Goal

Today, we examine freedom, how to expand it externally, and how to embrace it internally.

Table of Contents

What Is Freedom?

vote | I voted stickers

You must think beyond 8th-grade civics. Freedom is not being able to vote. Freedom is being able to say “no” when it matters.

“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost

Freedom is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” If you are free, you are responsible. For example, if you want economic freedom, then you have to shoulder the effects of wasting your money.

Why Do People Fear Freedom?

vices | women smoking

People are slaves to their vices. Their vices produce, stabilize, and mean nothing. Thus, to justify their weaknesses, they need to enslave you.

The freer we are, the more choices we can make. With more choice comes more failure, mistakes, and the feeling we haven’t made the best decision at all moments. Most people are afraid of shouldering the responsibility of endless decisions, mistakes, and choices. Thus, they reject freedom and find ways to restrict it for themselves and others.

Restricting freedom has nothing to do with social responsibility. Why? Because restricting freedom always leads to tyranny, and tyranny creates death, destruction, and mayhem.

For example, if we restrict economic freedom to “protect people” and “enforce responsibility,” then we are lying to ourselves. Time and again, more economic regulations, taxes, and tariffs have priced small businesses out of the market, engorged the state, and empowered corporations. Less economic mobility for the poor, restrictions on what individuals can purchase, and a growing oligarchy are not “socially responsible.”

People fear freedom because of their personal inadequacies. Every other reason they provide is a distraction.

Why Should You Want To Be Free?

gift freedom | small gift in hands

Living life on your terms is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” – Robert A. Heinlein

The free life is a life of responsibility and failure. Why should you want this? Firstly, the freer you are, the safer you are from the tyranny of the ruling classes. If you are not free to work for your food, then you will perish in breadlines.

Secondly, being free means you can live life on the objective terms you set. In an ideal world, you can date who you want, live where you please, and sell what you desire as long as you are not harming other people’s ability to live freely.

Presently, you can only live on the preapproved terms set by voters, politicians, and busybodies.

How to increase freedom externally

best country | American Flag

Society will implode. You can, however, slow the eventual collapse.

Our society has gladly embraced tyranny to avoid responsibility. Yet, there are ways to engage with politics and culture to help expand freedom.

  1. Support politicians who will slow the growth of government – Politicians focused on decreasing state power rarely make it to public office because voters want free handouts, not responsibility. Thus, vote for the candidates who are less likely to expand the state.
  2. Talk to others about individualism – If you have the patience, talk about virtue, personal responsibility, and individualism. You may convince someone to reject their collectivist’s views.
  3. Support institutions leading the charge in educating othersNon-profits and profit organizations inform individuals of the value of freedom and responsibility. You should support these organizations if you can.

How To Increase Freedom Internally

1. Reduce Your Vices; Increase Your Virtues

vice | man behind bars

Vice enslaves you to the worst elements of yourself. Virtue elevates you to the best you can be.

“The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.” – G.K. Chesterton

Vice is immoral or wicked behavior and can range from serial adultery to overeating junk food. You have to control the urges, which make you cowardly, less reliable, and unhealthy. If you can’t control your vices, you will question the value of your life and your ability to live it well. If you doubt your ability to handle responsibility, you will want less freedom for yourself and others.

How do you defeat your vices? Start small. Substitute bad habits with safe alternatives. If you overeat junk food, then find healthier options. For more significant addictions, you may need psychological and medical help. The responsible path is long. But the benefits are numerous.

Furthermore, you can become more virtuous by asking, “What would my best self do?” whenever you have to make a decision.

By expanding your virtues, you will have the behaviors needed to bear the burdens of life and accept responsibility.

2. Become more independent

society implodes | people protesting

You must sever your ties to our corrupt, bloated, and collectivist society.

Here are some ways to sever ties from society:

You don’t have to live in the mountains. Instead, reduce your ties to our corrupt, collectivist society. When you are in debt, unhealthy, unskilled, and greedy, you are not free. Freedom means being responsible. One way to be responsible is to increase your independence.

3. Avoid the charlatans and collectivists

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Collectivists have nothing to offer but death, destruction, and anguish.

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” – Thomas Jefferson

The media elites, education leaders, government officials, and entertainment personalities have no wisdom to offer. They are corrupt, and they want you scared, pathetic, and cowering, so you are enslaved to their whims.

Fight back by being virtuous, helping those in need, and reducing your consumptions. By helping others, you will improve your community and uplift your spirit through generosity. By being virtuous, you strengthen your character against collectivists’ insults and abuses. By reducing your consumption, you avoid addiction to the numbing consumerism offered by the ruling classes.

I avoid the people who want me to doubt whether or not I am free. I know I am, and I can’t be convinced otherwise.

Freedom Is Earned, Not Given

freedom earned | woman outside

Freedom is not given to you. You earn your freedom by becoming the best version of yourself.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

If you are not afraid of freedom and responsibility, then you will thrive. You will have options even as the government grows, corporate power expands, and personal instability intensifies.

If you reject freedom in your life, then I cannot help you. Your rejection makes you a slave to the ruling classes, identity politics, and oppressive consumerism. That is not a life I want to live.

Reading List

These books detail the importance of freedom, why freedom is hated, and how to avoid becoming a slave to the ruling classes.

  • The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer – This book perfectly explains why people give up on freedom and join destructive mass movements. If you ever wanted to understand the mindset of the sheep, then this book is crucial reading.
  • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene – This book will help you understand the tactics of the power-hungry. By understanding the machinations of would-be rulers, you can prepare yourself.
  • The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek – This book details how we arrived at our current corrupt system. F.A. Hayek breaks down the importance of economics in ensuring individuals are free.

Actionables

  1. Do you fear freedom? What do you fear about personal ownership?
  2. If you don’t fear freedom, why not? Why are not afraid of having to own all your failures, mistakes, and shortcomings?
  3. What could you accomplish if you were free of your vices?
  4. In what context do you usually hear people discuss freedom? What do you think about the nature of the discussion and the way freedom is defined?
  5. How do you define freedom? Why?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash and Pexels.