Let’s break the question down into smaller bite-sized questions so that it’s easier to digest. Are you free to live as you please? Can you say what you want to say? Are there any forces in your life that impede your freedom? Are you free mentally? Do you think for yourself? What beliefs do you hold?
Take your beliefs about government, for example: Have you completely questioned all of them? Any of them? Or were you taught certain things about government by others and then accepted them as truth? Are they true? How does one know whether they are true or not?
The answer is simple―you must investigate! You must take the time to do research, look under every rock, behind every curtain, and around every corner until you gather enough information to make a sound conclusion. You must investigate, and investigate deeply, to uncover truth for yourself. If you’ve never investigated philosophical matters for yourself but only accepted what others have told you (others being your parents, teachers, and/or leaders), how could you possibly know that it is true?
Actually, let’s press the pause button for a moment, okay? Before we go any further, we must acknowledge a very important ingredient that is essential to helping us investigate and understand the people and world around us. If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’m going to make some statements that I have investigated (and believe to be true), but that you should also investigate for yourself. Here we go.
There exist in this world extremely selfish and evil people.
When I say evil, I mean morally bankrupt, without conscience, power hungry egomaniacs whose ultimate goal in life is to accumulate as much money, power, and possessions as they possibly can, and they don’t care who they hurt or kill in the process. Although money is beneficial to them in and of itself, and they always seek more of it, it is really only a means to an end. The more money they get, the more they can use it to buy power and influence … power and influence over nations, over corporations, and over people―to control people’s minds and behavior. This kind of power is the ultimate rush for them, like a 24 hour drug, and like any drug, they need ever more power and influence to achieve their high―to get their fix.
Think about it logically for a minute; which kind of person do you think rises to the top in this world: the good person who really cares about people and doing the right thing, who has limits to what they will do and lines they won’t cross out of a feeling of moral obligation to themselves, God, or their fellow man? Or is it the person who is without a moral code, who is ruthless, has no lines that they won’t cross, who will do anything―and I mean anything―to achieve their goals and dominate those around them? I think the answer is quite obvious.
Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto