|Sent on:||Tuesday, April 2, 2013 4:00 PM|
Among libertarians the notion of a sovereign self often goes beyond a mere realization to the point of being an actual awakening. I won't recuse myself from being overly dramatic about this because for me it is dramatic. To realize, or to discover, rather, that you have complete ownership of yourself is to finally and fully comprehend that any form of slavery is completely illegitimate and that you are truly a non slave! What makes this, at least for me, more on the order of an awakening, is that it is also a kind of self discovery.
In the same way as Socrates discovered that the higher expression of his nature is to reason; in the same way as Descartes brilliantly evolved man's thinking by putting philosophy in the first person; the modern libertarian, who discovers self ownership, at once evolves and enlightens his own identity while simplifying what others make ridiculously complex. Read to me the history of economics by Spiegel, the Rise and fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon, the History of civilization by Durant; start from the A's in the library of congress and finish with the Z's and when it is all over, one fact remains:
I own me.
You don't really need to know anything about politics or economics to awaken to this. All leaders, thinkers, poets, priests, artists and iconoclasts throughout history have one thing in common: They have not put forth a shred of evidence to the contrary. To make this supreme declaration of independence, to claim oneself, your body, your mind, your spirit, means also to claim your future, your potential, your destiny. Servants don't serve with enthusiasm and as Emerson said "nothing great is ever accomplished without enthusiasm". So there is far more hope, for man's universal benefit, in the woman who stands on the horizon of her destiny, claiming herself, and commanding her future, than there is in a thousand compliant slaves slinking home in servitude. And the profoundly transformative thing about this realization, or awakening, is how it redefines our respect and tolerance for one another. "I own me" intuitively transfers to "You own you". So we love and respect and even celebrate our own life while renouncing the very brutality and mass murder that the masses are brainwashed into accepting.
Go stand in front of a full length mirror. Look at those few cubic feet of flesh before you. And say to yourself, "I own this. This body, this mind; the thoughts, the effort, the possessions that extend from it, are completely mine".
Subtract the ownership and there is no "I" or "me". My identity is interwoven with self ownership in the same way as "birds fly" or "fish swim". As the bird's wings require air, as the fish requires water to live according to his nature so I, as a chooser, as a volitional being, require freedom to live according to mine.
I am the People's Republic of Me or, if you prefer, the United States of I.My northern climes end just beneath my crumpled hat, my southern climes end just above the soles of my shoes. Eastward extends my left hand, westward my right hand and my epidermical borders are defined by a slight tan from working in the yard.
When you assert your unmitigated right to exist as a non sacrificial being, If anyone says to you that "it is more complicated than that" just ask them what they're confused about so you can help.
Because it isn't complicated.
It comes down to one simple, immutable, axiomatic fact that is ultimately the one true message of tolerance, equanimity and hope in this world:
I own me.