T Nation

Freedom: Humans Don't Really Believe In It

I’ve found that the Testosterone Family is perhaps one of the most well read on the Internet…so I wanted to throw out this idea to you…

As I look at both National and International events; and as I look at Human History…I’ve come to realize that people don’t fight, die and embrace Freedom; at least not for others.

What people ACTUALLY fight and die for are their own personal lifestyles, beliefs and ideals…and as long as the next guys believes what I believe…THEN I believe in Freedom…

I recently came to this conclusion as I viewed the protest in Baghdad. No sooner had the fumes from Tomahawks abated and the Tyranny of Saddam been released…people were yelling and screaming for a Theocracy. BUT WAIT! Not just ANY Theocracy…but a SHIA Theocracy (since Sunni is “incomplete”); and one that is more like our brothers in Iran…
(Oh…by the way…I didn’t see many “free” woman in the crowd either…)

So that this does NOT turn into a “US/Arab/Muslim” thread, here in the U.S., our HEARTS are no better when in comes to Freedom. If not for our Constitution and laws, I would guarantee you that people would be more than ready to impose their personal beliefs and ideals on any and everybody…and this is not a hypothetical, folks…it’s a fight in the Courts and in the streets (figuratively and literally) everyday in the U.S. to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

So that this thread doesn’t get hijacked into some Ideological Diatribe of someone’s belief’s, the question is this:

Do people REALLY believe in Freedom? My answer is yes and no…YES for themselves and their beliefs…often NO for others…

Your thoughts?

That’s crap. 1 more time, in a sane society (like a family) people care about each other & are cooperative, etc. It’s the USA gov’t & the corporations that turn people against each other.

A definite yes for myself and others. Mufasa, what makes you believe that everyone doesn’t believe in freedom for others? I know tham many times there are fundementalistic ideas, but these ideas does not come from the majority.

Say:
???

Jason:

Not EVERYBODY…but often a VERY vocal (and strong) part of a population of people…and usually the part that is ready and willing to trample on other’s Freedoms…

Mufasa

To Say:

Once again you have no basis for your comments. My family is always helping out each other. I sense the same from other families that I know also. You have no facts to back up your opinions like always. And I don’t consider those dumbass websites you post as facts. You don’t here me spouting off at the mouth about Canada. Then again I have no idea about Canada and that is why I base my opinions on facts and not websites.

Should I even respond to SAY? Not!

Say: Have you ever read anything by R.D. Laing? Pick it up sometime. The family is the demoralizing, brainwashing, violence driven structure that prepares us for normality.

The family is what’s insane.

Political ideologies are shaped by individual psychologies. If you had a bunch of sane people working on a political plan, you’d probably eventually get a sane political plan in the end. But people are fucked up. And trust me, somebody started making people fucked up way before the government ever got involved.

I hate to be juvenile and resort to the basics, but…

Say, shut the fuck up. Why does every single topic brought up by anybody elicit a hateful, anti-american comment from you?

A better question actually is, why do I always let your button pushing get to me?

Mufasa, I see your point and it does have some validity. But for those who can really step back and take a look at “freedom” and what it means, not just as it benefits them, but how it can benefit the human race as a whole, then yes, I think most people are for freedom for everyone.

In other words, the Iraqi people, for example, are free to believe what they choose. But when those beliefs oppress others (like not allowing women to show their faces in public), then that doesn’t fit into the common belief of what freedom is.

To me, it’s not an “American” thing, but a common sense thing. It’s not really too difficult a concept to understand or agree upon.

People start out as animals/criminals at start. Empty boxes. With LUCK, ‘family’ aligns them OK with reality. Eventually, independent thinking forms (Thank God!) and takes precedence over one’s past.

As for laws, until a very high percentage of the population gets fully self-responsible (dream on!), the more laws, the better. That’s the only way to force people to change and think. (Repeat offenders come to mind, but that’s because the systems is too gentle. I’d go for the eye for eye laws and legalised dueling anyday). Otherwise, these same irresponsible (animal) people will take their sense of liberty and shove yours down your throat until you defend your turf.

Like it was said, when you look at facts, people do not really want liberty. They prefer status quo. They prefer the past-they-know to the freedom-that-brings-tons-of-unknowns. Reminds me the beaten-wife syndrome. Present her a guy that respects her and a jerk, and she’ll go back with a jerk 95% of the time. Facts don’t match up with ideals most of the time.

Say has a right to his opinion no matter how twisted the majority of the population considers it. Although I consider Chomsky’s writings a bunch of inane drivel, you could absorb some history from them. Of course, it would be his revisionist version. No system is perfect. We’re all human here.

Mamaan brought up an interesting thought: Freedom equaling the ability to choose FOR ONE’S SELF.

There was something interesting that happened in Afghanistan. When the Taliban was removed, women were “free” to remove their Burqas (I preface this, because some of the Taliban “moral police” were still within the population; fear doesn’t leave that easily). Some did…some didn’t. One beautiful Afghan woman said “But I had a choice…”

Dan also brought up a long held truism: With freedom comes responsibility…and might I add the granting to OTHERS the freedom to believe and express (within limitations) what, and how, they wish?

And did someone once say that Freedom without responsibility is anarchy? We see this in Baghdad as on of the “essentials” that the population is begging for is a Police Force…

Let’s keep the dialogue going guys…

Mufasa

Up three steps to the top of the soapbox…

I think that MOST everyone (with limited intelligence at least) would be FOR freedom for “others”, I think that the opinion of how well they are able to cope with that freedom is what you are confusing with the “no for others”. Just because I think that some (hell, maybe “many”) countries/societies are unprepared/unable to deal with and adjust to sudden freedom at this particular time, does not in any way indicate that I don’t think they have the right to it. Releasing caged animals from the zoo into the wild is not unlike freeing a country. To do so without teaching or training the necessary skills will bring hardship and or death.

Freedom takes much more effort than being oppressed. To be oppressed one only has to exist, to be free a man (or women) must contribute to society and makes decisions each and every day, skills that are unused and untrained in the recently freed.

Our friend Say THINKS he has issues with America BUT his real issues are with HUMANITY. He just doesn’t realize it yet. He will when he ages a bit and sees in himself and his country that which he so despises in others. The mirror of truth is a bitch.

Down three steps and back to the kids and Easter…

“Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim”

~ Thomas B. Macaulay

“Freedom takes much more effort than being oppressed. To be oppressed one only has to exist; to be free, a man (or women) must contribute to society and make decisions each and every day, skills that are unused and untrained in the recently freed.”

Cupcake:

That is an absolutely OUTSTANDING quote. If it’s yours…kudo’s!..if not, who stated it?

Mufasa

Small half bow from the waist

All Me…me smart like truck…

Vroomm, Vroomm

Thanks “Moose”

“The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit”

~ William Somerset Maugham

Mufasa,

Your topic is a welcome change from the usual topics around here. Here are my thoughts on the subjects. Please note that it is only what I have learned with my life experience, law school and such. Ok, you’ve been warned.

Freedom, in the purest form equals anarchy since there would be now laws and no constraints to the actions of men and women. This leads us to the law of the strongest (or the smartest) which is, in itself a kind of law. SO Freedom, in absolute, is impossible. What we have here in America(Canada and the US) is “organized” freedom. We have laws, rules, inhibitions (both personal and social) so most of the people can function and live without having to resort to brute strength/strong-arm techniques to get what they want.

As far as humans believing in freedom, yes I think most of us believe in it AS LONG as there is some order, some laws or rules to keep the order in a social group in re: my comments above about “organized” freedom. Moreover I beleive humans wants freedom for THEMSELVES, so as long as they are relatively free, the rest of the world can be enslaved and it won’t matter very much.

Also and lastly, please remember most humans are weak-minded and easily corruptible. So when you see a former warlord becoming president of such or such little-known country, you can be assured he will most likely enslave half the local population to work for him in re Marcos and family.

I’ll leave you with this quote from a teacher in Uni., I’ll translate it after:

“Il y a des gens li, des gens lib et tr?s peu qui sont libres.”

“Most of the people are f, some are fr but very few are free.”

Yeah,yeah, I know, I’m from Quebec and I talk french AND live in Canada so I must be a bad guy so please don’t tell it, I already know the drill!:0)

My 2 cents,


-LPdSB

Outstanding, LPdSB!

No worry…I don’t even know what all the flames between SOME Canadians and SOME Yanks is all about…so no flames from me!

In addition to “controlled” Freedom, I hate to harp on the point that Freedom ALSO necessitates a large degree of personal responsibility. One of those (in my opinion) is to allow others to believe, and do (within limits) what they wish…

Believe me…without our systems of Laws, and a Constitution to back them…many (not all) of our HEARTS in the U.S. are often as Tribal and Dictatorial as the worst Tyrant you could think of.

I have ALWAYS been amazed at the U.S. Constitution and the insights of the drafters of the document. Could you imagine the shape of the U.S. without it (and the Bill of Rights)? I personally think that without that foundation and basis for Law, we would see a Country with a MUCH different character…or no Country at all…

Want to see hate and Tribalism…go to any Little League game, anywhere in the U.S., on any given day! (LOL!!!)

Seriously…laws don’t change people’s hearts…but they are an integral part of the “controlled Freedom” you speak of…

Mufasa

Ouff! Thanks Mufasa!

I thought for a moment I add to buy a new kevlar jacket… :0)

-LPdSB

Yes, LPdSB stated it right. Freedom must have its limitations. Complete freedom, which never even would exist really, is a recipe for disaster. In fact, every government in the world today has some type of system that restricts the freedom of its people. That goes for everything from the smallest tribes to the largest countries.

You’re right Mufasa, I don’t think we as Americans enjoy our freedom, we instead enjoy our lifestyle.

Well, I can really only speak for myself. Do I believe in defending (or fighting for) other people’s freedom? Yes. Actually, I make it my business to do exactly that. Would I do it strictly for those reasons? Probably not. I do profit from it.

I think it was J. Paul Getty who said “Make enough people into millionaires, without thought for your own personal reward, and you will be wealthy beyond belief.” (at least it was something to that effect, and it may have been Andrew Carnegie who said it)

But that’s really all about financial freedom. Theologically, I believe that people are free to believe what they wish. However, my beliefe also requires that I share my faith with others, with the purpose of increasing the kingdom of God. I would hope that religious freedom would always allow that.