The Liberty movement needs a new philosophical push in the direction of freedom and liberation as opposed to its current direction towards materialism and revolution. If you are familiar with the political compass, many libertarians will tell you the true reality of politics is not left versus right but authoritarianism/statism versus liberty. By this definition, all libertarians are within the bottom two “left and right” quadrants of the political compass. What is known as “big tent” libertarianism is supposed to be all-encompassing the entire group that is for less government in daily life.
There are many great philosophers that we within the party reference as well as use for teaching and training in what we believe and how we can expand our mindset out of statist thinking. If you look on Wikipedia, or any major information source, about the philosophers that contributed to the development of libertarianism, one person you will not find is a man by the name of Albert Camus.
For all our philosophical devotion to learning and growth, I’m sure some of you are familiar with his work and political views. Camus is described as a libertarian–specifically, a libertarian socialist and anarcho-syndicalist. Camus was born in French Algeria in 1913 and attended University there. As an adult, Camus visited Paris and was unable to leave before Germany invaded during World War II. Stuck in France and too sick to serve in the French military, Camus joined “Combat,” an outlawed newspaper with the French Resistance, while Germany occupied France.
During his time in German-occupied France, Camus wrote many works inspired by his views on the war and the rise of both Fascism and Communism within Europe. He wrote books, essays, plays, and novels that describe the different periods of his thinking on philosophy. While most sources call him an existentialist, in reality, Camus was an “absurdist,” which describes a philosophy that accepts the premise of nihilism but rejects its prescription.
Absurdism, or as Camus simplifies as “the absurd,” accepts that life is meaningless. He describes a situation where he walked down the street and looked into the window of a business wherein he saw a man having a very involved conversation on the phone. Camus couldn’t hear the man, so he wasn’t able to really understand the significance of this phone call. The image was how Camus saw the meaning of life. Our lives are ultimately absurd, yet our actions tell a story that our lives matter and have significance to ourselves as well as others around us.
Camus uses this philosophy and sees three outcomes to this reality: 1. “Philosophical suicide” is the giving up of one’s own philosophical consistency and logic for the sake of escaping the existential dread of the absurdity of life. 2. “Physical suicide,” from the existential dread of the absurdity of life, escapes the absurd once and for all by ending their own life. 3. Camus’s ideal and final outcome is to become the “absurd man” who fully accepts the absurd and decides that through his own efforts and conscience, he lives a life not to seek its meaning but to live it meaningfully as an act unto himself and not leaning on a meaning of life to do so.
I believe more “absurd” people need to come from the liberty movement. In Camus’ The Rebel, he begins describing revolution as just a part of the cycle of more authoritarian systems that oppress more and more people. Camus then goes into distinguishing the revolutionary and the rebel in systems of oppression and how one is only to make things worse. At the same time, the other has no goal but to rebel and stand against oppression and systems that oppress above all without seeking it as a means to create a new system of power. The liberty movement needs more rebels, fewer revolutionaries, more absurd people, and less dogmatic ideologues who have essentially committed “philosophical suicide,” as Camus described.
This philosophical view of accepting the absurd and living truly free can help us focus on the freedom and liberty of life beyond just the materialism and the legalism that hinders our ability to truly be free. Camus famously said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” What he meant is that freedom comes from within and not without. A true liberty of the soul can advance the cause of liberty not just in politics but truly as a culture of freedom and standing for liberty. While we are bringing liberty to our fellow man, it can come from us as well as in our political work as we fight for changes in our government.
The liberty movement is suffering an identity crisis of what defines libertarians. Does our materialistic dogma dominate our actions or does the heart of a rebel who sees a world being set free and liberated from systems of oppression need to take front and center of our activism? Without constraints, obligations, or a limiting idea of duty to creed or country we are truly making freedom and liberty to be the journey and not a goal to be achieved like just another libertarian purity test. The new invigoration of our principles and ideas will come from seeing freedom as who and what we are first and not just what we do to advance the cause of liberty. With this new injection of philosophy, the cause of liberty can become greater than the divisions between us. All of us. This is a shift from freedom achieved through actions versus freedom coming from the heart.
This is a thought-provoking article that challenges the current direction of the liberty movement towards materialism and revolution. It advocates for a philosophical push towards freedom and liberation, which can only be achieved through accepting the absurdity of life and living meaningfully as an act unto oneself. However, the article raises an important question: can we truly be free when external forces, such as Russian interference and manipulation through money and media, are influencing our thoughts and actions? It seems that true freedom and liberty can only be achieved when we are able to break free from these external influences and find freedom within ourselves.
This shows how clearly Russia is trying to influence the free thought movement.