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Do You Believe in Liberty?

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posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 02:24 PM

“I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs 
       By the known rules of ancient liberty, 
       When straight a barbarous noise environs me 
       Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs: 

As when those hinds that were transform'd to frogs 
       Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny 
       Which after held the sun and moon in fee. 
       But this is got by casting pearl to hogs, 

That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, 
       And still revolt when truth would set them free. 
       Licence they mean when they cry liberty; 

For who loves that, must first be wise and good. 
       But from that mark how far they rove we see, 
       For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood."

- John Milton

It isn’t the fact that we are divided politically that should frighten us. We are also increasingly divided between those who believe in the known rules of ancient liberty and those who do not. This is a far more worrying development than the growing chasms between left and right because a strong sense of liberty is what allows us to have differing opinions in the first place.

The political polarization, at any rate, is giving us a glimpse of how quickly people are willing to abandon liberty for their own political advantage. Mobs of hecklers descend upon the freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and the right to associate of political opponents. Vast corporations determine the boundaries of debate, who can participate, while at the same time profiting off our expressions. The protest has become a tool of threat and coercion instead of a cry for justice. The presumption of innocence has little moral force in the court of public opinion. Authorities have pathologized some forms of expressions as mental deviations, and coerced them out of the marketplace of ideas. Corporate media sifts through the private affairs of our elected officials for reasons of clickbait. Vigilantism, vandalism, and mob coercion gain prominence over due process. Intolerance replaces tolerance. Injustice replaces justice.

We hear it all the time in one form or another: so what? The various declarations of human rights, constitutions, charters of freedoms, apply only to governments and not to the private person. This is to point out the obvious. But then again, when used as an argument to justify the opposite of liberty, which is one degree or another of slavery and authoritarianism, we abandon each other's natural rights by an appeal to law. The principles upon which our constitutions are codified are universal. They are the reasonable approaches to citizenship, to one another’s liberty, and they have been over so long that to do otherwise would be unreasonable and unjust almost by definition.

This leaves us in the strange situation that wherever governments have pledged to defend these principles, the people they govern have made no such promise to one another.

So a question remains for the citizens of free and open societies:

Do you believe in liberty?

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 02:30 PM
a reply to: NiNjABackflip

In six thousand years of recorded human governance, nobody has really gotten it right. If you take the long view, it isn't a surprise the American experiment risks becoming a flash in the pan.

Liberty takes work...and we are most certainly not doing that.

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 02:37 PM
I don't think people have changed that much. People have always been more likely to take the path of least resistance. The times have changed. Not the people.
edit on 3-10-2018 by BrianFlanders because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 03:08 PM
People are mostly stupid.

It takes hard work to have liberty.

It's much, much easier to let other people tell you how to do it all right. And people resent it when they see others who do take the time and effort to do it for themselves, especially when those people succeed. Mainly they hate it because they see those other people and know deep down inside they don't have the courage or discipline to do for themselves.

So instead of taking their life into their own hands, it's easier to sink back into the herd and tear down what makes you feel bad -- namely those who are independent and living life on their own terms, with liberty.

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 03:17 PM
Liberty and justice are endangered species.
If people would just learn to live and let others live the way they see fit ,as long as no one is hurt and remember that the government is not in charge of them then we might have a chance.
People cant settle disputes among themselves in a civil way and call on the government to settle it for them , and even then it is still not really settled.

posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 08:06 PM
Liberty is still liberty under an oppressive regime, it is just that only the ruling class gets to exercise more liberty.

I would be quite interested in those that believe liberty for all at the expense of their power and political influence is still worthwhile.

An individuals liberty will of course always have a natural collision with another. So that leads to laws that distort individual liberty for an overall good. Normally when this is achieved through discussion and debate most of the population will indeed have liberty. When this is achieved through intimidation and violence a ruling class and a victim class is formed.

That is why I believe it is extremely important to ensure that intimidation and violence are not allowed to fester in any society if it is to remain civil while providing the most liberty possible for every individual.

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