I’ve been thinking about the idea that is in circulation lately that freedom can be imposed. This popular idea which is used as an attack on attempts by the United States at spreading democracy has really run against my grain yet the only counter to it I have heard presented is the opposing argument: Freedom cannot be imposed.
One side says freedom can be imposed for we could invade any totalitarian country and then impose the type of government we desire and mandate the creation of a democracy.
The other side says freedom cannot be imposed because freedom itself is the opposite of compulsion.
Neither answer satisfies my soul, but now the answer has come it is very simple and I wonder why the realization never came earlier.
It is indeed true that freedom cannot be imposed. Can you force a man to be a Democrat or Republican when he has complete free will (freedom) to choose?
No. This is impossible. If he has freedom to choose then the choice cannot be imposed. If the choice is imposed then he has no freedom.
So what about Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? Did we not defeat them by force and impose freedom on them?
The answer is key. We did overpower them by force but we did not impose freedom.
If we did not impose freedom through the use of force then what did we do?
The answer is that freedom was not imposed. What was imposed by force was the destruction or holding back of those powers that restrict freedom.
This is the principle that is behind the justifiable use of force which is this:
Authority and force are positive things if they are used to restrict those forces which restrict life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If the bully is beating up a helpless kid and stealing his lunch money it is a positive thing to use whatever means necessary, including force, to restrict the bully. When force is used to restrict the bully only the fool would say the lunch money was imposed on the kid.
It is equally as silly to say that defeating Nazism by force imposed freedom on the Germans.
It is also silly to say that we are seeking to impose freedom on Afghanistan and Iraq. Any freedom that manifests there will be the result, not of imposition, but of the restriction of tyranny.
It is interesting that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which gave us the freedoms we have enjoyed over the past couple centuries, did not impose freedom but restricted the forces that prevent freedom.
The essence of them could be summed up by this sentence: “Congress shall make no law that restricts freedom.” If we substitute many of the restrictions instituted by the Founding Fathers with that phrase – “restricts freedom” we can see that it fits in nicely with the intended meaning.
Conclusion: Freedom cannot be imposed. It can only manifest through free will when those conditions, which prevent freedom, are restrained.
As Solomon says, there is a time and a place for everything, even the use of force. A just police force applies this principle daily to assist us in maintaining life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
They are prepared to use whatever force is necessary to prevent murder, rape, robbery and many other affronts on human freedom. Unfortunately, without this threat of force our civilization would be in anarchy and little freedom would be available to the individual.
In a future age this threat of force will not be needed, but our civilization is yet some distance from achieving this.
On this note here is a great quote from DK written during World War II:
“The leaders of the United Nations (Allied nations) and of their armies are not Godless men, as are the leaders of the Axis Powers; they are men of rectitude and of spiritual and humanitarian purpose and are able thus to work-consciously or unconsciously-under the inspiration of the Hierarchy. This has been amply demonstrated. On account of this decision of the Hierarchy, Christ became automatically the Leader of these Forces. His work has been greatly hindered by the sweet sentimentality of the unthinking Christian and by the well-meaning, but oft unintelligent, pacifist. Both these groups would sacrifice the future of humanity to temporary methods of “being nice” or “being kind” or taking gentle measures. The forces of evil, stalking the world today, do not understand such measures. The cry of such people that “God loves all men” is true-eternally and forever true. It is one of the unalterable facts of existence itself. God loves-without distinction and irrespective of race or creed. To that Great Life naught matters but humanity and its perfecting, because upon humanity depends the salvation of all the kingdoms in nature. But this statement (made in time and space and as it concerns the form aspect and not the spirit in man) is frequently misleading, and the simple-minded are apt to forget that the Christ said, “He that is not with me is against me.”
“Men fail also to realise the potency of the thought wielded by Those who work under and with the Christ. Thought is pure divine energy, impersonal and-like the sun-it pours down upon the worthy and the unworthy, unless definitely and deliberately directed. The Hierarchy was therefore faced with the problem and the necessity of seeing that pure impersonal thought energy did not find its way into the ranks of those fighting human freedoms, for it stimulates the minds and the mental processes of the good and the bad alike. This danger They deliberately offset by directing Their thought to the forces fighting under the leaders of the United Nations and by openly taking Their stand upon the side of right human relations. They did not dare to do otherwise, for-in their place and given circumstances-the leaders of the forces of evil have proved themselves cleverer and more calculating than those fighting for human freedom. It is this distinction and its necessity that some kindly and well-intentioned but ignorant Christian thinkers often overlook.” Externalization of the Hierarchy, Pages 476-477
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)
Oct 9, 2006
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