Why Jazz Birthdays?

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Many reasons. I’ve explained some before. I’ll explain again.

The growth of the state and the constant stream of bad news can wear one down. We need a break from it now and then. We need to know what individuals have done sans the state, sans war, sans the government, sans it all. Agorism calls for withdrawing one’s life from the state as far as possible. Creativity is one way to do it. Music is one way. It’s not just about guns and stocking up one’s larder. Jazz is a language. It’s expression. It came from a spontaneous order. It shows progress over its history, undirected progress, but progress nonetheless. It shows what people can accomplish spontaneously without the state or government or subsidy or direction.

Economists often celebrate American entrepreneurs. Great. I celebrate an original American art. Both require liberty. Both came from liberty. I’ve received many enthusiastic e-mails about the jazz links. One gentleman told me that all over the world, cocktail pianists can play the American standards without the sheet music. How many original American arts are there?

The people who made jazz often came from humble backgrounds. They had to work very hard and move around a great deal to progress. Show business is not an easy business. They worked hard as individuals and in cooperation with others socially. Their stories are frequently inspiring. And frequently they involve drugs and heartbreaks. There are some of these great artists who were jailed for drugs. There are some who were beaten up by police, and by racist police. There were many who lived through segregation and had problems performing in their own land, America. Many went to Europe.

It will be seen that all kinds of people have become jazz artists, of all sorts of backgrounds, black, white, and everything in between. There is a message there. I am not hitting people over the head with these messages. I prefer the light touch.

Sometimes I quote a jazz artist in words directly relevant to freedom.

Much of this comes out in bits and pieces in these blogs. I am not preaching. I am letting those who can read between the lines and follow links do so. It doesn’t take much intelligence to understand how jazz is directly related to freedom and freedom of expression.

Jazz is implicitly anti-war. Jazz artists went around the world during the cold war and actually helped bring about a thaw by touching people everywhere they went directly. Dizzy Gillespie went to Pakistan and was warmly received. Louis Armstrong was Mr. Ambassador. The barriers between people fell, and that was because jazz was a common language, a common expression.

Lew has received e-mails wondering why the jazz birthdays. I do not keep explaining this in every blog. That’s the reason for this one. I’ve received a great number of enthusiastic e-mails. Why should anyone object to a few extra lines devoted to jazz? If it’s a problem, you skip it! I skip many, many blogs and many articles on LRC. Is this a big deal?

Are some people so intolerant that they can’t stand seeing something a little different, like an entry on a jazz artist? The answer is definitely “YES.” There are people hung up on what they conceive to be a message that everyone is supposed to be delivering, and deviance produces e-mail reprimanding one for the supposed deviance. I do not have any plumbline or standard libertarianism or anarchism, for that matter. I have my own ideas on everything. What I say and think is my own personal matter. This is what liberty entails.

6:55 pm on September 16, 2012