Negative liberty is the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints […] Positive liberty is the possibility of acting — or the fact of acting — in such a way as to take control of one’s life and realize one’s fundamental purposes.
—“Positive and Negative Liberty,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The more I examined […] efforts at sedentarization, the more I came to see them as a state’s attempt to make a society legible, to arrange the population in ways that simplified the classic state functions of taxation, conscription, and prevention of rebellion [and] I began to see legibility as a central problem in statecraft.
–Yale Professor of Agrarian Studies James C. Scott, on efforts by nation states to “sedentarize” nomads, pastoralists, gypsies and other peoples living non-mainstream lives
This past April, my partner and I moved out of a spacious house in former Tonkawa/Apache lands — Austin, Texas — and into a full-time 75-square-foot RV, which we promptly steered westward. Continue reading