More about this blog and some administrative notes:
I start every year with a new year’s resolution saying this will be the year when I will be social.
When I rekindle all my past friendships, when I will talk to everybody I care about and let them know that I do.
Anybody who knows me will know that I am very passionate about anything I do or believe in.
Not all of them would know but I actually care a lot about them and what they think.
Most would be surprised to find out that I also have a very deep seated need to be liked and to be understood.
Why? Because these sentiments exist in me in exactly this order. I will never compromise my principles just to be liked or accepted more.
And it goes a little deeper than this. I love to debate, I love to argue, I love to refine my argument and to find various ways to prove a point.
Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, my friends and acquaintances are not as ready to debate as I am. Most of them gets turned off when they start losing. The conversation usually ends before I manage to convince them of anything.
I do not like to impose, and I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable, but when I open my mouth, I have to say something I care about and I have to say what I believe. Writing a blog will hopefully make this easier.
This is and will be a very personal blog, reflecting my ideas through my personal experiences.
When I started it, I had to ask myself, who I would like to see reading it?
Let me see:
My family is very sharply divided between the left and the right but firmly “united” in their faith in a strong central authority to realize their vision of a good society. What can I say? Most of them live in Europe.
I don’t have to please them. They are who they are, I am who I am, for them, it’s like it or not, here I come. Since I am living far away, I hope that this blog will bring me a little closer to the part of my family that can actually read it.
I have VERY FEW friends who know me well enough to take me for who and what I am.
To them, this blog shouldn’t be news, just a clearer view of my ideas.
Lose friends, old friends and acquaintances
I have many friends whom I do not have a chance to see as frequently as I wish. Very often I have the feeling that I appreciate them more than they appreciate me. When talking to them, more often than I wish or like, I end up in situations where the conversation ends with an uneasy switching of the subject. It is not easy to be a libertarian and I am not someone who can talk a lot about the weather.
I hope that this group of people will get the most out of my blog realizing that I am not evil and that they have to do some serious thinking about their own position.
I am sure I will lose some but I also hope that I will be able to get some closer than they are now.
I lost a few friends over ideology. Much worse, my wife lost some good old friends because of my ideology. People, who cannot handle conflicts, avoid them. Few people can stand up to me in an argument and some decided to walk out of our lives to avoid them. Some walked out because they represent the kind of close minded ideological extreme that has no room for discussion.
Some of my blog entries will address issues with them in a way less confrontational than a face to face argument.
Comrades (fellow libertarians)
I, like anybody else, seek the company of the like-minded. The largest group of people I can reach with my ideas at this point need little convincing about the things I believe in. What I would like to offer to my fellow libertarians is a different voice, a different approach, a different application of the principles that we mostly agree on.
Liberty to me is gut level personal and I would like to emphasize this in my postings. Being personal may work better than being ideological.
As for any particular posting, feel free to disagree; I always welcome the opportunity to refine my arguments.
I would also like to see you helping me with this experiment by sharing with people who do not seem to be open to the ideas of ideological libertarianism. As a libertarian, you must go through the same experiences I do, seeing people clam up when they have to face an argument they are not comfortable with. It could be interesting for you as well to see how they react to a different approach.
I make my living as a geek. It happened to me in the past (once, which is one too many) that I lost my job for doing something that had NOTHING to do with my work. I will not talk about my work in this blog and if you know me through my work, I would expect you to respect my wish to keep them separate.
I would like any reader of my blog to share what they like (or don’t) EXCEPT if you are a colleague and if you wish to share with another work acquaintance.
Converts and acolytes
Every now and then my wife confronts me with a cruel question:
How many minds did you change so far? I cannot name one.
If Charles Murray kept score, I could be one on his list. The book that made me realize that I am a libertarian (and not just an anticommunist conservative) was his “Losing Ground.” Considering the arguments of that book is what helped me to define myself as a “consequentialist libertarian”.
If any of you future readers of this blog ever realize that I was the one who helped you with the first step toward liberty, please let me know. If I ever change your mind about any of the subjects I talk about, let me know.
I will keep a count, right here:
Minds changed: 0
Helped onto the path toward liberty: 0
This is a fun bunch. I can flame like the best of them. I can be arrogant and mean, I can hurt like only a few can. I can find the weak point of an argument and ridicule and humiliate the person who made it. I know this from experience from the early days of News Net. I even had a Compuserve account where I spent $6.-/hour to up and download vitriolic exchanges. I am a veteran of the flame wars.
OTOH, nobody can insult me into submission and any ‘gotcha’ question will only get me more focused.
Luckily, this is not a news group or a discussion forum.
This is MY BLOG. I do not have to and therefore I will NOT engage in flame wars. The last word is always mine. 🙂
I will welcome and indeed cherish thoughtful opposition to my ideas, but I will not allow the quality of any discussion to degrade into insults and name calling.
The whole wide world (almost)
I don’t know what percentage of bloggers have to rely on personal acquaintances as I don’t even know how many aims for only that.
I would, of course, like to talk to the whole world. I would like you to consider my ideas; I would like you to come over from the dark side. I have no illusions about ideological bigots, I happen to live in a neighbourhood surrounded by them.
Committed socialists, communists, democrats, progressives, fascists, greens, anti-globalists and their ilk are not ready for the voice of reason, but I hope that the rest of you may be able to find a good question here and there.
I would like to see the world come to its senses. Your following of this blog may just bring us all one step closer.
Did I leave anybody out? Let me know.
And now, go ahead, comment, like, link, share, +1 and propagate in any way you can.