The ethical question

Wolf DeVoon

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I regard morality to be a personal question, inquiring What shall I do?

There are numerous ethical guidelines, ancient and newly minted, but I'm a little stupid, so I'll stick to the Objectivist canon, i.e., rational self-interest. At the moment, I need to earn money for ordinary survival stuff like food, medicine, and payment of current obligations. It would be nice to hand my daughter money for college. Simple yardstick of right and good. But let's suppose I strike it rich, which is to say discretionary funds sufficient to let me choose how I might like to live out my remaining days. I had a long road trip to the Left Coast while I still had credit cards to burn, and I don't want to go back to California. I don't even want to go to Elko again, however much I like Elko. Long drive through Kansas, Colorado, and Utah. Nor am I convinced that I should tour Milwaukee, witness the wreckage and pine for the past.

I don't want to reboot Central America. Don't want to fly to Australia. I lived in Europe several times, know it from end to end and top to bottom. I'd rather not rub elbows with the migrant hordes from hell. Three months in Libya was enough hell to last me two or three lifetimes.

Alaska scares me (the cold goes right through me) but it's the right move to make. I'm famous in Fairbanks, and there's a Libertarian Party in Anchorage. Maybe a quick visit in summer, if Alaska has a summer. Okay, on the bucket list, toward the end, weather permitting.

A stubborn mystery, something I'd like to do for my own sake. Visit Linda? - no. I'm old and ugly and embarrassed. Attend a writer's conference? - eeeuw. If I had any moral courage, I'd find Ali Massoud. Bucket list item equal to Alaska. Both are a call of duty owed to good men, not something to please myself or remove the burden of a personal ache.

So. Where would I like to go? What would I like to do?

I made a list of colleges to visit. Drake University, Des Moines. Newman University, Wichita. Hood College, Frederick MD. Defiance College, Ohio. PSU Allegheny Campus, McKeesport. Of all the attractions in the world, it would be thrilling to find a home in a rational world. If it's a leisurely road trip, I can take the dog with me. He likes to ride in cars, jumps right in.

Of necessity, all my endeavors will be short. A seminar or two, no possibility of putting down roots. One does not launch a new career at age 70. Hard to accept the fate of health problems and failing competence. That's why I'd like to lecture while I can. I have a lot to say about the future. It's a great temptation to teach a course on filmmaking, but it seems pointless to start something destined to end quickly, a year or two at most, and to what end? The world is full of filmed entertainment, including hundreds of Golden Age movies and thousands of classic TV hours. Kojak and Columbo. The Muppet Show. Hill Street Blues. Get Smart.

There's an iron ceiling I should consider. I have very few remaining years to spend. I need to lecture on liberty and justice, foundational American principles under grievous assault. It's a matter of personal honor to stand up for my body of work.

Rats. I have to go to Alaska and agitate for secession.

Whenever possible, I'll honor Ali in my public statements, hope that he hears it. Bad idea to risk my neck searching Detroit to thank him in person. There are others I'd like to thank and can't. We don't get everything we want in life. Top priority is to promote common law justice and common law liberty, inspire younger people to carry on when I'm gone.


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