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The philosophy of freedom: Much more than demanding government to get out of our lives, you must first get the tyranny out of your own heart

the-philosophy-of-freedom-much-more-than-demanding-government-to-get-out-of-our-lives-you-must-first-get-the-tyranny-out-of-your-own-heart

Do you agree with this statement? Government has no business telling us what to drink, what to eat, what kind of medicine we should take, what to smoke, what to farm, or how to run our private lives.

These are all elements of individual liberty or what you might call personal freedom. They are all part of the bigger push to get Big Government off our backs and out of our lives. But do the people who call for individual liberty really believe in it themselves? Or are they carrying around a sharp contradiction in their own beliefs?

Consider the following statements:

If people want to ride a motorcycle (or a bicycle) without a helmet, that’s their own business.

If parents want to avoid having their children vaccinated, that’s their own business.

If people want to smoke a doobie in their basement, that’s their own business.

If a dairy farmer wants to milk a goat and sell the milk to his neighbor, that’s their own business.

If people want to grow an organic garden in their front yard, that’s their own business.

If someone wants to eat so much salt, sugar and aspartame that their colon falls out and they have to call an ambulance, that’s their own business.

If someone wants to drive down the highway without wearing a seatbelt, that’s their own business! (But no one else should be liable for their injuries if there is an accident, right?)

If a group of young girls wants to sell cookies or lemonade on the sidewalk, let ’em do it. It’s their own business!

If a West Virginia farmer wants to grow a hundred acres of hemp weed and use it to make hemp seeds, hemp oils and hemp clothing, that’s his own business!

If a citizen bystander wants to video record the police making a traffic stop, and it’s all taking place on public property, then that’s his own business! (Hey, the cops say they can record US all the time, right? That we have no presumed right to privacy on public property…)

If a guy wants to buy a ranch rifle and shoot empty soda cans on his farm in Massachusetts, that’s his own business!

Are you carrying a freedom contradiction?

And if you agree with all that, then let me hit you with this brain-bender: By principle you must also agree that whatever two people want to do in their own homes or bedrooms is also their own business, as long as it’s consensual. It doesn’t matter what their sexual orientation is or even whether money changed hands. While it’s not something I personally condone or participate in, all that is still their own business!

See, the thing about freedom is that if you demand freedom for yourself, you must also tolerate it for others. If you say “get the government out of our lives!” then to be consistent, you have to mean it for everybody else, too— not just for you or those you happen to agree with. Freedom means freedom for all, including those with which you disagree, as long as they aren’t harming others in the process. Freedom can’t be selective.

And here’s the philosophical contradiction in the liberty movement today: Too many of those who say they want the government out of their lives on issues like vaccines, parenting and local farm food are the very same people who demand government intervention on issues where someone else lives by a different moral code than their own (or a non-existent moral code, in some cases). Same-sex marriage, prostitution, abortion, recreational drug use… you name it. Suddenly the call for liberty becomes something far less noble: a demand for moral conformity administered via an all-powerful government. This is exactly what gives rise to government tyranny! Because any time you call for government to intervene in the lives of others with which you disagree, you also empower that same government with the power to rule over your own life.

So you see, when you call for government to get involved in criminalizing the things you might strongly disagree with — pot smokers, abortion, prostitution or anything else — you are by definition demanding that government grow its power in order to enforce your own moral code onto others.

And that’s not freedom. It’s just tyranny disguised as moral conformity. Because sooner or later, all that government power gets turned against YOU.

For the record, I am a person raised on Christian values. I don’t visit prostitutes, I’m obviously not into same-sex marriages, and I have never used recreational drugs. (That’s right: never.) But for people who choose those things for themselves in the privacy of their own homes or hotel rooms, I am bound by philosophical consistency to declare that’s their own business! And why? Because I don’t want them getting all up in MY business!

Stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours

I raise dairy goats and backyard chickens. Some people don’t like that. I target practice with a ranch rifle on a Saturday afternoon. Some people don’t like citizens owning firearms. I don’t mow my yard because I prefer to see wildflowers growing everywhere. Some HOA-type “yard police” think everybody’s lawn should be sprayed with herbicides and be completely free of dandelions. I think that’s insane, but HOA enforcers think it’s nice and neat.

In so many areas of my own life, I strongly diverge from what a lot of mainstream people might choose for themselves. I like to hang laundry out to dry on clotheslines. I walk around in the sun with my shirt off. I urinate on my fig plants, right out in the open, because nitrogen is good for plants. I grow oddly-shaped gardens that don’t put plants in neat little rows (because rows are not the most efficient way to garden, it turns out). Some of this annoys people — especially the “white picket fence” conformist types who tend to rule local homeowners associations like little Nazi tyrants.

I don’t want a bunch of whiny neighbors calling government authorities and trying to pass laws that require me to conform to their narrow-minded opinions on lawn care and property appearance. I don’t want a law that requires me to mow my lawn, quiet my chickens and sell my goats, and I don’t want to be arrested for “indecent exposure” just because I’m watering a fruit tree with my fly unzipped. And why? Because all this is none of their damn business!

You keep the government out of MY business, and I’ll support keeping the government out of YOUR business.

That’s liberty, my friends. It doesn’t mean everybody in the world lives the same way you do. It doesn’t mean everybody follows a moral code. It just means that each person has the freedom to choose their own path and their own consequences as long as they don’t harm anyone else in the process. Government has no business legislating morals or criminalizing consensual behavior among people who aren’t directly harming someone else.

I may not like the way everybody in my community lives their own life, but tolerating their differences is far, far better than having an oppressive, tyrannical government that demands we all conform to its whims. After all, a government quickly becomes immoral and sooner or later ends up mandating unacceptably evil behaviors (such as requiring parents to have their children vaccinated against their will).

Tolerance is liberty, my friends. To the extent that we tolerate other people living in ways that might be different from what we would choose, we earn our own right to live our own lives as free people who make our own decision as well. Now, obviously, we can help teach morals and ethics to those around us so that they make better decisions about avoiding substance abuse, avoiding self-destructive behavior and spiritually growing into better people. But we cannot mandate such things at the end of a gun. Nor do we have any right to hire a group of other people (the government) to serve as proxies to enforce the same conformist agenda.

What are you thinking right now?

Check your own mind right now. Are you reacting to this story and thinking that people who engage in activity you don’t morally agree with should be arrested or criminalized? If so, then you don’t really believe in freedom.You believe in tyranny. And that belief is the root of the tyranny we are witnessing across society today.

Look around you. You see the government running rampant across America? That tyranny is a reflection of the tyranny that still exists in the hearts of the people who still refuse to embrace the true philosophy of freedom — a philosophy that must be rooted in tolerance.

The lesson of this article, should you choose to accept it, is:
If you want freedom for yourself, you must first grant it to others.

And to the extent that you demand government-enforced conformity upon others, you enslave yourself under the same tyranny.

NaturalNews.com
By Mike Adams

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19 Comments

  1. Curmudgeons of the world UNITE!

    Freedom sounds so simple until you look under the hood, and look at unintended consequences and the various problems like majority rule and mob behavior…

    Looking at the examples offered of “harmless” personal behavior in the post:

    1) If people want to ride a motorcycle (or a bicycle) without a helmet, that’s their own business.

    See the author’s parenthetical comment on item 7 below…

    2) If parents want to avoid having their children vaccinated, that’s their own business.

    Talk to the parents and sufferers of polio, measles, etc., there is a group public safety concern – also, will they give up their access to insurance or govt. subsidized health care? Why should “I” pay for their illnesses they contract if they don’t get vaccinated? Can I sue them if I catch their disease and it causes permanent harm? On the other habnd society shoul PAY for their health treatments, and compensate families for for deaths if the vaccine causes harm, and the manufacturers and dispensers should be criminally liable if the knowingly prepare or administer a preparation that is harmful (mercury in vaccines does come to mind). The condunrum is PROVING it.

    3) If people want to smoke a doobie in their basement, that’s their own business.

    … until you decide to drive to the corner store for munchies and kill someone in an auto accident due to your A.S.O.C.

    4) If a dairy farmer wants to milk a goat and sell the milk to his neighbor, that’s their own business.

    – food poisoning and disease through the consumption of contaminated milk
    – pollution of the local aquifer from the animal waste
    – offensive odors wafting across the fence…

    5) If people want to grow an organic garden in their front yard, that’s their own business.

    I’m all for organinc “victory” gardneing, to help get better nutrition, and reduce dependence on the agro biz but … what if your neighbor tries to sell theiir house, and the price is driven down by this activity… p.s. – what’s wrong with the BACK yard?!

    6) If someone wants to eat so much salt, sugar and aspartame that their colon falls out and they have to call an ambulance, that’s their own business.

    See author’s item 7 comment…

    7) If someone wants to drive down the highway without wearing a seatbelt, that’s their own business! (But no one else should be liable for their injuries if there is an accident, right?)

    For sure! What about his unbuckled children?! Do we refuse them medical service too?

    8) If a group of young girls wants to sell cookies or lemonade on the sidewalk, let ‘em do it. It’s their own business!

    Good luck to ’em.!

    9) If a West Virginia farmer wants to grow a hundred acres of hemp weed and use it to make hemp seeds, hemp oils and hemp clothing, that’s his own business!

    I have no problem with this one… it was good enough for George Washingont, I hear…

    If a citizen bystander wants to video record the police making a traffic stop, and it’s all taking place on public property, then that’s his own business! (Hey, the cops say they can record US all the time, right? That we have no presumed right to privacy on public property…)

    I have no problem with this one…

    If a guy wants to buy a ranch rifle and shoot empty soda cans on his farm in Massachusetts, that’s his own business!

    – richocets and errors result in a passerby being injured or killed
    (so what about automatics…)

    The whole issue of public health, safety and the right of “free association” is full of difficult issues, because what we “thinnk” is a personal act that will “harm no one”, can in fact threaten our safety, or at least our pocket books. The whole point of having a body of law is to have a set of “lessons learned” that can be referred to. Why should we have to re-visit whether some particular food safety or public safety is acceptable every time we have a case of it?! On the other hand, the guys with all the lawyers and lobbyists have pretty much figured out how to subvert the processess to tgheir own ends…

    – Mike

  2. Like the approach …

    So now you have opened the door, lets step inside!

    We are bringing the curtain down on the stage play called freedom, why? because most people in modern societies do not recognise a back-bone, we all have one… some just can’t see it, feel it or even imagine it. We slime from one situation to another, when that moment gets difficult we cry and point fingers. If we get hurt we expect a payoff, we also expect a well paid job, we demand cheap goods and high salaries, yet throw away without consideration of the impact, we take and forget balance.

    We have stopped living in a manner suited to people who are experiencing freedom, freedom is not a label, its a state of mind, its about action, one that requires openness, honesty, reasoning and owning responsibility for ones actions. I don’t see the openness, the honesty or the reasoning, unless it suits and manipulated, and I do not see people taking responsibility, from the bottom up, top down.

    We are a world full of mindless nitwits, who think they are smart and clever, streetwise to the system if you like, usually good at getting what they can from the system, always to gain but give little to nothing back, this is a big part of freedom, only taking what you need and giving back when you can!

    It is too late to make change now and expect everything to go back to what it was, we have abused what freedom we had and thrown it away with all the goods we so much want, yet care little for its history (where and how its made to where and how its disposed). The planet has been polluted by humans. we are not sure how bad it is yet, but its not getting better! Yes we have climate change and for all we know that might well be about a cycles and not so much about pollution, beyond climate change, we can see our waters, soil and air have been poisoned by our greed. Some will point fingers, those people are usually the people who have bought the goods, driven the car, eat the crap called food, and its everyone elses fault! Simple maths, don’t buy it, they have nothing to sell!

    Wars are allowed, starvation is as normal as buying a lottery ticket hoping to win millions. Government have no idea how to handle our uncontrolled behaviour, a run-away train loaded with toxic chemicals heading for the centre of humanity, yet they tell us to shop and keep the economy health. Big corporations are our dealers, promoting greed and no-one within the power positions wil dare cut the supply…

    With a backbone, we stand tall, we learn honesty, we learn responsibility, we blossom. Under those circumstances we are free, as no-one can take away that mindset, it has been earned and its none transferable… Having a big mortgage, credit cards etc is not about freedom, thats slavery, please don’t confuse the two as is often done.
    Those living outside the modern society model are usually outside or on the edge as they understand and respect freedom, they know it doesn’t exist in the system, as only dealers of greed and the junkies who want it can stomach the human sickness evident within our towns and cities…

    No matter the country you live, find your backbone, even if you need to do it quietly, but find it and start to develop your virtues, then maybe, just maybe we can start to build the foundations for human evolution and growth based on our inner moral self.

  3. With freedom and liberty also comes responsibility. It has been my experience that a large number of people cannot handle freedom responsibly in the sense that if they choose to shoot off their gun at all hours of the day and night on their porperty, they are oblivious to their neighbors’ health and well-being (noise), the same way that people who drink and do drugs end up infringing on the rights of their neighbors to a decent night’s sleep on a regular basis. Civilized people must know that it is a balancing act. Freedom is important as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others and as long as it does not threaten the health and safety of others. The question is: who is responsible to insure that I can get a good night’s sleep when my neighbors next door are getting drunk all night on most nights, throwing trash in my yard, urinating in my bushes, and making loud noises? Even with the current laws, it is difficult to enforce those laws and protect people. I live in a city that has a rampant problem with noise in the middle of strict rules. Those rules are ineffective.

    My neighbor downstairs from me can smoke all he wants, but what do I do if his smoke starts drifting into my bedroom and cause health problems? Should there be tighter laws regarding smoking or should I be expected to move every time a new tenant who is a smoker moves in? Those things are far more complicated than they seem and those are just basic things that happen every day. Those things require negotiation and mediation and respect for the right on other on a daily basis. They become a way of life.

    We are all responsible for our own actions, but most people are incapable of being responsible; and reasoning with them in a neighborly fashion does not work. Apathy and greed on this planet? It is not the laws, it is the human beings. You are absolutely correct, but in the meantime, how do citizens protect themselves from the transgressions of their neighbors and co-citizens while the transgressors are learning to change their hearts?

    I think we still need laws and the ability to enforce them for the benefit of everyone while learning to live together in a community of human beings.

  4. South Africa has recently been the model of progressive social freedom, and the spin doctors have elevated Mandela to registered-brand deity status, watching over a national map of renamed destinations all sporting third-world names. Most now begin with ‘m’ and too many glorify unworthy politicos. Those elected officials not partying and driving drunk, seem to have got to work to consolidate and protect their positions, and have put into place a miriad of small regulations as preparitory evidence of their power.

    Now comes trouble:- the gloves are off, and sweeping wholesale butchering of constitutionally protected freedoms are about to happen in the name of Protection of the State, government and society at large, but really to further empower a parasite government that should have had its last chance two elections ago.

    What of the so called freedom now? Have the people of South Africa utilised their freedom in any meaningful way? Will we miss it when aspects of it are eroded? Will there still be enough freedom to allow the 5% of free thinkers space to sway the sheeple to elect a responsible government?

    Perhaps there is still enough freedom to allow another facist regime to paint the Rainbow Nation a uniform hue?

  5. Wow; thanks, all of you, wonderfu!

    Sometimes I feel like Im the Last Human in Zombieland, theyre all shambling about, moaning, “Mooonnney!”
    Know what I mean? So many Fundamentalists wandering around claiming its THEIR right to take my rights away…

    And the only thing that wakes ’em up is a NDE (worked for me…)

    Oh, well… one nice thing about being an Old Fart is Ive been here for long enuf to learn two things:
    1) what goes around, ALWAYS comes around; it just takes much longer than we think (it should…), and
    2) nobody ever learns, except the hard way. Scar. tissue seems to be the Teacher…

    Good thing I know how to self-generate Inner Joy, otherwise reality would be a real drag…

    Hey, A.: keep the Dream, eh…

    Regards, G.

  6. For me freedom means to be able to discipline myself. This lets me consider my values and choices and those of others. It is not about the phrase of “minding one’s own business”, rather being aware and considerate towards people and nature. This demands a very honest and strong feeling of responsibility which needs a lot of concentration and energy , also daily practice. We can not live as “islands” – everything we do affects ourselves, others and our environment. No matter how loud we say “it is or is not our business” – we still use / need someone’s property or support. That’ why we need to be considerate constantly. We can learn that. Our greatest enemy and tyranny is the “need” of calculating interest on money. We have accepted this actually unacceptable means of punishment / reward. Why can’t we just accept to give more than we receive – in form of gratitude and integrity, in keeping promises and being considerate, tolerant and supportive ? All this money over the centuries has not made us better humans nor enhanced our world. Somewhere along the line we have lost our sense of satisfaction of the easy life close to nature. All our fantasies cannot replace that. Money is a fantasy. So for me freedom begins here : discipline yourself, watch your thoughts and actions. The tyranny is within………

  7. Well, I have some mixed feelings. I do agree with much of what is said here– if it is about choices that only affect the self not others, then I am all for it. I don’t care if my neighbor want to do something that isn’t good for them or is just plain crazy, as long as it’s not bothering or harming me. But complete and unchecked freedom is not in the best interest for everyone, because by nature, humans for most part, are still animals that are still guided by selfish physical needs instead of spiritual needs. So there need to be some restrain or limits to prevent an individual or individuals from being a threat to society or the environment. For example, if my neighbor wants to keep a pet tiger. Then that tiger could escape and eat my pets, my kids, or myself. So there need to be a rule or law against keeping pet tigers. However, I do agree with your view that our society and government have become way too restriant and controlling, trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives.
    I may get blackballed for saying this, but communism is probably the best government. I am not talking about established systems that are in place like North Korea or China– these are actually corrupted form of communism that places the power into the hands of few. The communism I am refering to is similar to the one practiced by early Christians and some tribal societies, where people shared food, shelter, and other needs equally out of love without requiring anything back, and respecting each other. That system of government can only come from the heart, not from massive buildings housing wealthy people.

  8. Totally agree with what you’ve said. I don’t care what anyone else does as long as its not hurting anyone else. Too many people these days do things to please others or to ‘keep up with the jones’.

  9. It started with Seat belts, then with the war on crime, then the war on drugs, then the war on terror – now its ups to War on War. At this point all I can hope for is to move to deepest darkest Alaska to get away from all the Hypocrites that surround me. Stop being so Judgemental towards your fellow man or woman, think long enough to try and understand your surroundings instead of just believing the news, look at your own actions instead, do you really think you are better because you have a bigger house (while the actions of your leaders cause three year old children to starve – or foreign nations raped) Can you speak your true beliefs without being judged by those who don’t understand what you are saying, no, personally I think we should start by outlawing the TV set.

  10. Hmmm… as soon as god shows up at my door and tells me what to do, fine; but until then anyone waving a book and telling me I ‘must’, well, like it says, above…
    And, with preachers, I always ask, ‘qui bono?’ …they’ve usually got their hands out, don’t they? If they WERE tapped into the ‘real thing’, they wouldn’t need to guilt-squeeze donations (like ordinary scam-artists), now would they?
    ‘Belief’ means accepting without proof. Hmmm…

    Want the key to true ‘freedom’ (and to every other mystery of life, too)? Simple:

    ‘The only important things in life
    are the ones we take with us, when we die.’

    Enjoy, G.

    1. I totally agree with you grant. And people forgot, or they never learned, that they need to have trust in themselves not in somebody or something above. And having such a blind belief in words from some book that man wrote is just it.. blind. This is my personal belief, don’t want to offend anyone. Not that Bible has nothing to teach us, it does, but cmon. Jesus will not come down from above and help us all. We need to do that on our own. Read the Bible again if you don’t understand.

      So many peope should stop acting like sheeps and follow others just because they managed to have them living in fear of God, fear of hell, fear of death… shit… fear all over. And they preach love?! Give us your trust, your soul, your money, your children.. we know what to do with it… Man its frustrating even listening and reading it. And whats with the ceremonies and the tone, the gold and the wealth when people are starving? Come on preachers give us a break.

  11. Awesome Mike

    I agree with you… freedom is tolerance. I don’t agree with some people’s choices in life but….I do agree they should have the right to make those same choices. The biggest problem I see with today’s society is that the parents have forgotten to teach their children what morals and religion are. They have left those jobs up to the public and our children are lost. There must be a base teaching to live by, to help them compare. Our Government is taking rights as parents and citizens.

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