From the Meetup: Not everyone wants to be free

(This is the second in a series of posts dealing with my thoughts on various topics that came up during our Singapore meetup late last year. As always comments and criticism are of course welcomed, especially from the guys who were there. Oh, and I owe one of the guys who was there an analysis of some links he sent me. I haven't forgotten, I've just been busy. Or lazy. Take your pick.)
The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -- Thomas Jefferson
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” - Ronald Reagan
During our little confab in that coffee shop in Singapore back in very late December, my opposite number from the old homestead brought up a very interesting point during a broader discussion about human freedoms and the ways to maximise those freedoms while still being consistent with law and order. The Observer pointed out something very important: not everyone wants to be free.

He is, of course, entirely correct.

I have touched upon this before myself. You see it time and again in young men- and, to a much greater extent, young women- of this generation. Some of them have the good sense to recognise that they are being led very badly astray by the people that they were taught to trust. They understand that the government, the media, the education establishment, the corpocracy, and even their churches are lying to them, about almost everything. The most self-aware of them understand that the old virtues of hard work, thrift, masculine strength (for men) and feminine attitudes (for women) are being denigrated and destroyed at every turn. They see the cesspool of their culture surrounding them every day, the reality shows and the mindless sludge of entertainment that is passed off as "news" all around them. They see the cumulative costs of the effects of these evils upon their society and upon themselves, and they do not like it.

That does not mean that they are actually willing to do anything about it.

I remember very clearly sitting in that whiskey lounge, and later, another bar nearby, talking to one of my colleagues about these very issues. I told him very clearly that he had been misled and lied to all his life about the nature of women, about what it takes to be a man, about what it means to be strong and virtuous. He couldn't refute any of my arguments, so he finally said to me, half-drunk and exasperated, that he just didn't want to believe me.

As I said in my original post on this subject, the best advice that I have ever seen about this comes from Rollo, referenced in a stellar post by Matt Forney a while back. The advice is simple: "save those you can, read last rites to the dying". The fact is, you can't force freedom upon people who don't want it- leaving aside that doing so would be the most absurd form of tautology, it just wouldn't work.

On the subject of who does and does not deserve to be free, I respectfully part ways with the majority of libertarians, which is why I identify as a paleolibertarian rather than your relatively more common "free-markets-free-people" white privileged college student weed-smoking "libertarian". This is in my opinion the point where the stock libertarian philosophy begins to fray at the edges, and where neo-reactionary thought starts to make a lot of sense. For those who find this description a bit obtuse (read: suffering from a full-blown case of RCI*), I simply mean that the standard libertarian response to almost every question regarding individual freedoms is something along the lines of "herp derp more freedom more good".

This is generally true- provided that very specific conditions prevail first.

Freedom, you see, is a very fragile thing. You cannot simply give freedom to people who are not willing to fight and sacrifice for it. As you go through life, you're going to come across a lot of people- I would argue the majority of people- who just don't want to be free. And why would they? If you think about it, freedom is actually bloody terrifying to most people.

When you have freedom- true freedom- you, and you alone, are responsible for your destiny. You can't pass the buck for your failures as a human being over to your parents, or your church, or your government, or your children. You have to take responsibility for your actions. You have to fend for yourself. You have to accept that although many things are outside your control, those things that are within your control are difficult to deal with. You have to be willing to defend yourself- you can't rely on anyone else to do it for you. You have to earn for yourself- you can't mooch off the efforts of others. You have to exercise self-restraint and live in a manner that is consistent with your own principles- you can't just bend or break them for a whim. You have to refuse the temptation to impose your desires upon others- because you don't want them to do the same to you. You have to accept that when you screw up, it's your damn fault and you need to fix it. You have to accept that you, and you alone, are responsible for your health, your body, your well-being, your money, your life, your family, and your relationship with God.

Put in these stark and simple terms, is it therefore at all surprising that most people would not want to be free at all? Are you then surprised that most people would rather choose, quite happily, to stay dumb and contented their entire lives?

The reality is that freedom is hard. It is work. It requires sacrifice, and very often pain, in order to thrive. And we as a species have evolved through that last n-million years to view pain as a Very Bad Thing that needs to be avoided. Is it any surprise at all, then, that if you give the average person a choice between a life of blissfully contented stupidity and then proceed to rob and rape him blind in return, or a life of hardship and toil in which he is master of his own destiny and answerable to none but the Almighty, said average person will almost always choose the former?

The upsides of freedom are tremendous, which is why you'll still find people willing to pay the price to be free. But make no mistake- just like rights come with responsibilities attached, you can't have freedom for free. You have to earn it. And if you're not prepared to earn it, then don't bitch when you realise, belatedly, that you don't have it.

UPDATE: what is a post about the price of freedom without a badass MANOWAR song on the subject?

UPDATE 2: Stephanie has her own thoughts on the subject, go read them here or here. Her take is very well written, I highly recommend it- even if she did link to a rap video in there. I was quite amused by this and responded by threatening to include a link to a death metal video the next time I refer to her work.

Jokes aside- Time Of Calamity and Ready To Be Caught are now consolidated under a single blog due to time constraints, so if you want to check out more of her writing, it comes with the Official Didact Seal of Approval:

*RCI = Rectal-Cranial Inversion syndrome. Known more colloquially as "head-up-ass disease". Highly infectious, though fortunately generally very easy to cure with a swift kick in the pants or a hard slap upside the head.


  1. Good Post.

    I had a long post that the comments ate, so I will try to keep this short.

    My thoughts are that most people are not even aware that things can be different. This is not an accident. This is the result of the Progressives' Long March through Institutions. We now learn nothing important in most educational institutions, except helplessness. The Mass Media, Government and Corporations will always collude to ensure that we will never learn that there can be another way other than what benefits them.

    The ones aware of the problem are also helpless, for they know that the system is in decay and utterly bankrupt, morally, spiritually and physically. Yet, most of them are unable to do anything to fight against the tide for in the current system he is but one man, and hey may even be the only one in his family. Sure, he can share his knowledge but how many will see things for what they are and not what they are thought to be?

    In the end he will realize he is helpless, that nothing he does will be significant enough to reverse the decay. Some may prepare for that collapse. Some may wait for it eagerly. For the others they will have no choice but to embrace the system again because there is no other choice beyond complete disengagement, which is a step too far for a man with a family to feed or hoping to have a family. Like Winston Smith in 1984, most people will learn to love Big Brother, again.

    For most people, they are still hoping that the system is going through the necesary adjustments. What they are hoping won't be the truth is that the current system operates on the basis of a sunk-cost fallacy, like a giant scam it can only run if people continue to pour money and invest into the system.

    It is a sad indictment, but like dogs exposed to Pavlovian conditioning, most people believe that throwing money they do not have into the system is a surefire way to be rewarded. With money as the stimulus (heh), most people hope that it will lead to a payoff in the future.

    They cannot fathom a world where the system takes their money and leaves them hanging. Because not only have they invested, gambled really, the retirement of the middle class, we have also gambled the future generation's future, through student debt, into the system hoping that it will pay off in the future.

    Materialism both feeds and feeds on such a system, where all problems can be solved by throwing enough money at it. That we reject such notions mean we are outsiders, everywhere we go.

    Freedom, like death, become a lonely business for those who seek it. After all, why do we burden ourselves with such worry and sorrow?

    "Come comrade. Don't worry yourself over such trifles. Buy yourself a drink, some hallucinatory, or a woman or a man. They will make you forget! YOLO right?"

    But to us, it will never be enough.


  2. Good set of ideas there. I'll explore a few of them in more detail in a future post, stay tuned.

  3. I will think about your's and others' comments about how most people do NOT want freedom while I read the Draka Domination novels on my Kindle over the next month or so.


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