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Cool Heads And Blazing Hearts

November 16, 2009

The trailer is out for a new documentary on the 2008 Ron Paul campaign. It is called For Liberty: How the Ron Paul Revolution Watered the Withered Tree of Liberty. The trailer, featured below, is called “Let It Not Be Said We Did Nothing”, and I’d like to explore that idea, my reaction, and the branding of competitive government.

(Check out the teaser trailer also, it’s put together wonderfully)

I have two very different reactions to this: I feel simultaneously inspired at the nobility and enthusiasm of these people standing up for the vision they (and I) share about what makes a just society, while feeling depressed that they directed that energy through the democratic process, where I believe it will inevitably fail. I don’t know whether to feel hopeful that so many other Americans share my deep sense of wrongness about how things are now, or hopeless that they don’t share my analysis of how they can be changed. - A Grasssroots Docum3ntaryI think it’s important not to deny either of these feelings, because both halves are true and important. To focus on our differences in strategy without acknowledging the shared sense of values and drive to bring forth a society which promotes those values is at best narrow-minded and at worst pointless condescension. Yet to be completely non-judgmental about strategy, to say that what matters is intentions and not the results they will create in the world, is to make the same mistake we so often criticize in others’ politics.

So in branding this nascent movement that is A Thousand Nations, we must weave a narrative combining both. Acknowledging the integrity of those whose passion for justice is such that they cannot stand by and do nothing, while reminding these passionate individuals that if they truly want results, not just symbolic defiance, they need to do more than Not Nothing: they need to do the Right Thing (or at least, A Right Thing).

Without careful analysis of why the current system is dysfunctional, new nations will be doomed to the same sclerosis as old ones. So I deeply believe that we cannot achieve substantial improvements in the performance of government unless we Let A Thousand Nations Bloom by opening new frontiers, autonomous free zones, and charter cities. Analysis matters: blazing hearts need cool heads. Yet without a community of people with blazing hearts, willing to make great initial sacrifices for their beliefs, there can be no new nations. However dispassionate the analysis, new nations are a form of revolution, and a revolution cannot be inspired without passion. Passion matters: cool heads need blazing hearts.

Considering the size of the challenge we’re confronting, we need the optimism that comes from seeing the synergies between these ideas, so that each gives the other greater hope for a better future. In the future, I’d like to inspire Ron Paul fans to find hope in our analysis of alternative strategies. For the present, I am happy to draw hope from their proven ability to inspire documented in For Liberty.

So let us take a break from planning our own revolution, and raise a glass to salute those noble souls who could not stand by and do nothing.

One Comment
  1. November 17, 2009 11:46 pm

    Ideologically, I believe we are close, though I believe there are many paths to a just society, one, and the most important one that I can see is by effecting the consciousness of the masses. I believe in seasteading and support it, though without the ideological support of a significant part of the world population, I think we will find the sword will win, over the pen.

    I think these people portrayed in this movie, myself included, have found themselves with out a voice, they have little ability to be the a pen that can conquer the sword, so they have done all they can to support a respectable candidate who has the ability to capture part of the world stage of ideas and proclaim the ideas that they believe in, and it worked.

    I personally was challenged, I have shared new ideas with my family and many friends, who have challenged their ideas, with the 2012 election I believe there will be a far greater organized effort, and hope there will be a greater social awakening from those efforts, many of which will realize that we need to Let A Thousand Nations Bloom by opening new frontiers, autonomous free zones, and charter cities.

    I primarily spend my energy trying to educate, inform and challenge ideas, I hope that will lead people to action, not with the hope of reform, but revolution.

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