T Nation

Why Do Americans Care So Much About Freedom

when practically speaking, they lack any meaningful sense of autonomy in their day-to-day lives? Were just wagies in cagies, man:

What a whiney bitch. You sell your time for money. If you have useful skills or knowledge you get more money. You have the ability to gain that skill and knowledge if you choose. Alternately, you can go into business for yourself and control your own destiny.


It sure beats the hell out of being told what to do, when to do it and having very little choice in the matter.

It also beats the hell out of somehow getting money for doing nothing.

I didn’t watch the videos, please let me know if there’s something other than recycled Marxism that entitled college freshmen find compelling.


There’s a hippie George Carlin bit.

Wages have been stagnate for 50 years. Wealth inequality is at its highest level since the 1920s. Intergenerational wealth statistics show millenials owning less wealth than gen X, and gen X less than the boomers at matching ages. Upward mobility is less likely than ever. Record numbers of young people live with their parents, signifying lack of opportunity. Middle income jobs paying decent wages are disappearing and being replaced with low-wage, no-benefits, contractor gig jobs.

At what point does low wage employment become a fault of the system and not a moral failing of the individual worker? I’d say we’ve been at the point for a long time.

Not an expert, but studying behavioural science: Somehow, these topics always happen to coincide with what I’m learning in class :thinking:


Yes. There are a LOT of studies showing the psycholocigal and physical benefits of having autonomy and choices

However, there is such thing as too much choice, and you could easily argue that, in general, Americans live in a world of choice overload. This guy explains it much better than I could ever hope to.

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I don’t doubt this.

Is this bad? Maybe we should be content with less.

Depending on where you are (and when), this isn’t unusual. Tons of cultures around the world do this, and in America, up until not too long ago, you’d see this too. I still see it with a lot of farming families in my area.

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If there was any doubt as to @fbc91’s identity…


I don’t… Just about everyone I live with doesn’t either.

But you’ve got a point here, rent is fairly expensive for someone my age. As is college tuition within our current economic paradigm. #Iforseecripplingdebt

Currently at home though #recoveringfromsurgery #notbeingproductive #hashtag


This book actually creeped me out when I first read it. The overt manipulation of those who were so devoted to the notion of equality crept under the skin of young unreal24278.


Gen X and I had roommates until I got married at 27. Get some guys together and get the hell out of your parents’ house.


Not sure if it’s freedom or rather civil liberties that fit a vested narrative that the average American citizen cares about. True freedom/total autonomy would dictate the government has little to no involvement within the average citizens day to day life. Very few (though some do) advocate for this approach.

True unconstrained freedom would perhaps require anarchism, of which has significant tradeoffs as without a governing body nothing inherently limits what others can do aside from vigilantism. The only scenario wherein anarchism has arguably worked out in favour was the anarchist commune Christiana Freedown in Denmark. Though through repeated government interference via law enforcement the initial utopian ideal of which was somewhat effective has died out.

Not if you have a boat. I’m thinking about taking my 16ft Lund out to international waters to exercise a little freedom. You can do whatever you want in international waters.

That’s my right as an American, as long as I don’t run into the so-called “Coast Guard”.

That sounds ominous

I’ve always thought about doing something like this one day when I’m financially settled just for the experience.

Yeah, like having to choose between two fossils for president.

Having a couple of hundred different types or brands of cookies to choose from is not really having a couple of hundred choices. There are really two choices: whether to buy cookies or not. It’s the same with fast food; the choice isn’t where you choose to eat but whether to eat or not to garbage. Things get really simple when you look at choices as being good or bad.


International waters has a lot of perks.

(3) S11E12 - Perks of the International Waters - YouTube (3) S11E12 - Perks of the International Waters - YouTube

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Aren’t they all communists anyway? As long as they can afford their iPhones, they will be happy.

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In some cases this might be true. However, if one chooses to remain a dumb F**k and not learn useful skill that is not the systems fault. Currently the US is in need of a lot more skilled tradesman like machinists, carpenters, plumbers, welders and a lot more. Those jobs pay well and require only cheap community college. A friend of mine from high school went and got trained for welding and started making 75k a year almost right off the bat, much more than many bachelor’s level jobs. My sorry butt was racking up debt in college. Yes, eventually my net worth will likely exceed his, but it probably won’t happen until I am 45.

People are generally lazy and some people are just stupid. They can continue to ring up my purchases at the convenience store and greet me at Walmart. I have no tolerance for stupidity or laziness.


So the “Haves” get more and the “Have-nots” will bitch until there is a revolution, resetting the thresholds for a little while. It’s been this way since humans started recording our history. Nothing new here.

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I think a better question is why don’t more peoples care more about freedom?

The question seems to imply freedom isn’t worth caring about at the level Americans seen to care about it (odd that that level hadn’t been started by op … well not odd really, more unsurprising) … I disagree … as do, seemingly, most other posters.

Also, op just rambled off a bunch of assumptions we’re supposed to take at have value … sounds like a persuasive argument from an 8th grader


I’m not sure how the socio-economic cog works within the USA. In Australia if someone is out of work through fault not of their own systems have been set up ensuring these individuals are kept fed and housed. It isn’t perfect, but those who REALLY do require help (the disabled, those out of work who can’t find a job no matter how hard they try etc) get the help they require to stay afloat. It isn’t a glamorous life, but it ensures you don’t starve, nor are you living on the street.

Someone with say, mental retardation/down syndrome doesn’t choose to have low intellect. Someone with chronic, intractable pain and fatigue from (example) an advanced, aggressive case of multiple sclerosis doesn’t choose to be worn down and potentially out of work either.

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