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An Octogenerian's Blog | “He Who Knows and Knows that He Knows is Wise—Follow Him” (Issue 143)

A Persian Proverb:

“He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool—shun him.  He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child—teach him. He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep—wake him. He who knows and knows that he knows is wise—follow him.”
 
Over the weekend, I listened to the interview of First Lady Laura Bush by Chris Wallace on Fox News. I have always liked Laura Bush. I think she’s a smart, pretty lady who comes across as a very nice person.  I enjoy her Texas accent when she speaks, and to me, she has always seemed to be a very common sense type person. I personally like her better than any other First Lady before her.
 
In the interview, she did use the word “freedom” and because it is so rarely used anymore, when I hear anyone use the word, my ears perk up to listen to what they say about it. The context in which she used the word was “freedom from –.”  I recall her saying, “freedom from illiteracy.”
 
I daresay, I take issue with that reference. Freedom is something “for” and not something “from.” By definition, freedom is self-responsibility and self-control. If we are restricted and curtailed from having self-responsibility and self-control, how can that be freedom? Because of the thousands of policies, rules, regulations and man-made laws controlling and usurping one’s ability to be responsible and in control of one’s life and affairs, how can I be free?
 
For example, when I buy groceries, the total includes taxes. When I receive my monthly bill for utilities—heat, water, sewage, electricity, phone, etc.—these bills are loaded with fees imposed by a political government. Taxes being an involuntary relinquishment of one’s property (money), I’m forced to participate in this condition of legal plunder. My property is taken by force or the threat of force, arbitrarily. I have no recourse not to pay that which the government demands I pay. I have no control or responsibility for how the money is used. The freedom to use my money as I decide is removed from me.

The word “from” means out of control. Accordingly, saying “freedom from illiteracy” implies out of control, the very antithesis of the word freedom.
 
The money arbitrarily taken from me for the necessities of life is my property, property I have no control over and cannot be responsible for. I do not have freedom from this self-responsibility and self-control. I cannot have the freedom of self-control and self-responsibility and at the same time freedom from it when it has been infringed upon and taken without my consent.
 
 Freedom “is” and not “from.”
 
With reference to literacy, more money for schooling is extracted from the producers in this country than anything else other than perhaps war. Taxes upon taxes are heaped upon us for schooling and literacy, yet some graduate from high school and can’t read. No child left behind was a tax increase imposed by the Bush administration. It has not worked to solve illiteracy.
 
In actuality, there’s no such thing as freedom “from” illiteracy. Conversely, one can have the freedom “of” illiteracy. When so many have the opportunity of literacy and fail by refusal to become literate, they are exercising the self-control of choice not to be literate.
 
The First Lady’s remark of “freedom from illiteracy” is just an example of the double think, double talk coming  from those in positions of power. And despite the fact they are all literate, there is ignorance when it comes to understanding what freedom actually is.
 
To be in a position of power to implement more and more laws relating to tax-supported schools, and still have more and more illiteracy in this country, seems to me would be a common-sense sign it isn’t working.
 
The notion that a centralized power by a gun or threat of a gun, taking away individual property for the purpose of other individuals having freedom from something, is the crazies on its surface. That’s irrational thinking.
 
The more I hear from highly schooled persons in positions of power the more their ignorance is displayed. And the more apparent it becomes that one of the biggest problems we face is an absence of understanding of just what freedom is and means. And just how distorted and devalued it is in the minds of so many. It’s no wonder this country is in the crisis we now face when there is such a gross absence of understanding such a simple thing as the difference between “is” and “from.”
 
Back several years ago when so much attention was on President Clinton saying “it depends upon what the word ‘is’ is” most of us viewed the remark as the height of absurdity. But now it seems it was not such a stupid remark after all. As I reflect upon it today, we might all benefit by a better understanding of the difference between “is” and “from.”
 
Here’s a quote from “Leaves of Gold.”

“Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.”
 
In this connection, the sowing of so many distortions about the true meaning of individual freedom and private ownership of property clearly shows us how this sowing has laid the groundwork for the destiny of this country, which we now face. A destiny of bondage for all of us. Not something which might happen someday, but what is actually happening now.
 
In conclusion, here’s another quote by Gilbert K. Chesterton to think about . . .

“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”
 
I do wish Laura Bush the best of luck retiring on her ranch in Texas. There is enlightenment about the real role of political government and freedom in the book by Frederic Bastiat titled, “The Law” that can be obtained from the Laissez-Faire bookstore for $6.00.

Let Freedom Ring!

From “The Freedom Lady.”

JUST ME,
AC

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0 Responses to “He Who Knows and Knows that He Knows is Wise—Follow Him” (Issue 143)

  1. I enjoyed your comment and do agree with you as to the character of the first lady. I ran across your words because I was looking for the epigram I had learned so long ago while in a rehab in a ( or is it “on” Plainfield, Long Island) I don’t usually write to people out of the blue but I found your explanation interestin
    My best
    Dolores

  2. Robert Klahn says:


    “For example, when I buy groceries, the total includes taxes. When I receive my monthly bill for utilities—heat, water, sewage, electricity, phone, etc.—these bills are loaded with fees imposed by a political government. Taxes being an involuntary relinquishment of one’s property (money), I’m forced to participate in this condition of legal plunder. My property is taken by force or the threat of force, arbitrarily. I have no recourse not to pay that which the government demands I pay. I have no control or responsibility for how the money is used. The freedom to use my money as I decide is removed from me.”

    Well, that’s one of the dumber commentaries I have read.

    On the subject of political government, when you find a non-political government, let me know.

    Calling taxes legal plunder is appropriate to an anarchy, but to no other political philosophy. If you are an anarchist, I apologize for mischaracterizing you. I disagree, but respect your right to your opinion. If you are a conservative, or a libertarian, your comment is pure absurdity. Government cannot run without taxes, so calling that which runs whatever from of government you prefer “plunder” is giving approval to overthrowing your government.

    That sort of sophomoric thinking needs to be relegated to sophomores, it has no place in reasoned discourse.

  3. Freedom Lady says:

    Hi Robert, In your comment you said, “when you find a non-political government let you know. Freedom is self-responsibility and self-control, and thats self-government.
    I re-read my article and actually think its one of my better articles I have written.
    Taxes by definition are in-voluntary relinquishment of ones property.

    How is it not stealing ? that is taking ones property[money} with-out owners permission?
    You sound angry and up-set, and I dont blame you, many many others are also living in a situation, where a political government has so infringed upon ones life and property.
    I appreciate your reading my article and taking the time to make a comment. Thank you
    Editor-in-Chief Anne Cleveland

  4. Steve says:

    A pleasure to share your thoughts.

    Enjoying exploring your blog.

    Steve

  5. Javin says:

    “Well, that’s one of the dumber commentaries I have read.”
    I see that you have an opinion, Robert. No matter how asinine it is.

    The thing you fail to understand is that yes, governments require money in order to function. However, that money should be given voluntarily by the populace. Now, before you get increasingly stupid, let me cut you off. No, I’m not suggesting that the government should be run on “donations.”

    People are fully aware that a very basic federal government (as laid out in the Constitution – one that handles National Security, and Foreign Policy, and little else) needs money to function, and as a general rule, have no problem providing this amount in the form of taxes.

    However, when the government continuously grows itself and raises taxes despite the wishes of the people – in order to run bureaucracies that the people have not agreed should be stood up… When they take money to create federal branches that were not existent in the constitution, to subsidize crops that there is no market for, to give grants for research that they have no interest in being done and nothing to gain from… And finally, with no desire of the people to have these expenses, the people are threatened with being ripped from their families at gun point to spend time in jail if they don’t pay, then yes, that is a lack of freedom. That is plunder.

    The only thing I’ve seen “stupid” and “pure absurdity” on this page was your comment, Robert. Like you said, I respect your right to your opinion. But I sure as hell don’t respect your opinion.

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  8. Becky says:

    Rom 6:7 ?? For he that is dead is freed from sin.