The Pith of Life By Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski

  • Author: Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski

Description

The present book contains a collection of aphorisms grouped into six sets of topics, all related to the overarching topic of liberty and useful in highlighting its various facets.

Liberty is the central element of human nature. It is the essence of will, the source of creativity, and a prerequisite of virtue. As such, it is also the driving force of civilization and the foundation of any working society. And yet, being an abstract concept, its precise nature is often inadequately understood. This is unfortunate, since, while liberty can work its miracles when used by those who understand it only on an intuitive level, it remains fragile until it is comprehended on a deeper, philosophical level as well.

Luckily, there exists a substantial literature whose aim is to promote this second, more robust kind of understanding. The present book aspires to contribute to the literature in question, especially to this branch of it that puts particular emphasis on the pithiness and lucidity of the conveyed message. This is where the form of aphorism, with its motto of maximum content in minimum space, becomes particularly useful, especially given the information age’s healthy preference for brevity. The beauty of an aphorism is that it does not have to sacrifice brevity for depth, just as liberty does not have to sacrifice efficiency for equity: their best features reinforce one another rather than being opposed. Perhaps in this sense liberty is the most aphoristic of human qualities and the aphorism is the most libertarian of literary forms. In other words, perhaps the message of liberty – the pith of our life – is particularly well suited to be conveyed in a literary form that, at its best, is as pithy as it is lively. The present book puts this proposition to the test.

See More See Less

Discussions

  •  Jeffrey Tucker

    Where is the right place?

    Where is the best place to which to emigrate? OF all the places I’ve visited, I would put Australia number one. It is freer than the US, the culture and people are amazing, the technology is excellent, and it seems like the perfect happy place for me to live and work. I see no real downside at all. I know the government is terrible but so it is everywhere in the world. Second choice might be Costa Rica.

    Jump to Discussion Post 91 replies
  •  Joseph Perrelli

    Good movies for libertarians and anarchists

    Most of the time when I am looking for a documentary’s most are very left leaning so I think we should start a list of documentary’s on liberty.me for libertarians and anarchists. I will start with 2 I am aware of   Terms and conditions may apply A documentary made about the hidden dangers in the terms and conditions of most software.   Libertopia A documentary made about the Free State Project.     I hope to see this list expand with many helpful and informative documentary’s.

    Jump to Discussion Post 27 replies
  •  Zach Aich

    Earn a living spreading the word?

    Hi everyone! I’ve been going through the most difficult time of my life so far, got myself into some serious debt (about 7000 dollars worth) on my first real estate deal, and got caught up with typical debts as well. I’m only able to work part time since I watch the kids during the day while my girl works a job she hates. I plan on making my living with real estate, however I feel there must be more I can do NOW while I’m still recovery from the wreck. I sing and write music, and have decided to venture down that road, but I have an interest in writing to spread the word of voluntarism and anarchy. I’ve never written anything before, but I see so many activists and people who do make a living just trying to educate people. So I guess I’m just asking, what can I do, and where do I start? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Jump to Discussion Post 6 replies
  •  Jef

    Austrian economics for Anesthesiologists

    I’m an Anesthesiologist and am trying to reach out to other Anesthesiologists in the nation to request their support. This year at the society meeting (over 15K attendees) the ASA has Dr. Michael Portman, an economist, head of the Harvard Business school… as the keynote speaker.  I’d like to counter with an Austrian economist at next year’s conference in Boston.  I’ve corresponded with Tom Woods, and now just need to get the ASA to hear from members and/or attendees, that they’d like the ASA to invite Dr. Woods. I’d be most grateful for any and all help getting ASA members, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, anesthesia assistants, to contact the ASA and encourage them to invite Dr. Tom Woods. annmtg@asahq.org even if you could forward my request to folks you believe may be able to assist, I’d be grateful!   thanks!

    Jump to Discussion Post 9 replies
  •  Kevin Sekishiro

    The dying AnCap Mass Movement

    There is a growing prevalence of ideals antithetical to liberty in this sub and across the globe. In lockstep correlation, the observation that Anarcho- Capitalism is failing as a movement is also growing. Many have voiced this concern outright and still more keep it too themselves as a quiet unease. The internal and external signals are too numerous to list and their brazen reality rings out that Anarcho Capitalism will not grow into a mass movement. I think that this realization is both true and necessary for the creation of a free society. For a truly free society can not come to fruition through a mass movement. Liberty will not have a May Day, CNT revolution, or Independence Day. This is because individual liberty can not be diluted to create a mass movement since it’s end goal is to gain in popularity until it hits a critical mass or score a decisive victory where it can impose an ideal on others. All movements are centralized under a leader who will inevitably lead the collective to tyranny. A successful mass movement is therefore opposed to freedom. In his book The True Believer Eric Hoffer discusses the nature for a movements and I highly recommend giving it a look. (Shout out to Academy of Ideas for providing excellent video essays!) The intellectuals who lay out the doctrine must only convince a small minority of True Believers who take the reigns. These early adopters must bastardize and mutate the ideals in presentation to the discontented masses to unify their hatred against a devil. The principles are interchangeable and can be contradictory since it is the hatred of a unifying enemy that fuels the masses not the principles. The danger, as seen throughout history, is that hatred manifests into fanaticism who’s faith condones terrible acts of violence. These terrible acts only perpetuate the fanaticism, both for the actors and the faithful observer. When contradictions arise the fanatics imagine justifications for violence in order to avoid condemning their faith. Even an ideal as pure as peace and liberty can be forgotten when the hatred of fanatics move into action. If libertarianism becomes a mass movement, it is just as vulnerable to use violence as the bloody revolutions throughout history. The price of fanaticism is the destruction of principle. Often libertarians will praise a leader such as Ron Paul or Gary Johnson to deliver everyone to the promise land. However a leader exists to unify and collectivize. Giving a podium to a Ron Paul or Gary Johnson definitely spreads the message of liberty but there is a difference between the orator and the leader. The orator is the intellectual who lays out the principles and ideals, while a unifying leader inspires a collective. The orator aims for principle while the leader chases power. A leader and true believers must muddy the message of the intellectuals in order to connect with the opinions that outsiders already hold. Through the podium or propaganda a leader does not convince converts to become more principled or change their ideology. Eric Hoffer writes, “propaganda on its own cannot force its way into unwilling minds; neither can it inculcate something wholly new; nor can it keep people persuaded once they have ceased to believe. It penetrates only into minds already open, and rather than instill opinion it articulates and justifies opinions already present in the minds of its recipients. The gifted propagandist brings to a boil ideas and passions already simmering in the minds of his hearers. He echoes their innermost feelings. Where opinion is not coerced, people can be made to believe only in what they already know”. This is how you get Gary Johnson misrepresenting Libertarianism on CNN and why some condone his actions because “it could grow the movement”. This will only lead to further erosion of principles and result in the same capitulation to tyranny we have today. What use then do we have for a leader if the principles that lead to a freer society are cast aside? A mass movement is centralization; incompatible with liberty. Therefore creating an AnCap Movement should not be a goal, nor is its subsistence as a movement a sign that Anarcho Capitalism itself is falling away. I think that true liberty can only exist in the post political realm, decentralized interpersonal connections that render the state irrelevant. So even when I see clashing of ideals antithetical to liberty on reddit and elsewhere I take solace in knowing that even if their voices seem to drown out others, they do not dictate my path in creating freedom where I stand.

    Jump to Discussion Post 57 replies
  •  Michael Andbowinkle

    In the name of Independence Day!

    Does the government have rights of you? Or do you have rights over the government?

    Jump to Discussion Post 1 reply
  •  Brian Tomlinson

    New Liberty Oriented Publishing Site!

    I am happy to announce that Vulgus Press is not up and running! Vulgus = of the people. Yes, that’s you and me. The crew at Vulgus are voluntaryists committed to a non-political and self-sustaining lifestyle. Vulgus Press opens its e-doors to offer material that can be found nowhere else – original new works and forgotten old ones. Too many heroes of liberty are unsung, today and from the past. Too many issues are undiscussed or dissolve into intellectual brawls. Vulgus applauds the heroes and presents the controversial analysis. Much of the material will be free to all; some will be for sale. Our first published book for sale is Wendy McElroy’s new “Rape Culture” Hysteria: Fixing the Damage Done to Men and Women. It dissects ‘social justice’ and confronts a political threat to every college student and sexually active adult. http://www.amazon.com/Rape-Culture-Hysteria-Fi…/…/B01EENF4HW An original image depicting men and women in harmony is available on merchandise in the Vulgus Press e-store. http://www.cafepress.com/vulguspress Our first free book is a biography of the early years of the publisher Raymond Cyrus Hoiles: R.C. Hoiles: The Everyman of Excellence. http://www.vulgus.org/page.php?bk=11 Despite building the most successful libertarian publishing empire in history, Hoiles’ story has never been told. (His correspondence with Ludwig von Mises is also available on the site for free.) An original image depicting this unsung hero is available on merchandise in the Vulgus Press store. http://www.cafepress.com/vulguspress We also plan to offer a range of services in the active practice of daily freedom. For example, we have lined up interactive support from an expert on how to design and build Small Homes. We’ll expand according to market feedback which means according to feedback from you. Vulgus Press returns liberty to the street and kitchen table where it belongs because that’s where working people gather. Liberty does not come from politics or academia. It lives in parents who get up every day to provide a better future for their children; it grows with those who act to grasp their own destinies; it beams from the face of anyone with pride of accomplishment. Liberty thrives in the practical solutions to every day problems. We value your companionship on this first step of our journey. Come: * read the free material and, perhaps, make a donation * browse the goods for sale in our store * share your ideas for how we should grow, what would benefit you * introduce yourself by contacting http://www.vulgus.org/contact.php Vulgus Press salutes you for the same reason the elites of the world fear and need you: you are the engine that drives the world. You are liberty. The Vulgus Crew

    Jump to Discussion Post 0 replies
  •  Dana Turner

    What's Your Gamertag?

    Simply list your gamertag(s) to the game system that it connects to, and when befriending people please send a message to them saying that you had discovered them through liberty.me

    Jump to Discussion Post 5 replies
  •  Michael Andbowinkle

    Have any of you had an epiphany of Freedom in your waking life?

    I had a serious epiphany driving home from work today. I had realized, I don’t have to feel guilty or afraid anymore because of what society or the government would label me as.   I just drove home and felt…pureness. Innocence for ONCE in my life. And it all came from the feeling of Freedom. Having Freedom, and recognizing it in others. Even before a court of “law.” They have no right to take my Freedom away, and in thinking this I realized, that I was already, and always will be, Free.   When I parked at my plot I saw two young girls and a boy, and one of the girls had a puppy and the puppy was SO HAPPY! Full of joyful curiosity for adventure, and then I realized Freedom was in that puppy. And I thought…that is Freedom.   As the boy and girl with the puppy walked ahead, I saw the other girl turn back and walk towards a rose bush, she picked a rose from the bush, and then I had witnessed… that is Freedom.   No one has ANY right, to take that away from anyone. NO ONE. Neither YOU nor me, God or the Devil himself… NO ONE! (Not that I’m religious mind you, no offense.)   Freedom is more than just speaking freely and choosing freely.  It is being able to be like that puppy, or like that girl that had the ability of CONSCIENCE to pick that flower out of her own Free Will.   In these moments I had the epiphany of TRULY respecting EVERYONES Freedom and understood what Freedom was all about.   Maybe I’m just a sentimental bastard, or maybe I’m just an emotional.   But I do know, that this feeling of Freedom is too beautiful for ANYONE to take it away from anyone else.   I personally feel that we can rehabilitate thousands of people in the penal system, if we simply explained to them the concept of Freedom: that it brings happiness and joy and compassion to others, and without Freedom, there will be none of those things. They will not exist. Freedom is pain, Freedom is suffering, but its also joy, life, happiness and compassion!   Have any of you had moments like this? Where time just slows down and catches up with your thoughts? And then BOOM! It clicks. It makes sense, you have an epiphany of the human soul. Hopefully there is someone out there that has had it.

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies
  •  Michael Andbowinkle

    Have any of you had an epiphany of Freedom in your waking life?

    I had a serious epiphany driving home from work today. I had realized, I don’t have to feel guilty or afraid anymore because of what society or the government would label me as. I just drove home and felt…pureness. Innocence for ONCE in my life. And it all came from the feeling of Freedom. Having Freedom, and recognizing it in others. Even before a court of “law.” They have no right to take my Freedom away, and in thinking this I realized, that I was already, and always will be, Free. When I parked at my plot I saw two young girls and a boy, and one of the girls had a puppy and the puppy was SO HAPPY! Full of joyful curiosity for adventure, and then I realized Freedom was in that puppy. And I thought…that is Freedom. As the boy and girl with the puppy walked ahead, I saw the other girl turn back and walk towards a rose bush, she picked a rose from the bush, and then I had witnessed… that is Freedom. No one has ANY right, to take that away from anyone. NO ONE. Neither YOU nor me, God or the Devil himself… NO ONE! (Not that I’m religious mind you, no offense.) Freedom is more than just speaking freely and choosing freely.  It is being able to be like that puppy, or like that girl that had the ability of CONSCIENCE to pick that flower out of her own Free Will. In these moments I had the epiphany of TRULY respecting EVERYONES Freedom and understood what Freedom was all about. Maybe I’m just a sentimental bastard, or maybe I’m just an emotional. But I do know, that this feeling of Freedom is too beautiful for ANYONE to take it away from anyone else. I personally feel that we can rehabilitate thousands of people in the penal system, if we simply explained to them the concept of Freedom: that it brings happiness and joy and compassion to others, and without Freedom, there will be none of those things. They will not exist. Freedom is pain, Freedom is suffering, but its also joy, life, happiness and compassion! Have any of you had moments like this? Where time just slows down and catches up with your thoughts? And then BOOM! It clicks. It makes sense, you have an epiphany of the human soul. Hopefully there is someone out there that has had it.

    Jump to Discussion Post 0 replies