Saturday, December 1, 2012


If you were to ask the "average American" if they wanted freedom, you'd likely get a near unanimous, "Of course!"  If you asked if they were willing to accept the responsibilities that come along with freedom, you'd likely be met with a blank stare of incomprehension.

I submit that the "average American" is not competent to handle freedom and that, further, they don't wish to.

Freedom has come to mean (or has been corrupted to mean) something other than its original intent.  Originally seen as a Right of Man, as concrete and matter of fact as the rising of the sun, to pursue his own life and self-interest in whatever manner deemed fit, free from governmental interference; it has now  come to be interpreted as freedom from want, freedom from the hard work and responsibility of having to provide for themselves.

 A majority of the voting public has apparently decided to subscribe to the Utopian future promised by the Progressives in our government.  A future where everything will be made equally available to everyone on demand.  A future where all needs will be met by a beneficent government body without the necessity of creating a good or providing a service.  All they need do is agree to give the political class sovereignty over their lives; magically, all of their problems will disappear.

Ask the residents of Staten Island how that's working out for them.

Ask the residents of Oakland and San Bernadino, California how relying on government has worked for them.  Their city governments have decided to cut essential services, such as fire and police, in the face of budgetary problems.  The city attorney told residents of San Bernadino to "...go home, lock their doors, and load their guns."    Because, due to the elimination of as many as 80 officers, they could not guarantee adequate police presence or response.

In an earlier time, such an idea as taking responsibility for your own safety and security at home would have been met with "Duh".  Now, it's causing a storm of controversy from liberal Progressives who say it undermines public faith in government's ability to provide safety and security.  I think that they are equally outraged by the idea of citizens' keeping loaded guns in their homes.

As long as you continue to put your faith in government and government agencies, you will continue to be disappointed and in danger when events require action be taken to either provide or preserve your security.

Freedom demands that you accept total responsibility for conducting your life in such a way as to minimize exposure to  risks, or at least that you be capable of responding to those risky situations that come up.  No man is an island, as the saying goes.  No man needs to be.  But all men should be capable of self-reliance.  If you aren't capable of providing for your needs yourself, you will be bound in obligation to those on whom you rely to provide what you can not.  Whether it's electricity, emergency food rations, water or shelter, you will be quite literally at the mercy of others.

Freedom isn't for the faint of heart.  Being self reliant and responsible simply isn't fashionable.  In fact, if you happen to be one of the few who are able to adapt to whatever life throws at you and can thrive where others suffer, you will be denounced as a greedy and uncaring bastard.  A heartless person with no compassion for the suffering of others.

Freedom isn't for pussies.  But that's what the government wants us to be.  Free men don't need government.


  1. I would disagree with the last bit. Free men do need government, if only so that life doesn't devolve to a situation of "he with the biggest gun or gang, wins." Hard to be free to pursue your happiness if you are under constant threat of someone coming along to take it from you by force.
    In the Objectivist view, the only role of government is to remove force from daily life. Meaning the government is the only one that has the only legitimate right to use force, and then only in retaliation to force being initiated by others. So it is legitimate for government to provide police (protect against domestic force), military (protect against foreign force) and courts (protect against fraud, which is also considered to be force).
    Beyond that though, the government should stay out of people's lives.

    1. Should mention that the government being the sole legitimate user of force does not apply to exigent circumstances. So if someone is robbing your house or attacking you, you obviously don't just wring your hands and wonder where the police are. In that case you are perfectly within your rights to use force to protect yourself, but again only in response to force being used (or threatened) against you.

  2. Noted. I should have clarified that free men don't need government providing for them and telling them how to live their lives.

    I'm not sure of the author (I think it was Jefferson) who said, "If men were angels, there would be no need for government."