Tagged: freedom

Survival of the Fittest: Teaching vs. Normalcy

Every society, without exception, tends to harden its founding presuppositions and hopes into a set of stated and unstated rules for living. Gradually, the great character and thought needed to bring a society into being give way to the forced teaching and rote learning of the simplified and simplifying rules deemed necessary to preserve that society. And this in turn reduces maturation to...

Easter Musings: What We Have Learned

The man whose life is celebrated on Easter weekend died at age thirty-three, having been earnestly engaged in the full blossom of his life’s mission for just a few short years. He died condemned as a criminal, and at the time was mocked and ridiculed, or simply ignored, by most of his fellow men. So much for the ultimate significance of empires and...

Thoughts on Being a Slave

What the slaveowner knows.– A society of strong and virtuous men would never make a great cause out of liberalizing so-called “recreational drug” laws (nor would they ever have to make a cause out of it), since they would be too busy enjoying all the more essential forms of liberty to care much about such things. By contrast, if a society does make...

Letting Go

The need to believe, once detached from all rational hope, becomes a dangerous breeding ground for many vicious and growth-stunting spiritual traps: confirmation bias, idolatry, paranoia, moral compromise, intellectual dependency — and ultimately cynicism, nihilism, and despair, as the disparity between what one needs to believe and what one increasingly realizes will never materialize becomes overwhelmingly obvious. Here is the solution to this...

Questions for Modern Political Life

If a Marxist calls you a fascist, should you care, let alone worry yourself about disproving the charge? (Likewise, for that matter, if an authoritarian populist or corporatist oligarch calls you a Marxist.) If someone criticizes your honest opinion on the grounds that it undermines “the movement,” is it more reasonable to defend your actions against that criticism, or to ask why the...

Truths Sometimes Forgotten

Practical freedom is the best condition for the development of good men — but freedom itself is no guarantor that good men will indeed develop, any more than having a comfortable notebook and a smooth-flowing pen will inevitably produce good writing. More often than not, good writing tools have facilitated the production of mountains of sludge. What if good political conditions are analogous...

On Voting and Democracy

I just read this headline from the Daily Bolshevik, aka The New York Times: “After Record Turnout, Republicans Are Trying to Make It Harder to Vote.” The point of the story, of course — the thrust of mainstream American “news articles” being contained in their headlines, designed as they are for immediate effect on the functionally illiterate and terminally impatient majority of “readers”...

Time vs. Life

Modern materialists, forever eager to debunk ancient notions of eternal being, have carelessly fostered a linguistic and psychological reduction of life, the activity of the soul, to time, the only remaining measure of man’s existence once eternity has been discarded as even a goal. But to reduce life to mere temporal continuation — to “time on Earth” — is inherently to overvalue mere...

Invalid Inferences

It does not follow from the belief that men should be free to do a thing that we must respect or even honor them for doing that thing “well.” The value of freedom lies not in its deliverance from the overwhelming force and painful limits of the true and the good, but in its opportunity to pursue truth and goodness without artificially imposed...

Principles

I would rather face the ugliness squarely and suffer through its worst than comfort myself with pretty and convenient illusions. If I am to live the rest of my life as a slave, let me know this and embrace the reality I cannot avoid, rather than presenting me with fantasy heroes and earthly saviors whose appeal will only serve to tighten my shackles....