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Pay-Pal and first investor in Facebook, Seasteading raised over $1,000,000 by December of 2010 and has received a fair amount of media coverage. It certainly will not be easy to carry out this project, but it is a novel idea.
Imagine if it were proven that a community without heavy government intereference can not only function but flourish? What if it could be shown that private charity, not governmental assistance, is the best way to take care of individuals in need? This idea is truly exciting and deserves more respect as a credible step toward a freer future. I absolutely hope it succeeds and proves statists wrong.
What is the most important of the following four efforts?
Punish the bad guys
Reward the good guys
Share what you know about liberty
Learn more about liberty
There are six "Which is more important" questions that will each divide people into two groups:
1. Punishing bad guys vs Rewarding good guys 2. Punishing bad guys vs Sharing what you know 3. Punishing bad guys vs Learning more 4. Rewarding good guys vs Sharing what you know 5. Rewarding good guys vs Learning more 6. Sharing what you know vs Learning more
I wanted to characterize the kind of people on each side of these questions, and see if that generates some feedback.
1. Punishing bad guys vs Rewarding good guys
Those who feel that punishment is more important than reward are, perhaps living among people who already feel pretty free, and they see more negative behaviors than positive ones. They would like to stop others from "being bad" and they sense a failure on the part of the status quo to help limit those behaviors. I submit that they haven't realized that carrots work better than sticks.
We all know them -- those moderators or administrators on political forums or groups that claim to "support liberty" and "welcome all opinions," but then boot you the instant you post something they disagree with.
To their credit, some of them may have started off legitimately wanting to "welcome all opinions" in their group or forums, but they slowly change their minds as they grow weary of those they disagree with as they begin to succumb to what I call the "Caesar Effect."
... These two revolutions, both the one in electronic communications and the emerging ideological revolution in the name of individual rights, have found happy union together. Such connections have spurred much beneficial action, as with the Arab Spring, while also leading to baseless violence in theft, as in the United Kingdom. But it has also altered the ways in which people speak to and view one another. The traditional power structures implicit within the old forms of ideological activism (e.g. seniority, age, political pull) can be immediately usurped by a newcomer who, though he has no prior connection, displays that he is no less capable of holding his own than those who once considered themselves the de facto leaders (or rulers) of said groups.
Not too long ago my sisters got me hooked on a show called Mad Men. The show is about a man named Don Draper, who is the creative director at an ad agency in the 60's -- a job which entails a lot of drinking, smoking, and quick thinking. Mad Men also focuses on the ad agency's need to make a profit, which is where the show's token libertarian is revealed:
Not only is it a great shout out to a very famous libertarian thinker Ayn Rand, but the libertarian character's name is Bertram which makes this blogger very happy. Bertram is a funny, very odd, and sadly minor character in the show. However, I am convinced that getting our message into pop culture such as TV, music, film, etc. is absolutely necessary for the liberty movement. The left has shown us how succesful this can be.