Freedom is something that I've taken for granted in my life, but I now see it as the most distinctive and valuable feature of humanity. The first freedom should be the freedom to define freedom as you see fit. The second should be to be as free as you want to be. The minimalist conception of freedom as individual choice (while, without doubt, partially a substantive account of what freedom is) is the best conception, because it allows for the greatest diversity in different conceptions of freedom. If realized, it would enable effective freedom for all who are willing to seize it.

Freedom must be understood as an achievement, not as a given. However, it has certain conditions of possibility. Many of these are beyond human control (we are irreducibly finite beings with freedom that will always be limited), but we are fortunate to live in an age in which, soon, we will be able to increase our freedom as much as possible.

Freedom is a human construction. That makes it no less valuable, for indeed all things of value are human constructions--value itself is something we have created, as the peculiar kinds of natural beings that we are. Thus, there is no right or wrong conception of what I will call positive freedom. People differ on what this term means, and on how much value they place upon it, and that's fine. But what I call a minimalist or negative conception of freedom is a prerequisite both for any other conception of freedom to be more than just articulated and believed, but to be realized. "Individual choice" then, is this minimalist conception which enables the possibility of all values, whether they be libertarian or otherwise.

Society undoubtedly shapes individuals in important ways. But a true adult, that is to say, an actually free person (in the positive conception of freedom that I believe, and will argue for) is someone who is willing to take responsibility for themselves, and not to play the role of victim. We are all, to varying extents, victims of history. But to remain victims is a choice, whether we acknowledge it or not. By taking responsibility for yourself, and by articulating and acting upon your own set of values, you become a full human being.

However, this process of maturation presupposes a certain kind of society, one that enables individuals to choose and act upon their own values. There will always be limits to what values are acceptable, because some conceptions of value can be forced on a populace, whether it be by means of an institution like the state or like the so-called "free" market. My libertarianism is not a species of neoliberalism by any stretch of the imagination.

No, what we need is for most of us to agree on one basic idea, my idea. It's not merely my idea, of course, for it has deep roots in the history of philosophy and many expressions articulated by contemporary thinkers. To not agree on a basic minimalist conception of freedom is to close down the possibility of alternative values. Since people differ, and since they are inevitably going to value different things whether we want them to or not, it is folly for a state to try to impose substantive values on its populace. Nevertheless, some amount of coercion is inevitable, because there will always be people who seek to obtain power over others.

But why not make this coercion as minimal as possible? Omnilibertarianism, as I will show in the days and years ahead, offers the most minimal coercion possible. If we maximize individual choice, including the choice to define freedom however one likes, then there is no sense in which we could be freer--with the exception of those who conceive of freedom as a species of tyranny, but these are few and far between.

This, in sum, is the problem: how do we peaceably co-exist? Omnilibertarianism offers us a solution. It is my purpose in life to show the world that this is so.

(I don't even know who reads my blog anymore, but expect more posts of this sort in the near future. As I suggested in the initial "Omnilibertarianism" post, I have had what I take to be a great idea, and now I wish to share it with the world. In part, this is what I'm doing now by blogging about it. But I also need to refine the idea, and so expect more free writing, reflections from different perspectives and with different starting points. If that does not interest you, then you may wish to find other things to read. If it does interest you, then I greatly appreciate your feedback and commentary. I will not promise to answer every question or objection, but I appreciate any insights that you are willing to share, and will try to offer at least a minimal response to any comment offered in good faith.)

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