Reasons I Love

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I’m not the gushy type. But I do get energetically fascinated (OK, gushy) when I see new/old connections between the world of ideas and the dangerous mess we see all around us, courtesy the state.

Blaming social and economic problems on the state is easy for libertarians and anarcho-capitalists. But it is only easy because every fact we can measure, every bit of evidence and the timelessly functioning laws of economics support that conclusion.

Scientific reliability. Reason one to love and the Mises Institute.

Some people prefer a more tropical emotional environment. The science of human systems from a Misesian perspective may be is a few degrees cooler than they desire, and perhaps these people are less comfortable with pure scientific rationality. I don’t want to generalize too much, but Karen De Coster’s recent essay on women and freedom, or for me, women and what might be termed "muddy thinking" is a good place to start.

Some years ago a friend administered to me the Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment, producing prevalence ratings in categories of sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling. Thereafter, he took to calling me DoF. Devoid of Feeling, he said. I consider myself a person who feels deeply, but the "feeling" category aims at establishing one’s perspective and style regarding harmony with others. And in terms of being willing to work hard to maintain or establish harmony with people in general or society at large, I am guilty as charged.

Perhaps I am DoF because I don’t believe people can truly control, create or impact harmony beyond their own personal actions, productivity, and thought processes. Perhaps real harmony is produced by the freedom of every single soul to simply be free, to be creative and productive, and to think and explore the world of nature and ideas without interference or restraint by the larger group, the extended community, or the state. In other words, central planning (i.e. authoritarian direction/submissive participation in society) is counterproductive, costly, and if history is any guide, fosters and nourishes evil in its legion of forms.

Six days a week, validation of all that is good and true. Reason two to love!

We begin to learn when our attention is captured, if only for a moment. As a teacher, I work with teenagers and adults, but I also work with horses, and they — like dogs, and dolphins and honeybees — learn this way, too. Sure, we all have built in responses and pattern recognition, and unique methods of taking in information. But it is when we cast our eye on something that learning begins. This is why the internet has exploded in reach, application, and impact, boggling the minds of central planners everywhere. It offers millions of things to capture our attention, and then allows us to — with a click or twenty — do what we are designed to do — make sense of it all. is better at this than most. The site captures attention with timely and provocative titles, tickles the imagination with writers and experts of superior quality, and opens doors to more learning, more knowledge, deeper understanding.

Education for the lifelong learner. Reason three to love

Scientific reliability, validation, and education. These are enough, no doubt. But for me, there is another. It is the network, the ever-growing yet somewhat invisible society, the extensive, cumulative, and decentralized power of the readers of everywhere. I experience this just about every day, as a contributor and as a consumer.

I hear from people all over the world, and many from my former world at the Pentagon, who are for lack of a better term, Rockwellian. They have been touched and therefore connected through something they saw or learned from the site. The Mises Institute, with its summer university, research opportunities, and academic network does this in universities, colleges and high schools across the country.

Sometimes, I run into these subversives for liberty on the street. And when you meet another person who is a LewRockwell fan, a libertarian-leaning thinker, a person who has lost his or her misplaced faith in central planning and has begun to open the door to the power of the individual, to walk in the sweetness and fearlessness of freedom, it is just really cool. Awe inspiring. Humbling.

Two nights ago, I attended a kickoff session for adjunct faculty at the local community college. It featured a mini-seminar on encouraging critical thinking. I visited the website that had produced one of our handouts, and noticed that many articles at were by people I knew… guys like the turn of the century anti-imperialist William Graham Sumner and anti-war advocate Bertrand Russell.

Funny how logical thinkers, rigorous philosophers, and lovers of freedom are simultaneously antiwar (and pro-humanity), anti-state (and pro-community), and advocates of the open and competitive marketplace of ideas. These people, these ideas, available to everyone, in a network that spans both time and space — for me this is a great reason to love

Now if we could only get the Dubyas and the Cheneys and the Rumsfelds and Kristols to tune in, we’d have it made. They’d love so much, as I do, they’d forget their public duties, neglect their jobs and happily leave Washington to further their educations.

Can you imagine it? Stifle that chuckle and remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That step for hundreds of thousands of people, and probably millions, has begun when they land on for the first time.

Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for and Liberty and Power. Archives of her American Forum radio program can be accessed here and here. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.

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