Theorizing Freedom Vs. Doing Freedom

I’ve had a really nice day. The weather is absolutely gorgeous: Low 60’s at 2 peeyem, hardly any clouds so nice bright sun, very light breeze. The latest batch of mud is almost gone now. I took the long way for morning chicken chores, which meant a 15-minute chore took like an hour and a half…

…during which among other things I looked in on absent friends’ properties to see if everything’s okay – need to tote a wheelbarrow or two of firewood to Landlady’s place, I see…

Then I came home, cleaned up, and baked bread.

While the dough was rising I took my dough beater, which has been falling apart, out to the bench and knocked it back together…

…and looked in on my batteries, since they’re right there across from the toolbox…

And as soon as the bread came out of the oven I took my now nearly empty pitcher of whole wheat flour over to Ian’s Cave where we keep the grinder and the wheatberries…

Because I’ve been adding that to my bread recipe at about half a cup per loaf and it does wonderful things for the taste and is probably (maybe?) a bit more healthy.

Then Torso Boy and I splurged on a Jeep ride back to Landlady’s place for afternoon chicken chores – the days are getting longer and they’re laying better now, not that the Leghorns ever entirely stopped. It’s a great afternoon for another walky and maybe I will after I finish this, but TB was being a really good boy but clearly getting tired of being stuck inside while I popped in and out. He loves him a Jeep ride and isn’t really much of a walker.

Brought back enough to top off my own ready egg supply…

And – here comes the point – all the time I was doing that, I was listening to this podcast channel I recently found and thinking maybe I ought to feel like kind of a dolt. Because he was going on and on about Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Ludwig Von Mises and Austrian economics and all this academic libertarian theory like he knew what he was talking about – and I have to admit I’ve never had any patience for any of it. For years and years I told myself it was really important and I should pay more attention, but the truth is I’ve never made it through an entire book-length treatise on any of that by any of those guys.

And thinking about it, while going about my delightful free life on this delightful day, I couldn’t really work up a good sense of guilt over it. I can’t discuss theories about covenant communities or public goods or praxeology or ontological naturalism – more and more as I age I can’t even pretend to take any of those things seriously. But I can live free, and I’m not convinced any of those academics ever learned how to do that.

There’s a beautiful phrase – “plain people” – that I never apply to myself because it refers to specific people who are way more religious than I’ll ever be. But the phrase is evocative of something I found attractive all my life, something that to my joy I have been able to approach in practice during this later phase of my life. Armchair theorists have their place, I’m sure, I didn’t hear anything on any of those hour-long blabfests with which to actually disagree. And I’m glad there are people out there thinking about such things, maybe it’ll prove a karmic balance to all the various flavors of “green new deal.”

But it just doesn’t interest me. Once while I was still stuck in California I came upon a now-long-defunct web site called “Doing Freedom” – and that’s another beautiful phrase that has stuck with me. I wouldn’t know what to do in a university salon – but I can strive to do freedom with at least a bit of demonstrably successful progress before I get too old. So I’ll concentrate on that instead.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to Theorizing Freedom Vs. Doing Freedom

  1. Bear says:

    Ah, Doing Freedom! The good old days. There were times I half expected to find the FBI at the door. There was one — and possibly two — DF!-related sting attempt.

    Bill St. Clair still has the site mirrored.

  2. Wayne Dygert says:

    From where I sit it looks to me like you’re doing a pretty good job of “doing freedom”. Pretty much the only thing I was ever very good at was following my own line of thinking. There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing other people do the same.

  3. Novak says:

    This post is one of the best and most relevant things I’ve read since becoming “kind of a libertarian” more than a decade ago.

    The intellectual pursuit of libertarianism should not be an end goal, but ideas to help you along a path to a way of life.

To the stake with the heretic!