Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
Now that virtually everyone understands what Barack Obama meant when he said he was going to fundamentally transform America, before they are distracted again when the NFL season begins, they would be wise to do some serious soul searching about a subject few bother to talk about anymore: freedom.
The way the socialist crowd that now controls the power levers in Washington throw around words like freedom and liberty, you’d think they were descendents of the Founding Fathers. And, the truth be known, they’re sincere when they use such words.
Radical revolutionaries like Barack Obama, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong all see, or have seen, themselves as “freedom fighters.” Yep, virtually all communists/Marxists/socialists/progressives/liberals sincerely believe they are champions of freedom. Have you ever heard a left-wing dictator say he is against freedom?
I think we can all agree that just about everyone claims to be in favor of freedom, so that’s not the issue. Nor is the fact that most of them sincerely believe they are. The problem, however, is that there is massive disagreement as to what true freedom means.
Unfortunately, one individual’s idea of freedom can actually violate another person’s freedom. To one person, freedom means doing what he wants with his own life, while to another person it means doing what he wants with other people’s lives. Therefore, both of these people say that the other person’s concept of freedom is tyranny.
To the laissez-faire businessman, freedom means an end to all government regulation. To the communist, freedom can be achieved only when individual incentive has been crushed and “the people” own everything. Some people believe that job quotas for minority groups promote freedom. But to a person who is anti-discriminatory in the truest sense of the word, quotas and preferential treatment based on seniority are violations of human freedom.
Based on the evidence, I think we can safely conclude that throughout history people have miscommunicated on the subject of freedom. Since conservatives, liberals, bigots, fascists, communists, environmentalists and every other group imaginable all claim to be in favor of freedom, they obviously cannot all be talking about the same thing.
The dictionary defines freedom as “being free.” In turn, free is defined as “not under the control or power of another.” How can there be so much confusion over a definition so clearly stated? For one thing, when some people (e.g., progressives) talk about freedom, they mean that they should be free to do as they please to others.
Also, throughout recorded history, utopian thinkers have confused freedom with equality. But nothing could be more incorrect. No matter what one’s moral desires, nature has made freedom and equality totally incompatible. “Freedom and equality,” wrote Will and Ariel Durant, “are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.”
As the government steps up its efforts to defy nature and bring about equality on a global scale, it will find it increasingly necessary to employ force. And when force enters the picture, certain people are going to come under the control of others – which is tyranny, not freedom.
Thus, you may be surprised, after a little probing, to find that when people espouse freedom, they are often referring to their freedom, not yours. Worse, you may discover that their freedom necessitates the violation of your freedom.
When freedom is subjectively defined by each individual, it is reduced to a meaningless abstract. The only way freedom can be rationally viewed is in its pure, nocompromise form: human freedom – the freedom of each individual to do as he pleases, so long as he does not commit aggression against others.
Politicians love to talk about freedom, even while telling us how they intend to further enslave us. They do this by manufacturing “rights” out of thin air. The problem is that all artificially created rights are anti-freedom, because in order to fulfill one person’s rights (read desires), another person’s rights must be violated. That is precisely what is meant by the infamous statement, “Someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so someone else can have more.”
The reality is that those who harbor such twisted thinking are actually opposed to freedom. Often, they are individuals who are unable to achieve success in a free society, thus they yearn for an external force (government) to “level the playing field” and equalize results. These are the people whose votes the liberal fascists in Washington have cleverly locked up.
True freedom means freedom for the “poor,” freedom for the “rich,” freedom for the “weak” and freedom for the “strong.” Human freedom means freedom for everyone.
Think about this as the 2014 candidates begin stepping up their promises to fulfill artificially created rights. Everything in life has a price, and, make no mistake about it, the price of artificially created rights is bondage – the exchange of your natural rights for government-created rights.
Before voting in the 2014 elections, everyone should take a good look in the mirror and ask himself, “Are any of the candidates promising to do what is necessary to make America into the kind of country I want for my children and grandchildren?” In a majority of cases, the answer should be a resounding no. And, if so, most people have no reason to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, since they will be asked to choose between two statist candidates, neither of which believes in true freedom.
To knowingly vote for the lesser of two evils is just about the most evil thing a person can do.