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Second question: Can freedom be made attractive?

I’m borrowing this idea from puptent and Pat, who posted similar, but not quite the same, questions:

Second question: Is it possible to make freedom (including the aspect of personnel responsibility) attractive? Is it feasible to inspire people to see that the free will of a thinking individual is more noble than obedient citizenship? If so, what are some ways this might be done?

41 Comments

  1. RickB
    RickB March 5, 2013 4:32 am

    Yes and no.
    I don’t see much hope for the generation to which Claire and I belong.
    OTOH I’ve seen lots of signs of young people (on the internet, especially) urging personal responsibility. I think we’re going to have to wait a while–until more homeschooled kids (and other free thinkers) grow up to be “authorities” and opinion molders. They will be able to lead a cultural change where personal responsibility becomes mainstream.
    I don’t think most people will ever really think or care about freedom until it’s “cool.” Then they will demonstrate their liberty by going along with the crowd.

  2. Sam
    Sam March 5, 2013 4:45 am

    Unless the government is killing people in mass then I think most people don’t even think about freedom. So how can we bring this into the front of everyones minds? Really well done propaganda. The Hunger Games. Little Brother. Etc. We need popular culture to embrace freedom and to do that we need to educate all the different ‘freedom groups’ so they work together. Hackers unite with 2nd amendment lovers. Legalize drugs folks unite with the end the fed folks. The raw milk folks to unite with the gay marriage folks. ETC… There are so many people that have their freedom “niche” we just need to show them how much we are all alike and join together.

  3. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember March 5, 2013 5:59 am

    “The raw milk folks to unite with the gay marriage folks.”

    It’s difficult to see that happening when it’s put like that.

    Refine the message? Narrow the banner under which they walk?
    I.e. The people who do not think the goberment should determine what people can eat or drink folks to unite with people who think the goberment should get out of the marriage license business.

  4. Karen
    Karen March 5, 2013 6:08 am

    I’m not sure you could get a small roomful of people to even agree on what freedom is anymore. I want to be free to smoke and you want to be free from smoke. You want to be free from all the crap in our foods today and I want to be free from the constant unending slavery of growing/raising/preserving my own food. I’m free to live in the forest and you’re free not to. Most of these disagreements as to the nature of freedom could easily be solved by simple common sense and common courtesy, but those are sorely lacking in this country today. Freedom is entirely too much of a burden to catch on, imo.

  5. BadJoe
    BadJoe March 5, 2013 6:21 am

    Most people think they are free now. You only insult them when you suggest they aren’t

  6. Joel
    Joel March 5, 2013 6:29 am

    It’s possible to gain that attitude – most people here prove that. Legend has it that was once the default attitude of Americans in general, but I personally think it’s a myth. Otherwise Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt and all their generations of bureaucrats would have been hung from lamp posts. Washington might have been allowed to survive for old time’s sake but forced out of office in favor of somebody who didn’t think the whiskey tax was a good idea.

    So is it feasible to inspire great masses of people to see that the free will of a thinking individual is more noble than obedient citizenship? I don’t know. I certainly don’t know how. Personally I’m not optimistic. I think those of us who say such things will always be voices crying in the wilderness. But I’d absolutely love for someone to prove me wrong.

  7. Joel
    Joel March 5, 2013 6:33 am

    BTW, Karen accurately pointed out one of the greatest propaganda tools of our opponents. The expression, “freedom from… (smoke, violence, unregulated food, etc.)” That meme was a brilliant stroke, even if I do despise it.

  8. Brian
    Brian March 5, 2013 6:48 am

    Not a solution but some interesting observations from a Native American quoted in Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn:

    “This is something I have thought about for a long time. It’s about white people and why they don’t understand us…. I think it’s because the most important thing for white people is freedom. The most important thing for Indian people is honor…. But the Indian has always been free. We are free today. We have always been freer than the white man, even when he first came here….”
    “The white world puts all the power at the top…. When someone gets to the top, they have the power to take your freedom. When your people first came to our land, they were trying to get away from those people at the top. But they still thought the same way, and soon there
    were new people at the top in the new country….”
    “In your churches there is someone at the top. In your schools, too. In your business. There is always someone at the top, and that person has the right to say whether you are good or bad. They own you.”
    “No wonder Americans always worry about freedom. You have so damn little of it. If you don’t protect it, someone will take it away from you. You have to guard it every second, like a dog guards a bone….”
    “When you came among us, you couldn’t understand our way. You wanted to find the person at the top. You wanted to find the fences that bound us in–how far our land went, how far our government went. Your world was made of cages, you believed in them. They defined your world, and you needed them to define ours.”
    “Our old people noticed this from the beginning. They said the white man lived in a world of cages, and that if we didn’t look out, they would make us live in a world of cages, too.”
    “So we started noticing. Everything looked like cages. Your clothes fit like cages. Your houses looked like cages. You put fences around your yards so they looked like cages too. Everything was a cage. You turned the land into cages, little squares.”
    “Then after you had all these cages, you made a government to protect the cages. And that government was all cages. All laws about what you couldn’t do. The only freedom you had was inside your own cage. Then you wondered why you weren’t happy and didn’t feel free. You made all the cages, then you wondered why you didn’t feel free.”

  9. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal March 5, 2013 7:26 am

    When you ask “can freedom be made attractive?” what you are really asking is whether freedom can be made attractive to people who don’t want it. Probably not.
    Some people just don’t want it, even if they’ll say they do. They will simply choose to define what they like as “freedom”.
    So how can they be taught to want freedom? My naughty thought is to introduce people to more things (especially prohibited things) so they’ll want the freedom to do those, too. I’m not sure how that would work out, but until people have a hunger to do things that some moron behind a desk or a badge is saying they can’t do, how will they know they are not free? How will they know what they have been missing?

  10. Mic
    Mic March 5, 2013 8:00 am

    Yes, if you get people sold on freedom and what it grants BEFORE they become addicted to some form of government gravy. After they get on some type of government handout I think it is impossible to free their mind and bend it towards freedom if they perceive in anyway that doing so will jeopardize their “free” handout. I believe it boils down to basic economics for most people.

    Their is also another group of lazy thinkers out there. These are people who are far to interested in the really important stuff in life like who just won American Idol and that the next Ipod Touch is about come out to research and know what is happening around them or to even care about it if they did. This group is also gone.

    The bottom line is people who want true freedom and the responsibility it brings are truly a small minority and overcoming the stupid, uninformed and lazy masses will be impossible.

  11. Jim B.
    Jim B. March 5, 2013 8:26 am

    Unfortunately, for most people, it comes down to this: What’s in it for me?

  12. Pat
    Pat March 5, 2013 8:27 am

    I’ve been thinking about my own question, and the wording of Claire’s question, “Can freedom be made attractive?” gives an answer of sorts to mine: I’m not sure freedom can ever be made attractive – there’s too much insecurity in it for most people.

    Freedom is an individual thing, society is not. While “we just want to be left alone” is a common complaint here, to be truly left alone is not secure, nor safe, nor even guaranteed to be successful. Individuals are willing to take that chance.
    In a society, being left alone cannot and will not be tolerated; conformity is the rule “for the safety of all” – and any deviation is misunderstood and suspected of being foreign, not to be trusted or endured. People who prefer to live in groups are not willing to take as many chances. This is the enemy freedom fights.

    The “freedom from…” meme that Joel mentioned reminded me of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedom paintings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms_%28Norman_Rockwell%29, taken from one of Roosevelt’s speeches, in which Roosevelt equates freedom OF with freedom FROM. I have wondered before if Rockwell’s influence did as much to promote the “freedom from” meme as Roosevelt did, because Rockwell was almost universally read, respected and beloved at that time.

  13. ILTim
    ILTim March 5, 2013 8:31 am

    Hmmm….

    First thought, free for me, rules for you!

    How does one make a person see that they have, inadvertently, adopted that mantra? See MADD, Homeowners Associations, Democrats.

    Its hard (for almost everyone) to accept that freedom is turning your back to other people and simply keeping your hands to yourself, mouth shut, until or unless asked otherwise. Its easier to think of problems and solutions, all of which universally require breaking the hands and mouth rule.

  14. ILTim
    ILTim March 5, 2013 8:41 am

    So I guess I’m saying that when people think of freedom, they actually are only able to think in terms more akin to socialism. The problem of trying to ‘be more free’ is solved only by applying more rules and controls. In other words, we are hung up again on ‘what is freedom?’.

    Keep your hands to yourself, and your mouth shut. If you have to break this rule, your are violating freedom. That’s my take, and man alive do I think that looks like a hard thing to make attractive. Requires a whole change of paradigm.

  15. Laird
    Laird March 5, 2013 8:50 am

    Most people fear freedom, because they fear the responsibility which necessarily comes with it. So my answer is “no”.

  16. Matt, another
    Matt, another March 5, 2013 8:56 am

    I would go with NO. Freedom also implies personaly responsibility. Many people, especially the younger generations and many of the boomers, prefer to avoid responsibility. They only want to make minor decisions that are unimportant and prefer that someone, anyone makes the major decisions. Look at the credibility given to “celebrity” opinions even when the celebrity is a human cesspool. The lure of communism, fascism, socialism and most religions is that someone else will handle the big decisions, let you be “free” from the drudge of personal responsibility and provide someone elst to clean up the messes and pick up the bills. Unfortuantely many (the majority?) have accepted that it is okay for government to define their personal freedom (making it as un free as possible).

    I would also suggest that Freedom is not attractive because you can’t readily see the profit in it. You can attach Freedom slogans to products for marketing, but it is not the same as true Freedom.

  17. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember March 5, 2013 9:21 am

    Incomplete thought:

    After the Civil War, or so I’ve read, many former slaves just sat on the front porch of the plantation and did nothing, went nowehere and didn’t know what to do.

    Forty acres and a mule was a goberment solution to that situation.

    Is that similar to how an animal weans its young?

  18. Matt, another
    Matt, another March 5, 2013 9:33 am

    If you look at historical history, regardless of races involved, era or geographical location you will find a similarity that runs through it all. All of the slaves had plenty of individual freedom within the parameters of their slavery. They could do and say anything they wanted too as long as it was within what was/is allowed by their masters. Sometimes entire ethnic groups or classes of persons were enslaved and had freedom within that slavery. They only got into trouble when they forgot those rules and stepped outside the lines of their enslavement.

    Getting people to understand that freedom defined by the ruling class is not Freedom is the hard part.

  19. akaGaGa
    akaGaGa March 5, 2013 9:53 am

    Etienne de la Boetie understood and wrote in the 1500’s that all a tyrant need do to prevent revolts was provide brothels, taverns, and public games. [See “The Politics of Obedience” at Lew Rockwell.]

    Do we really think human nature has changed?

  20. water lily
    water lily March 5, 2013 9:57 am

    I hate to stereotype, because stereotypes usually don’t hold up, and it’s so collectivist. So, my disclaimer is that I am referring to *most* people, not all people.

    Can you make freedom attractive? I don’t know. True freedom may be too scary a concept now. I think that truth is attractive to some folks, though.

    Random pessimistic thoughts:

    Most want to be free to amuse themselves to death. Then when they get into trouble, they want a (medical, financial, emotional, or spiritual) bailout from Big Gov, or Big Corp, or Big Religion.

    Most folks today are just babies in adult bodies. Babies (and puppies) want to be free to do things that make them feel good. But once something feels bad, they want comfort from Mama/Papa.

    I know that this sounds pessimistic, but most humans don’t even know the definition of freedom anymore. They think freedom means democracy, voting, and acquiring more stuff. Their thinking is backwards – they think that the government should make more laws and commit more aggression to protect their freedom.

    Freedom for those clueless folks does not mean freedom for all. If they don’t agree with you, or they don’t like you, or they fear you, – well then, you aren’t entitled to the same freedom.

    I would like to hear answers to your questions from people who grew up in the USSR or Communist Eastern Europe. I think that would be enlightening.

    I don’t know that you can make freedom more attractive, but I still believe in gently and respectfully educating people one at a time. You never know.

    Many young people were attracted to Ron Paul’s message, and moved away from conventional political thinking over the last 5 years. I think it was because he told them the truth and didn’t try to “tickle their ears.”

    Younger folks don’t want BS. They want honesty. So maybe there is hope.

    Sorry I can’t give a yes or no. It’s too complicated.

  21. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 5, 2013 10:30 am

    Two kinds of people… those who want to control others or be controlled, and those who do not want either one. The idea of not wanting responsibility is part of it, of course, but more as a symptom than a cause.

    I suspect they will eventually form two distinct human species. Seems to me it is hardwired already.

    Some seem able to move from one category to the other, but I suspect they don’t actually change their basic nature, just learn about the nature they always really had. We see this in children born to good families, surrounded by love, who nonetheless become controllers and aggressors of one sort or another. And I’ve seen people come from a completely authoratarian and repressive background into full self ownership and non-aggression. Is it in the genes? Who knows.

    A is A. A thing or person is what they are. They simply need to discover who they really are sometimes, but they cannot be changed against their will.

  22. Bear
    Bear March 5, 2013 11:28 am

    Probably I should wait to post this — with appropriate changes — after I see where Claire’s next three questions go, but what the heck.

    >LONG RANT WARNING<

    Well, Claire, you've asked two questions so far. Despite the small test range and sample size, I think you've already found a trend.

    1. [D]o you believe that there is likely to be any peaceful solution for restoring freedom?
    No.

    2. Is it possible to make freedom (including the aspect of personnel responsibility) attractive?
    No.

    (This almost begs the question of: If freedom isn't attractive and you can't find a "peaceful solution for restoring freedom", are people advocating _forcing_ freedom on everyone? That should get the usual "how many Ayn Rands can dance on the head of a pin" nonaggression principle arguments going again.)

    I propose a sixth question. Or maybe a replacement third inquiry:
    Given the apparent attractions of nonfreedom, and the difficulties accompanying freedom, why choose freedom versus the easier option? Why bother promoting freedom to those who don't want it, specifically reject it, and aren't capable of benefiting from it?

    Then you could solicit views of the future. I suspect most of the realistic ones will look a lot like _Anthem_ minus the "happy" ending (and notice that was possible only because the hive society simply didn't care enough to reclaim the escapee, mainly because — in turn — he didn't have anything worth the effort of stealing; that would change if he lived long enough to amass a "surplus").

    A lot of anarchist-type libertarians like to point out the very long period of human existence (50-120K years, depending on how you define human, and not addressing "creationist" nonevolutionary views which basically don't even show much of an ungoverned period anyway) prior to the first emergence of governments approximately 9,000 years ago (again, depending on your definitions, and subject to change as more archeological discoveries are made). They have a point: humans lived primitive lives for tens of thousands of years, then chose government, and have stubbornly _refused_ to give it up ever since.

    I freely admit that I am not offering a solution here. That's the point: there are none. I have offered (and worked at, and gone broke working at) various solutions over the years; none worked. I've solicited other proposals. Those offered fell into one of two very general categories: 1) Let's keep doing what didn't work before and it'll _surely_ work this time ("let's be like the Dems/Reps only with principle certainly fits into this cubby hole), and 2) "Let's close our eyes and pretend we're free, 'cuz the statist boogieman can't see us if we can't see him." Regrettably, bullets don't care if you see them or now, since they're moving too fast to see anyway.

    There is a third class: "If we just had magically advanced technology we could make them leave us alone, or launch our entire Free State into outer space." I'll consider that when someone demonstrates the working magical technology, along with how the State using can't stop you anyway. The _closest_ I've seen to that was a freaking madman (and gov informer) who tried to recruit people to buy black market ex-Soviet nukes to _blackmail_ the country into leaving them alone; his plan included preemptively nuking a city to prove they were serious.

  23. Tahn
    Tahn March 5, 2013 11:59 am

    I remember someone on the forum (perhaps you Claire) once describing freedom as remembering that feeling you had on the last day of school before summer recess and the last bell rings and you run out the door thrilled and exhilarated to be FREE.

  24. Tahn
    Tahn March 5, 2013 12:06 pm

    If you can make them hate control, slavery or dependence, will that help them to love liberty and freedom?

  25. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal March 5, 2013 12:31 pm

    Bear- “If freedom isn’t attractive and you can’t find a ‘peaceful solution for restoring freedom’, are people advocating _forcing_ freedom on everyone?

    This reminds me of the whine I heard from a particular bur under my saddle. When I refused to let her control me, she cried that I was forcing my will on her. I pointed out that she was free to go away. I don’t wish to force anyone to be free, but not letting them enslave me is not forcing them to be free. They can still enslave each other til their shriveled little “hearts” burst with joy.

  26. gooch
    gooch March 5, 2013 12:40 pm

    “Can freedom be made attractive?”
    Sadly No.
    It requires the individual accept the responsibility of ALL of their actions. With no guarantees of any kind.
    That’s gonna be a hard sell to the “send button” mindset predominant today.
    …..
    “Hey! I pushed the send button …. Where’s my freebies??”

  27. Bear
    Bear March 5, 2013 1:16 pm

    Kent, thanks for illustrating my point.

    If someone steals your business, or the proceeds thereof, that’s bad. The vast majority of people view government as their business and it’s work is taking from anyone who has anything and giving it to them. They see you as stealing their business. That’s bad.

    The only way to correct that is through eductation. But the VMoP don’t want to be educated that way because they like what they have. I’ve personally spent decades working on the education problem. And failing. Taking the quadrennial poll as an example, in which the “libertarian” pro-freedom view has never polled more than 5%, everyone has failed in educating people to want freedom, despite many decades of work. History and archeology tell us that once people got the idea of government, that’s consistently what they’ve wanted for the past 9,000 years.

    Historically, the tiny fraction of a percent who preferred freedom could go elsewhere. There’s nowhere left to go. The only theoretically possible “places” require so that many resources (just to get there, and then to survive) be acquired first, that you merely make yourself a visible target for governmental acquisition and redistribution before you can get out.

    The best you can do in the real world is hunker down and hope they don’t get around to you until you’ve died anyway. I used to want to be married and have kids. Now I’m glad I never got that lucky.

  28. Pre-press veteran
    Pre-press veteran March 5, 2013 1:21 pm

    Huh. This is a marketing question to me. But the product is something that’s supposed to be “good for you”… except it requires some thought, some integrity (how’s that for an old-fashioned word?), and a whole lotta work. (sorta like DIY rice cakes)

    All three of those requirements by themselves are problematic for a good section of the “market”. Put ’em together… and well, you’ve got an edsel.

    Freedom’s just no fuuuuuunnnnn,,,,,, duuuddde.

    And so it will continue: the sacrifice of freedom for a false sense of security “guaranteed” by the Great White Father (ha-ha) who speaks with two tongues. I generally give these people the benefit of the doubt… and it’s not very “nice”… but I’m honestly starting to believe these people are a future “zombie” population. They truly will become the govt’s biggest problem… because those are the people who can say “I’d rather be murdered than own a gun” and MEAN IT.

    And even if we gave them simple step-by-step instructions, they still wouldn’t understand why freedom was important — until it was gone.

    Sometimes, people are too far gone to rehabilitate. But it’s been a pretty rough day so far.

  29. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit March 5, 2013 3:23 pm

    Think of freedom as a big ol’ honkin’ warthog. It’s only going to be attractive to other warthogs, ones who agree with it already. The importanter (so to speak) question is whether you can make liberty attractive – which I would define as the willingness to not interfere with OTHER people’s freedom.

    People will always want their own freedom, as much as possible. But making them keep their warthoggy snouts out of *my* business? Not terribly likely.

  30. MTY
    MTY March 5, 2013 4:12 pm

    No….because it is work and sacrifice.

    In my experience, if people are not interested in freedom, it is because they have a piece of them that does not want to work for it, or do the hard work of maintaining it, or they don’t want to work on giving up what they perceive as a convenience.

  31. Aynonymous
    Aynonymous March 5, 2013 4:27 pm

    “Unfortunately, for most people, it comes down to this: What’s in it for me?”

    Why do you hate Capitalism?

  32. Mr Galt
    Mr Galt March 5, 2013 6:17 pm

    Not if “obedient citizenship” includes EBT cards and Obamaphones. People are largely vacuous idiots.

  33. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember March 5, 2013 6:42 pm

    Ok, I had a real world conversation this evening which was a bit eye opening in this subject.

    People who have acted uninterested, and dismissed our positions on freedom and the facts we point out (such as the new tanks for Main Street) while heaping on a ton of scoffiness – are starting to put two and two together – and are saying they get it… even if it’s only partially, it’s a baby step and it’s beginning to look like they Can learn to walk,… fast.

    Six months ago we told them so, -> today, they are recollecting those “I told you so” moments.

    I’m thinking, it’s not matter of pointing out the benefits and virtues of freedom so much as it’s more about pointing out the lies, downfalls and inconsistencies from the state which are becoming more and more apparent with each passing day.

    I think it’s important to focus on revealing the weakness of their positions by discussing and pointing out the flaws at the root of their thinking instead of trying to dissuade them by discussing the leaves on the branches of their positions on things. I.e. rather than pointing out how welfare is bad and has bad repercussions, point out how taxation is theft _then_ work upwards. There was a recent LRC article addressing this subject exactly this way, regrettably I cannot locate it at the moment to show you what I mean.

    I don’t intend to forcefully make the Progressives around me embrace freedom or want it. If, however; they willingly continue to pursue dialogue with me and my kind, I/we will force them to face the lies, downfalls and inconsistencies from the state which are becoming more and more apparent with each passing day.

    I can’t make a horse drink water, but I sure as heck can make a horse recognize a snake is dangerous, in fact, it shouldn’t be all that difficult. It just takes time, and requires a snake to do the things which makes it a snake.

    Maybe this is a different kind of example of pointing out the bad?:

    “WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The spending cuts mandated by the sequester may hamper the United States’s ability to invade countries for absolutely no reason, a Pentagon spokesman warned today.
    The Pentagon made this gloomy assessment amid widespread fears that the nation’s ability to wage totally optional wars based on bogus pretexts may be in peril.” ….
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/133309.html#more-133309

    How could anyone rah-rah root for that? It’s just like the tanks for Main Street.

    When people start encountering more meanness from the state, our words will pop into their minds (IMHO) especially after having encounters like this one:

    “In every single call I made to a private company, the first words spoken on the other end were, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” In contrast, even though our county is rural, and one would expect some inkling of neighborliness even at the courthouse, the Wicked Witch of Revenue couldn’t muster so much as a pleasant tone of voice.” …
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/133291.html

    Or this?:

    “Obummercare forces you to hand over your guns before you, your spouse or your child receives critical surgery.” …

    http://www.kraytonkerns.org/postings/without_a_shot.html

    What is it that Progressives and Conservatives love so much about the state?
    Point out how it does not love them, and how it fails them, with venom.

    I hope that adds to the discussion here.

  34. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember March 5, 2013 7:49 pm

    Did teenagers stop wearing polyester pants because blue jeans were cool, or was it because they thought polyester pants had become uncool?

  35. Mr Galt
    Mr Galt March 5, 2013 9:00 pm

    @IndividualAudienceMember

    That second link in particular (http://www.kraytonkerns.org/postings/without_a_shot.html) was especially eye-opening, and pretty much reinforces the point I made in the Freedom Question #1 thread. Most people will give it up without firing a single shot. It’s the nature of most humans. And our rulers are experts at playing this game while we are mere amateurs.

    On the question of polyester versus blue jeans? I think it was because the polyester makes one’s crouch sweat something awful.

  36. Karen
    Karen March 6, 2013 5:33 am

    One last quick example. Msn homepage always has a little poll. this morning the poll asks if the new change at TSA, to allow small knives on airplanes, is OK. I expected a rousing response in favor of allowing small knives.

    64%(over 45,000 votes) said NO! It’ll make passengers less safe.

  37. Jim Klein
    Jim Klein March 6, 2013 6:36 am

    Sorry to be disagreeable, but I think you’ve all bought into the epistemological breakdown that marks our current times.

    Individual freedom and responsibility are NOT fundamentally matters of morality, nor persuasion. The “morality” involved is only accepting things as they are—in more formal terms, striving for correspondent identification.

    Water at room temperature is liquid. Hence it’s “right” to recognize this and “wrong” to believe anything else. It’s not a moral issue, except insofar as one is willing to recognize the fact.

    We ARE volitional individuals and we DO motivate ourselves pursuant to our individually-derived decisions. This is a FACT, and responsibility is just a concept for what goes along with that. IOW we can SAY we’re not responsible, we can BELIEVE others have caused our actions (like in the Davidian thread), but we CAN’T make any of that true. And ultimately, when one believes that which isn’t true, one fails to survive. That antifreeze that you thought was as good as water, kills you.

    Begin at the beginning. You ARE free and you ARE responsible. Everything else is just noise about whether or not you’re going to accept these simple facts. That’s all the collectivists have been doing all along–rationalizing why they won’t accept them–and the world will change when rational folk refuse to join that club.

  38. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau March 7, 2013 12:33 pm

    It’s mostly lack of freedom that makes freedom attractive. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?” Our task is not to make freedom look better than bread and circuses. Our task is to sell freedom when the bread and circuses dry up. At least some will then receive the message. Panarchy will take care of living among the rest…

    Which by the way, is something else that we have to sell. We can NEVER convert everyone into a freedom-lover.

  39. Concealed Carrying Cyclist
    Concealed Carrying Cyclist March 7, 2013 4:02 pm

    People don’t want freedom half as much as they want freebies.

  40. puptent
    puptent March 9, 2013 9:53 am

    I seen that the idea of “what’s in it for me?” (Jim B said it directly, others have pointed it out, as well) seems to predominate. People will select in their best interest. They may actually be selecting AGAINST their best interest, but their perception of what is painful and what is rewarding have been skewed through training. And no one escapes The Training. Some see through it, some escape it, and some have been exposed to an alternative training. When a Dept. of Education was established at the Federal Level the major battle was fought and won by the Statism supporters. Oh, and the Welfare State makes an excellent “For” vote when it comes to a self interest. Wasn’t it Adams that said that when the citizenry realizes that they can vote themselves treasure the republic was lost?

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