Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny
Tomorrow is Memorial Day and it is only fitting that we think about the concepts of Freedom and Liberty. Especially so with respect to political freedom and liberty as the United States of America was the first place to give birth to a nation wherein self government was given a fighting chance at success. The three branches of government, the executive, legislative, and judicial, with the checks and balances the founders built in was designed to insure that the Federal government itself was limited and would be held in check so the people would not become servants to a tyrannical ruling class. More on this later.
So as we honor those who have guarded our freedom and liberties, both past and present I leave you with the following to contemplate.
Freedom Select quotes from the Ayn Rand Lexicon - What is the basic, the essential, the crucial principle that differentiates freedom from slavery? It is the principle of voluntary action versus physical coercion or compulsion.
Freedom, in a political context, has only one meaning: the absence of physical coercion.
ince knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind.
A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone’s orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone’s opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or “welfare.” Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument. (An example and symbol of this attitude is Galileo.)
It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of such minds—from the intransigent innovators—that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.) It is to such minds that mankind owes its survival. (See Atlas Shrugged.)
Freedom and liberty can be seen as having interrelated yet different meanings. As such consider the following.
Foggy metaphors, sloppy images, unfocused poetry, and equivocations—such as “A hungry man is not free”—do not alter the fact that only political power is the power of physical coercion.
Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state—and nothing else.
Freedom and liberty, while deeply interrelated and connected, do have different root meanings. The following represents what this writer views as liberty
Liberty Select quotes from the Ayn Rand Lexicon - The basic premise of the Founding Fathers was man’s right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness—which means: man’s right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; and that the political implementation of this right is a society where men deal with one another as traders, by voluntary exchange to mutual benefit.
The Founding Fathers were neither passive, death-worshipping mystics nor mindless, power-seeking looters; as a political group, they were a phenomenon unprecedented in history: they were thinkers who were also men of action. They had rejected the soul-body dichotomy, with its two corollaries: the impotence of man’s mind and the damnation of this earth; they had rejected the doctrine of suffering as man’s metaphysical fate, they proclaimed man’s right to the pursuit of happiness and were determined to establish on earth the conditions required for man’s proper existence, by the “unaided” power of their intellect.
The political philosophy of America’s Founding Fathers is so thoroughly buried under decades of statist misrepresentations on one side and empty lip-service on the other, that it has to be re-discovered, not ritualistically repeated. It has to be rescued from the shameful barnacles of platitudes now hiding it. It has to be expanded—because it was only a magnificent beginning, not a completed job, it was only a political philosophy without a full philosophical and moral foundation, which the “conservatives” cannot provide.
The foregoing is a salutation to all the freedom loving and liberty minded individuals that have given so much, past and present to defend both our freedom and liberties. It is also meant as a resounding rebuke to the idea that the federal state (Leviathan) has the right or the constitutional power to decide for us our course of action and to play the role of the benevolent tyrannical and despotic answer to all of societies problems.
To the horde of statists who have swallowed the poison of progressivism hook line and sinker rest assured it WILL be your undoing. Another thing, the principles of freedom, liberty, property rights,and self government, as well as capitalism will not die or crawl under a rock.
Happy Memorial Day!
Via: The Bastiat Society- Ameritopia