What is Freedom?….

A major criticism of libertarian thought is that it is all doom and gloom and that it cannot accept compromise of any sort. That it is an all or nothing mantra espoused by a dank and less than cheerful minority. Now I can agree that indeed there are those within Libertarian circles that seem to be wracked by fury and bluster that to the average man would naturally seem quite irrational and indeed somewhat unproductive. However, I can clearly understand the frustration of the Libertarian in a world for which is gathering moss on any kind of revolutionary ideas or philosophical thought. Freedom is clearly a concept that has improved our lot, as this has been clearly shown by the wealth of nations within Europe and the US. The free market has brought with it many freedoms to our lives unthought-of in our parent’s day, let alone our grandparents. One can only imagine the world our children could inhabit with true freedom.

‘get the fuck out of here, or I’ll throw you out the window’….
Peter Stark (US senator)

However, it is clear that we are not really free in the very real sense of free. Yes we are freer than most Chinese, Muslim or African people are. We are indeed much freer than our ancestors were. But just because we are freer than at any other time in our history does not mean that we are actually free. The word ‘freedom’ is used in the vernacular by all democratic govt’s. They have stolen its meaning so as to reinforce the idea that govt, taxation and the use of force are all arcane to us. As one can see from the interview that Jan has with this US senator, we see them become visibly angered by his questioning of the govt’s moral veracity. Clearly these questions hit nerves most of us wouldn’t dare touch. In this case Peter Stark tells Jan, ‘get the fuck out of here, or I’ll throw you out the window’. Clearly a violent statement made by someone reacting irrationally to a line of reasonable questioning. It clearly illustrates the tight hold that the state has on the minds of the majority.

So can we call this freedom then? Well as I said earlier, it may well be freedom compared to women in Muslim countries looking for equality. It may well be freedom compared to an African trying to feed his family or a Chinese man writing his blog. However our freedom is not real freedom, because real freedom would not use force against us. Real freedom would be to volunteer to pay your taxes without threat of fines, prison and violence if you so decided not to. Real freedom would be to choose your children’s education. Real freedom would be to choose your health provider. Real freedom would be to choose where you lived and not be confined by imaginary borders created by the state.

I understand that these thoughts create a sense of fear in most people. The reaction of the senator was a clear example of this. We have been told for so long that it is only the state that can manage our affairs and no one else. We somehow bestow meaningless virtue upon our politicians and public servants as if they do everything out of altruist desire alone. Govt is very similar to the comforting warm feeling people experience when they imagine a God that loves them. To challenge these thoughts is bound to create anxiety and uncertainty within most individuals. Therefore it is only natural for them to feel fear once this lie has been exposed.

I often ponder whether politicians are as unaware of the states use of violent threat. Is it possible that even our leaders have sedated themselves from its reality? Perhaps this is just me trying to make sense of what I consider to be such an obvious flaw in our system. However, I think they are only too aware of this threat as they feel a constant need to sugar coat everything with generalisations and hyperbole. Their constant use of rhetoric is a clear example of the smoke and mirrors politicians like to employ as a means to less constraint on their eventual decision making. Let’s face it, whenever has a politician made any real sense?

No, the freedom I dream of is a freedom to not be dictated to by individuals or a collective thereof that tells me to do what they say, not as they do. Real freedom is possible and indeed so are real ethics alike. But only without the mechanism that allows us to be manipulated, cajoled and frightened into subservience, which in turn allows this corruption to seep within the consciousness of us all.  For too long the instrument of govt have been convincing us that ethics can only come from statehood and dogmatic acquiescence to it. It’s like saying we must support Everton football club and no other, come what may, however better the other sides maybe. The state is seared within us from childhood. We are told to take sides and indeed to praise all things state like. These ideas are permeated within us from a young age, whether by school, parenting or media, as a means to making us willing slaves that accept our plight as being for the greater good.

So when George Bush talks about freedom he understands only to clearly the need and desire each of us has have for such a notion. However, he goes about defacing its true meaning by expecting us to live within the confines of freedom under a benevolent dictator. However, it is unclear how long people can live within the twilight of religion and statehood. Indeed, I have no doubt that it will change at some good time in the future. Whether I’m here to see it or not, mankind has always striven for freedom and freedom is what he will get when he is good and ready for it.


~ by xelentthoughts on November 1, 2008.

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