The Simple Misunderstanding of Freedom
– the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
– exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
– the power to determine action without restraint
– personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery
As I follow discussions across many subreddits, watch videos, and listen to podcasts, and hear, day after day, the word Freedom thrown around, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that the overwhelming majority of people fail to understand the most rudimentary and fundamental truth about Freedom: Freedom is a measure of how much Government there is in your life. As the role of Government in your life grows, your freedom shrinks. Achieving maximum Freedom requires you totally escape government. A man with maximum freedom is ungoverned, and a man with no freedom is locked in a cage by the State.
In other words: when we are Free, we are free from Government.
The Government cannot, by its very construction and definition, provide freedom or ‘freedoms.’ Doing so is exactly antithetical to the role of Government in the life of an individual. Every action of Government reduces, restricts, removes, or penalizes the freedom(s) of individuals.
To some this will be preaching to the choir. What disturbs me is that, to others, this might be an insightful definition. Too often, and too bizarrely, it seems to me that people talk about personal liberty as if it is authored by the state. It disgusts me that there’s talk of “expanding civil liberties” or “protecting minorities” by expanding Government control. All invocations of Government reduce individual liberty. Always.
To note, I keep using the word Government–capital G and all–because I’m not referring to the Federal Government of the United States of America, or the Provincial Government of British Columbia, or any such, specific entity. All governance reduces freedom. Municipal, regional, provincial, state, federal, corporate. At the foundational level, your Mom and Dad, governing your early existence, reduced your individual liberty. Discussing the moral justification or necessity for governance isn’t what I want to do here. I felt the need to ensure that a clear, repetitious, emphatic definition was given:
True Freedom is freedom from Government.
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society