On Firefly/Serenity

Freedom in an Unfree World

By P Gardner Goldsmith

Yeah, I’m a stow-away. Proud of it, too. I wouldn’t have been so happy if I’d gotten aboard a different ship, but I was tipped off to the one captained by Malcolm Reynolds, and it’s led to amazing things. I boarded in New Hampshire, and got to travel the ’verse with the wildest, and in some cases the most principled, crew in existence. My passage would not have been arranged if it hadn’t been for people who had already recognized Mal’s great heart, and seen in him something they cherished themselves: the unquenchable thirst for freedom. I am a libertarian, and due to my work, I come into contact with many members of the expanding “Free State Project.” The members of the FSP have been relocating to New Hampshire, and in addition to their devotion to things like first editions of Ayn Rand novels and the collected works of Lysander Spooner, they all seem to have one characteristic in common: they cherish the television series Firefly and its main character, Malcolm Reynolds, as much as they adore John Locke’s “Second Treatise on Government.”

The compelling question is why, and in order to provide an answer, one must understand the principles that drive libertarians in their political and social associations.

Most libertarians believe in, and adhere to, the Lockean Natural Rights tenet of “negative reciprocity,” the idea that you have a right to be left alone by me, and I have a right to be left alone by you. I make my own  …

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