News and Tribune

Columns

November 14, 2012

HARBESON: That's all I have to say about that

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — I have important news to share with you this week. It’s either good news or bad news, depending on your perspective. As of today, I will no longer be writing a weekly column for this paper.

No, I did not have an affair. I don’t even have a biographer. I’ve simply decided I’m ready to move on.

For some time now, I’ve been writing with a very specific underlying theme in mind. Ever since I reached the conclusion that following the non-aggression principle, respecting private property and engaging in voluntary interactions are preferable to government force, I have been attempting to analyze local issues and conflicts from this voluntaryist perspective.

We will never be able to create ideas that will help us lessen conflicts with each other as long as people continue to accept the legitimacy of pointing the government gun at each other to get what we want. That’s simply not going to work in the long run.

So from the standpoint of that philosophy, I have tried my best to critically analyze and question everything surrounding government, especially the messages put forth by politicians who have been pushing this propaganda in an attempt to maintain their power for far too long.

I’m at the point now where I have said all I can say about these ideas.

In addition, I’m just worn out. I don’t know how other writers do it, but for me, it takes a very long time to produce a column. Perhaps I’m a perfectionist and tend to over-analyze, but I find I must spend lots of time, an embarrassing amount of time actually, crafting each column to my satisfaction. Even after all the time spent, I still think I could have done better.

I don’t know why but I’m just not a very efficient writer. I need time to let an idea brew in my mind and a weekly deadline means that I sometimes find myself not fully present in my actual life. I am getting to the point where it’s too much of a chore to put the effort to produce a product I am proud of and respect my readers too much to just “phone it in.”

Ending my current relationship with this paper does not mean I will stop writing though, particularly since writing helps me learn and grow. I will probably be writing for more specific audiences — people who already understand and share similar underlying philosophies.

This will likely happen in the area of education, mostly because that’s where I have the personal experience. As a matter of fact, our family’s experience of really living outside of government control by deciding to home educate is what started me down the path of understanding the benefits that can accrue when individuals, even young children, are given lots of freedom to learn and grow.

I would like to thank News and Tribune Editor Shea Van Hoy for giving me the opportunity to take up space here every Thursday and for granting me the freedom to say the things I wanted to say in the way I wanted to say them. I know he’s caught hell more than once after publishing my opinions.

I also want to thank the readers. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of your responses, both positive and negative, and I appreciate everyone who took the time and energy to send comments and reactions to the opinions I’ve shared on this page.

One final point for those who may be glad to see me go: I wouldn’t celebrate too hard because who knows, I may return sometime in the future with a guest column if something happens to rile me up enough.

Clark County resident Debbie Harbeson took an embarrassingly long time to write this final signature line. You can take an embarrassingly long time to write her at Debbie@debbieharbeson.com.

 

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