“The quality or state of being free: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action: political rights” (Freedom, 2009) how many times a day do you use the word freedom, or free when relating to your political stance? Does your use of this word come with the understanding that encompasses it? Freedom has many philosophical meanings to many people; in the end, freedom still encompasses the above-mentioned definition in one form or another. With this being said it is important to realize that by invading a country, and forcing a way of life on the people of that nation we are not in essence ensuring freedom, we are “coercing, and constraining” their actions and ideas.
Freedom, true freedom can only be understood, and not forced. Did France or Germany come to the Colonies (pre Revolution) and say you know, we are going to show you how to gain freedom, I hope you don’t mind if we replace your troops with ours. What good would that have done? As a Classic Libertarian I do not ever feel the need to invade other sovereign nations unless, that invasion in fact does protect American people. However, during the history of this nation we have “invaded” many nations (over 300 documented times) simply to change a government, or protect a Banana/ Oil factory. I digress however, and will bring this back on track.
My freedom is my human right, if I so choose to accept and understand that freedom. If I give up my freedom simply to have the illusion of safety etc. than can I really complain when the bill comes due and I find that I have no liberties left. In earlier segments I defined the word “liberal” and the word “conservative” however, was careful not to delve to deeply into the “term.” There is a reason for that, after all the “term” is open for individual interpretation, which generally just leads to confusion. The word is defined; it has an etymology and a specific use. This makes it easier to have facts, and appreciate true knowledge in this author’s opinion.
“The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.” Samuel Adams – Article to the Boston Gazette – October 14, 1771
Per its definition freedom is the state of being free, an interesting concept that many of us modern “politically correct” individuals tend to forget on both sides of the political spectrum. Freedom for some may be the equalization of wealth, and free health care. While freedom for others may be the worship of one God, and one language. Interestingly both extremes forget that freedom does not mean the free practice of only one agenda and side, freedom means the ability to think and act according to ones own beliefs and ethics. Freedom according to its very definition stands for the proliferation of multiple ideals and ideas as long as those ideas and ideals do not keep another from practicing theirs, or break the legal codes of the land. Freedom is not the ability to practice illegal and harmful actions. “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.” Samuel Adams – Speech in Philadelphia – August 1, 1776
It is for us the thinkers and the supporters of liberty to ensure true freedom exists for as long as this country shall exist. Only when we can accept that our freedoms are reliant upon the contributions of all citizens of this country regardless of race, creed, religious choice, or role in society, only than will we are able to continue to pursue true freedom. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” Thomas Paine – The Crisis – 1777. It is work, hard work to support something that guarantees everyone’s equal rights and equal standings within our society. It is even harder work to recognize when we have failed to support those rights. Being a Libertarian is more than just being a member of a political party, it is understanding the rights of man, and focusing on the extension of those rights, liberties, and freedoms. The hardest feat of mine on a day-to-day basis is admitting that while my beliefs are mine others should be allowed theirs as well.
On the following note I leave you to ponder what freedom means too you personally, and why you may be quick to deny another freedoms, and rights simply based on an individual prejudice. “ I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it.” Thomas Jefferson – Letter to John Holmes, Monticello, April 22 1820.
Viva la libertad!
Freedom. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved September 5, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom