Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day

In spite of all the festivities, pomp and circumstance, are we any freer than we were 235 years ago? Some may see this as a rhetorical question, some as a ridiculous one, still others won't care a whit, having become accustomed to the hamster wheel.

Recently, I had read a quote by the new age philosopher Vernon Howard, who said: "Our freedom can be measured by the number of things we can walk away from." He also said: "Freedom begins as we become conscious of it." Vernon was one interesting cat and I encourage anyone to check him out. In this context, how many things can we walk away from? Are we conscious of our freedom or lack of it?

To expound on the first question, I'll further ask, can you give up your iPhone or other smart phone, computer, fast food, alcohol, drugs, the need for a bigger house, better car, crappy job, great job, wife, husband, children, petty grievances and desires, hatred of others, hatred of self, religion, god, malignant self-importance, the need always to be right? What are we running from, what are we running to? Some of these, such as family, have certain obligations that are a trade off in whatever perceived freedom might be gained. Some are trade offs that we perceive for some benefit that the do gooders like to call the common good. Still others here are mere objects of desire and delusion that we use to reinforce our sense of self-importance, relevance and perceived fecundity. While some are useful tools, they still latch on like spidey's web, creating dependence that is in fact anathema to being free. Are you willing to walk away, give it up?

To the second question, are we aware of it? Certainly not in a conscious and caring way that would want to remediate it. While in some ways, the impetus of our founding, to be free of the king, is looked on with such anti-monarchial pride, the yoke of taxes, or social, economic, and political burden we have taken on since, makes or genesis seem mild in comparison. Part of it is based in paternalism or what I call the ideology of Farm Animals®, and part in the distraction of meaningless bullshit that we encumber ourselves in everyday life.  Basically we would rather give up personal sovereignty to ensure some sort of guarantee of existence. In other words, safety. In our own hearts be true, we know this and we know how feckless we have become. So we surround ourselves with more stuff in an effort to delude ourselves of what it is real. If you don't believe me, look at it in the extreme with Horders, which is all the reality show rave now. All addiction is based on disconnecting with reality. Reality is harsh, it can suck. Buy more stuff, drink more alcohol, eat more food, do more drugs. It'll all be better in the morning.

Now, back to our collective independence day. Are we more free than we were then? I think not. Collectivism makes it harder if not more difficult to walk away and in a way is the ultimate addiction that is a necessary and purposeful distraction for those who are behind that curtain. Like a cow with a nose ring, we are led around by our noses by those that are less than us and worse, who we appoint, encourage, reward and enable. Democracy has allowed us to become masters of our own enslavement and while not by divine right of a king or queen, we are still slaves, indentured servants and fools.  we still have an awfully long way to go if we want to be considered truly free.

Thank you for reading this blog.


Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Happy 235th too you my friend!

The Right Guy said...

You too. We made it another year.

Gary said...

Happy 4th.

But I would say in so many ways we are more free today than at any time in all of history.

Since he climbed out of the slime 99% of the history of man consisted of back breaking mindless labor for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week just to get a crappy and leaky roof over your head and enough food to keep you going just one more day.

We truly live in a Golden Age.

Wide spread wealth beyond measure, vacations at the beach, all the information collected in the history of man at our fingertips in the form of the internet and (most important) Gin and Tonic.

We bitch and bitch, but we have it easier than our grandparents by a landslide.

The Right Guy said...

Easier physically isn't necessarily more free. On general, yes, people have more wealth, but they also have a lot more debt, debt that they may never pay off. We are also at the beginning of the consequences of a world economy where wages are starting to average out.

I would also add that in the latest economic downturn, I have seen a lot of people show a sense of entitlement that they are not only owed a job, but that the government is the solution. In my grandparents day, all of whom were born in the 19th century, you literally had to save yourself. In that self-reliance was a lot more freedom, as well as responsibility. Today, the vast majority don't want to move outside their comfort zone, even at dire financial ruin. By this I mean, move to where the jobs are or there is more opportunity. All of my ancestors came here for a better life for a voyage that was like going to the moon. Today, people don't want to move 1000 miles for a better life let alone 10000 miles. Again, it's a sense of entitlement. I think you have it half wrong.

Gin and tonic sucks. It's turpentine.

The Right Guy said...

BTW, I tell my wife the same thing. About Gin that is. She loves it. I can't stand it. I prefer scotch or bourbon.

Gary said...

Gin and tonic was created by God. . . . . as was beer according to Ben Franklin.

The Right Guy said...

I'll stick with Macallan, with the occasional bourbon. Beer is good, as long as it isn't pissy. I prefer the darker stuff.

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