April 25, 2013 by Liberty
People often get the mistaken impression that I put freedom above all other values. I discuss freedom a lot and I can understand how people can make that mistake. Liberty is a very cool thing. I love it but I’m willing to sacrifice liberty. Liberty is not the most important thing I believe in.
Ethics, to me, are significantly more important than any level of freedom. I would rather sleep good in a cage than be guilt ridden and free. This might just be why the free market actually works so well. Most people have something inside themselves that looks out for everyone else’s benefit. This may be some evolutionarily selfish concept but it doesn’t matter.
Perhaps we only love to procreate.
Maybe the only reason we care is because we get stuff from others.
But we do love and we do care. That means something.
What am I willing to sacrifice liberty for?
It doesn’t matter what government is in place. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a cage. It doesn’t matter if some people are above other people in benefits or lifestyle. If the system in place led to peace then I would support it. Violence should not be involved in life. We don’t need it.
We have all these resources but we feel the need to treat them like their scarce. As society advances, scarcity becomes less and less of an issue. The only logical reason for people to attack others is for their own benefit but mutual interaction is more beneficial when plenty of resources are available.
If communism brought peace then I would support it. Equality, value, progression of society, I can put all of that aside for peace but communism doesn’t bring peace.
If monarchy brought peace then I’d be screaming long live the king. I could live with ridiculously illogical taxes and rules. My existence could be at the whim of another humans opinion. I could live with that if it brought peace… it doesn’t.
Some people thought democracy would bring peace in America (while ignoring the old democracies that failed.) Democracy does not bring peace. It just brings violence of the majority onto the minority (non-violent criminals, war, regulations.)
All of these government ideas are severely limited because their existence requires violence. That means for every bit of peace you get with the system, a little bit of violence is created somewhere else.
What Is Liberty
I don’t really think of my liberty as much of a value. I honestly view it in a suspicious way. I need to ask the question, why do I want this liberty?
Is it so I can provide more for the world
Is it that I want to take more from the world?
I find that, most of the time, I want to provide more. Even if I don’t completely understand the logic behind my preference, I want to do good with my liberty.
To me, liberty should not be treated as an end goal.
Liberty is an obscure goal that will never truly be achieved.
Liberty is a Tool
History has shown people are willing to sacrifice liberty in an attempt to get what they want. This isn’t always a bad thing. It’s like a parent sacrificing their liberty to have a child. That’s not necessarily bad but it’s not always good.
Liberty is a means for people to get what they want. Take note: Liberty is not a means to get what you want. Liberty provides everyone the ability to get what they desire most. At least that’s the way I see it.
A slave owner owner could not be truly free without first freeing his slaves. Slaves require control that a free man couldn’t create. Mutual employees don’t require so much control.
For me, liberty is just another means to achieve peace. It’s the only tool that’s ever shown an overall standard of living improvement for everyone. When societies are free and prosporous, they grow less violent. When societies are controlled, they become more violent.
I would sacrifice liberty for peace but quite frankly, liberty has been the only means to consistently bring peace in history.