Wow. It’s the end of my first calendar year writing here at Flawed Jewel. Something I’ve been meaning to do for at least a decade has finally come to life. In about 5 months of doing this I’ve written 17 full essays and a couple of minor posts, and gone from zero to over 1200 followers on twitter. Rookie numbers, almost certainly, but not a terrible start for someone writing part time with no actual name recognition.
This year was, in many ways, a terrible one for liberty. Police murdering people in very public ways all year. Federal troops used against protestors. Corporate welfare out the ass. Continuation of awful wars, and footing the bill for other peoples’ awful wars. 98% of the country voting for one of two bastards rather than one of the good candidates on the ballot. A virus that made people on both sides act like complete idiots, and where both the disease and the response caused vast amounts of destruction. Ever escalating national debt. Protectionism. Rumblings about repealing important protections of free speech. Racist bullshit. Transphobic bullshit. The usual assault on the right to keep and bear arms. The drug war is still a thing. A small but obnoxious contingent of former libertarian stalwarts decided to support Trump, for some reason. Impeachment was tried for the weaker of possible reasons, and failed.
It’s easy to be depressed about all of that. All of that is real, and depressing. But there were bright spots too. There was massive resistance to police murder. There were people all over the country that finally fought back, and gods bless the commies with cardboard, umbrellas, and hockey sticks. A DA was elected in LA on the explicit promise to, and I quote, “end the racist drug war”. The Libertarian Party picked up 2 state representatives and a bunch of local offices, and ran its best presidential ticket in a decade and a half. The drug war lost BIG at the state level across the country. Economic liberty made real gains at the ballot in places like California (I know, right?). 3D printed guns made major advancements. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies soared in value as more people finally put money in them. The liberty movement itself, for all its infighting and crankiness, picked up a lot of new members, reinvigorated many of its old guard, and went to places that it had never existed before, let alone been received positively. And maybe, just maybe, people are listening about making 2021 the year of libertarians rather than waiting for the next presidential cycle.
And for me personally I finally got back into things after a decade away, and a lot longer of planning on doing this but never actually doing anything about it. The result has been that I met a lot of wonderful people, both online and in person, I’ve learned a lot more, I’ve examined my beliefs and tried to understand them and the beliefs of others better, and dare I say I’ve even had fun doing it. For the tens of people that actually read this, thank you. For the people that follow me on twitter, thank you. For those of you that get up every day and try to make the world a better, freer place, thank you. And for everyone who survived 2020, thank you. You made it.
The clock turning to January 1, 2021 is not a magic panacea. There is still so much to be done, so much to rebuild and so much to build anew. There are bastards to be fought at every turn. But as Neil Gaiman says, the point of fairytales isn’t to show that dragons exist. It’s to show that dragons can be beaten.
2021. Let’s go slay some dragons.