A Course in Freedom
This is the first in a series of posts dealing with the subject of freedom.
The freedom we have enjoyed is fragile; and it is endangered. The acreage of our freedom is rapidly shrinking.
The most endangered species in the world is the citizen who is free.
We will most assuredly lose the freedoms we have enjoyed unless we understand how to preserve them.
Understand why freedom exists where it does and nowhere else?
Understand the crucial difference between positive freedom and negative freedom?
Understand why and where freedom originated and what is required for it to flourish and be retained?
Ever stop to consider what our life and the life of our families would be like if we fail to preserve the freedom we inherited?
Ever consider what the world itself would be like without an America that is free?
If we don’t understand these things, we cannot preserve our freedom. Worse, we will have no excuse to offer for permitting it to be taken from us; we will deserve the opprobrium we will receive for creating the squalid lives our children and grandchildren will surely endure. Worst of all, the loss of freedom will again subjugate the human spirit to the will of the few for generations. More blood will be required to resurrect it.
These posts will occur over a period of months, perhaps even longer. In them I will give the lessons I have learned from a lifetime of the study of human freedom.
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The development of the idea that all individuals have an intrinsic, natural right to freedom is – historically speaking – a recent phenomenon. But it is no accident of history.
The existence of freedom in America is the result of an unquenchable thirst for the right of personal expression; and it is built on the recognition of the infinite worth of every individual member of the human race.
It exists because of the willing sacrifice, suffering, murder, and heroism of millions of unknown and unheralded individuals who resisted the exercise of power over their individual choices exerted by the few in order to control the many.
“Might is right,” has been the modus operandi of human organization throughout history. Aggressive individuals, Warlords, Emperors, Kings, Oligarchies, Plutocracies, Committees of Public Safety, and Soviets all exercised brutality and lies to organize lesser humans for purposes of plunder, monument building, and adventurism; or as cogs on the wheels designed by the powerful, of the powerful, and for the powerful.
Most people believe they know how everyone else should live. Some of these are absolutely committed to making others live that way. Exceedingly few in this group actually gain sufficient power to carry out their dream of how people should live their lives. Nietzsche announced the Superman. Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and a host of others became him.
Now, it is bureaucrats who have become Superman. They are not murderous; rather they are a stifling, suffocating, smothering panoply of regulators, and their work is no less toxic to freedom; no less lethal to the human spirit than the more overt manner of the others.
They are charged with inspecting and controlling every aspect of your life, what you eat, where you go, what you earn, the size of the rooms in your home, what you feed your dog, how your correct your children – everything; every nuance of your life is under their microscope and under their control. Cogs on the wheel indeed.
If freedom dies by regulation rather than by the sword it is no less dead. We are confronted by threats of violence demanding that we relinquish our freedom or die; and we are confronted by threats and intimidation from a dense web of legal apparatus to relinquish our freedom to the regulators. It’s for our own good, they say.
My mission; our task is to prevent all manner Supermen from supplanting our dream with theirs.
The desire to exert control over the activities of other people is widespread in America today; the only disagreement is how it should be done. The “might is right” theory of government has been, and still is the most prevalent form of human political organization.
Human freedom has occurred only once in human history. We alone have had the privilege of experiencing it; but dark and ominous clouds portend a tempest that threatens to shatter our fragile homestead of freedom so carefully built at such great cost through the centuries.