Define Freedom

free·dom
[ˈfrēdəm]

NOUN

  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint:

I’ve tried to write this several times, each time I get frustrated trying to describe what that word means to me. How do you define freedom? I know what the dictionary says, but it’s much more than that. I think it’s a very deep and personal feeling, different to everyone who really thinks about it for a while.

For me it begins with the fact that I feel I am a Libertarian. Some people I know say I’m not, but I think it depends on your description of such. There are many ideas behind Libertarianism, some I agree with, some I don’t. I think David Boaz stated it pretty clearly for me.

According to Libertarianism: A Primer by David Boaz, Free Press, 1997.

Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.

There are nuances to this premise, many additions I could include, but the basics remain the same. You should be able to do what you want, within bounds of reason, and live your life as you see fit. I don’t believe in the abolishment of government, just a limited scope of it’s power. Otherwise, there would be no country.

The government needs to provide an umbrella of protection, the common defense of all from outside invaders. A judicial system that is equal and fair to all, with laws that are based on common sense instead of a bias towards one group or another. Borders that are porous only after you have proven your benefit to the country, or a life and liberty saving need to flee your country.

We are a nation of immigrants, but we are not France, Botswana, China or Afghanistan. You leave your country knowing full well that you are going to be a part of something different, not come here and start a “Mini Me” version of where your from. You don’t need to give up your culture, but our laws become your laws.

Your skin color does not make you special. Because my family comes from England, am I a European American? No, just like Black people are not African American. We are Americans! Equal in every way without need for distinguishing a lineage. I understand wanting to remember where our family may be from, never forgetting what one group or another went through, but if you want to stop driving a wedge between people, the labels need to go away. You are simply John or Mary or Frank. Your my neighbor, my friend, my boss, or a truck driver. Were all equal, simple as that.

I believe we need to stop interfering with other countries problems unless specifically asked to do so by them, and then only on a limited basis. If the people of a given country really want to change how they live, it’s up to them to get it done. Do we stand by and watch governments slaughter their citizens? That’s a tough question. Do you think Afghanistan will be better when we leave, or go right back to a feudal society? It’s true the US has interests abroad, and there will be times we need to defend them. Diplomacy is important, but it needs to come from a position of strength.

Countries need to understand we mean what we say and can back it up if needed. I don’t mean we should bully others for our needs, just be ready when others try to interfere with our way of life. I you leave us alone, well leave you alone. If you want to trade with us, do it in a manor that is fair to both sides or go away. I don’t think we should be an isolationist state, but the interests of Americans should come first. I’m not emotionally immune to the struggles of others, but if we don’t help ourselves first we are to weak to really be effective in helping others.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Define Freedom

  1. I wholly agree with you – if you choose (as I have chosen as a matter of fact) to come and live here for however short or long a time, by definition I choose to abide by the rules of this country. The same applies wherever I choose (lucky me, I have choice) to live. I do not expect to dictate to others and I do not expect others to dictate to me. So long as I am peacefully getting on with my life and not harming others that is what I define as my right to freedom. And I expect every other to have the same right. Not more, not less. Just the same. That is equality. And that is liberty.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Freedom for us is a paradox, in that its self contradictory..
    It only survives with rules and parameters in place.. But having rules and parameters are restrictive by definition..
    Freedom is never free.. It’s cost millions of lives from the beginning of history..

    Freedom isn’t equal in idealogies worldwide.. In America alone there’s a night and day difference between liberal freedoms and conservative freedoms..

    There’s too many different schools of thought to put the idea of freedom in a nice neat box..

    I think the only freedom we can be 99% sure to count on, is that one day we will leave these wonderful and confusing bonds of being human.. What’s next, is the unknown and my faith rests in that will be a new exciting chapter of a new existence.. So I guess that is my idea of freedom.. It’s something I’m still waiting to experience..

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. I find this post fascinating!!! I, too, ponder over the definition of freedom, often. You are right, it has a different definition from one person to the next. You appear to have taken a more literal and political view of the term. As someone that has struggled with chronic depression since I was a small child, freedom means predominantly one thing for me. PEACE. When the demons give me a small break, I feel truly peaceful. I feel free. When I live my truth, follow my dreams, and be my authentic self, I find peace and I feel free as a bird. 😘😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

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