Monday, March 20, 2017

Freedom From ...?

My local county newspaper, The Macomb Daily--Macomb County abuts Wayne County, the home of Detroit--carried an oped by Walter Williams on this Sunday 03/19. It's titled "True Liberty is not for wimps."

Mr Williams writes
"Congress has no resources of its very own. If Congress gives one person something that he did not earn, it necessarily requires that Congress deprive somebody else of something that he did earn."

Very true, and continues with:
"Another area in which there is contempt of liberty, most notably on many college campuses, is free speech.
 The true test of one's commitment to free speech does not come when he permits others to say things with which he agrees. Instead, the true test comes when one permits others to say things with which he disagrees."

True again and adds:

"A very difficult liberty pill  for many Americans to swallow is freedom of association. As with free speech, the true test for one's commitment to freedom of association does not come when one permits people to voluntarily associate in ways that he deems acceptable.
The true test is when he permits people to associate in ways he deems offensive."
I was happy  to see these ideas of true individualism in my county's paper. We need many more discussions on the meaning of freedom and I'm bouyed by the fact that Mr. Williams is a syndicated columnist who is widely read.

But the question is why do so many Americans today appear to be political wimps? I say it is because they are intellectual wimps i.e. they are not being taught the real meaning of freedom in any of our public schools.

My favorite writer on freedom, Ayn Rand, writes:
"Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state--and nothing else." (From the essay 'Conservatism: An Obituary' from her book "Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal"

It also means freedom to associate or not with people of one's own choosing. In a free market any buyer can refuse to buy and any seller can refuse to sell regardless of reasons. Mr Williams is right, many people find this liberty pill hard to swallow. Today's leftists believe freedom means freedom from want, of any kind. And they are willing to employ the tyranny of government force on others to get it.

This is why it is so critical to get government out of education. Progressive Education has already produced several generations of such intellectual wimps who now need remedial courses on the real meaning of political freedom.
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