What Freedom Is
Freedom is that state (condition, situation) in which an individual can do anything he chooses to do within the limits of reality, as delineated by the following:
- The converse, which is that one is one not compelled or required to do anything they choose not to do.
- Freedom only pertains to individuals, (not societies or any other kind of collective) because only individuals must and are capable of choosing what they do.
- "Within the limits of reality," means one is not free to do what is physically impossible or what they themselves do not have the physical or mental ability to do.
- "Anything they choose," means freedom only pertains to actions which can be and are consciously chosen.
- "To do," means freedom only pertains to an individual's chosen behavior in both thought and action.
The Responsibility Of Freedom
Since everything a free individual does is what he personally consciously chooses to do, while he may enjoy the rewards of every right action, he must also bear the consequences of every wrong action and suffer the deprivation of all he fails to do and achieve himself.
Freedom is risky. Life is dangerous and difficult and only those willing to accept the risk, do the work, and overcome the inevitable difficulties of life can be successful at life. It is that risk and those difficulties most are unwilling to face.
Most Do Not Want To Be Free
What most people want is not freedom. What most people want is security, safety, guarantees, protection from change, and comfort. Most have no confidence in their own ability to live their lives successfully. For the truly free, there are no guarantees in life, and one must face every risk on their own, either learning how to deal with them, or suffering the consequences. For the truly free, nothing is provided and everything must be acquired or achieved by one's own effort. For those who love freedom, these are freedom's virtues, but for most people, the very virtues of freedom are a source of terror.
Most people will not choose to be free because the collectivists and statists are offering exactly what most people desire. Where freedom offers responsibility, the state offers relief from that responsibility. "Don't worry about making provisions for your old age, the state will take care of it." Where freedom offers the reality of risk and danger, the state offers guarantees of safety. "Don't worry about natural disasters, the government will take care of everything and protect you from them. Don't worry about the dangers of the world, the government will pass laws that will make everything safe, your job, your food, your medicine, even driving your car."
How Slavery Is Put Over
It's not called slavery, it's called, "social order," when individuals are forced to comply with rules made by others for the benefit of others. It beings small. It's only a little oppression, but it's, "for a good cause," but once a principle is violated, whatever the justification, there is never a limit to that violation. Once the violation of the freedom principle is violated, there is no end of the restrictions and demands on one's choices and life that will follow.
What begins as, "we cannot allow people to starve," ends as, "we cannot allow people to be uneducated, not have good housing, be poor in their old age, not have health care, not have a job, not be protected from scurrilous marketers, not be "safe" on the highway, business, homes, bathrooms, or ... (supply your favorite thing no one should have to go without, whether they earn it or not). You can have all of these things and more, at least until the slaves who are supplying them realize they are slaves; you can have them, but you cannot have them and freedom too.
The Price Of Freedom
The price of freedom is not having all those things. It is the price most are unwilling to pay. It means not having the government supply your education, health care, expensive drugs, and guaranteed retirement income. It means not being guaranteed no one will ever say something mean to or about you. It means there are no guarantees. It means you will live in a world of danger, temptation, and risks. It means you will be responsible for every aspect of your own life from the time you reach adulthood until you die. It means, if you mess up your life, you and only you will suffer the consequences.
That is the price of freedom. It is the price most people are not willing to pay.
The Necessity Of Freedom
It is not necessary to be free to live. Most people are not free, but willingly surrender their autonomy to some authority for the sake of what they believe is more important than their own freedom. One may choose not to be free, but no one can live successfully as a human being, a life that is fully rewarding and worth living without freedom.
Because you are a human being, everything you do, every thought you have, every choice you make, and every action you take you must consciously choose, which is why your are responsible for your own life. Your life as a human being is not possible if you are not free to choose what you think, believe, and do.
Nothing and no one can prevent you from thinking, of course, and that fact is sometime used to put over the lie, that your freedom cannot be limited. But one's whole reason for thinking is to determine what to choose and do, and if one is not free to do what they choose, they are not free at all.
One can live without freedom, but one cannot live fully as a human being unless they are free to pursue what their own knowledge and values determine are the means to their success and happiness as a human being.
For those unwilling to settle for anything other than the best that is possible within the limits of reality and their own ability nothing but total freedom is acceptable. If your life is worth living it is only worth living as well as you can possibly live it by your own choice and effort. If that is the life you choose, you would rather die than to live if living meant subordinating your own life to someone or something else.
Not If You Believe You Can't
The motto of an old freedom article was, "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 reason most people will never be free is because they are doing just that. They believe freedom means living in a, "free society," but there will never be a free society. If you are ever going to be free, you must make yourself free. Unless you are a collectivist, or a parasite, you don't expect or want the government or society to provide any other good thing your need to live successfully. Certainly, no government is going to make you free. The object of government is not to free you but to govern you. The first thin you must free yourself from is any dependence on government.
I think the reason most people do not make themselves free, or even consider trying to, is because they believe it is not possible. If that is what you believe, it would be foolish to pursue what you are convinced is not possible, and I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. There are many people who will never be free, and can never be free, mostly because they have made it impossible for themselves. Freedom is not possible for everyone.
Many people want to be free, and it is certain most people would be happier and more successful if they were free, but most people do not believe they can make themselves free. Anyone who truly wants to be free and is willing to pay the price of freedom can be free. The price of freedom is high, but freedom is the most valuable thing you can ever have because it is the means to your own life.
I know that freedom is possible because at this very moment there are literally millions of free individuals in this world, living their lives as they choose, and every one made themselves free.
A Word Of Caution
There is no short-cut to freedom. Freedom is the most valuable thing a human being can possibly have, the only one that makes all other values possible. One must not expect the most valuable thing in life to be achieved easily or without consequences. If you do choose to pursue freedom, it will be the hardest thing you've ever pursued, and probably the most costly.
There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of sites promoting programs that guarantee freedom. All you have to do is "join," or buy their nifty "secret reports" that reveal all the "tricks" to quick easy freedom. Anyone or anything promising quick and easy anything is a scam; nothing of any real value is quick and easy.
One of the ways, probably the most important and effective way, one can achieve freedom is by means of wealth. Like anything else, there is no easy, simple, sure, or quick way to wealth. There are no, "secrets," no short-cuts, and no schemes to guaranteed wealth. Anything or anyone that promises any such wealth or investment secrets will make no one wealthy except the one selling the, "secrets."
Freedom is worth everything and the means to everything, if you are willing to pay the price. It can be yours in this real world in your lifetime, but you'll have to achieve it yourself, and it may be a very lonely pursuit.