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FreedomWorks’ CEO Matt Kibbe’s new book Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff was the topic of discussion Tuesday at Heartland Institute, and due to flight delays and re-direction the author himself had to reschedule his presentation for Wednesday. However, having read Kibbe’s book Joe Bast, CEO of the Heartland Institute, and Jim Lakely, ably filled in for Kibbe’s absence in a discussion about liberty.
Joe Bast described Kibbe as a full-fledged, hard core libertarian, who, as his book reveals, came to his libertarianism through the music of Rush. The title of the first cd Kibbe bought was “2112” in 1977 when he was only 13. Thereafter, Kibbe became obsessed with the music of Rush. Two songs that intrigued and inspired Kibbe on “2112” were, “You don’t get something for nothing” and “You can’t buy freedom for free.”
Bast then went on to describe, as set forth in Chapter 8 of his book, Kibbe’s twelve-step policy agenda to promote positive, innovative ideas that would improve people’s lives by letting them be free, by spending less of your hard-earned money on someone else’s favors, by letting you choose, and by treating us all equally under the laws of the land. Such ideas might be considered radical stuff to some! Bast described the twelve steps as “a quick agenda for what conservatives and libertarians want to achieve.”
- Comply With The Laws You Pass.
- Stop Spending Money We Don’t Have.
- Scrap The Tax Code.
- Put Patients In Charge.
- Choice, Not Conscription.
- End Insider Bailouts.
- Let Parents Decide best educational needs for their children.
- Respect My Privacy without fear of government snooping.
- End The Fed Monopoly with its lack of supervision or oversight.
- Avoid Entangling Alliances.
- Don’t Take People’s Stuff.
- Defend Your Right To Know.
Joseph Bast thereafter invited Jim Lakely into the discussion by inquiring, “Jim, What do you think?”
Lakely let it be known that Rush didn’t influence his political conservative leanings, although as a drummer in his youth he was familiar with the music of Rush. Jim Lakely rightly chose to speak about Matt Kibbe’s’ six “Rules for Liberty” as set forth in Kibbe’s book, for according to Kibbe, “Everyone should be free to live their lives as they think best, free from meddling by politicians and government bureaucrats, as long as they don’t hurt other people, or take other people’s stuff. . . These rules don’t permit gray-suit middlemen to rearrange things for your special benefit, or against your personal preferences arbitrarily.”
- Don’t Hurt People.
- Don’t Take People’s Stuff.
- Take Responsibility.
- Work For It.
- Mind Your Own Business.
- Fight The Power. (As Lord Acton warned: “Power tends to corrupt” and “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”)
How totally different, expressed Jim Lakely, were Kibbs’ “Rules for Liberty” in comparison to community organizer Saul Alinsky’s thirteen “Rules for Radicals” as created for his followers, among them being two of his fellow Chicagoans, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Alinsky’s rules are all about destroying anyone who gets in the way of reorganizing society.
Jim Lakely considers Alinsky’s Rule #13 as being the most dangerous. It is the rule used by Global Warming alarmists against The Heartland Institute, a denier of manmade Global Warming stemming from CO2 emissions, as a means to the end of getting all opposition out of the way. Demonizing the opposition, said Lakely, also allows “your [global warming alarmists] people to think of themselves as angels.”
Alinsky’s Rule #13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Following comments by Joe Bast and Jim Lakely, Bast opened up the discussion to those in attendance, but not before acknowledging that there were both conservatives and libertarians in the room, and that there could be many issues concerning liberty about which both groups of individuals would be in strong disagreement with each another. It was then that Bast reminded all how Ronald Reagan described his political philosophy when questioned by Manny Klausner of “Reason” magazine in 1975, the account of which is on pp. 217 – 218 of Matt Kibbe’s book:
If you analyze it. I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
Questions addressed to Joe Bast and Jim Lakely:
- Of the internet and how the very concept of the Internet is libertarian? Joe Bast had some negative views of the Internet such as 1) the infiltration by Wikipedia by radical groups and 2) how Google is becoming more influential behind the scenes (When googling “Global Warming,” there are many pages to go through before the work of the Heartland Institute is ever mentioned.). Jim Lakely, however, pronounced the Internet as a way to gather information quickly and easily in a process that before the Internet took a long time to do by using the library and the encyclopedia for research. Agreed upon was that although the Internet is a useful way to exchange ideas, it has also made easy the dissemination of hate mail.
- Of the lack of respect for the institution of marriage that has endured from the beginning of time, how those believing in marriage are now labeled homophobic, and how the conversation has become so much more course in the public debate? Also noted was how Kibbe’s book didn’t discuss the sanctity of marriage. In reflecting Joe Bast reasoned: Conservatives and Libertarians felt for a long time that not having much of a stake in elections, they didn’t need to come out in force to vote, resulting in a loss of ground to the other side.
- Of the tendency among conservatives and libertarians not to fight back? Jim Lakely pointed out how tolerance isn’t tolerated the way it used to be. Lakely then inquired as to when the determination was made that debate was no longer possible? Now all is a matter of life and death and when political views offensive to the other side can cost you your job. A word to Republicans: We are not in a debate, we are in a war! The Left is attempting to stamp down counter opinions that defy what it believes and that which it wishes the public to believe.
Download here a free chapter of Matt Kibbe’s book, Don’t Hurt People And Don’t Take Their stuff (A Libertarian Manifesto), as well as how to place an order and to listen to video interviews of Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and others. Matt Kibbe’s “New York Times” Bestseller was in stores on April 1, 2014, and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and Books-A-Million.
[Originally published at Illinois Review]