When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.
Act for the people’s benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 75, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Just the other day, I had someone anonymously message me on tumblr. I am always delighted to get messages on tumblr. I don’t actually get very many of them. I guess I don’t encourage it enough. While I allow people to anonymously message me, I never quite have figured out what is the point. If you don’t want anyone to know that it was you that asked me a question, you can ask and I will reply privately. But if you are actually wanting to carry on a conversation, I need to know who you are so we can talk.
“Anonymous” messages can be really out there, though. I don’t think I have gotten any “hate”, but sometimes the messages just leave me scratching my head. I am kind of dense. You send me a short message with no way of asking what you mean. I am just clueless that way. Anyway, the anonymous message was: “wait, are you a taoist??” Yep, that was the question. How do I respond? I have been on tumblr for over two years now. My url on tumblr has been libertariantaoist for all this time. I have been cycling through Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, with quotes and commentary, for ever so long. Of course I am a taoist!
But I do have to give props to Anonymous. Whoever you are, you did use taoist with a lowercase t, and I appreciate that. Taoists and I have an unwritten agreement. I don’t claim to be a Taoist with a capital T and they don’t hate on me for not being a proper Taoist.
Anonymous, if you are still out there, it might interest you to know that I am also a libertarian with a lower case l. Not to be confused with a Libertarian with a capital L. Unlike the Taoists, who pretty much keep to themselves and don’t try to recruit me to their cause, the big L Libertarians are all the time sending me enlistment info. They really want me to be a big L Libertarian. I am not hating on you big L Libertarians, I just want to remain unaffiliated.
I call myself libertariantaoist because that is who I am. I find Lao Tzu’s writings are both taoist and libertarian. I even used the lower case t for taoist there, because I don’t know that Lao Tzu would have called himself either one.
I was a libertarian before I started reading Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, so I put the libertarian first. And, what first attracted me to the Tao Te Ching was how very libertarian his writing was. I mean, just look again at today’s chapter.
When taxes are too high, people go hungry.When the government is too intrusive, people lose their spirit. Act for the people’s benefit. Trust them; leave them alone.
If I was going to write four sentences to describe what a libertarian believes, that would be my four sentences. Statists are going to wail. But this is just common sense. You know the kind. The kind that, sadly, isn’t at all common.
I am really delighted with what Lao Tzu said today. He was like the Ron Paul of his generation.