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The Launch of Liberty.me – The Great Migration

The Launch of Liberty.me – The Great Migration
Profile photo of Jeffrey Tucker

liberty.meI was in a hotel in a strange city but needed to get to a drug store.

Out came the smartphone from my pocket, and I knew in an instant that a CVS was a 10-minute walk away.

Saved by the digital age again!

This sort of activity is so routine for most of us that we hardly even remember that it wasn’t possible ten years ago. We navigate unfamiliar cities, monitor our sleep, talk to anyone through video, watch stock prices, make trades, and a million other things.

Using technology, we perform tasks that a previous generation couldn’t imagine. And to what do we owe these wonders? The miracle of entrepreneurial drive working through open markets, made possible by the Internet.

About one year ago, my friends and I began to imagine the next step.
The digital world is this generation’s frontier. What if we follow the path of our ancestors and found a new city in the digital cloud? What if this new city helped us rediscover liberty in a despotic age? It will. Frontiers do this.

The wonderful result is Liberty.me, a place of friendship, learning, and publishing for anyone seeking more freedom. We’ve been hard at work now for eight months putting it together. We wanted to replicate the experience of living in a community—the only difference being that it lives on the Internet.

And we are just now ready for new residents.

As high-tech as this all sounds, it is actually a repeat of old themes from history. In the early Middle Ages, people migrated from rural isolation to feudal lands in search of security, food, and a better life. When feudalism transitioned to capitalism, people moved to the cities in search of even more.

In every migration of this sort, there are two forces at work: the desire to escape privation and sometimes despotism, and the search for more opportunity and prosperity. Or you can summarize the driving force in one word: freedom. The story of freedom’s march is bound up with all the great migrations in history.

Think of the incredible move to the New World from the Old World that took place over 250 years from the 17th to the late 19th century. The motivations were the same. Get away from tyranny. Get to a place where freedom stands a chance. The New World was born with the idea of freedom at its very heart.

The same thing happened in the westward migrations in the 19th century. People gave up the comforts of the status quo in the original colonies to take outrageous risks in far-off places from the Dakotas to Texas to California. They wanted material prosperity, but more importantly, they wanted something they could call their own, and to build new lives based on a dream.

Within these new communities, survival requires the formation of strong social ties. They are based on trust, shared mores, and, mostly, personal investment in property. They had “skin in the game.”
That gave them a strong incentive to increase the value of their communities through constant improvement, sharing of knowledge, and mutual support. Their fundamental shared value was the love of liberty itself.

These new communities were a reason freedom survived at all. The central government in the United States was already becoming threatening only a few years after the Constitution was ratified.
Controls on political speech caused huge upheavals and ultimately led to the election of Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800.

Migrating has always meant outrunning those who are trying to control you. You migrate from tyranny to freedom. That’s the driving ethos.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen how this works. Mail moved from physical to digital. Phones left their attachment to the walls, landed in our pockets, and became Internet portals.

Then came images. Then came movies. With the opening of the app economy, millions of life functions have left the physical world to live in the digital sector of life. To carry all the world’s knowledge in a device in your pocket that is updated every instant, day and night. It’s like science-fiction, except that it’s real.

What’s more, we are only at the beginning of this revolution. With three-dimensional printing, physical objects themselves will be liberated to the digital cloud.

Despite spying and interventions, the Internet remains the freest sector of life. This is the core reason why it is so vibrant, innovative, efficient, orderly, and expanding. It has allowed us to outrun the government’s desire to control the world. It has carved out a special zone of freedom.

The parallels with the past are clear. People are drawn to places where liberty lives. They leave places where despots rule.

So it is at Liberty.me. We put together technologies that allow maximum human contact, so that we can work to build new solutions to the problems of our time. We will have dozens of guides, from handling personal finance to dealing with cops. One hundred liberty-minded classic books are there for the download, and every book has a discussion forum. It’s a Facebook-style social network, but also far more.

Our members enjoy turnkey online classes and seminars that allow real-time interaction with professors and successful entrepreneurs.
Finally, the online classroom is easy to use! There are event calendars, a complete guide to liberty organizations, an around-the-clock news feed, and so much more.

Also, and this is the part that amazes me, every single member gets his or her own publishing site. There is nothing to download, no coding to learn, no additional fees to pay. It’s like having your own plot of land to develop.

What’s old is new again! The frontier not only made us free. It will keep us this way.

  • papayasf

    Good luck!

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Profile photo of Jeffrey Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is CLO of Liberty.me, executive editor of Laissez-Faire Books, a distinguished fellow of FEE, and a research fellow with the Acton Institute

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