If you have never read or heard Murray Rothbard's article entitled Do You Hate The State?, fix that. He, more lucidly than any other writer I have read, tells us about the string that ties us together. This string, is the radical string. If you are only a proponent of liberty for utilitarian reasons, you most likely don't hate the State. Rothbard says he would rather align with advocates of a limited State that hate the State than with anarchists that don't hate the State. Radicals, who hate the State, have a spring of anti-authoritarianism inside of them.
I woke up this morning and shot over to my keyboard because my mind was bursting at the seems with the ideas of patriotism and the State.
How do you define the word patriot? Let's ignore you for a second, and rely on the expertise of dictionary.com
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. 2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.*
The second definition is evidently favorable to those of us with a proclivity toward liberty. The first definition seems straightforward, but the term country is hazier than you would think. You don't sit at home and ponder "hmmm what does country mean? It's such a big word." Yet, it could mean the land, the people, the regime or some icky fusion of the three. When talking about patriotism we are not talking about devotion to the land, unless we are singing the propagandistic hymns to the State taught to us in compulsory grade school. The common conflation that needs to be noted, time and time again, is the treating of the regime and the people as if they were one entity. They are distinct. You cannot be devoted to the regime and to the people. You would be devoted to one, and despise the other.
The people are the consumers. The State kidnaps producers and charges them millions of dollars for daring to offer an alternative currency for consumers unsatisfied with the Federal Reserve notes in their pockets that are neither federal nor from a reserve. The State, within the coercively guarded territory of the U.S., owns 1/3 of the land, and prohibits at gun point the homesteading of said land by poor people making them homeless. The State prohibits at gun point skilled African hair braiders from braiding consumers' hair at a lower price. The State prohibits dentists at gun point from offering their dental services at a discounted price. The State prohibits tour guide givers from giving consumers a cheaper tour of the city. The State prohibits at gun point paleo (caveman) diet advocates from giving diabetes patients lifesaving advice over the internet. The State prohibits at gun point Amish farmers from selling raw milk to consumers that believe it is in their best health interest to drink raw milk. The State prohibits at gun point street vendors and food trucks from providing consumers with cheaper and more savory foods than establishment restaurants. The State prohibits at gun point drivers who want to give consumers rides to wherever those consumers want to go.
If you are devoted to the regime, you will despise the people. If you are devoted to the people, you will despise the regime. When I speak of the regime, do not think I limit it to President Obama and his administration. That would be nonsense on a pogo stick. When I speak of the regime I mean the coercive form of government called the State. Everything the State does is an invasion into a sphere of potential business. Who are the patriots?
Patriots are people who are for the people. Patriots are those of us who hate the State. Patriots are those of us who stand in solidarity against coercion and for consensual exchanges betwixt adults. Patriots are those who do not bow down in worship to the star spangled banner or to the idolatrous statues at Mt. Rushmore and in Washington D.C. Patriots proudly fly the black flag of anarchy and respect secession down to each household. Patriots want to depoliticize and localize everything.
Are you a patriot?
* Aesthetically, it is not pleasing to write his or her nor to write himself or herself. I understand the desire to be politically 'correct', but you should not sacrifice linguistic beauty to do so. If you want to be politically 'correct', write with gender neutral (impersonal) terms like anyone and they and their. If you don't care about being politically 'correct', use personal terms like she or he. Not both. Choose one, and go with it. When I write about the past I often use he, because it is oft more accurate. When I speak of the future or potentiality I oft use she.