I recall a number of years ago, after four years out of the country, getting on a train from Reno, Nevada, and riding cross-country alone to Atlanta, Georgia. One of my most interesting experiences. Just sitting on the train, looking out the window, passing mountains, deserts, cities, forests and crossing rivers. It was like a kaleidoscope experience that kept moving. That train ride, moving through this great and beautiful country was an experience which moved me from the depths of my inner being, after living in another country four years. I felt such deep appreciation to be an American, with love of country and love of Freedom, and so thankful to be back on American soil.
My four years in Japan were filled with so many new and varied experiences. Some happy and interesting and some heartrending. In other articles I have described some of my experiences and how landing in a Japanese jail, being interrogated by Japanese police shortly after my arrival, was the incident that catapulted me into another stratosphere of seeking, searching and learning the meaning of Freedom.
Returning to this country, I had this burning desire to know more about it, particularly about the kind of government we lived under, and more about the Freedom that the American revolutionaries fought for and the legacy they left for us. I had no idea the degree of my naiveté, relative to the meaning of Freedom, until I began my search for teachers, the books I would read, the people I would meet, and the requirement of changes in my thinking processes.
When I left this country, the stage of my belief and thinking process was behaviorally stuck back in my high school civics class, where I was taught that mine was a government of the people, by the people and for the people, a Republic we were born into, with certain inalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and happiness[property]. All so great and desirable, but only partially true. There’s theory and reality.
After many years studying the Philosophy of Freedom, learning how political governments operate, and living in different areas of this country, I discovered we really do not live under a system of government which is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Now numbering over 300 million citizens, in this new century in the year 2011, we live under a system of political government which is by the few, of the few, and for the few.
The “Transformation of America” has taken place, and the idea of Freedom has been so convoluted, it’s taboo to talk about it. We must still have food, clothing and shelter to live and survive, but if we buy and pay for a house to live in, we don’t own it, but only possess it. And we can only possess so long as we pay the exorbitant taxes demanded by the powers that be, those who sit in the seats of political power. We can’t buy a loaf of bread without paying a list of taxes on it before leaving the store. We can’t buy a dress nor pair of pants without paying a list of requirements of taxes imposed by this government, plus the cost of import taxes from other countries where manufactured.
Aside from all the other imposed fees, like the cost to travel the roads and streets, and fees on water and heat and cooling, those essentials of food, clothing and shelter are so heavily taxed that Life, Liberty and Happiness are extremely burdened by the extravagance of the politicians who operate the system. Obviously we are not living in a Free country, nor under a system of government by the people, of the people nor for the people; but under another system that imposes rules, regulations, policies and edicts, which severely curtail and restrict individual Freedom and property ownership Rights.
If we stop and examine where we are today, starting with the premise that Freedom and Ownership of Property is a total concept and defining Freedom as self-responsibility and self-control, we must admit that we own very little, and Freedom has been so curtailed it’s far less than a 100% total concept.
In this connection, it’s time to stop and take stock of where we are as a country and specifically where we are as indivduals, by asking ourselves the question, “Is Freedom the desirable state and do I want it? Secondly, how much of that total concept do I want? And what is the cost I’m wiling to pay to achieve it?
Despite the fact we are heavily bombarded with propaganda, no one can think for us, we control our minds, Wills and emotions. No other being can digest the food that nourishes our bodies. Decisions for what we want, desire, don’t like, reject or accept, is still under the control of every individual. If you doubt that, try stopping a two-week old baby from crying if it decides to cry. Therefore, there are many areas of our lives in which we can exercise some of the basic tenets of Freedom, and exercise control. The question is do we want that self-responsibility, or are we going to continue on the route of attempting to transfer it to the decisions of others?
Accordingly, as for myself, I’m always asking myself when deciding anything, “Do I have a clear cut choice?” For example, I have no choice but to use the tax-supported streets and highways, there are no others. Conversely, I have a clear-cut choice not to use the tax-supported library, the tax-supported parks, the tax-supported schools and many other areas I do not fraternize. I can purchase some foods from local growers when available and bypass some of the imposed taxes on food.
Taxes by definition are an involuntary relinquishment of one’s property, hence a system of thievery. Admittedly, our areas of choice have been so curtailed and limited just to live and survive; however there are some areas we can still exercise the self-control and self-responsibility required by Freedom. But the majority tick-a-tick along, day by day, acting like sheep to slaughter, playing into the hands of those out to enslave by bondage, like putty in the hands of those seeking to convert and transform this nation into a system of Socialism. Today we are far down that road, still foolishly thinking we can vote ourselves out of the state of bondage we voted ourselves into.
Instead of capitulating to every facet of the tenets of Socialism, if you value Freedom, why not reconsider and begin thinking of ways to circumnavigate your life around all the restrictions imposed upon us, in little ways, where we still have clear-cut choices? Small decisions that have no meaning to others, but will begin making a big difference in one’s choices and how one thinks about the trap of today’s way of life we have fallen intom and the cause of the crisis we face on the verge of collapse of this once great Nation.
I live in a pretty little town filled with more government tax-funded parks than any place I’ve ever lived. Expensive to upkeep, I help to pay for them. However, in the five years I have lived here I’ve never been in one. Now that does not matter one whit to anyone whether or not I fraternize a park, but it only matters to me. Just one small area where I can exercise choice that is meaningful to me. I think parks are a great idea, but they should be in the free-enterprise, capitalistic system, and funded by only those who choose to use them. If everyone stopped going, they most likely would be sold to some entrepreneur, and operated like the local gas station, where those who use it, pay for it.
I’m only using the parks as a example. What is moral about my being forced to pay for something I don’t choose to use? If they were free-enterprise, I would pay the fee and visit. However, because I’m always looking for ways to avoid participation in the system of thievery, where I have a clear-cut choice, and government operated parks happen to be one of them. It’s all part of my value system, and my love of the Principle of Freedom. And my decision not to participate means nothing to anyone but me.
I make the point to bring the idea of the Principle of Freedom full circle, that is, to make the point that it’s all about self-control and self responsibility for the choices we make for our individual lives, which is not always acting according to that which we desire, but according to the principles of what is required of us as individuals to be free.
Thomas Jefferson said: “It’s as useless to argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason as to administer medication to the dead.” From the drafter of the Declaration of Independence.
Let Freedom Ring
just me AC