h1

You can never go home any more

March 30, 2014

‘Tom Paine’ is a British ex-pat who’s been writing at The Last Ditch. I ran across his post below when I found it quoted at Samizdata.

Goodbye and good luck

You cannot, as the man said, step in the same river twice. I was away from Britain for 20 years. The Britain I returned to was not the Britain I left. Even though I had visited often, kept in touch with friends and family and followed political developments assiduously while living abroad, it had changed in ways I had not grasped. Perhaps, to be fair, I had changed too.

To me, it now seems a strange, immoral place. For example, I read articles in The Guardian and The Times this week about the abolition of inherited wealth. The Economist also recently wrote about it. It did not even occur to any of these columnists that they were talking about the property of others. They did not create it. They did not inherit it. They have no just claim to it. Yet they have no moral concerns about proposing its seizure. […]

I have tried to make these points both here and face to face with people I meet in my everyday life. All I have achieved is an outward reputation for eccentricity and a powerful inward sense of alienation. As the next General Election approaches offering me no moral choices it is time, alas, to accept defeat.

Everything I might still want to say to you has been said better in this book and this one. I am wasting your time writing anything more than this heartfelt recommendation to read them.

Goodbye and good luck.

I wasn’t certain that this was intended to be Tom’s farewell post but he confirmed that it was in a comment at Samizdata.

Reading his post reminded me of my thoughts that maybe those of us who favor freedom and self-reliance have lost a culture war. Maybe we’ve allowed the debate to be framed in terms favorable to our opponents’ points of view. There are times when I wonder whether I’m becoming an eccentric (as Tom says) or the culture really has changed for the worse in the years since I was young. It can be a tough call.

It helps to recall some Happy Warriors of the recent past, even if I didn’t always agree with all the battles they fought. They re-framed the debates of their time: "There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty."

And all that said, I certainly agree with Tom’s advice that you read Thomas Sowell’s books linked in his post.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: