Mary Lou Seymour

Mary Lou Seymour is a long-time libertarian activist and author. She lives in South Carolina.

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Liberty Action of the Week
February 1, 2003
by Mary Lou Seymour

Hi, I'm Mary Lou Seymour. Some of y'all may know me through my Liberty Activists web site and newsletter, or my Action of the Week column for Free-Market.Net, some may not, so, let me briefly introduce myself and let you know why I've started this column.

Like many of you, I'd been waiting to see what happened with Free-Market.Net, which ceased publication back in December. They have now auctioned off their assets, on Jan.30, announced that ISIL has bought the "core" of FMN, which included my Action of the Week column.

So why not wait and see?

Well, a couple of reasons. First, ISIL may, or may not, continue the Action of the Week column, and I may, or may not, be authoring it, and there may, or may not, be any funds to support it. I've I've waited long enough. There are several upcoming action opportunities I want folks to know about and start working on. Time is just too precious to waste any more of.

Second, I miss doing the column! It's left a big hole in my week. And, others have apparently missed it too, and have asked me to not wait any longer.

And finally, I'm an individual, not a 501(c)(3), so I can promote any action I feel like, without having to worry about whether it violates some rule that controls c3s, (like not promoting any particular legislation, for example.) So, even if ISIL does decide to do an AotW, even if I am the editor, there may be actions I won't be able to promote there, and I'd like to have another way to "spread the word" as an individual.

For many years, I believed that a free society could only come through changing the "system." I spent years working in politics and community organizations, working for candidates, lobbying the legislatures, organizing protests, letter writing campaigns, petitions, etc. And I'm not saying those years were misspent or wasted. I still believe it IS possible to effect change through those traditional means, and, we need to continue and expand those activities.

But even when we succeed, it's too often a fleeting change. And Leviathan goes on, pricked a bit from time to time, but swallowing more and more of our liberties every dayv...vand burning out the activists who fight it.

The past year has been truly awful for freedom lovers in many ways. Those in power in the good ole US of A, using the fallout from Bloody Tuesday (9-11) have stepped up the downward spiral to a police state in America, and expanded the insane dreams of jingoistic imperialists to "rule the world" to a new reality. Most of the country has been reeling in shock from the economic downturn, taxes are rising, jobs are disappearing, hell, even McDonalds is closing stores.

But there've been bright moments, too. The Free State Project began recruiting liberty-oriented people to move to a single state of the U.S., to "work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government." Bill of Rights "defense committees" have been formed in many cities & towns to resist the USA PATRIOT Act. Left and right have joined together in the anti-war movement. There have even been a few bright moments in "popular culture:" The Fellowship of the Rings and Two Towers have broken box office records, and an anarchistic sci-fi series, "Firefly," had a brief but stirring run on Fox, and isn't "dead yet."

For those of us who can't "escape" to the West Indies, or set up a "gulch" here in the US, we have two options: give up and go along and hope we can lay low under the govt radar screen, or, use the time that's left to us to continue ... to "agitate, educate, and organize," as Saul Alinsky said. (And yep,old Saul was a lefty, but the tactical lessons of Rules for Radicals are still the "Bible" for successful activism ... in our case, change the culture of our world to one that respects individualism and fights for freedom.) Lasting change only comes from the bottom up; in order for a system to change on more than a fleeting basis, the culture that created the system must change.

One of my favorite saying has always been, "what we can't do alone, we can do together." I'm a firm believer in the cumulative value of individuals doing little actions for freedom, every day, or every week. Libertarians are usually very good at this type of activity. We are individualists, after all, and taking individual actions, when we want to, the way we want to, is right up our alley. But all too often, unless we have a "group" to work with, to offer mutual support and encouragement, the days and weeks and even months go by, and if there's no one to appreciate what we're doing for a free world, it naturally tends to slip to the back burner.

Going back to "why do this column," my friend at Rational Review, Tom Knapp, has offered me editorial "space" on his popular web site for a column, and, I've set up a new email list at Yahoo to do a weekly action "alert" for all of us in the "community of liberty activists". Think of this column and this list as your "activist group"; we may never meet in "meatspace", but we can share our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams, and support each other in our actions for a free world.

I invite you to subscribe to the Liberty Action of the Week email list, and, I invite you to let me know about any activities you have planned or know of, so I can spread the word to others.

What we can't do alone, we can do together!

For Freedom!

Mary Lou

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