Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Light Shining in the Darkness

This time of year, adherents to the world's great religions celebrate a Great Light shining in the Darkness. The setting is perfect for inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere, who have lived through the darkest months of the year and now anticipate the bright days ahead.

Absent its various sectarian interpretations, the symbolism should be especially meaningful for we libertarians, because we see our philosophy and way of life- which is the way of peace and mutual, voluntary cooperation among humankind- as a great light shining in the darkness of centuries of coercion, slavery, and war.

I believe our very lives span the winter solstice of human history. The oldest among us have seen in their own life times, the very blackest horrors governments have ever conceived or perpetrated against humanity. The great darkness of absolute statism in all of its ugly forms, from fascism to communism to military dictatorship, has blanketed the earth in its foul, polluted mire for a century.

Yet in the midst of this great darkness there has shined a great light, the dawn of a new era, and the promise of brighter days to come. Humanity is awakening. I say again- the humanity inside each of us is awakening to the hope and possibility of a free and open society. Playing no small part in this crucial turning point has been the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Shining a light on the darkness of ignorance, information famine, propaganda, and lies, the Internet is- without any rivals- the number one reason and hope I have for the belief that truth and freedom will prevail over lies and slavery in our lifetimes. Its advent is not only metaphorically a great light shining in the darkness, but quite literally, the use of Light itself to spread and store information. How perfectly poetical!

So I will leave you with the injunction to hope and to marvel at the Great Light men have wrought, and to fight tenaciously to keep that Light free and unobstructed by the designs of power-hungry legislators and executives in Washington. History has no shortage of King Herods.