In 1974 Robert Nozick wrote a book called ‘Anarchy, State and Utopia’ in which he detailed how he had been drawn to Libertarian conclusions (about society) despite not liking the the company in which he thereby found himself in. I can totally empathize with this sentiment. Ha!
Nozick argued that respect for individual rights is the key standard for assessing state action and, hence, that the only legitimate state is a minimal state that restricts its activities to the protection of the rights of life, liberty, property, and contract. From an ethical stand point Nozick maintained that this was about as good as it could get for us. In this me and Robert are simpatico.
I am not an ‘off-grid’ Libertarian that wants to live in the woods and hunt rabbits. I am far too spoilt for this sort of… eh… commitment to the ’cause’. Besides this sounds like a life without Flat Whites and fiber. Which… *shudder* for me at least, is the stuff of nightmares.
Of course for my fellow ‘libertarians’ and Anarcho-capitalists this is some very serious apostasy. I’m okay with that though. I never liked you anyway.
In any event, for some reason I imagined having Corona as this state where I would be bed ridden and might have all this time where I could read. There’s something to be said for imagining a state where you are in a blighted condition so that you might have time to catch up on the burgeoning stack of books that you’ve committed to scrutinizing. Ha ha. In the end I wasn’t all that sick, certainly not scourged enough where I could convalescence and have chicken noodle soup brought to me on a tray and then spooned into my open face hole. My fantasies sure have changed over the years.
I did manage one book in between bouts of hacking up phlegm, moving boxes and (with some cantankerousness) rearing children.
I’ve likely waxed on lyrically about Sebastian Junger before and how I love pretty much everything he’s ever written. Having said that, I’m a bit undecided about Freedom. Having finished it in a couple of hours (its really short) I distinctly remember getting the feeling that this book was… well it just kinda finished. Quite abruptly (imo). That’s not to say I wasn’t thoroughly entertained throughout and I smashed through it in one session… still… it left me feeling… a little sad. Its not a happy ending kinda book where the protagonist (in this case the author himself) has this moment of enlightenment. It also teases you with comprehension throughout… but never (really) delivers on that promise.
I suppose the litmus test of a good book is how much you think about it afterwards. And Freedom really has made me think. I mean they are Joey-esque type musings… so pretty much basic primate stuff. But still… there has got to be something said for the ability to get that single brain cell rolling from one end of the cavern to the other.
I got the feeling Sebastian Junger doesn’t think ‘real’ Freedom is possible anymore. We’ve just become too ‘civilized’ and ‘supply-chain-dependent’. And that maybe the best we can hope for is somewhat or mostly free.
Initially I was quite antagonistic towards this defeatist attitude. But then I realized he was echoing my own sentiments. I just rarely vocalize them. Mostly free is still pretty good right?
Just typing that hurts me a little bit. I guess I’ve become less puritan in my old age and more ‘Realpolitik’.
Tomorrow I might be feeling fundamentalist again and installing solar panels though, so…