The Flip Side Of Liberty

JJ’s latest.

Check your premises when you find yourself reacting.

13 responses to “The Flip Side Of Liberty

  1. My comment at JJ’s place:

    Thank you, thank you and thank you, for saying so very well what many feel and a very great many need to hear and to heed. Absolutely accurate and essential.

    There is one trenchant thought after another expressed throughout your essay, but this one states the very core of the matter:

    “Simply, even if it were possible through some miracle to instantly grant every person within the US the maximum amount of freedom in every area of their life, they would reject it. The {individual (ed.)} responsibility required to maintain such a condition is simply beyond the current culture’s {individual’s (ed.)} ability to maintain a functioning society.” (Please forgive the ed. additions. Jon.)

    No viable society of any significant duration has ever demonstrated such heights of individualism and personal responsibility, not just this one in which we find ourselves. Many, if not most, humans are simply incapable of the kind of self discipline, postponement of gratification, foresight, creative thinking and commitment to other than self interest which would be required, absent moral imperative or authority.

    • >>> Many, if not most, humans are simply incapable of the kind of self discipline, postponement of gratification, foresight, creative thinking and commitment to other than self interest which would be required, absent moral imperative or authority. <<<

      Well, they're capable unless you really think you're so special. But okay, so lots of 'em don't do it, maybe even the majority. Therefore…what? All you've got is, "So they must be ruled." Thing is, you haven't established why anyone should care what's beneficial for those folk in the first place, and you especially haven't shown why it would make good sense to turn oneself into a ruler because those others need to be ruled.

      You'll never do that, because it doesn't.

  2. I read the VFMS often but I don’t really have the time or inclination to entertain an idea that maybe we are all too naive or somehow unable to handle a desired amount of true Liberty. And the notion that we are all out for freedom FROM consequences is total BS. What many of us are after is freedom from the unjust consequences imposed on us by those who have placed themselves above ANY consequences.

    No one in the freedom movement is going to buy into every single piece the freedomistas write up, and I am sure as hell not buying into this one.

  3. I’m a true believer in the Golden Rule.

    Those with the gold- rule.

    I just happen to have some gold. 🙂

    Working with others is just fine, as long as I am in charge.

    I prefer to be the King, and not the pawn…

    That’s my idea of freedom, which I live daily.

  4. Check your premises . . .
    Ahhh, the irony, she burns . . .

    The Bible promotes a long-term, selfless view of the world and heavily emphasizes an individual’s fealty to not just his family but also the larger corporate body of his community. [As does the Koran, BTW]

    Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the [egoist] in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge, or act. These are functions of the self.

    For those willing to consider the possibility that a patently incoherent, sacerdotal parasite mind-control shuck cooked up by some raghead goatherds nearly 2000 years ago may not be the optimal foundation for Western Civilization, the results of a search on the latter quotation above will prove edifying.

    • If you think that irony burns… you’re in for a big surprise.

      • If there is a God, the ones He’s going to really drop the hammer on are those who ascribe to Him such a vile, despicable spiritual extortion racket.

  5. Jimmy the Saint

    “Lord Moulton divided society into three sectors, of which he considered the most important to be the “middle land” between law and absolute freedom — the domain of manners, in which the individual has to be “trusted to obey self-imposed law.” “To my mind,” wrote Moulton, “the real greatness of a nation, its true civilization, is measured by the extent of this land.” By that measure, our greatness is shriveling fast: The land of self-regulation has been encroached on remorselessly, to the point where we increasingly accept that everything is either legal or illegal, and therefore to render any judgment of our own upon the merits of this or that would be presumptuous.”

    – Mark Steyn on John Moulton

  6. All parties should revisit VFMS periodically for additional great rebuttals from JJ…………..

    Moulton’s analysis, and Steyn’s, highlight and reinforce what JJ is saying very well.

  7. “The public will not be convinced by esoteric moral philosophizing about the rights of man, but by our actions.”

    Right. This directly implies that if convincing the public is a goal, then the thing upon which to focus is one’s own actions. Yet the focus is inevitably about what others should or shouldn’t do. Maybe that’s why the public is going the wrong way.

  8. “Simply, even if it were possible through some miracle to instantly grant every person within the US the maximum amount of freedom in every area of their life, they would reject it.”

    This is true. However that does not mean liberty is no good. It means it is sub-optimal for SOME people. That is not a valid excuse to deny it to everyone. Panarchy allows everyone to get what political structure he desires. Freedom for liberty-lovers, and the various forms of statism for those who want that.

    “We run around spouting kitschy slogans and pretend every person on the planet is an atomistic individual…”

    Straw man. Most libertarians who have though about it at all, conclude that a society of liberty would have even more collective action than we have now. It’s just that it would be voluntary collective action – just as in early America, as Tocqueville noted:
    “Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions, constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds – religious, moral, serious, futile, extensive, or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found establishments for education, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; and in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it be proposed to advance some truth, or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society. Wherever, at the head of some new undertaking, you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association. I met with several kinds of associations in America, of which I confess I had no previous notion; and I have often admired the extreme skill with which the inhabitants of the United States succeed in proposing a common object to the exertions of a great many men, and in getting them voluntarily to pursue it. I have since travelled over England, whence the Americans have taken some of their laws and many of their customs; and it seemed to me that the principle of association was by no means so constantly or so adroitly used in that country. The English often perform great things singly; whereas the Americans form associations for the smallest undertakings. It is evident that the former people consider association as a powerful means of action, but the latter seem to regard it as the only means they have of acting.”

    Yes, free people might at first abuse their freedom. But people are capable of learning, when they must face the consequences of their actions (the exact thing that the state expends great effort to prevent). Eventually they would form a VOLUNTARY culture that prospers, or they will perish if they don’t straighten out.

    “Perhaps the most striking example is freedom of expression to most in America now is no more than the freedom to shock, degrade and peddle obscenity…”

    That is a feature of the statist world, not a free one. One has only to read American history to see this. The degradation is part of the end of Empire.

    I don’t think the author even understands liberty or our own history. He is still submerged in the current culture, like the people who think that a free society will be like the current society, minus only the government. No. Remove the coercion and EVERYTHING changes.

    Take the boot off the neck of those who want to be free. Let them sink or swim on their own. Statists should stick to their own knitting.

  9. Politics, be they at the national, local, or even domestic level are about conflict and resolving that conflict. Resolution, at least in a constitutional republic (or marriage), needs to be in a manner that respects the minority (or less powerful) perspective and accords some measure of accommodation. This article rightly emphasizes that a small fraction of the amount of time, talent, and treasure expended on conflict (promoting it really, not resolving it) would do much towards furthering our ambitions as a people and a society writ large. The sand in that Vaseline is that when you are dealing with a narcissist at the personal level (i.e., one with no empathy and whose exalted self-image is incapable of acknowledging any personal failing) – or a collectivist at the governmental level. Both refuse any accommodation and, once entrenched in the relationship there is, sadly, no hope for turning that around. Rather, there needs to be a separation and sequestration between the two. In our nation of individual states one should be free to live their lives in the sociopolitical and economic environment that approaches their ideals. Assertion of states rights, reduction of central governance (at the national as well as state level) and so forth. Eliminate fractional reserve banking and much of this will progress, albeit in a painful manner. We need to get the rot out and fortunately the collectivists are doing a splendid job of self-identifying. Bullets, Buddies, Beans, Band-aids, and Bullion coupled with mindset and skill.