The Problems with Freedom

The Problems with Freedom

I find it interesting that some who have read my posts seem opposed to freedom on several different levels. This is part of the great illusion that people are caught up in. Many think that freedom is something that must be parsed out in small quantities because it just doesn’t work in many areas and people can’t handle it. It’s true that if we don’t give people any freedom at all and treated them like cattle, they would not do anything wrong, but neither would they do anything right — outside of being fodder for their masters. In almost every case where someone points out that freedom is a bad thing one can also point out that if freedom didn’t exist the circumstances would be much worse.

For instance, a reader says that free trade is responsible for starvation and low wages in Third World countries. But what is overlooked is if these people were not hired through the advantages of free trade, they would have no job at all. When we began trade with China there were many people who lived near starvation and the jobs that became available through trade paid low wages by our standards, but it was a bonanza for them. And since establishing trade with them many of the Chinese have become very wealthy including many millionaires and even some billionaires.

The trouble with emotional thinking is these types of people go by what should be rather than what is. Sure, would be nice if everyone had a high wage. But we can’t make this a reality just by decreeing it. It’s a lot better if they have some wage than no wage. It’s a lot better if they have a prospect of a better life than no life at all.

Someone accused me of being “black-and-white” in my thinking, but I think being against free trade is being “black-and-white.” I do not have a “black-and-white” attitude toward free trade. If so-called free trade could risk the freedom for the whole then it is not so free. We certainly would not want to trade nuclear technology with someone who wants to destroy us. This would run contrary to the principle of freedom. Even our trade with China takes a great chance. We have about a 50-50 chance of China developing into an ally and about the same chance of it using its abundance to destroy us.

Another gripe voiced toward freedom is the pharmaceutical companies charge whatever they want for their products. In other words, they want to make all the money that they can. This is kind of like 99% of the population of the whole world in their own individual sphere of responsibility. I’ll bet even the critics of free trade and capitalism want to get all they can for the benefit of their own selves, yet we criticize others for having the same apparent flaw. It is just a fact of life that people operate in their own self-interest and groups are like people in the fact that they also operate in their self-interest. Because the self-interest of someone else does not reach the quality of some individual’s moral standards is no reason to impose their version of morality upon them. How many “new agers” gripe about religious people trying to impose their morality upon them yet they turn around and try to impose their morality upon businesses? I do not see much difference here.

It is true when there is freedom people will make mistakes and operate selfishly, but that’s a lot better than the alternative where we suffocate freedom and life; where abundance becomes extinguished, and the earth becomes a lonely and dreary world as in North Korea. The problem isn’t that pharmaceutical companies have freedom. The problem is that those who offer alternatives to the pharmaceutical companies do not have the freedom to offer their intelligence. So, the problem isn’t freedom or too much freedom, instead it is not enough freedom. If we had maximum freedom available the pharmaceutical companies would just about be put out of business through the promotion of natural prevention and cures. As it is right now if you claim any type of cure for a major disease you can be put in jail. The restrictions toward those lights who are seeking to bring preventive medicine to the earth are enormous. And this is only one of many areas where freedom needs to be expanded.

The next criticism is that I portray the Right as father figures, and I don’t mention the creationist, and those who are so keen on the rapture and want to bring on Armageddon. First of all, let me say that I am as much against these illogical doctrines as their critics, but many on the conservative side are unfairly lumped in with these extremists. Most conservatives I know are least as logical or more so in this type of area than are the liberals. There are strange beliefs on both sides of the equation. For instance, it is extremely illogical to not drill in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) when absolutely no harm to the environment can be demonstrated. The amount of ground needed is about equal in size to a postage stamp compared a football field when we look at the percentage of the ANWR territory needed. One has to have as religious type bent rather than a logical one to be against this “liberal” use of resources. Resistance to this idea is about as silly as going up on the mountain and expecting Jesus to rapture you. And if you don’t believe in drilling you shouldn’t buy gas, for every gallon of gas you buy has been obtained by drilling.

And as far as accusing conservatives of wanting to bring on Armageddon, I find very few of them want Armageddon in their lifetime. However, I’ve found a lot of liberals that want Armageddon. Many working for Greenpeace and the Sierra Club want a complete collapse so the ones that can live close to nature can survive and make a better world. I think the above criticism of me is very “black-and-white” because there are strange beliefs on both sides of the equation. Those who find fault with only conservatives or only liberals are being the “black-and-white” ones.

A reader asked “how can one so easily categorize left and right with no shades of gray. JJ is seeing everything in broad generalized abstract of black-and-white.”

This is an unjust criticism because this is not what I did. I said the left is polarized in the female and the right is polarized in the male energy. The word polarization is far from being a “black-and-white” word. You can be polarized in the emotions if your attention is 51% in this direction. This leaves 49% that can be in another direction. This is about as far from “black-and-white” as you can get. If 49% of you is not in the female or male, or emotional or intellectual energy, then one is not set in black and white format on either side. I’ve made it clear in many of my writings that if a person is polarized in the emotions, for example, one will still use his mind in many endeavors. But to be polarized on one side or the other means that you have an inclination to lean in that direction. This is far from being “black-and-white” as accused.

This reader seems to think that we’ve also evolved much since 1940’s that DK’s statements are out of date. DK dealt largely in principles and principles do not go out of date. Some facts relevant to the 1940s may be out of date, but not principles. The reader seems to think that we’ve made great strides in evolution since then. We’ve made some, but I wouldn’t call them great strides. We’re not much more able to recognize and deal with a Hitler now than we were back then. The door to evil is not yet shut. To speak in generalities about what DK would think about the situation of today is futile unless we go back to specific things he said and relate them.

I’ve also been accused of being too general in my teachings, but my critics have the same problem. The criticisms I see here are also very general. I often do not know what I’m being criticized for except that I am wrong in some eyes. I like it when someone disagrees with me and tells me specifically where the problem is so it can be solved as “A Course in Miracles” advises.

I’m told I should come out and tell readers which political party I embrace. The fact is politics is cyclic just as all other things. The conservative side goes from the middle to the extreme right and the liberal side goes from the middle to the extreme left. When either side approaches the middle they become capable of accomplishing some good in the world. Contrary to the common belief of the Left, we are at a point where the Left is focused in the extreme. In the days of John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt the Left was much closer to the center and accomplish some good things. But now they are embracing extreme doctrines that will take us to enforced socialism and restrict our freedom and create way too many laws to suffocate humanity.

You notice when I speak of socialism in a negative way I always associate it with force. I’m quite socialistic myself and believe in many socialistic ideals but good becomes a great evil when it is imposed by force. And this is what I’m against. Right now, the conservatives are less inclined to use force to impose their ideals than are the liberals. Almost every protester marching and screaming in the streets is a liberal. I know saying this produces the effect of throwing holy water on the vampire because this goes so contrary to their belief system, yet if you examine this logic in the light of day you will find it to be true.

Another reader seems to think that capitalism is not much better and socialism because the average person who is not extraordinarily wealthy “has no economic freedom and never did.” I have struggled all my life, and I’ve been in situations where I have been as poor as a church mouse but I have always had economic freedom. How do you explain that? One of the main reasons I haven’t gotten rich is because I’ve used my freedom to seek for knowledge more than money. And fortunately, in this society I’ve had the freedom to do this, to make this choice. In communistic countries you don’t have that freedom. It’s not so bad being poor if you have the freedom to become rich. Having the freedom to make a choice is a fundamental principle that any disciple worth his salt should support 100%.

The bottom line is this — when freedom reigns disciples need to put their attention on educating the public in the right direction. Being educated and directed toward the light is much more powerful than passing a law to force someone to do good. Sometimes laws are necessary, but they should only be used as a last resort when nothing else will work. As it is the liberals at this time want to pass 10 times more laws than we need, which wind up restricting us. Unfortunately, the conservatives want to pass more laws than we need also. They just aren’t quite as determined to enslave us as the current cycle of liberals.

And when I speak of liberals and conservatives here I speak in the ways they are currently defined. I am a true liberal, but some of my liberal beliefs are called conservative by the left.

“We are none of us infallible — not even the youngest of us.” — W. H. Thompson

Sept 8, 2008

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