People like to think they are free, but is that really the case; are they really free? What makes you free – the ability to decide what to eat for supper tonight, what brand of clothes to wear, what music to listen to, where to go on vacation, or what to watch on TV? Is that what defines freedom for you? Freedom, at least my definition of it, is being able to do whatever I want so long as my actions bring no harm to anyone else.
I’ve already written about all the things you CAN’T do without first obtaining a permit or license; operate a motor vehicle, carry a firearm on your person, build a home, start a business, and even get married, so there’s no use in repeating myself there. But one of the most egregious restrictions upon freedom is one which very few people seem to notice; the restriction of free thought.
Have you ever noticed how defensive people get when you question, or challenge, their opinions? I encounter this all the time when I try to present facts to people that contradict their existing beliefs. You can almost see the light go off in their eyes as all the circuits in their brain responsible for critical thinking begin shutting down.
I don’t know if this is a self-defense mechanism designed to prevent them from suffering from the Cognitive Dissonance associated with dealing with facts that cause them to question their beliefs, or if it is simply the fact that they have become mentally lazy. All I do know is that I’d probably have more success surviving a 10 story fall off a building than I would of convincing most people that their opinions are based upon lies and deception.
Here I go again quoting from movies, but there is a scene in the film the Matrix when Morpheus tells Tank to load the jump program, then tells Neo, “I’m trying to free your mind.” Can a person truly be free when all their thoughts are not their own; they have been controlled and manipulated by society and a system that demands conformity?
In 1792 James Madison wrote that, “a man has property in his opinions and the free communication of them.” How often do we see people reacting violently when someone expresses an opinion they disagree with? How often have we seen images and words taken down because some group found them offensive?
I have never, nor will I ever, demand that anyone take what I say at face value. In fact, I openly urge people to research for themselves whether what I write about is based upon fact, or is the work of a highly overactive imagination. Whether or not anyone ever takes me up on that challenge I suppose I’ll never know, unless they come forward with facts proving that I was wrong. If that happens I will repeat the process for myself, and if I find that I was, in fact, wrong, I will change my opinion to conform to the facts. That’s what a person with any intellectual integrity would do, not ignore the facts simply because they are inconvenient.
If you truly want to be free you have to stop forming your opinions based upon what others tell you is the truth. You live in a system where deception is the norm, not the rarity. You are fed lies from the time you begin your schooling, and those lies continue on through adulthood by the media that entertains you. You are taught what to think, and how to view those who have opposing beliefs.
I hate reverting back to the Civil War all the time, but it is a perfect example of how we have been indoctrinated into believing one thing, when that position is contradicted by the facts. Are you going to trust some 21st century textbook on the Civil War over the words of those who lived and participated in it? There is an old saying that I rarely hear used anymore that goes something like, “If you want the truth you are going to have to go straight to the horse’s mouth.” What that means is that if you want the truth about something you are going to have to go to the words and deeds of those who actually participated in an event; that is if the truth matters to you.
I find it astounding that people will cheer me on when I point out the violations of the Constitution by the party they oppose, yet they become incensed, or revert to silence when I point out the violations of the Constitution by the party they support. What we have in America is a system in which controlled opposition is tolerated; meaning that you are given a choice to either support a liberal or a conservative ideology, but the moment you take a few steps back and question the system itself you become the target of all kinds of opposition.
Republicans accuse the Democrats of doing this and doing that, while the Democrats do the same to the Republicans. So people keep fighting this left/right paradigm rather than seeing the obvious which is right there in front of their noses; that the entire system is violating the Constitution and restricting the very liberty it was supposedly designed to secure for us.
In 2013 Edward Snowden fled the United States to avoid prosecution under the Espionage Act after he had exposed the extent to which your government is spying upon you, the American people. That is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment, and yet the people condemned HIM for exposing the crimes being committed by their government. Obama was president when this happened and the NSA’s spying upon us has not diminished even the slightest under Trump; and I’m willing to bet that it will only increase in scope and capability under whoever becomes president after Trump leaves office.
All of our rights, our real freedom, has been under attack for years, if not decades, by administrations controlled by both Republicans and Democrats yet all we can do is sit here and blame the other party for all our problems. Government, an overstepping power hungry government IS THE PROBLEM!
But Neal, we need government. Do we? I sure as hell don’t! What benefits does government provide me that I cannot provide for myself in a more timely and efficient manner? When a person relies upon someone else to provide things for them, they become enslaved to that entity. Have you not heard the old saying, “You don’t bite the hand that feeds you“?
If you rely upon government for anything you are less likely to question that government when it imposes restrictions upon your ability to do other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the benefits they provide you.
Take for instance if you get government run medical care, you cannot smoke marijuana or you will be denied coverage for medical treatment if you show up positive in a drug test. Why, simply because the government has criminalized the use of marijuana? Where in the Constitution does it authorize them to decide what we can and cannot put into our bodies? Hmm…
In 1772 Samuel Adams wrote, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”
The right to defend one’s self, and their property is an inherent and unalienable right, yet how many restrictions has government placed upon when, where, and under what circumstances we can exercise that right? If someone breaks into my home with the intent of taking something that does not belong to them, is that not a violation of my right to defend my property? Therefore, according to Sam Adams, and I not justified in defending that property in the best manner I can; meaning deadly force?
John Locke stated that premise as follows, “This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.“
Yet in my home State of California I must prove that I feared for my life before any use of deadly force is considered ‘justified.’ My property is mine, and I have the inherent right to defend it at all times, using whatever means I find the situation demands. I do not buy into the belief that I must dial 911 and wait for hired law enforcers to come to my rescue; law enforcers who just because they wear a badge are authorized to use the same force the law denies me the right to use.
If one cannot defend their property, which includes their thoughts and opinions, then how can one claim to be truly free? This whole nonsense of shutting down thought and opinions that run counter to what is commonly accepted is censorship, pure and simple…and censorship IS NOT freedom!
I have been reading, with increasing frequency I might add, how the internet is slowly being taken over by those who seek to restrict the free expression of beliefs and ideas that society deems offensive.
Facebook is blocking more and more content because it violates their community standards. Now I hear that YouTube is taking down, or blocking access to certain videos that are deemed controversial. It seems that the last bastion of free speech is quickly falling prey to political correctness; the same disease that has ruined free speech throughout the rest of the country.
I swear Orwell must be rolling over in his grave right now, as he tried to warn us of the Thought Police in his book 1984. Yet that’s exactly what we are experiencing; those who have deemed it their responsibility to regulate and control the information we have access to and what is tolerable thought and speech.
What we are witnessing is the expansion of Groupthink; the concept that it is acceptable for people to think within certain defined boundaries, but whenever someone steps outside those boundaries they are to be attacked and condemned. My God people, if you can’t see that free means, FREE TO SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT, then there is no hope for you!
You may as well just admit that you are a slave if your thoughts are not your own, that you cannot say whatever you want without coming under attack from a system designed to stifle free speech. In his Address to the Officers of the Army, dated 15 March 1783, George Washington wrote, “…for if Men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind; reason is of no use to us—the freedom of Speech may be taken away—and, dumb & silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.”
What we are witnessing is the abolishment of true free speech and the establishment of what is considered acceptable speech. Our entire vocabulary may as well be abolished, to be replaced with acceptable terminology that does not offend anyone. Again, Orwell must be rolling over in his grave, as in 1984 he wrote:
“You haven’t a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,’ he said almost sadly … ‘In your heart you’d prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don’t grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?’
‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it …“
If you can’t see these things, then it is too late for you; there is no hope. If you can’t see these things then you are a slave to the system already. But if you can, then it is your duty to fight back by speaking out whenever, and as often as you can about what you see going on around you. This is true even when it causes you to come into conflict with friends and family, for the truth should be your only guide in deciding what you say. The truth is slowly being hidden from you, and if that worries you then you need to speak out, long and hard, against this atrocity.
I recognize that I am part of this system; we all are. The only thing that differentiates you and I is that I have chosen to be a virus in the system; fighting to retain my freedom of speech, while you submit to the restrictions being imposed upon what you can and cannot say.
I refuse to be led, as Washington said, like a sheep to the slaughter. The slaughter is the abolishment of all freedom in this country; and it is coming unless the American people stop playing the two party paradigm game and start opposing the system that seeks to take away their freedom.
And one final thought. If you are among those who believe that politics is of no concern to you, then you are worse than those who fall for the two party bullshit that permeates American politics; for it DOES, AND WILL affect you when your freedoms are finally taken from you.
They allow you to remain blissfully unaware; as you pose them no threat at the present time. But when the time comes for them to implement total control you WILL notice it; your freedom will be gone and you’ll be left standing there wondering what the hell just happened.
You people, and that means 99% of you, need to wake the hell up before it’s too late. You need to stop bickering amongst each other, and stop attacking people like me. I am no threat to you, I only seek to defend your rights as much as I seek to defend my own. If you truly believe I am your enemy, why is it that I have not tried to take any of your freedom from you, why is it that the only people who have done that are the ones you have lent your support for by giving them your vote?
Ponder that, would you.
June 8, 2019
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told). Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.