The founder of Silk Road will spend the rest of his life in prison for the massive crime against society of pushing the boundaries of economic freedom, allowing economic transactions between consenting adults.
My son – righteously indignant at 19 at the heavy hand of government – emailed his indignation at the illegally-obtained evidence (4th Amendment, anyone? It isn’t just about terrorism…) used to convict him, and the absurdity of AMERICAN government policing private economic behavior.
Below is my response. Liberty will win. It always does. Totalitarianism will lose. It always does.
The question is – how long will we wait before our patience is exhausted?
Liberty calls. We Baby Boomers have turned our backs on it – on everything that made America what it is: Liberty. The Bill of Rights. The Rule of Law.
Millennials will have to undo the damage our generation has done to America, liberty, the Rule of Law, and freedom. I counsel patience when I can… but it is in increasingly short supply.
Millennials need to get started in returning the birthright of all Americans to them: Liberty.
Electing any establishment politician will NOT advance America’s cause.
My response to my son:
1. Don’t decide to be one of those challenging the gov at this level. Spending your life in prison, regardless of being right, is not what you were meant or raised for. Yes, you are righteously upset. I get it. Don’t use that anger to waste your life to prove a point. Use it to change society to get that point made to all. That’s harder than getting angry. Are you up for it?
2. This likely will be overturned on appeal. Even if not, it’s one of those things… What happens to pioneers? They’re the ones that get the arrows in their backs. They go anyway & pave the road for the rest of us. Be the guy who takes his family into freedom, not a guy lying dead by the side of the road, arrows in his back, as the family walks by.
3. Don’t go down the “illegal trial” road. Evidence illegally or questionably obtained (only a trial can decide if it was illegally obtained, not a reporter; that’s part of the system of justice you want to support – otherwise you just have the rule of whomever decides it’s “illegal,” and that’s called totalitarianism) may in fact be tossed on appeal. But that doesn’t make the trial illegal. We have arguably the best trial system in the world. You may not always like the results. But they’re better than anarchy or show trials. Was this a show trial? Maybe. But society is going in the direction of more, not less, liberty. Technology is driving that & no one – ever – has put the genie back in the bottle. It just takes time for society to catch up. The reason you get upset is not that the world isn’t turning libertarian, but that it isn’t doing so quickly enough for you. Have patience. You’re not even 20. Nothing happens fast enough for 20-yr olds. It’s moving much faster than you think. Keep pushing, but do so within reason and within the law.
4. This guy took a risk against the government. He knew what he was doing. I’d bet any amount that within 10 years what he was doing will be commonplace. Napster got fined & sued out of existence… yet look at all the music & movie download sites today operating freely. You think a bunch of city councilmen & taxi drivers will stop Uber? Nope
The biggest & best thing you can do with your anger is convince others that you’re polite, educated, sane & that they should listen to your arguments, use Yelp & Uber & tools of economic liberty (government is changed by markets) & vote Libertarian. Running around with your hair on fire won’t accomplish your goal.
Rand could not have happened 20 years ago. He may not happen now. But millions of millennials will follow him to displace the Baby Boomer morons running the West today. In your lifetime you will look back at the current juxtaposition of increasingly totalitarian government and amazing technology to set people free FROM that government and realize it was a historical turning point for civilization.
We will choose correctly. Liberty will win. But it won’t happen overnight or without setbacks. It WILL require generational change. Big things always do.
And you’re looking at the very beginning of the biggest change in history.