"If you are waiting for the government to change, or society to change, or for some program or movement to be successful to find freedom, you will never be free."
One of the most baffling phenomena in the modern world is the gullibility of that small class of people who regard themselves as "freedom-oriented:" the libertarians, the Objectivists, the various flavors of self-styled anarchists, the anti-staters, the egoists, and voluntaryists.
With rare exception they are all joiners, supporters of endless movements, programs, parties, and ideologies all supposedly working to bring about, "freedom," by which they all mean some view of what a, "free society," would be. It does not occur to them to ask if it is morally right for them to attempt to force their view of what society ought to be on those who do not want it.
Mostly they spend their efforts and time arguing about floating abstractions like, "rights," "natural law," "economics," "capitalism," "free markets," and "justice." Most are anti-war, but nevertheless embrace vindictiveness (retribution) as a form of justice, the principle at the heart of most wars. Many of them consider themselves, "activists," but are little more than sign-carrying, slogan-yelling, rabble-rousers, and trouble makers.
Freedom is not something provided by nature, or society, or the state. Freedom is a necessity for individual success as a human being, but like all other values, nothing supplies it. Like all human values it must be achieved and acquired by one's own effort. Freedom, like all other virtues, must be earned and deserved by each individual.
Even those who understand that every individual must secure their own freedom begin wrong. They believe the way to freedom is by becoming part of something else, by joining with others in some kind of cooperative or, "team," effort to achieve freedom. Joining is a contradiction of freedom. Freedom is not a social phenomenon, it is an individual state. Societies aren't free, only individuals are free—independent individuals.
If you are not independent, you have chosen not to be free. It will not matter what kind of society you live in, if you join something you have already submitted yourself, your own mind and will, to some kind of program that is not your own. Independence, which is freedom from the control of others, is not achieved by joining something. Independence is intentionally disjoining oneself from everything and anything so one is truly free to think and choose for oneself how to live.
Most people never learn to think both short term and long term. In fact most people live for the moment and most people sacrifice their entire futures on the alter of the immediate: immediate pleasure, immediate experience, and immediate gratification.
Everything of real worth requires time and effort to accomplish or achieve. The more valuable a thing is, the more it will cost in terms of persistent work. The most valuable things of all are the most demanding, requiring one to put off the lesser immediate pleasures and comforts for that which is truly worth living for.
The freedom-oriented are not free of todays impatience, and like all others, seek short-cuts to what they believe is success and happiness. It is one reason they are joiners. They have been convince that there is some, "secret key," some "seven secrets of success," some, "esoteric insider knowledge," or any other sham short-cuts being sold as, "personal development," or "wealth producing tricks," or, "leadership," programs.
[NOTE: There are no short-cuts. Wealth is one genuine way to freedom, but there is no honest short-cut to wealth and prosperity. If it's a short-cut, it's either dishonest or a scam. And what does "leadership" have to do with freedom. A leader cannot be free. A leader needs followers, and is enslaved to them. A follower cannot be free. A follower needs a leader. Dependence is not freedom, only independence is.]
One requirement of human success is knowledge. Every choice a human makes requires thinking. One can make choices without thinking, as many do, with predictable consequences. Success requires all one's choices to be made on the basis of one's best reason. Since knowledge is all we have to reason about and all we have to reason with (it is not possible to reason about what is not known, and it is not possible to reason about what one knows little or nothing about), our knowledge determines the limits of what we can think and what we can choose. Since a human being cannot do anything he does not consciously choose to do, the scope of one's very life is determined by the limits of one's knowledge.
Most people think education is the means to knowledge. They believe if they have passed through one of the government provided education mills they have automatically been endowed with knowledge. While a school or college education may provide some groundwork toward knowledge, the most important knowledge and the kind of knowledge required to live successfully requires one to learn all they can about as many things as they possibly can, as long as they live.
Most people get out of school and never actually learn anything of real value because they think they've learned all they need to. School is just another supposed short-cut, a short-cut to knowledge, when all it is, when it is even that, is an introduction to knowledge.
In most cases, in America today, government education is actually a prime impediment to real knowledge. It is certainly not a preparation for living a free and independent life.
Here is one reason those who hold the false hope of changing society will never win. Those who believe society ought to be engineered, the leftists and statists, have control of the most powerfully influential institution in any society: education, especially the education of a society's children. No propaganda or education program designed to promote freedom will ever defeat the state educational machine. One of the main reasons is that true freedom seekers cannot morally promote what they believe by means of deception. The state has no such compunction.
John Taylor Gatto has written several books describing what is wrong with state education, which ought to be called state juvenile social hegemony, or indoctrination, because that is what it is. The following: The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling, is one of his best, and is FREE.
Here are two more free and very readable PDF versions of the book: The Underground History of American Education and The Underground History of American Education.
The state has four undefeatable forms of power: government/corporate control of industry and business, government/bank control of money, government/media control of information, and government/education control of cultural and social programming. Of the four, government/education is primary.
It is impossible to wrest power from the state until government control of education is eliminated. Is that possible? I personally doubt it, especially since most people like having their children tended to several hours of each weekday, and like calling it education, so they can pretend it is important and that they care, no matter what it really is.
I also know that anyone who believes freedom is possible to any society so long as there is government education is hopelessly gullible, and anything short of the objective of eliminating government education must fail.
There is only one way to freedom, and it is available to any individual who truly chooses to live his life free, but only independent individualists will choose that way, and only independent individualists will be free.