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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Claire Wolfe

Mythperceptions and a vision of freedom

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Urge people to free themselves, or even offer a little good news about freedom, and somebody is bound to retort with some anti-freedom myth. Two big ones that have made appearances in recent comment sections here at Ye Olde Blog are:

Government is so powerful it’ll stop us. (It’ll disarm us, cut off our ‘Net access, round us all up and put us in camps, etc.)

Yes, but there will still be people who … (Want to take our guns, support government programs, can’t handle freedom, etc.)

That second one doesn’t look like a myth on its face. There will always be people who want to use power to oppress others. There will always be people who don’t hold our values (in fact, from year-to-year we may not even hold our own values). But the statement expresses a myth: We can’t be free until everyone agrees with us.

And you know what? Those statements are just a big lazy pair of excuses.

Government’s biggest power is this: it’s better than any human force on earth at perpetrating violence and creating chaos. Yes, it’s excellent at that.

But fer cryin’ out loud! Take our guns? Deprive us of the ‘Net? Round us up? Or whatever other giant sweep we may fear? Just go ahead and let some government try.

Then we’ll see how “powerful” government is.

All you have to do is look at the drug war, a battle the fedgov’s been waging since 1937, and that’s been all-out for decades. Yeah, it’s damaged millions of lives. Yeah, it’s killed people. Yeah, yeah, yeah, to all the bad things.

And you can still get damn near any drug you want in any place you go looking for it. More potent and cheaper than ever.

Some “power.” That’s the all-mighty force you’re so afraid of?

And all those Other People who want to repress us or who just can’t properly wrap their brains around the ideas of Rothbard or McElroy or whoever … so what?

You really think you can’t be free until everyone’s converted to your point of view? Then you’re just another futile, door-banging proselytizer (except I’ll bet you don’t even bother banging on doors; you just sit and whine about how people are so stupid or so wrong).

You really think you can’t be free until everyone thinks like you? Well, that’s a damned handy way to say, “I don’t really want to be free.” Because — thank gods — we’re never going to have a world where everybody’s on the same political page.

All we really need to do is keep other people’s (bad) ideas from controlling how we think and live. Yes, it would be very nice if we could wrest gummint from their control-freaking little hands. But barring that, we always have the freedom to shrug them and their opinions and their laws and regulations off our shoulders.

They’re our shoulders, after all. Our minds. Our bodies. Our property. Always have been. Always will be. And OMG, with the amazing freedom technologies and attitudes expanding all around us, we have more help, more inspiration, and more allies than ever in world history.

We live in scary times — and in a world of freedomista wonders.

Is it dangerous to be free when others around you aren’t?

You betcha.

But if you insist on safety and conformity above all, if you insist that every, single condition be just so before you’ll make a move, then you don’t know the first thing about freedom and you never will.

Quit making excuses. Get out and do some freedom.

17 Responses to “Mythperceptions and a vision of freedom”

  1. kevin m Says:

    You are totally right here!

  2. Kent McManigal Says:

    I prefer a bit of danger. It makes life more colorful.

  3. Philalethes Says:

    I appreciate the sentiment, but, just as a point of information… About the “Drug War”: it’s a charade. Sure, lotta people die (just like in those other phony wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), but they’re just chaff anyway. Both “sides” of the drug “war” are controlled by the same people/forces. Which just may have something to do with the gummint’s “failure” to rein in the drug trade. Important People might lose money. And if a large percentage of the population suddenly got sober, who knows what might happen?

  4. Jim B. Says:

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    “The more you tighten your grip, the more systems slips from your fingers”
    -Princess Leia to General Tarkin

    The only reason I haven’t fired a shot is because the freedom movement doesn’t have enough favorable support yet.

    The Revolution succeeded because while the opposition was a third of the populace, another third neutral, there was a third that supported the cause.

    Not enough yet. It’ll get worse before it gets there when more people gets there.

  5. Jim B. Says:

    I meant when more people gets fed up with the abuse.

  6. JS Says:

    Thank you, Claire. This made my day. A centering reminder that it all starts within and that personal freedom is – personal.

  7. naturegirl Says:

    “But if you insist on safety and conformity above all, if you insist the every, single condition be just so before you’ll make a move”

    Truth, right there…..I think that may be many peoples’ problems, even the ones with the purest of intentions – it’s hard making that move, it’s hard being the one to step ahead (even if they want to so badly)….The ones who do, find out it’s nowhere near as bad or as scary as their imaginations made it…..Sometimes they even find out that the “other way” is better than the so called right way of doing things…..

  8. Matt, another Says:

    Take a stand for Freedom, stop voting!

  9. Sam Says:

    Free your mind the rest will follow. Travel. See how people live in the rest of the world with your own eyes.

  10. MamaLiberty Says:

    On the theme of waiting until everyone is in agreement with our liberty… there is also the almost overwhelming temptation for so many people to at least approve of some form of control over others.

    My latest posit: “Mind Your Own Business”

    But you never know where good people will come from. FSW had a wonderful visit from a couple who had lived all of their life in the east, NYC for him. They had tentative plans to relocate in “a few years” when they got here. But they took that old red pill and now will be moving in two months. She already has a job here.

    The most telling thing he said to me after they got back… I see everything so differently. I never really noticed before that almost everyone here is a barbarian!

  11. Brian Wilson Says:

    Thanks for noticing my LRC piece.
    Hopefully everyone will celebrate appropriately!

  12. Joel Says:

    Preach it, Sistah Claire! :)

    Though it’s a hard transition to make. Seems like so many freedom-lovers are stuck in the mindset that they can’t be free until the world frees them. It’s easier that way, but also dooms them to a life of futile wishing. I remember that.

    It’s hard to realize that you can be at least more free than you were, but that you have to do freedom for yourself and screw what the rest of the world wants. Harder still to work up the gumption to do it.

    Rewarding, though. Dangerous, but worth it.

  13. Pat Says:

    Despite what you read next, I agree with you, Claire.

    Re “mythperceptions”: Some people equate freedom with the country (and the emphasis on how we got here via the American Revolution perpetuates that idea), while others understand that freedom is more PERSONAL. This makes a difference in who believes the myths.

    The degree of “patriotism” instilled in a person (whether by parents, education, or military) helps determine how much mythology people are willing to keep or give up, and the Constitution, supposed to be the law of the land, sets up another barrier in understanding what freedom is. Which means that the powers that be are hard to ignore for a person inundated with emphasis on one’s country. Like religion, historical propaganda cannot be thrown off by merely being told so; one has to “dis-believe” before he can start to practice another -ism.

    The spirit of freedom may be weakened when individuals are being threatened, stolen from, vandalized, beaten, SWAT-ted down, detained, eminent-domained, and murdered at will by any “representative” at every political level. I’m not playing devil’s advocate here, nor am I excusing the mythperceptions. But I do understand the feeling of hopelessness that sometimes causes people to question whether freedom-lovers know what the hell they’re talking about. If being free means individuals being run over by a tank (literally or figuratively), then why should they believe that personal freedom will work for the individual?

    It is doubly hard to understand freedom when individuals do not work together to make it happen. We need a propaganda unit of our own. Not just unherded cats running around with their own ideas, but a concerted effort to find a common ground for defining freedom and how it will work for individuals. Some ideas may have to be de-emphasized, others shelved altogether or put in “sidebars”, while the main features are laid out in a practical working paper. The same sort of marketing strategy that, e.g. Ocean Spray uses, is needed here for freedom.

    It’s truly sad that people have to be “sold” on freedom – what it is, why it’s a birthright, and how to attain it for themselves. But the opposition has been too long in ascendency, and many have been brainwashed from birth, so birth*right* has no meaning for them. Yes, they should think for themselves – but when they never learned how to do that, either, they don’t find it so easy to comprehend a 180-degree viewpoint.

  14. Glenn Allen Says:

    I have always been free, never knew anything else. If I ever felt my freedom was threatened I gave them the impudent digit and went on my merry way. Some folks are addicted to feeling unfree I guess. Gives them something to hate. I just never bought into the game in the first place. Only you can set your self free. Just live like your free and accept the responsibility that comes with freedom. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

  15. just waiting Says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about personal freedom lately, and how to go about achieving it. Its the relationship between freedom and fear where I keep getting hung up. Not fear of being free, but fear that the gov’t will decide for some arbitrary reason that I should not be. No matter how far I distance my mind from the influence of gov’t, they still have the ability, on nothing more than their whim, to influence and strip me of my physical freedom.

    I live my life as a hermit, kinda by choice, kinda by circumstance. I have limited my social and public interaction. I’ve stopped watching and reading lamestream media. Political affairs used to interest me, now the programming is like watching a continual train wreck, where I’m in the school bus stuck on the tracks in every clip.

    I’m as free from gubmint influence as I can be, but I always live with the fear that gubmint will decide to insert itself, uninvited, into my life. I live as legally and within “the law” as possible. But I also do strongly believe what Ayn Rand wrote, that gubmint makes so many laws, laws that they know must be broken for ordinary survival, that it is impossible to live a legal life.

    We’re taught as humans to seek approval and affirmation of our actions, whether its a pat on the back for doing well at work, being told we’ve made a good choice of mates, that we keep our homes nice. This need for affirmation forces us to make public our accomplishments. For most avenues its ok, but declaring oneself to be free is hanging a target on ones own back. One of the lessons I taught my kids was that “if you never tell anyone you did it, you’ll never get caught for it”. Getting past that need for social acceptance or affirmation of your freedom I think is a big step toward actually being free.

  16. winston Says:

    Ahh the old tired argument of “But if we demand freedom, we risk losing more freedoms!”

    IMO, another one of those excuses that people make up for themselves about why they aren’t acting on their convictions.

  17. Noah Bodie Says:

    Been reading you in BHM for years and love your writing style and thoughts on most things. Yes, I am FREE and I am hated for it, but will not change anything. I have been gauranteed freedom under the Constitution which should be paramount in all our lives. Thank you for encouraging my behavior! Sincerely, Noah Bodie

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