Ishmael – An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

In 1989 Ted Turner created a fellowship to be awarded to a work of fiction offering positive solutions to global problems. The winner, chosen from 2500 entries worldwide, was a work of startling clarity and depth: Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, a Socratic journey that explores the most challenging problem humankind has ever faced: How to save the world from ourselves.

(Click on the cover image to open a PDF copy in another tab. Alternatively, right click/Ctrl click and Save As/Save Link As)

 

A Seasonal Short Story

Season’s Greetings to you all, an ambiguous enough salutation to include celebrants of Hanukkah, Al-Hijira, Bodhi Day, Ashura, Yule/Solstice, and Christmas (listed in the order they happen).

A Little Matched World

Here to mark the season is a modern-day adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl.

A Little Matched World can be freely downloaded in a variety of formats from The Internet Archive.

 

Alice Walker’s Thoughts on Christmas

Anything We Love Can Be SavedAlice Walker is one of my favourite wordsmiths. Her collection of essays Anything We Love Can Be Saved is a great read and covers loads of ground, as you might expect from a woman who not only writes, but also campaigns on behalf of the oppressed, be they African women suffering the tradition of cliteradectomy or Palestinians living in the largest open-air prison in the world, Gaza (she was with the international Freedom Flotilla that went out to challenge the Israeli blockade following the murder of members of the first flotilla by Israeli forces).

My Face To The Light – Thoughts on Christmas is one of those essays. I’ve taken the liberty of scanning and compiling the pages into a PDF. Just click on the link.

More seasonal stuff to follow.

Peace

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible tells the story of a boy who becomes shipwrecked on an unfamiliar island after being swept out to sea in a storm. Having previously lived in a relatively free society, in this new strange land he experiences culture shock as he learns of bewildering laws and traditions of the island’s inhabitants. The story highlights the absurdities of the laws, the controls imposed on people’s lives, and the economic drawbacks of these laws.

The Philosophy of Liberty

The prologue to The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible by Ken Schoolland:

My philosophy is based on the principle of self-ownership. You own your life. To deny this is to imply that another person has a higher claim on your life than you do. No other person, or group of persons, owns your life nor do you own the lives of others. You exist in time: future, present, and past. This is manifest in life, liberty, and the product of your life and liberty. The exercise of choices over life and liberty is your prosperity. To lose your life is to lose your future. To lose your liberty is to lose your present. And to lose the product of your life and liberty is to lose the portion of your past that produced it.

A product of your life and liberty is your property. Property is the fruit of your labour, the product of your time, energy, and talents. It is that part of nature that you turn to valuable use. And it is the property of others that is given to you by voluntary exchange and mutual consent. Two people who exchange property voluntarily are both better off or they wouldn’t do it. Only they may rightfully make that decision for themselves.

At times some people use force or fraud to take from others without wilful, voluntary consent. Normally, the initiation of force to take life is murder, to take liberty is slavery, and to take property is theft. It is the same whether these actions are done by one person acting alone, by the many acting against a few, or even by officials with fine hats and fancy titles.

You have the right to protect your own life, liberty, and justly acquired property from the forceful aggression of others. So you may rightfully ask others to help protect you. But you do not have a right to initiate force against the life, liberty, or property of others. Thus, you have no right to designate some person to initiate force against others on your behalf.

You have a right to seek leaders for yourself, but would have no right to impose rulers on others. No matter how officials are selected, they are only human beings and they have no rights or claims that are higher than those of any other human beings. Regardless of the imaginative labels for their behaviour or the numbers of people encouraging them, officials have no right to murder, to enslave, or to steal. You cannot give them any rights that you do not have yourself.

Since you own your life, you are responsible for your life. You do not rent your life from others who demand your obedience. Nor are you a slave to others who demand your sacrifice.

You choose your own goals based on your own values. Success and failure are both the necessary incentives to learn and to grow.

Your action on behalf of others, or their action on behalf of you, is only virtuous when it is derived from voluntary, mutual consent. For virtue can only exist when there is free choice.

This is the basis of a truly free society. It is not only the most practical and humanitarian foundation for human action; it is also the most ethical.

Problems that arise from the initiation of force by government have a solution. The solution is for people of the world to stop asking officials to initiate force on their behalf. Evil does not arise only from evil people, but also from good people who tolerate the initiation of force as a means to their own ends. In this manner, good people have empowered evil throughout history.

Having confidence in a free society is to focus on the process of discovery in the marketplace of values rather than to focus on some imposed vision or goal. Using governmental force to impose a vision on others is intellectual sloth and typically results in unintended, perverse consequences. Achieving a free society requires courage to think, to talk, and to act – especially when it is easier to do nothing.

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey (Free PDF download)

The New Updated 2nd Edition of Psyclone is Out!

new Psyclone 2nd edition cover

Not only that, but it’s free to download in a variety of formats for a limited time. If you’re looking for or want to give someone something more than entertainment or distraction, something that actually connects to usable information that improves and even changes lives, go download it.