Some Thoughts on Freedom

It’s what separates us from the rest of the world.


Is freedom too much of a burden for people to bear? This is an argument underlying the division between the Left and the Right. I would submit that people should have all the freedom they can manage, which is largely an act of will. People who cannot make decisions for themselves and who would prefer ease or comfort to autonomy can have that. In fact, it’s unavoidable. Those who want freedom should be allowed to have it, and can have to a large degree even if nefarious forces try to deny it. Freedom is essential and as John Locke pointed out, cannot be taken, even by force, by those who ever truly possess it.

The Left is completely incoherent on the subject of freedom, owing largely to the fact that the Left is largely comprised of people who want the most benefit for the least input and who have no qualms about violating the concepts of fairness and reciprocity to achieve it. By this, I mean that liberals want results without work and are content to infringe upon the lives, liberties, and properties of others to get it. They do not mind taking more than their fair share to have life as they want it, and attempt to justify their theft through status whoring and virtue signaling. Freedom, to them, is whatever empowers their agenda and forces others to stay beneath them in social hierarchy. In general the Left believes that people are not really cut out for freedom of conscience, association, faith, and self defense. In other words, all the main areas in which adult humans need to make up their own mind.

Where to begin with their inconsistencies? A teenage girl needs a note from her parents if she misses a day at her mandatory public school, but should not need her parents’ permission to have an abortion. We should not have the right to self-defense, but if we are murdered, the murderer should not be executed because it is inhumane. Teenagers can decide that they are actually the opposite sex from what their chromosomes scientifically make them, but parents do not have the right to tell their kids they do not approve of interracial dating. Gay couples can force a Christian baker to make for a wedding he sees as not only invalid but a repudiation of everything he believes, but college students should be able to use the threat of violence to stop speakers with whom they disagree and might be offended. The Left is completely full of shit.

The examples show a pattern of disregard for others’ freedom. The lives of others do not matter compared to liberals’ need to virtue signal regarding capital punishment. Freedom of religion an association do not apply when liberals disapprove of those beliefs, and liberals will always disagree with religion because they take a Hobbesian view of government. Religion is a competing source of authority with government, and to liberals, this is a serious problem. Gender identity and teenage autonomy weakens family bonds and normal standards of behavior. Families and traditions, again, are a threat to the omnipotence of government. Liberals insist on the primacy of government in all matters as well as their control of said government. This is not simply about power. It’s about extracting resources with minimal effort, even when that extraction violates every possible system of moral exchange. It is inherently immoral because no one would voluntarily agree to such a system of exchange.

Liberals have little need for personal autonomy in many cases as long as their material needs are met. The push for single-payer health is not about “fairness.” It’s about free healthcare so that they can put forth as little effort as possible to receive services. Welfare isn’t about “the children” or “fairness” either. It’s about extracting resources for their reliable voters. The push for “free” college and the “fight for fifteen” is not about fairness, either. Libtards started realizing that a degree in Peruvian Women’s Slant Rhyme Poetry does not qualify one for any job that does not pay more than minimum wage, so the solution is to require a higher wage and not require students to pay for their degrees. In other words, the left requires taxpayers to subsidize universities through theft of their resources, and after giving out a useless product, requires business owners to subsidize the poor decisions of college graduates. Notice that liberals never talk about tougher admissions standards and funding only for certain majors, which though ridiculous and totalitarian would at least take the needs of others into account. Ridiculous social justice majors are needed to justify university indoctrination and make-work for other libtards, and therefore, college students are granted the freedom to choose majors. Certainly though they not granted the freedom to study only what they want. Colleges impose all manner of “liberal arts” requirements and diversity workshops for undergrads, even though it substantially increases the cost in funds and time required to finish a degree. Freedom, in the liberal mindset, is about what benefits them and strokes their egos, not about actual freedom.

The left is vampiric. But how do they justify their draining of resources? By virtue signaling and status whoring. University professors justify their salaries, benefits, and ability to say shockingly stupid things by insisting that they are our intellectual betters (spoiler alert: they aren’t). Activists justify their extraction by insisting that they are “speaking truth to power” Even baristas at Starbucks justify their desire to help themselves to your money by having the “correct” social and political views that allow them to glom onto the party doing the thieving. They aren’t just virtue signaling to try to make themselves look good in publc. They are signaling to the people doing the heavy lifting that they are part of the tribe and therefore entitled to some of the spoils.

Some people are perfectly content to give up substantial freedoms in exchange for material gain, even when that gain is shortsighted. This would happen even in the absence of heavy-handed government. Imagine there was no government compulsion in much of anything. Even then, some people would rely on the nice rep from the insurance company to pick their coverage levels, the nice bot from Amazon to recommend their purchases, their parents to do all of the difficult paperwork or bill paying while they freeload in the basement. Some people are content to live in such a way, but as long as the rest of us are not forced to subsidize it and are allowed to shame such people, society can survive. The second all of these things became “rights” which we had to both pay for and celebrate, they stopped being the freedom of some and started being the enslavement of all.

For those who desire freedom, it is not a burden. Freedom is simply the ability to make one’s own decisions and accept the consequences of those decisions. Free people are happier people because they know their own role in their situations and have the satisfaction of having created their situation through their own choosing. Freedom is not just a blessing, it is necessary to live a full life. The finest explanation of this comes from Rudyard Kipling:

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

That is the essence of freedom. He who can do these things is beholden to none in his heart, and is therefore free. Notice that much of this is about mental and spiritual well-being, not material well-being. It is true that much of morality depends upon a full stomach. Is not freedom the benefit of success, and is it not likewise what fuel’s success? Make no mistake about what is on the table here: If the Left is allowed to keep doing what it has been doing for the last century, your descendants will be slaves at best and absorbed into someone else’s culture at worst. You and your heirs will have taken the last step into a thousand years of darkness. Act accordingly.

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