Independence, liberty, freedom. Ideas worth celebrating, for sure, only intangible constructs of the human mind, therefore, their meanings can change along with the times. And since people are extremely adaptable creatures, we rapidly normalize to ever-evolving societal and cultural conditions and values. What people consider to be ‘freedom’ today, is nothing similar to what it was even a couple of generations ago.
Here are 4 celebrated, historic liberties that people have long enjoyed, yet are undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis in an evolving world.
1. ) The Freedom to Travel
The idea that human beings should be free to roam the earth without permission or threat is now dated. Prior to the 1930’s you needn’t a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle or carriage in America. Traveling without a passport used to be commonplace as well.
“[B]efore 1915 His Majesty’s Government did not require a passport for departure, nor did any European state require one for admittance except the two notoriously backward and neurotic countries of Russia and the Ottoman Empire.” [Source]
Now, even recreational drivers are required to be commercially licensed, and in addition to a complex system of fees, fines, high-speed-chases and beat-downs, we are now watching the normalization of domestic checkpoints manned by armed and dangerous government employee.
“Sobriety checkpoints — also known as DUI checkpoints — are the most common roadblocks you might encounter. They function as a general purpose investigatory tactic where police can get a close look at passing motorists by detaining them briefly. A roadblock stop is quick, but it gives police a chance to check tags and licenses, while also giving officers a quick whiff of the driver’s breath and a chance to peer into the vehicle for a moment.” [Source]
2.) The Right to be Self-Sustaining
Living off the grid is the ultimate example of personal responsibility, but as government needs dependents in order to be relevant, the type of rugged, ingenious mind that once made America remarkable is being stamped out in a fog of rules, regulations, permits, codes and trade agreements. For those interested in cultivating true independence by homesteading or setting up a little offgrid outpost somewhere, it is increasingly difficult and expensive to comply with the state.
“Look, if I want to build a yurt of rabbit skins and go to the bathroom in a compost pile, why is it any of the government’s business? Bureaucrats bend over backwards to accredit, tax credit, and offer money to people wanting to build pig city-factories or bigger airports. But let a guy go to his woods, cut down some trees, and build himself a home, and a plethora of regulatory tyrants descend on the project to complicate, obfuscate, irritate, frustrate, and virtually terminate. I think it’s time to eradicate some of these laws and the piranhas who administer them.” – Joel Salatin
In some areas, people’s veggie gardens are being ripped up by over-zealous code enforcers, senior citizens are being fined thousands of dollars for not cutting their grass on time, individual rainwater collection is being prosecuted, and police are being called in to enforce mandatory connection to public utilities.
3.) Freedom of Speech
Supposedly one of the greatest rights bestowed upon Americans by the constitution, increasingly, the right to speak your mind is under duress, by government, corporate policy makers, and a changing social climate. Sure, since the ’80’s we’ve been trained to accept Free Speech Zones, where protestors could be shuffled out of sight and out of mind. Now, though, we’re entering an era of extreme political correctness and unabashed irrationality. People are increasingly unwilling to listen to what others have to say, and intolerance is being normalized under a cloak of phony diversity.
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” – Orwell’s 1984
The way we communicate is rapidly changing, and corporations now have incredible power to shape our thoughts, as sites like Facebook have demonstrated. Our language can be moulded and transformed by company policy, as forum rules and formats can change in accordance with investor motives. We no longer own our words or our conversations.
As social pressure continues to build upon indoctrination, the ability of people to civilly discuss differences in opinions is more strained. Add to this the general dumbing down of everything, and the climate is one of highly-vocal intolerance. The liberty to openly speak in our society is being tested by personal crassness as much as it is by law.
Here’s an example of the kind of behavior that is now acceptable when some are in the presence of ideas they are unwilling to tolerate:
4.) The Right to Choose Your Own Medicine
Human beings have always had a symbiotic relationship with food and with plants, and medicine was always something taken directly from nature and combined with human intuition, wisdom and the intention to heal. The disruption of the balance between humans and nature, as initiated by consumer culture and corporate medicine, has taken a fundamental human right and is turning it into a privilege.
The corporate overthrow of the concept of medicine, mass fear-hyping, and the war on drugs, are devastating to personal sovereignty. Mandatory vaccines, public water fluoridation, and the prohibition of plant medicines such as cannabis, ayahuasca and iboga, add up to a severely restricted perception of health and wellness, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
If you alone do not own your body, then who owns your body?
“These medicines heal the cultural malaises of apathy and distractedness by re-introducing mystery and magic into life, and by liberating one’s consciousness from the confining prisons of the war on consciousness. They completely destroy the matrix of cultural programming, clearing space within the psyche for something new and positive to emerge.” – Dylan Charles
Due to the inherent violence required to maintain the social-political order we have now, along with mass indoctrination of the public with extreme statist and corporatist ideologies, it is practically impossible for most people to imagine a world governed by voluntaryism, although it’s well-worth consideration for those enjoy the celebration of human liberty.
“If, before undertaking some action, you must obtain the permission of society—you are not free, whether such permission is granted to you or not. Only a slave acts on permission. A permission is not a right.” [Source]