What's Freedom Worth?

  1. What's Freedom Worth?
    By Lady Liberty
    February 25, 2004
    There's a lot of talk these days about freedom within the confines of Internet mailing lists, newsgroups, and editorial venues. In fact, such talk has spread quite handily to real world gatherings, protests, and even a talk show or two. But while that's a good thing, it's quite frankly not good enough.

    Many of those who consider themselves a part of the so-called "freedom movement" will say that they want liberty. They want freedom from intrusive government oversight, and freedom from laws they consider matters of personal choice rather than harm to individuals or communities. They want returned to them what they know are unalienable rights but which have nonetheless been usurped by government agencies or mandates. And they'll tell you so, loudly and clearly, anytime you ask.

    Ask one of these "freedom fighters" what they intend to do to regain liberty, and they'll usually say that they're working to educate others. They'll talk about making reforms via the voting booth or writing to their public officials. Again, these are good things. But just as talking about freedom isn't enough, taking relatively convenient action isn't sufficient, either.

    I'm not telling any big secrets here, or offering up some long-hidden insight. Those who vote and campaign, who write and call Washington or their own more local representatives, and who live to see their names below missives on the editorial pages, will acknowledge that what they're doing isn't going to result in radical change. At best, they know they're forestalling some of the worst government abuses. Their activities are useful to be sure, but realistically have a limited impact on all they're trying to change.

    Most of these people are frustrated, but nowhere near giving up their fight entirely. Ask them where freedom ranks on their list of priorities, and it will be first or second on their personal lists. Until, that is, you ask them to actually put their priorities where their mouth is...

    While many people have heard of and applaud the efforts of the Free State Project, the Free State Wyoming Project, and the Free West Alliance, most of them aren't members nor are they intending to be. Why not? Well, because they'd have to move to New Hampshire or Wyoming and become politically active there. And that would, apparently, be somewhat inconvenient.

    Freedom is the number one priority on their list, they say. But living close to their family and friends outranks it. Or they don't want to leave a job they like or go through the trouble of packing up and relocating an entire household. They'll vote and they'll offer campaign contributions to the candidate of their choice, and they might even agree to a yard sign next to the front porch. But to actually actively campaign, run for office, or spearhead the effort to get an issue on the ballot? Perish the thought! And don't even think of mentioning to most of them a more rural lifestyle. Freedom is important, yes, but it's barely edged out by the convenience of the Starbucks outlet on the route to work.

    I recognize I'm making some of these people sound shallow, and the truth is that most of them aren't. They do believe in freedom, and they are doing something toward that end. Unfortunately, what many of them are doing is what they are most conveniently able to do. They have bumper stickers on their cars that remind us all that "Freedom Isn't Free," but they're intent on keeping the costs as low as possible for themselves.

    On the mailing list this week of what is allegedly a goal-oriented pro-freedom group, one member tried to get some concrete answers to what I think are important questions. Not the least of them was, "Okay, so what's the next step?" No one answered him. Oh, he got plenty of responses, but no answers. He was told, "Well, we're pretty much going to do what each of us wants to do, and that's what you should do, too." No one suggested he read over a proposed plan for action because there isn't one, and when he tried to suggest that a solid plan and some consolidation of participants was necessary, he was summarily removed from the mailing list for being "inflammatory."

    And so we continue to talk about freedom and to philosophize about the import of a free place where liberty-lovers might congregate. Again, that's not necessarily a bad thing because philosophy has its place in changing hearts and minds. But changing the real world requires action, not academics! Certainly it's crucial that people first be educated. But what each does with the knowledge afterwards - and what continuing education they choose to seek - will tell the real story.

    If you admit that you can only do what you're willing to do, and the limit of that is a few well chosen words to a newspaper editor or attendance at a campaign fundraiser, that's fine with me. I'll even thank you for your concern and your efforts. But if that's the case, don't pretend that freedom is first on your list. In fact, don't even try to convince me that freedom is particularly high on the list.

    While you're reading this, someone I know is facing a felony trial merely for exercising a Constitutional right in a place where officials refuse to recognize what used to be called the "supreme law of the land." He has decided to fight in the courtroom in spite of the potentially severe repercussions because freedom is first on his list. Someone with whom I'm acquainted has risen to the challenge offered by the man on the mailing list of which I spoke, and has expended considerable time, effort, and expertise to lay out an action agenda toward establishing liberty in at least one locale. That's because freedom is first on his list, too.

    Several friends and acquaintances have given up literally almost all of their free time, losing opportunities for both social interaction and moneymaking, to work in varying capacities toward their goal of increased freedom. A small group of property owners who have shared their story with me has spent thousands of dollars and more than ten years fighting a government action they know is wrong. A serious toll has been taken on them for their actions, but although tired and wounded, they refuse to give up. A number (relatively small yet, but growing) of people I know in both the "real world" and via the Internet are actively seeking real estate and jobs so that they can move either east or west and toward a free state (or county or city). These people, too, place freedom ahead of other personally fulfilling - and almost certainly easier and more immediately rewarding - things on their lists.

    George Bernard Shaw said, "Freedom requires responsibility. That is why most men dread it." Freedom also requires work and sacrifice. Whether you consider freedom to outweigh the considerable effort and occasional risk required is where we'll all find out if you are one of those who, despite words to the contrary, dreads true freedom. For myself, I'm not fond of great risk nor am I particularly thrilled with the slow, often thankless, and sometimes excruciating work of pushing back the veil of tyranny that threatens. But I also know where I rank freedom on my own list. Where does it fall on yours?

    From - www.thepriceofliberty.org
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   eltrip
    WyomingRN, you have provided much food for thought. Thank you.

    One of the interesting things among those who are truly interested in regaining their G-d given liberties is the amount of misinformation being bandied about. I know of several people who used to get together & read the law & discuss some of the concepts. They were quite fond of common law as opposed to statutory law. Sadly, a number of them were operating on what appeared to be loopholes in various laws. As I recall, a number of them were trying to avoid what they believed to be illegal &/or unlawful taxation.

    Another item that I recall is that many of them seem to have not ever had studies in government or economics while in high school. Their ignorance of the basis of our government and financial system was astounding and detrimental to their cause. Oh dear, I'm rambling. My apologies. This topic hits rather close to home for me & I tend to go on about it at the slightest provocation.
  4. by   ernurse2244
    Why are Wyoming and New Hampshire the only states where a person can be free?
  5. by   eltrip
    The Free State Project's website explains why NH was chosen. Here's their website:

    Interesting reading. Something to consider, perhaps.