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Sunni's Salon, May 2005

Why do so many individuals seem to want to see the worst in everyone? Is there a reason why lots of pro-freedom individuals seem to have poor social skills? I mean, we're great debaters and theorizers, but when it comes to out-numbering the statists, we're not doing so well. Are we too individualistic? Is such a thing even possible?

Rather than debate these questions, and the many more we could ponder, I think it's high time that we liberty-loving people take a hard look around. Most notably with the passage (unanimously in the Senate) of the Real ID Act, which will bring about a national ID for Americans, many of us have come up against one of our lines in the sand. But it isn't enough to toe that line, and face down those who continue to steal our liberties -- we need to understand them, and ourselves.

Despite the progress of psychology and related fields (which have yet to be merged into the proper field devoted to studying human behavior -- praxeology), there's much we don't understand. And that shows, in the ways friendships can be rent, romantic relationships ruined, and fruitful business partnerships destroyed -- sometimes with just a simple, unwitting statement or action. It seems likely to me that we freedom-loving individuals may be more prone to that sort of thing, since the tendency is to emphasize the individual and be wary of group-oriented efforts.

Even though I'm a psychologist by training, I sure don't have all the answers, so don't look to me for them. But I'm not shy about saying so, and about looking for more information to help me be a better individual, and a better contributor to the liberty movement. I'm also not shy about sharing valuable resources with anyone who's interested. This month, Tom and I are pleased to offer a Salon that might help spur you to a greater understanding, and a greater effectiveness at advancing freedom. I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with John Mackey that ought to provoke some thinking in every person who reads it. This month's book reviews focus on two seemingly divergent subjects -- genes and memes, and a recasting of one of science fiction's best libertarian novels. For those interested in a more personal look at my taste in books, I've compiled not one, but two lists of favorites, tucked away on the book review index page. They'll change as my whims and available time dictate. My musical pleasures over the past month have traversed old and new artists, ranging from jazz and scat to hard-core rock. Last, although it was difficult, I narrowed down my webby wanderings to two very good pro-freedom blogs, one upbeat resource great for anyone who wants to be more productive and understand people better, and a fun little gizmo that appeals to the bit of vanity in all of us. We're delighted to have you back at Sunni's Salon, or visiting for the first time. Please enjoy the spring flowers, and our offerings, at your leisure. Your feedback, suggestions, and business are always welcome.

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