Morning everybody. I’m back from vacation and thought Id think out loud about a question that is becoming more relative every day that passes in this country. I am a philosophy major and lately we have been discussing levels of freedom. I thought I would expand on the thinking styles that are out there and see what my few readers think. Many see freedom as a God-given right, something that we all deserve and are entitled to upon being born. The question though is this…..how much freedom should one have in this society? The thinking goes from one end of the spectrum to the other. On one end, the farthest to the left, we have chaos. Freedom that is all-encompassing and allows anyone to do anything regardless of the effect it has on themselves and more importantly, other people. I think most of us agree that pure anarchy would be too much freedom. I don’t think any of my readers would agree that we should be allowed to do anything we want, no matter what, with no rules and regulations to speak of. That would be complete madness and with no law, most would agree society would suffer horribly. As we continue from left to right on an imaginary line representing the levels of possible freedom, we come closer to what would be considered the “Libertarian” style of thinking. This is the first point in the line that is actually a possibility. Though I don’t speak for the political views of every Libertarian out there, generally their thinking is maximum personal freedom, as long as it doesn’t affect other people. For example I think most Libertarians would agree that both marijuana and prostitution should be legal, as they see these as personal choices that affect no one but themselves. They do not believe that moral enforcement, using the law to enforce morality, should be taking place.
A true expression of Libertarianism is the following statement by John Stewart Mills, the 1860’s British philosopher who stated “The only reason a civilized community would force someone to do or not do something is if that person is harming others through their actions.Even if you believe their mortal soul is doomed if he doesn’t stop, you cannot force someone, unless it is for the protection of the community”. This is referred to in philosophical circles as the Harm Principle.
Now as we go farther to the right we start to see the Harm Principle enforced for moral effects as well. This is when you start to head toward a communist type thinking. Morality starts to merge with law and you start to see things that are dubbed “immoral” made illegal. Enforcement of morality becomes more important than freedom.When you get to the farthest point to the right, its pure fascism and people become only smaller parts of the state, nothing more and all points of morality and law merge.
The reason I wanted to go over that is I am wondering what the true state of the United States is these days.Im sure many of you would say “That’s a dumb question, we’re obviously free”. Well, yes in many ways we are free but in some cases, such as prostitution and marijuana (two of the most relatable examples) we have merged morality and law. Prostitution is not illegal because it’s hurting those who ARENT participating in it. It’s illegal because we deem it immoral, therefore illegal, a very communistic view. As time is passing in this country consider the following. It is pretty much known that our government monitors most email that goes over the internet for “security” purposes. If you think they don’t you’re a fool. What this means is they are taking away your right in the name of the “greater good”. Again, a communistic type action. This also takes place at airports, where your bags are searched with no probable cause in the name of “protecting” others. A violation of your freedom to protect others, even when you’ve done nothing to make anyone think you plan to do something evil.
To wrap this up let me just say this. Our government, as time passes. is moving us closer and closer to the right side, the communistic/fascist side of this line. I’m not saying their ultimate goal is fascism but people need to start being aware of the facts of whats going on. A spade is a spade, no matter how you portray it, and many of our citizens these days are so easily manipulated that the rest of us can’t help but feel they are just being indoctrinated into nothing more than “parts of the state”, which is a major sign of fascism.Think about it. Facts are facts. Wake up a little bit people and question things sometimes.