K. McCaffrey — It’s always refreshing to see people coming together in countries that have seen nothing but strife and oppression. While the phrase “uprising” has an affiliation with violence, some folks in eastern Libya are finding themselves better off without their totalitarian state. Something of a spontaneous order seems to be emerging:

[Across] ‘liberated’ eastern Libya, a spirit of volunteerism and pulling together is evident. At the “Voice of Free Libya,” the country’s first uncensored radio station in decades, people working there tell of strangers showing up with baskets of food. In the courthouse, an old man scrubs toilets – his way of doing something for the country, he says.

Jalal Galaal, a businessman who’s acting to bring together the city council and local interests, says businessmen and government officials started showing up last week at the courthouse – a focal point for protesters – asking what should be done.

“The guy who runs the gas pumping station that feeds the power plants here showed up and said ‘I need help,’ ” says Mr. Galaal. “We simply told him to get his people together and come up with a list. Wahda Bank said it needed protection. I think we sent a few guards, but once they saw things were safe here, they mostly organized things for themselves.”

As Steven Horwitz so eloquently explained, “when individuals can own and freely exchange private property and their lives and property are protected against coercion, then their self-interest will be guided by market signals that lead them to take actions that cause a socially beneficial order to emerge. People’s actions will not produce spontaneous order unless their economic, political, and social institutions give them the freedom to act and protect them from the coercion of other individuals and the state.”

I certainly have hope that it isn’t too late for the Libyan people to appreciate freedom.

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