Posted: May 20th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian
A recent article titled “When You’re Talking You Ain’t Learning,” How Do You Define Freedom, Issue 722, seems to have stirred the intellectual nettle of some of my readers, and any discussion about Freedom deserves more attention.
I have written many articles relative to the meaning of Freedom, and for myself accept the definition, “Freedom is self-responsibility and self-control, no more and no less than just that.” A definition which covers a multitude of areas, relative to just about everything we do and think. It’s not the definition that’s being questioned, instead, it’s where the understanding of it comes from.
It’s my position that one of the main underlying causes this nation is in the state it’s in, i.e., on the verge of collapse of the Principles upon which it was founded, sinking into socialism, because there’s a misunderstanding about Freedom, and not much interest in learning about it. It’s certainly not taught in the socialized public school system, and most parents are products of the same system. Therefore if the parents don’t understand it and it’s not taught in schools, how is the individual going to know what Freedom really means?
For many, those joining the military means they are going off someplace to fight for Freedom. I too believed that at one time. But such is not the case; soldiers are joining up to fight political wars for nation-building in foreign countries. I was personally married to a professional soldier, who fought in three wars, and I can truthfully say he never really understood the meaning of Freedom. But he loved the paternalism of military life, fighting and flying.
I am prompted to write more on an understanding and misunderstanding regarding Freedom as a result of an observation from one of my readers who wrote: “I think humans have an inborn understanding of and hunger for Freedom, and that takes a lifetime of brainwashing, starting from an early age – to make them forget what they instinctively knew.”
I’m not in agreement with that premise. It defies the definition that Freedom is self-control and self-responsibility, because we are totally dependent on others for survival, the day we are born. Others feed us, bathe us, providing food, clothing and shelter, until we learn to take care of ourselves. We are protected and nurtured by others, until we are emancipated.
From observation of young children, there does appear some innate quality of ownership of property inborn in a human being, because the very young will resist others when that which belongs to them is snatched away. Despite the fact ownership of property is an essential to life and Freedom, it does not define freedom, but is an essential part of it.
And even that which constitutes ownership must be taught. That is the underlying rule of ownership, being in control of a thing with a boundary.
Can’t own anything without a boundary, and absent control of it. Take for example the house you buy and pay for, with deeds in hand, most think they own their home, but in fact they do not. Only possess it, while outsiders, who have never paid a cent into it, stipulate the rules and regulations, while demanding payment from the one in possession. In most areas of the United States, one cannot add a roof, a deck, renovate a room, or chop down a tree without permission from some other government entity.
I have a neighbor who installed a new roof on the home he believed he owned. A city agent appeared and informed him it did not meet city codes and my neighbor had to tear off his new roof and replace it with one that met the requirements of another who had not invested one cent in his property. He thought he owned. It had a boundary but he did not control.
I definitely believe Freedom is a gift from our Creator given to everyone, however, the responsibility for sustaining must be learned, either by discovery or taught. And none of us are born knowing what that responsibility and self-control is. I do not believe we understood its meaning when we were born and brainwashed into ignorance about its meaning. However, I do agree, the school system indoctrinates, with brainwashing techniques right out of Marxist teachings, which prevents the student from ever understanding the the real meaning of Freedom.
Anymore than we are born knowing how to drive a car. We must learn how to operate the vehicle, which carries with it self-responsibility and control of it. If the vehicle is not operating properly most take it to a mechanic, because they know not how to repair for proper operation. Not because they once knew the mechanics, and were brainwashed out of the knowledge.
Similar to Personal Freedom, we might be living and driving around in our proper lane, until something goes amuck, then we have no clue as to what’s wrong. There’s no garage nor a mechanic to take ourselves to, when we are off course or broken down needing repair as a result of our ignorance, relative to understanding freedom. Not a matter of recalling knowledge we were born with. The bottom line is we were never taught its meaning, via schools nor parents in most instances. And not really necessary, so long as we have mechanics to take for repair.
I personally spent seven years doing little else aside from studying and seeking teachers and mentors to teach me the meaning of Freedom, then taught my children. Information relative to its meaning is available to anyone who desires to know, through books and teachers, but must be sought in order to learn. The very first step is an admission of not understanding its meaning.
As one commenter stated in response to my last article: “They are in a state of denial and delusion. Its willful ignorance in my opinion.”
I took a course in home economics to learn how to make a dress, and had an art instructor to teach me how to paint, and found an instructor to teach me how to drive a vehicle. I was not born with that knowledge and brainwashed out of the knowledge.
I grew up on a farm, enjoying a lot more Freedom than we have today, but no one taught me its meaning. I went seeking Knowledge about it after being held in a Japanese jail, as the result of being a passenger in a car that hit a child. Being interrogated by Japanese, asking me such questions as,”Do you belong to the Communist Party?” shocked me into the reality of misunderstandings about political governments, in general and the real meaning of Freedom in particular. This was in the fifties, and when released, I left with a determination to learn about both.
It’s in this connection, I would argue the majority do not understand the meaning of Freedom, and have never known its true meaning. And maintain it’s a learned way of life. Available to anyone who desires to know.
To suggest we once knew its meaning and somewhere along the line were “brainwashed” out of the knowledge of it, is ludicrous. And roadblocks one into to thinking its just a case of remembering a philosophy we once knew, when such is not the case.
I recall talking to a girlfriend in high school, when she asked me what I wanted out of Life. Wherever it came from, I don’t know, but replied, “sovereignty of myself.” Never realizing as a teenager, it was Freedom I wanted and had no understanding of its real meaning at that time.
Ask any school kid for their meaning of Freedom and listen carefully to their answer. Ask your neighbor or best friend the meaning of Freedom, and discover for yourself, few know its true meaning.
This election year, most of the news is on the upcoming election and current politics, when it’s only an understanding of the meaning of Freedom that will get us out of the Socialist ditch we are in.
If the thinking is that we once understood it and were brainwashed out of the knowledge of it, that is a sure formula to keep us in the Socialist lane of thinking.
Where, when and how were we steered away from the principles of freedom this nation was founded upon? There’s where we must start, before we can expect to regain that which we have lost, once living in a country that provided the greatest good for the greatest number known to civilized man. Just over 200 years ago, the foundation to be free was laid by those who pledged their lives and fortunes, to leave a legacy for us we have squandered.
None of us are entitled to sit back and do nothing but vote, every individual in this country has a responsibility to understand the meaning of Freedom. To pass on to the next generation. Understanding the meaning of Freedom, is not something anyone needs permission from anyone else to learn its true meaning. It’s nothing more and nothing less than a decision to discover, then taking the time to learn its real meaning.
As Dr. Phil says, “One cannot change that which one does not acknowledge.” For anyone not to acknowledge we are living under a system of Socialism, which is the antithesis of Freedom, has their head in the sand and ignorant of the reality of where we are in this once great Nation.
To believe we can vote ourselves out of the conditions we have voted ourselves into, ignores reality. Our only hope is an understanding and practice of Freedom, which can change the direction we are headed.
The term “brainwashing” is a word that got into the dictionary quicker than “sputnik,” and I certainly understand it’s meaning, inasmuch as I had a copy of the original paper written by Dr. Meyer, who treated the American soldiers brainwashed during the Korean war. I visited the hospital in Japan where he treated with “de-programming.” Admittedly,there is much going on many have been brainwashed about, however the meaning of Freedom is not something we once understood and brainwashed out of, because the fact of the matter is the majority have never comprehended its true meaning, in the first place. Not a matter of re-call, but learning new.
It’s not rocket science, but a simple philosophy, which must be learned to understand. And must be understood before knowing the degree of bondage this nation of 300 million-plus is in currently.
On February 12, 1865, Abraham Lincoln said: “The people are the rightful masters of both Congresses and Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”