L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 333, August 21, 2005
"...far greater threat than Al Qaeda..."
The Lost Liberty Hotel: Liberty Controls the High Ground
Exclusive to TLE
Logan Darrow Clements, a participant in the Free State Project and CEO of Freestar Media, is shining a laser-light on eminant domain, the nature of the so-called guardians of our rights (the Supreme Court). In doing so, he has courted the wrath of libertarians.
Some would say, "see here, Mr. Clementseminant domain is patently un-libertarian, an outrage against the very concept of private property. How, as an objectivist, could you possibly support taking Judge David Souter's property in Weare, New Hampshire (the Free State)?" Others say, "yes, by all means, if this is the way the Supremes want to play, lets play ball. Lets have the good citizens of Weare condemn his property and have a private indivual construct The Lost Liberty Hotel. Perhaps then we shall show these fools how they have been wrong."
Both are right: by controlling the dialectic, we who value liberty control the plane of discussion and highlight the utter outrageousness of this violation of our English common law heritage (nevermind that England apparently has no use for its own common law heritage). We control the high ground.
Logan's plan is sophisticated and an amazing use of publicity, media management, and message control. Logan is going to lead the horses to water, and he hopes that they will want to drink.
Those that think the Statists will come around, though, assume that they will not say, "see here, this is actually a good idea, revenues are up, land has been put to higher valued use, this is actually a good idea." I believe that assumption mayI say mayrest on the reason and generosity of the Bad Guys. We shall see if they have either. Perhaps it shall rest on rational self-interest, always a good foundation for redressing wrongs. In this, he has a real chance.
My real concern is that it won't go far enough, though. The Founding Fathers were wrong, and the the remnant of Royal perogative enshrined in the eminant domain concept left in the Bill of Rights must be expunged. If you give government a slivver of wedge, an opening, a crack, it will inevitably pry it open using any means it can.
I hope that NHUnderground, Logan Darrow Clements, the Free State Project individuals who support Logan, the New Hampshire Libety Alliance, and the good citizens of NH remove government's power of eminant domain completely. Can they get the New Hampshire legislature, the most representative in the country (400 strong for a population of under 1.5 million), to lead? Already many state-level legislatures are enactic laws against eminant domain for crassly economic gains. Can NH take it to the next level?
This is a historic inflection point. This is the chance to change history, to make a stand, to say, "no farther" and to turn this wicked country back toward liberty. One man's idea may change history. In the meantime, keep supporting those that are on the ground in New Hampshire, the Free State, fighting the good fight. There is a method to the madness.