Optimism in Liberty: A Better Investment

Previously I talked about Ethics in Optimism and revealed a distinction between investing in technology to increase wealth and investing in liberty to get a far better return on the investment. What is a better return than more wealth?

The answer is more liberty.

For many of us it is hard to imagine what more liberty means. More wealth is easy because we see the stuff we can buy or the time we can take to ourselves. More wealth is certainly more tangible. With more liberty, there is something even greater, more liberty.

Let’s define liberty.

Liberty is the hand that adds value. Liberty is not a constitutional right to life, property or happiness. Although the constitution does provide us protection against any threats to those rights,  it does not guarantee more liberty upon more liberty.


What I am about to say may frustrate many, so please hear this out.

Adding value, especially more value than you take, is the foundation of a free society, particularly a Judaeo/Christian society, or what Washington called “a city on a hill.” If we have more takers than givers in our society, we become less than the animal kingdom. Survival of the fittest reigns and the optimism of a better world suffers greatly. A free society needs something better.

That something is a unique kind of power, specifically the kind of power to conserve value in the hands that add that value. This is not selfishness; this is conservation. Real conservation is the very essence of freedom itself. Conservation and liberty define each other. You really cannot define one without the other.

To better understand, let me communicate a very rare principle called the “conservation of responsibility.” For those with a little science background, it is like the first law of thermodynamics, called “the conservation of energy.” This first law reminds us that we cannot get something for nothing. In like manner, we cannot take something without replenishment. The conservation of responsibility in the hands that add value works that same way. Liberty grows exponentially when value is conserved in the hands that add value.

Liberty, in this sense, is replenishment. This is why liberty is better understood as the hand that adds value. Adding value is pure replenishment, the real engine of prosperity. For too long we have turned liberty upside down and we have associated liberty with with a right to have or take without replenishment, and we often use capitalism or free markets to support this idea.

Capitalism between individuals can too often negatively affect conservation of value within the community. I will certainly talk about this in many posts and with a lot of detail. Suffice it to say, the conservation of value in the hands that add value trumps free market capitalism because there is no inherent effort to add value with capitalism, there is only the effort to control or take value. Capitalism is neutral, it can favor oligarchs or it can engage in natural competition, and neither is inherently good.

Liberty is different. It is best understood as the conservation of vision, leadership, and agency–the energy added in a closed system, such as in one’s neighborhood or community.  Liberty as the conservation of value in the hands that add value keeps power in the people. Liberty is therefore headless, it is the pure voice of the people rising in modular form, from group to group (like a genuine republic), and never mob rule empowered by the idolatry we shower on authority at great distances.

If you can understand how a republic truly works on a large scale, then imagine how it can work on a small scale, something we have never mastered in world history outside of a few examples. If you can’t imagine that, then imagine this truth: power at a distance, authority at a distance, leadership at a distance, they are all destructive to the conservation of liberty in the hands of people.

What I am getting at is the unshackling of volunteerism and the free will to organize and add a greater value as a community and to conserve that value in the same. The sooner we can figure out how much freedom and liberty we have while the time is ours, the quicker we can be on the march for the first American renaissance.

The conservation of responsibility locally actually saves, protects, and conserves the liberty to add more value. Adding more value and conserving that value in the same hands is like wealth generating more wealth. Liberty generating more liberty is the foundation of an American destiny that many will begin to see in the coming years. The America first movement is only the beginning, and it will be wasted if we do not drive it home back to our communities.

For those still whining about lost constitutional rights over the years fail to see the real conservation of liberty that has always been ours for the taking.

Liberty in its purest form is energy. The use of “a closed system” is ignored when we talk about liberty because we do not tie liberty to energy conservation like we should. Instead we tie liberty to rights. Let’s stop that and see liberty in a better light. Let’s see liberty as energy, and let’s stop letting our energy be wasted with more centralized leadership at greater and greater distance or with serious imperfect democratic models. Let’s bring back the conservation of energy and liberate free-will, free-association and free-expression in ways we have never imagined. The models will soon begin to surface if you know where to look.

I am doing it with a company called Local Common Wealth, the first business networking organization run by common consent. It is the first model that thrives on liberty as energy properly conserved in the hands that add value. I could use some help. A new video at www.localcommonwealth.com will be posted later this week, and it will be more definitive and more to the point on this subject. Until then, never give up on liberty. It is not ethical and it is not American. Please share and spread the good news.

By Keith R Kelsch, The Genuine Optimist