Do People Really Want Freedom?

Do people really want genuine freedom and all the liabilities that come with it?

To answer it myself: Yes.

But I admit my life experience is somewhat limited. I have not had the same opportunities as others. I can see why they might not.

I almost wonder if it’s part of the human condition; irreconcilable and competing desires. Humans want to be free, but they also want things to be a certain way that requires them to give up their freedom to make it happen.

People have to pick one or the other and inevitably as a whole we will pick to surrender freedom. Those on the fringe, the extreme, will choose freedom. But they are just that, the few.

Mankind loves the benefits of freedom but the price is too much to pay.

Maybe the Founding Fathers (and H.L. Menken too) had it right. Men want to be free, but they will ultimately turn to government even if it requires they surrender some rights. Better to acknowledge that flawed, imperfect human condition than pretend it’s unnatural.

Perhaps it is natural we yearn to be free, but the goal of complete liberty will always be the pursuit the unattainable. A pursuit we should make with the knowledge it will never be fully realized.

A stateless society is the same as a crime-less society. It is the ideal, it is what we strive for. Yet we know that will never be fully realized. We may get some of it, a lot of it. Not all of it.

Pursuing the ideal allows us  to reach what is realistically possible while acknowledging the reality of the human condition and the natural order of things.

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11 Responses to Do People Really Want Freedom?

  1. Thanks.

    I do think the abolition of the State, and the existence of a stateless society, can be possible even in the sinful world. We got slavery abolished in many places in the West, though sadly it exists. We managed to get rid of divine-right theory, though that theory had its merits and the democratic “rights” of rulers isn’t much better.

    In other words, I think it is possible to imagine a society without a State in this world.

    But, as a Christian, I think the only true victory can come when Jesus returns again to the world and defeats sin and death forever.

    Until then, we press forth.

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    • The Question says:

      In other words, I think it is possible to imagine a society without a State in this world.

      Consider this sober thought; Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery. But when they finally got to the Promised Land they wanted to go back to slavery. So God forced them to stay in the wilderness for 40 years. The moral of the story is that God had to wait until the generation that had known slavery was dead, leaving only their children who did not remember it.

      I don’t see how our situation is any different. If we as a society and culture are to be free, we have to deal with the fact that there are tens of millions of people who know nothing else but this and cannot function without the state.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mattwilson32 says:

    This is why I’m a minarchist. An-cap is my utopia, and that is all it will ever be. Most people want a government. It’s just true. It’s the 80/20 rule and most are content letting the 20 decide what the 80 get. No amount of education will change that.

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    • Yes but minarchism is just as Utopian as libertarian anarchy at this point. I agree with you that most people want a government, and they can have it, as long as we can secede and live they way we want. Secession is the only way back to liberty even for the minarchist. No one is going to get into the presidency and make any real changes in the direction of liberty. The political will at the national level is just not there.

      I think the best way to achieve freedom is to prove that we don’t need it by circumventing the state system in every sphere possible through voluntary association and contract with as many people as can be convinced. We could form competitive associations that insure those we deal with against injury and fraud with restitution based on agreements not to use the state courts for dispute resolution. Sort of like a fraternity but one where your reputation as a nonaggressive and honorable person matters more than how many beers you can drink (not that I have anything against beer drinking). Enforcement of resitution payments would not be required, payment would be voluntary, but the reputation of a nonpayer would be forever tarnished among the various associations until restitution was made. Perhaps these associations get so popular and work so effeciently that even nonlibertarians will partake in their services.

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      • The Question says:

        As much as I hate to admit it I think this is a very accurate assessment of the situation.

        One of the problems libertarians have with accepting such a bleak outlook is the same as an abolitionist during the height of world-wide slave trade. They knew how things were supposed to be but they weren’t. That didn’t disprove abolitionism but they realized it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

        If any progress for freedom occurs it will be on the individual level. Small acts of withdrawal from the state. Trying to get enough people on board a movement to effect great change all at once is clunky and inefficient. And it will eventually get hijacked by the Left.

        The main issue is that at some point in the near future we could be forced to choose whether to use violence to protect our freedom or submit to total enslavement. I’m afraid the choice to avoid violence and still remain free is being eliminated very quickly.

        It’s not a fight I want to have but if it comes to me I’ll be ready.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. If they come for my guns, they’ll get the business end first.

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      • mattwilson32 says:

        I hear you, and you’re not wrong. I think every political philosophy is a utopian position for someone. I don’t think they would let us secede. I think if you prove you don’t need govt, the govt would jail you for sedition. They don’t like the black market much. The only solution I can see is to work with what we have until it either colapses or gets better. It’s not a good solution, I know.

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      • I don’t have have any real solutions either. I don’t think there is any one correct strategy. Have you read the debate between Sam Konkin and Murray Rothbard? Agorist black market civil disobedience vs political action? I can’t help but think they are both right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mattwilson32 says:

        I’ll have to check that out!

        Like

    • The Question says:

      A huge mistake by libertarians was the belief that most people can be persuaded through logic and reason, facts and data. They aren’t. They are influenced by rhetoric and psychology and incentives. Another is the unpleasant fact that might triumphs regardless of morality. Might doesn’t make right but if right doesn’t make might there’s no point in being right because the other side will win, anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I believe that people should be free to live their lives as they see fit. Freedom is a universal concept. Freedom does not equate one person or group of people being able to impose their will upon another person or group of people.

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