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Freedom

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
- Eric Hoffer

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Varying Verity - Truth never changes, only our understanding into what it is . . .

Complement

Freedom Only Exists With Individual Action
by SARTRE

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Where is the Spirit of the Parents?

Once the mood of alienation dominated society. Now the condition of apathy reigns. Our collective nature has not changed, but what has died is our will for self respect. No longer is this nation the land of the brave, for it has become the cocoon of the timid. The oligarchy of control did not reach the pinnacle of power through a coup d'etat. They were blessed to rule by the Sheeple (or sheep-people) looking for a grassland, free - for them to feed upon. How absurd, the fantasy of government bounty.

The character of America is but a hollow shell of past generations. Today the "me generation" has grayed to become the "you owe me" generation. The health of the Republic has transmuted into the stoicism of the captive. Willful resignation is not only the abode of the desperate, it has become the residue of the beggar. Society applauds the indigent and fears the independent. Alas, the savior of the weak is the State - which no one dare deny. The cure for all the ills, lies in the sustenance of that monthly check . . .

So goes the tale of modern America. The annals of this transition has accelerated with each war. Wilson made us proud to make the world safe for government. Roosevelt showed us the vision of empire and the generosity of our federal father. Truman proved the wisdom of civilian control. Johnson gave us the joy of humbling defeat, while Nixon preached the benefits of deceit. And Bush I and George II pave the way and oil the road to permanent government service.

Yes, our history is rich in it's respect for individual conscience, as long as it coincides with the prevailing policies . . . But you say how great and powerful we are and how the wealth has been shared among us all. We live longer, we are better informed, we are mutlicultured and who could deny that we have the best public servants the world has ever seen? Ah, we must be happy - just give us more . . .

Can anyone dispute that our leaders have served well? No longer need we toil for our daily bread. Long gone are the days of personal burden, dear old dad does all the work. And who really needs those coins in our pockets, our plight is not our own - but is shared by each and paid by all. Finally we live our dream, freedom is dead.

As the new millennium takes shape, the disruption of electoral change is no longer a concern. The faces may change, but the same polices remain. What need could there be to risk the confusion of change? We have it good and have learned, since those days long back - when we were in school. No more estrangement, we have our share of the common loot. All that fuss in choice just drains the soul. Better to accept, so we can forget . . . as our government love fest shows.

The prospects for personal freedom is still well and real. It's not the individual that has an altered nature, but the society that humanity built. The collective mind has been shaped to accept agreement and punish singular achievement. The reality of today's mass culture shuns risk and rewards pack behavior. The herd is protected, while the stallion is gelded. To overcome the group think, one needs to rebel. Looking to elected officer holders for relief is like waiting for the politician to get religion. They are all practicing hedonist heretics, just lusting for power.

The upheaval of campus defiance is the mirror of adult hypocrisy. Even when dead wrong on the issues, the passion of a cause allows life to flow within their veins. The "future is now" and the world is owed a difference. Freedom is often chaotic and rowdy, but it is always a response to a willful choice. Even when it's an unconscious act, the mindset accepts the need for choosing. Youth understands vulnerability. Failure is acceptable, for achievement must be learned.

Contrast this with the intensity from the walking dead who value careers, while perfecting institutional insanity. They are our mature managers.  They are tools of the masters in designed malaise. They are the one's who demand complacency. They are the crowd that promote mediocrity. For they are the truly lost parents, of the future generation.

Freedom requires individual action. Government can never be tamed without continuous confrontation. The State never raises the level of freedom for they are in the business of maintaining control. People create freedom when they defy the seducement of the charlatan,  posing as a public benefactor. Civic institutions project the illusion of security and stability, for the mere price of surrendering  personal freedom.

Those who reject the nature of our species rise to positions of authority, while holding true to their base appetites. Freedom is core to our purpose. It is attained in only one way, one act at a time. No legislature, bureaucracy, court or king can give you that which only you can create. So why bother with the trappings of a fraud that is called democracy? Allowing your essence as a person to be incarcerated by the whims of the mob is insane. Accepting the schemes of the potentate, as a substitute for the dignity of the individual, is psychotic. But the Sheeple are many - while the free are few.

The purity of adolescence is lost not with years, but is surrendered willingly to the seductive allure of the harlot State. Laws may extend equitable treatment, but they never originate freedom. Only the individual can be free, for the State never has "rights". It's only purpose is to serve the citizen. This is a lesson that is seldom learned, but can never be denied. Voluntary human relationships are normal and are known when young. Rebellion is natural and experienced when young. But when the fruit of a tainted government diet is ingested, the insight of youth turns into the apathy of maturity.

Freedom liberates the spirit, cures the cynicism and heals the guilt. So will you forage upon the public pasture or will you celebrate the delight of your youth - REBEL ????

Essence

Does freedom have a chance?
by George F. Smith

If the world is slipping inexorably toward statism, then what grounds do freedom fighters have for optimism?  With the citizens of the freest country on earth calling for more government control in their lives after government control has failed spectacularly throughout all of history, who would even listen to a plea for freedom?

People who fight for freedom often study United States history because that's where it once nearly existed without compromise.  But even that is depressing, because it's a story of how a free country started with a contradiction but corrected it with an unnecessary war that killed 640,000 Americans and established the idea that social goals are to be achieved through the compulsory power of the federal government.  We were no longer a union of voluntary states after Lincoln's war; we were states held together at the point of a federal gun.  By putting the states under federal control, the federal government established a coercive monopoly on the rule of law.

Although repeated failure usually extinguishes the life of other entities, in the case of the federal government, failures foster its growth.  When its failures reach crisis proportions, the growth comes in great leaps.  We keep moving toward complete state rule, yet mainstream intellectuals sound few warnings.  Apparently, we're to believe a totalitarian government here wonąt be the same as it was in Germany, the Soviet Union, or China.

Since we attempt to re-create our government periodically through voting, it would appear the way to change this trend is to vote ourselves a free society.  But in our current culture, this won't work.  Most people think freedom is wrong or at least dangerous, and so won't vote for it.  And the two major political parties have formed a cartel to keep out competition.

With rare exceptions, neither Republicans nor Democrats are going to promote freedom by trying to cut government to its constitutional limits.  The hope for freedom, therefore, lies mainly in third-party candidates, specifically the Libertarians.  But the political process makes it very hard for third parties to get their message out.

As Harry Browne explains, the Republicans and Democrats have laid down the law.  To begin with, there's new campaign finance legislation that helps incumbents stay in office.  Along with that are the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requirements for reporting campaign donations, which causes a severe drain on the very limited resources of third parties.

Another obstacle is taxpayer subsidies.  In the 2000 presidential election, Bush and Gore took $67.6 million each from taxpayers' pockets to fund their campaigns.  "The general-election subsidies are limited to parties that received 5% or more of the vote in the previous presidential election," Mr. Browne writes.  But Libertarians, as the party of small government, could not accept the subsidies without compromising their principles, even if they met requirements.

The TV presidential debates are legally rigged to exclude any but the two major party candidates.  "The Republicans and Democrats decreed by law that the Debate Commission would consist of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, but no one else.  The Commission then decided to limit participation in the debates to (surprise!) just the Republican and Democratic candidates," Mr. Browne says.

Jesse Ventura's popularity soared after he got into the Minnesota debates in 1998, Mr. Browne points out, enabling him to pull a big upset.  The major parties donąt want that to happen again.

Just getting on the ballot in most states is expensive for third-party candidates.  State laws require them to pay much larger filing fees and collect far more petition signatures than Republicans or Democrats to become eligible for the ballot.

Because of these legal hurdles, the media virtually ignores third-party candidates because their chances for victory are unrealistic.  And with third parties kept off TV, the public will never hear of them.

We could still vote our way to freedom, in principle, but that will take Supreme Court intervention.  Harry Browne and Perry Willis have filed suit against the FEC to put them out of business.  It would be great if they can kill the FEC.  But even if they do, there are still formidable cultural barriers.

Freedom today is almost as unpopular as terrorism.  People hear that terrorists were free to get into our country, were free to attend flight-training school, were free to board airplanes with box cutters. Since 9-11 the government has mounted an undeclared war on freedom.  It's as if they can stop terrorism by eliminating that which terrorists try to destroy.  And the public overwhelmingly approves this approach.  So even if freedom advocates do get on TV, who will listen to them?

The answer is, Americans will -- if they hear the right words.  The biggest battle being fought today is not in the Middle East or Afghanistan -- it's here, and the fight is for the minds of semi-free Americans.  They are not blind to government destruction.  They are open to better ideas.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. recently published an excellent speech called "The Marvel That is Capitalism."  He notes that during the last two centuries under capitalism, "life spans have more than doubled and the world population has increased one thousand times."  Capitalism, he points out, has liberated "mankind from poverty, dependency, and despotic rule."

"Given this history," Mr. Rockwell says, "one might think that everyone would sit and marvel at the products of capitalism. We might think that intellectuals would dedicate their lives to defending this system and explaining its merits."

Of course, this has not happened. "The intellectual world often appears to be a conspiracy against market economics, and the media routinely ridicule capitalism," he says.

We can speculate on why intellectuals and the media have sabotaged our social system, but the important point is their views are groundless.  No one can justify initiating physical force against another person, and that's what their positions reduce to every time. If enough people accept the idea of voluntary human relationships, we can get our lives back.

History shows us that ideas move the world.  The fight for freedom is allied with reality, including the Constitution.  That is reason enough for optimism.

 
The truth is always the strongest argument
Sophocles

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