Simple Liberty  



To Alter Or To Abolish


Written by Darrell Anderson.

From many authors and scholars I have learned more than I ever could have imagined about human action, law, history, philosophy, economics, sociology, money, inflation, taxes, systems, and political theory. I want to thank them all for providing me hours and hours of enjoyment and intellectual stimulation. I wish I had time to sit individually with them all, including those who have long ago left this world. Some authors pushed me to my mental limits, and others showed me how to keep expanding those limits. I thank them all because this book truly was a journey. In effect, I often realize I have not finished this journey, but am merely resting at a false summit.

I want to thank those people who personally helped me mold and coordinate my thoughts into this final book. I especially thank Dr. Harvey Barnard and Dr. Don Beane. Without help from those individuals I would have provided a less refined and focused book. They challenged me and played their role well as “devil’s advocate” and to their credit, they did not always agree with me. I thank my brother, with whom I have spent many hours discussing the foundations of modern social and legal systems. I also thank Tracey, who provided me much commentary and proofreading.

However, I must explicitly emphasize that the viewpoints and ideas I present in this book are mine — and do not reflect or affirm those opinions and ideas held by the people who helped review this book. These people supported my intellectual journey but not necessarily my conclusions or ideas.

There is another group of people I must thank as well. I have noticed a peculiar trait among some of the so-called “professors” I have encountered. Some have predisposed conclusions or theories about certain events and, despite their intelligence, I noticed that such people often would not open their minds to other ideas. In discussions and debates these “professors” invariably assume their conclusions are correct and then spend much of their lives seeking peculiar facts to support their foregone conclusions. They are not concerned with the journey of discovery as much as they are in their agendas. The scholarly method requires stipulating a hypothesis and then testing that hypothesis. Thoughtful researchers adjust or abandon their hypothesis if the data proves the hypothesis incorrect or flawed. Not so with some of the individuals I met along my journey as they clung to their foregone conclusions. Regardless of contrary evidence, conspiracy theories, half-truths, and half-smart ideas abound.

Nonetheless, I am grateful for having through the years crossed paths with some of those people. Their claims required me to investigate all sides of an issue, and without that effort, I never could have learned as much as I have. Despite their own unwillingness to shed falsehoods and contestable “facts,” invariably their ideas usually contained some grains of sensibility. After investigating various sides of an issue, I treated those grains much as I would treat the thousands of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

A mentor taught me that I have mastered a topic if I can learn all sides of an argument and be able to defend any side in such a way that nobody can tell which side I support. Arguing for an opposing side is intellectually demanding and often emotionally challenging, but facts are facts and I have learned that I need not fear what I might discover. What I discover might be unsettling, but accuracy and some sense of certainty is what I and most people seek. To seek and support only one side of an argument is nothing more than propaganda.

I am unsure if I have mastered any topic to such lengths, but I am confident I now have an ability at least to pause and look at all sides of the septic tank before offering any declarations. For that I am grateful.


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