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"Freedom is Overrated"

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"Freedom is Overrated"

This is a statement I am hearing more and more from people, some of them even people I like.

It really never occurred to me that otherwise rational people could believe such a thing.

When I question them about their statement what I get tends to be something along the lines of:

"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

To me, this statement puts a person on par with.. say... a house pet.

How does one respond to such a fundementally twisted view?

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To me, this statement puts a person on par with.. say... a house pet.

How does one respond to such a fundementally twisted view?

I think the tactic described by Eric Raymond in this blog post might be worth trying. If a person says they want to be kept like a pet, treat them like the dumb animal they are claiming to be. When they object to your denigration of their mind and judgment, point out that they've already denigrated it themselves by rejecting the freedom which its exercise requires. And if they don't object, they're a lost cause anyhow. Just walk away.

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"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

How does one respond to such a fundementally twisted view?

Remind them that if we are slaves, then we most certainly won't be happy. Does he think the slaves of the South had nothing to complain about? Is that the kind of life he wants to live?

And if he is talking about the government doing all these things, then we certainly won't get any of them. Point to the USSR, China, North Korea and how millions upon millions have starved there. Remind him of government housing even in this country and ask if that is where he would want to live.

I don't think anybody could be serious when saying something like this, and if they are, then I would stay far, far away from them.

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"Freedom is Overrated"

"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

How does one respond to this?

Just name the unnamed and tell them they would make a perfect slave.

Chances are whoever said this was joking and you would both laugh afterward.

I hope.

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Just name the unnamed and tell them they would make a perfect slave.

Better yet, just start giving orders. "Thats great. Now leave your ice cream and head to the kitchen. The dishes better be clean when I'm done with desert or you are getting flogged". Insist on it until they say "thats not what I meant", to which you answer "that is exactly wat you meant, except in your mind you were putting yourself in the position of the person giving orders, not the one taking them".

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I would've signed a contract with him. A contract that states that I am responsible for all of his financial liabilities, entitled to all of his assets, and would promise him only food, water, shelter, and clothing that I decided.

See, this is the beauty of free market capitalism: if you do not want to have freedom, just let someone else take it. Just because you're anti-freedom, doesn't mean that you have the right to force it on the rest of us

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"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

Sometimes what people are imaging is not what will actually be. They think things will be pretty much like now, except they won't have to worry about being poor. Of course that's not the case, as communist systems of the past have shown, lots of things change, things that aren't mentioned in that statement. Buildings turn grey, people lose motivation.

Perhaps one answer is to say "So, you would like to live in communist Russia would you?" They will say "Of course not!" but then explain that you can't have one without the other.

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"Freedom is Overrated"

This is a statement I am hearing more and more from people, some of them even people I like.

It really never occurred to me that otherwise rational people could believe such a thing.

"Overrated" is a relative term. Freedom is essential to survival and happiness. It's importance is of the highest order.

When I question them about their statement what I get tends to be something along the lines of:

"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

"Fed, clothed, and housed" by whom? I mean, this implies they aren't willing to do the work, and so expect others to do it for them. This means that not everyone can live as they do, and they must turn some into slaves for their own personal benefit.

Or, look at it this way, if everyone sat around expecting to be fed, clothed and housed then nobody would be fed, clothed or housed. Men have to take the initiative as individuals.

To me, this statement puts a person on par with.. say... a house pet.

How does one respond to such a fundementally twisted view?

Just make clear the absurdities in the statement, which are plentiful! Your house pet analogy is right on, because they are expecting other people to go out think, plan and work to provide goods and services for them. They want to turn others into slaves so that they can be like house pets, but house pets who run the house!

And the biggest point, since it is your freedom and life that is at stake, tell that person "I am not a slave to anyone, and I certainly will not be providing you with clothing, food, or shelter. If you try and make me, expect to meet a gun." Show him the resolve you have against such evil, and that will also help make it clear to him that other men are not sheep for him to run.

There are lots of other problems that can be pointed out as well, such as how capitalism would be crushed, and men would be reduced to subsistence level living, those few who would survive.

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  • 4 weeks later...
"Freedom is Overrated"

This is a statement I am hearing more and more from people, some of them even people I like.

It really never occurred to me that otherwise rational people could believe such a thing.

When I question them about their statement what I get tends to be something along the lines of:

"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

To me, this statement puts a person on par with.. say... a house pet.

How does one respond to such a fundementally twisted view?

I, too, was somewhat confounded by the fact that someone, someone in the United States, would say that freedom is overrated. The idea is preposterous.

Then, today, I was reading How Capitalism Saved America by Thomas J. DiLorenzo (which I highly recommend). The section I was reading concerned the oil industry and how extraordinarily regulated it is, the fullness of which I hadn’t known. My mind went to other highly regulated industries, including the medical sector of the economy, and it hit me that few people know how regulated the economy is (and then I thought of this thread).

Actually, people are told that they live in freedom. They think that we are free, that our economy is free and it's the market, the free market that's producing the messes we see. No wonder that they think that freedom is overrated. What they and we live in is overrated. They just don’t know that it isn’t freedom. Who is going to tell them? Not the government, not the “media”, not (most) college professors, not their kindergarten teachers. Who is going to tell them? There is only us.

There are some successes today. I thought of the internet.

The internet was allowed to spring forth because it was created in a university and military-oriented environment. Think of what would have happened if it had been conceived in a private company. It would not have been allowed to exist. Government would have shut it down. Today, people think of it as free, in both senses of the word. They ignore or don’t know the fact that a multitude of private companies make the internet possible and that the companies are profitable. Funding comes from normal business activity. It may have been conceived in universities, but its success comes from private enterprise. Actually, this is a truism. It is successful. It could not be government that is operating it. Government could not, cannot operate it. The internet would fail, for so many reasons, if the government ran it.

So here is the inversion, which we shouldn’t be surprised about. If something works, the government takes credit, but they didn’t, couldn’t actually achieve success. If it fails, it is blamed on free enterprise, even though it was the government who caused the failure. That’s what people think. We have got to tell them different, don’t we?

Edited by C.W.
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"I would rather be fed, clothed, housed and happy than be free"

To me, this statement puts a person on par with.. say... a house pet.

How does one respond to such a fundementally twisted view?

"But that's not how it works! You can't have both! It's one or the other! And - wait a minute, exactly how do you propose to be happy when your entire life is at the disposal of someone else? And furthermore, how do you propose to have a steady source of food, clothing, and housing when it's all at someone else's disposal?"

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Actually, people are told that they live in freedom. They think that we are free, that our economy is free and it's the market, the free market that's producing the messes we see. No wonder that they think that freedom is overrated. What they and we live in is overrated. They just don’t know that it isn’t freedom.

Agreed.

From Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal:

Most people believe that free enterprise is a controlled economy allegedly serving the interests of the industrialists—as opposed to the welfare state, which is a controlled economy allegedly serving the interests of the workers. The idea or possibility of an
uncontrolled economy
has been entirely forgotten and is now being deliberately ignored.

-Ayn Rand, NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FREE ENTERPRISE

It is why it is the "unknown" ideal... Good observations about the internet btw, I hadn't thought about it that way before.

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Agreed.

From Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal:

Most people believe that free enterprise is a controlled economy allegedly serving the interests of the industrialists—as opposed to the welfare state, which is a controlled economy allegedly serving the interests of the workers. The idea or possibility of an
uncontrolled economy
has been entirely forgotten and is now being deliberately ignored.

-Ayn Rand, NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FREE ENTERPRISE

It is why it is the "unknown" ideal... Good observations about the internet btw, I hadn't thought about it that way before.

Well, slap me silly. One of my most favorite books and the title, or for that matter the concept, just didn't connect. If I have an excuse, which I don't, it would be the passage of time. Thank you, freestyle, for giving me the slap. I do appreciate it. It's now back to by blog and doing a little update/change/wipe-egg-off-my-face kind of thing.

What I can say for myself is that I am emphasizing the importance of telling people what it is, in addition to disseminating the vital knowledge that capitalism is moral.

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