My Own Pie

Libertarian Thoughts from Renaissance Guy

Why Run From Freedom?

with 2 comments

     Why are so many people scared to embrace freedom?  I think that there are many reasons, but the one that stands out among my guesses is this:  freedom brings with it more responsibility than most people can face.

     With freedom comes a need to care for oneself and to care for the people that one is responsible for.  It is possible to succeed hugely, but it is also possible to fail hugely. 

     Nobody wants to fail.  Nobody hopes to fail.  But sometimes it happens.

     I think people are afraid of freedom, because if they are free and if they fail, then they can blame nobody but themselves.  They have to admit that it was their own choices that brought about their failure.  They cannot blame “the government” or “society.”

     And they must resort to asking others for help.

     It is much easier to live with a “safety net” in which you force others to agree to support you in case you fail.  You force strangers to support you because it is easier than swallowing your pride to ask for help from people who know you–your own family, friends, associates, and community members.

     And if you do succeed financially, it is much easier to live with the false sense of guilt for being rich if you can say, “I pay my taxes.  I do my part.”  It keeps you from having to actually choose whether to give up your precious mammon to help others out or to remain greedy and stingy.  It even allows you to ignore your own family members and, if you have any, friends, because it’s “the government’s job” to take crare of them–not yours.

     Yes, freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.  I am happy to say that I am one of the few is willing to accept both freedom and the responsibility that goes with it.  How about you?


Written by ambrosianideas

November 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I think sometimes it is a lack of imagination, “If the government doesn’t do it, who will?”


    November 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm

  2. No one is scared of freedom and responsibility. I, like many others, define it differently. I want to expand the freedom of those in society who do not have equal opportunity because some get wealthy due to their place in society, not their good work and intelligence alone. Real freedom requires real opportunity. I think a lot of the “winners” falsely believe they’ve earned what they got just because they were in a position to benefit from their place in the world. So everyone wants freedom and responsibility, nobody is in favor of people leaching off others. But some think the wealthiest already leach off the work and efforts of those who are poor, and others think the poor leach off taxes paid by the rich. Left, right and center all think they are fighting for freedom, all want people to be responsible for their lives. And, given that this is an inherently contestable concept (freedom, etc.), there is no clear answer to who is right, and hence the political battles continue.

    Scott Erb

    November 26, 2009 at 8:53 pm

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