Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Is Freedom?

Lew Rockwell highlights a couple of really good articles today. First, Claire Wolfe wants to help us find our own freedom:

If you don’t think and act like a free person, then you’ll be unfree wherever you go.

If you do think and act like a free person, you’ll always find a degree of personal empowerment even if your home is a prison cell.

Being free means not only taking responsibility for our own choices. It means taking initiative so that we have choices.

It means we figure out what we want in life, then begin actively heading in that direction.

It means when we run into an obstacle we figure a way around it or we change our course. But we don’t just shrug and wait for a bailout.

Sure, ask for a helping hand along the way. But don’t expect others’ hands, or weary backs, to haul you the whole distance.

If you want to be free, it's up to you to make the most of the opportunities with which you are presented. The world isn't perfect, but it's up to each of us to make the best of the hand we've been dealt. It's not enough to sit around and complain that you haven't been made free. And this leads us to the second article, by Dr. Ron Paul, on the difference between a "right" and a "good":

Political philosopher Richard Weaver famously and correctly stated that ideas have consequences. Take for example ideas about rights versus goods. Natural law states that people have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A good is something you work for and earn. It might be a need, like food, but more “goods” seem to be becoming “rights” in our culture, and this has troubling consequences. It might seem harmless enough to decide that people have a right to things like education, employment, housing or healthcare. But if we look a little further into the consequences, we can see that the workings of the community and economy are thrown wildly off balance when people accept those ideas.

We may have a right to be free, but it is not someone else's responsibility to make us free. It is up to each of us, as individuals and freely-chosen friends, to do our best for ourselves and those we choose to value. The world is what you make of it, and waiting for someone else to make your life better is not sufficient. Making it someone else's responsibility makes your life and your freedom someone else's property. You need to take it back.

So go. Do. Decide what you want and make a plan for obtaining it. It's your life and your freedom, the most important things you have. Don't let anyone take it away, not all at once or one day at a time.

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