Walking Away From Omelas

Doug Wolf, a prolific contributor here in the form of comments, has started a blog. Go check it out.

Your homework assignment is to grasp the meaning of its title.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Greg Swann on September 23, 2005 at 12:26

    Since the (dubious) happiness of the Welfare State depends on the expropriation of entreprenuers, will Wolf be walking away from liberalism?


  2. Doug Wolf on September 23, 2005 at 13:33


    …will Wolf be walking away from liberalism?

    Here's some traditional liberal notions (in no particular order) that I won't be walking away from:

    1) Gay marriage. Hell, *anyone's* marriage. Marriage is a religious institution, and the government should not be involved, period. It is not my (or your) business if two people decide to get married. It is between them and the church (or other officiating body) that is marrying them.

    2) The war in Iraq is bad for America. (Poorly run, misplaced priorities, helps further the cause of terrorism, a waste of taxpayer money, etc.)

    3) Reasonable protections against the destruction of the environment. This doesn't mean burning down housing developments… but it *does* mean making sure no one is allowed to dump heavy metals into the water table! Your land belongs to you to do with as you please… right up to the point where you poison my water supply.

    4) Racism: if you own a *private* business, you should have the right to discriminate against me because you don't like the shade of my skin, the length of my hair, the color of my eyes, how tall I am, or any other factor you damn well please. If your business exists on the public dole (by taking *my* money in the form of taxes, subsidies, etc), you no longer get to discriminate on any factor other than whether or not I can get the job done. Don't like it? Then don't take my money.

    5) I feel President Bush is dumb as a bag of hammers, and a liar to boot. Nope, he didn't cause Katrina, nope he didn't personally screw-up the federal response… but as a Chief Executive Officer, he's an incompetent failure. (We're all entititled to our opinions.)

    Your assumption that "liberal" equates to "proponent of the Nanny State" is false.

    Unlike Rich and Kyle, I don't believe the solution to our current ills lies in the complete abolition of the state. (Nor do I believe such an aboltion to be possible in the first place.) I believe that our government should be much *much* smaller… and that such a thing is acheivable if enough people get the message of libertianism.

    'nuff said.

    — DW

  3. Doug Wolf on September 23, 2005 at 15:53


    A few more traditionally liberal values that I hold:

    (1) Get religion out of the science classroom. Creationism is theology, not biology.

    (2) Get religion out of woman's wombs. We each have the right to do as we please with and to our bodies.

    (3) Get religion out of medical research guidelines. Stem cell research should be explored to it's fullest promise.

    (4) Get government out of my personal choices. What I choose to smoke, drink, shoot-up, swallow, or otherwise consume is *my* business.

    — DW

  4. Greg Swann on September 23, 2005 at 18:39


    You're not a liberal. You're a confused libertarian. Get the state out of marriage. Get the state out of the schools. Your environmental policy is tort law, hardly a big problem. The rest is just a failure to examine the barriers in your own mind. You're more than halfway there, though. Keep at it.

    Greg Swann

  5. Francis W. Porretto on September 24, 2005 at 07:14

    From one of Ursula K. LeGuin's very best short stories. A magnificent dramatization of moral imperatives.

  6. Big Gay Sam on September 24, 2005 at 19:34

    Thank you Francis I was just getting ready to post a similar comment but you handled it far more eloquently than I could. 🙂

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