Today, we examine freedom, how to expand it externally, and how to embrace it internally.
Table of Contents
- What Is Freedom?
- Why Should You Want To Be Free?
- How To Increase Freedom Externally
- How To Increase Freedom Internally
- Remember, You Must Earn Your Freedom
What Is Freedom?
“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, you have to shoulder the consequences of wasting your money.
Why Do People Fear Freedom?
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.
For example, if we restrict economic freedom to “protect people” and “enforce responsibility,” we lie 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?
“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
Our society has gladly embraced tyranny to avoid responsibility. Yet, there are ways to engage with politics and culture to help expand freedom.
- 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.
- Talk to others about individualism – If you have the patience, talk about virtue, personal responsibility, and individuality. You may convince someone to reject their collectivist views.
- Support institutions leading the charge in educating others – Non-profits and for-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
“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
Here are some ways to sever ties from society:
- Homeschool your children, so you can spend more time with them, teach them your values, and provide them a better education than what the state gives.
- Grow your food and have a backup of food, water, and other crucial supplies.
- Stay healthy, so you do not have to frequent the bloated, expensive medical system.
- Create multiple sources of income, and you’ll worry less about economic hardships.
- Consume less and save more, so you always have more to give.
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 accountable is to increase your independence.
3. Avoid the charlatans and collectivists
“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
“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.
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 violent mass movements. If you ever wanted to understand the mindset of the sheep, then this book is essential 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.
- Do you fear freedom? What do you fear about personal ownership?
- If you don’t fear freedom, why not? Why are you not afraid of having to own all your failures, mistakes, and shortcomings?
- What could you accomplish if you were free of your vices?
- 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?
- 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.