Now let’s talk again about politicians and the ideas of government.
So much of our lives are devoted to politics, to electing other people to run our lives and/or the lives of our neighbors. This is not an intelligent way to live. We should run our own lives.
Think about it: a small group of people get together and call themselves “government” and then they somehow have the right to take your money and property and tell you what to do and punish you if you disobey. How does that make any sense? How did we let this happen? How will we ever get away from it?
In truth, it’s questionable whether or not we ever will. But the ideas of freedom, especially in relation to the ideology of “government” and all that it entails is a necessary ingredient if we are ever going to begin the process of finding better ways to live.
The only truly free way to live would be to live in a voluntary community (or society) where no one had the right to “tax” or extort money or property from anyone else; where no one could make “laws” or rules for other people to follow; where the only interactions that people had with each other were voluntary. (For a better understanding of how this would work, look into voluntary and intentional communities.)
Human beings were never meant to give away the right to rule themselves to someone else; to any government, king, gang, or otherwise.
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, it’s what we have right now, and unless enough people really want it to change, and take actions in that direction, it is what we will continue to have, and it will more than likely continue to get worse. What each individual can do is fight to shape their own lives to be as free as they can be.
The truth of the matter is that most people are not even free in their own minds. Most people don’t even view the idea of government as a problem, and don’t think of themselves as slaves or servants of government. Therefore, the first and most important thing that people can and should do is question for themselves the ideas of government, if it is moral, if having government is the best way for humans to live and interact with each other, and so on…
Do you really believe that someone else has the right to tell you what to do, what to think, what to say, what you’re allowed to buy and sell, what currency you can use to buy and sell, that they should get a piece or share of everything you buy or sell, that they should get a share of all of your earnings, and so on, etc, etc … just because they call themselves government? And it is not voluntary. In fact, as political activist and author Larken Rose says, they’ll put you in a cage if you refuse. Does that sound like freedom?
In your experience, do you find that the people elected to represent us are normally morally good, outstanding, exemplary citizens who fight to carry out the will of the people (whatever that is; what exactly is the will of millions of individual people?), or do they usually seem to be consumed in self-interest, with their number one priority being to get elected and their number two priority to get reelected? And once they have reached their term limits, don’t they usually seem to be interested primarily in doing favors for millionaire and billionaire companies who will reward them if they shape the “laws” to benefit them?
Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto